WWE has a problem in CM Punk, they've been trying to make him a heel for months now and it just doesn't seem to stick.
In a very Stone Cold kind of way, it doesn't matter how much they have him do—whatever he does the fans cheer him.
But the past several weeks, Punk has been following the formula that works against that flow; the WWE is dead-set on Punk being booed at events and the plan is somewhat logical and very by-the-book.
No longer can Punk be the voice of the voiceless, no longer is he the rebel against the establishment that is WWE; the powers that be seem to be pulling him away from that.
Was he becoming too powerful or too popular?
Was the sea of Punk shirts infringing on the sea of green from John Cena fans? And if Punk is the hero loved by the people and Cena is his rival for the belt, what does that make Cena?
They couldn't turn Cena heel, what would all the little kids do?
Hearts broken, not wanting to play with their Cena toys, buy their Cena headbands, possibly not even want to have mom and dad bring them to the events—kids would show that turning Cena heel is bad for business. So Punk needs to be taken off his Steve Austin path and put on a new one.
Step 1: He needs a theme that the WWE universe will be against.
"You will RESPECT me!" has become Punk's new mantra, and in the beginning, all of us Punk fans were sitting there saying, "YES, he does deserve to be the champion and be in the main event." His anger was justified, his resentment towards Cena equaled ours, but then, then it got whiny.
Now, when he comes out and says it every single time, he's doing that great CM Punk thing that he can do where he takes the truth and makes it annoying.
When he was the leader of the Straight Edge Society his message was "don't do drugs," and "don't drink" and we booed him.
We booed him!
Who boos someone who says, hey, don't do drugs or drink? The WWE universe, that's who. Because just like Punk's song "Cult of Personality" outlines, the WWE could tell you to hate puppies and we'd all be hating puppies.
Step 2: Don't fight legitimate threats, take on obvious wins, essentially become a bully
Remember when all this started, Punk was taking on guys like Mysterio and winning clean, but slowly we moved him away from that.
His rival the past month has been...Jerry Lawler?
Yes, with J.R. gone you have to beat up the guy on the announcers team that's actually loved by all of the WWE universe. You see, if you have him beat good guys like Mysterio, it gives legitamacy to the match, plus there are people out there who would want to see Mysterio lose to Punk.
But with Lawler, he's old, he's not a full-time wrestler, and Punk's issue with him relates back to his step one and his mantra of demanding respect.
Beating up Lawler by kicking him in the head from behind, destroying him in a cage match, continuing the beating after it was over and then beating him up backstage was brilliant. Punk went from annoying to vile and dangerous. It didn't get people to boo him, but they weren't cheering either.
Step 3: Go to home town, walk out and don't perform
It's your home town, everyone is going to cheer for you—in Cleveland the Miz gets cheered—so how do you counter this, how do you not lose your bad-guy momentum?
You walk out on your home town. When I heard they were in Chicago I thought "how are they going to keep up his villainy—oh, he won't fight anyone?"
Genius. The crowd hated it and in turn hated him for doing it.
Having him come back at the end of the night to trump Cena in his match turned the crowd slowly back towards him, and it was needed for his character to interfere in that match. But now the crowd is back to cheering.
But wait, here comes the big surprise, the unexpected factor to make what he did something you can't enjoy.
The WWE included a man who for the past year fans have been despising, a person who is always vile, a man who can only be looked at as sleazy and corrupt, and a leader to those whom we can't stand.
They gave Punk Paul Heyman. Brilliant.
With Heyman just sticking his head out of the window and looking down on Cena it spoke volumes; every person watching was shocked. No one not saw that one coming.
Step 4: Hurt a legend in his most legendary place
Aside from Madison Square Garden, there is probably no other place that is synonymous with a major WWE event like Montreal, Canada.
The great Montreal screw job changed the industry, it exposed that results were predetermined, it took McMahon and changed him from Vince McMahon-commentator to Mr. McMahon evil bad guy of the WWE.
This Monday, Brett Hart will be on Monday Night Raw in Montreal Canada and I can guarantee you he's most likely going to be screwed again, and this time it will be by CM Punk.
Canadian fans are different than any other type of fan; they don't seem to cheer for the same people that fans in the U.S. do. It's odd to watch the event sometimes because you can't predict where the crowd will go, but in Montreal they will all be team Hart.
Brett will come out, maybe even McMahon as well, and the chants that still go on today will shake the rafters: "You screwed Brett!"
It's 15 years later and the fans still won't let it go.
Watch Punk come out and say stuff like "McMahon and Shawn Michaels were right for what they did, Brett thought he was bigger than the WWE championship and he's not, because no one is more important than the current WWE champion, and while you might have been the best there was, you certainly not the best there is and clearly, you're not the best that there ever will be, because I'm the best in the world!"
This will all continue to Night of Champions, and at Night of Champions I believe John Cena will lose. Punk might not win clean, it might be controversial to build the heel factor, but all this build up, all this work to have Punk lose doesn't seem to be the plan.
We'll find out tomorrow night on Monday Night Raw how close I've gotten to predicting the plan, and if CM Punk will continue his steps to being one of the great heel champions of all time.
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