Now that we know the feud between CM Punk and Curtis Axel will continue on Raw next week when the two compete again, could the intercontinental title be up for grabs in the match?
While it was not confirmed that the title would in fact be part of the match (Curtis Axel said Punk did not deserve a title match on SmackDown), putting the intercontinental title on the line in this matchup makes little sense.
In my opinion, it knocks the former WWE champion a few rungs down the company ladder. How do you explain a man who is a main event star possibly capturing one of the midcard belts? It defies logic.
Put this idea in the same file along with Dusty Rhodes winning a World Television Championship, Ric Flair beating Konnan for the United State Championship or Chris Jericho winning a cruiserweight title after being a world heavyweight champion (that did not happen while the other two have happened).
It also shows that the WWE may have taken a step backward after moving three large steps forward.
The intercontinental and United States titles have been stuck in purgatory, and the wrestlers who have held these titles have had a hard time moving up the food chain. Cody Rhodes, Big Show and Dolph Ziggler have all been able to strike “higher” gold after holding the title. But wrestlers like The Miz, Curtis Axel, Wade Barrett and Chris Jericho were as stagnant as the New England Patriots of late.
What does CM Punk stand to gain by capturing a midlevel trophy? Is it a situation that the WWE is finally going to address—the fact the two titles are rich in tradition but have no way of truly being recognized?
They used to be stepping stones to a bigger picture. Now, they are almost as uncomfortable as a hot potato. Axel and United States champion Dean Ambrose have not had solid competition or true feuds as of yet.
Christian has been chasing the world champion, Alberto Del Rio, but he would be a perfect opponent for either. RVD was elevated to the top contender for the world title, but I thought a program with Ambrose would have been AWESOME!
If, in fact, Punk and Axel fight over the intercontinental strap, then let’s hope there is another part of this spot we haven’t seen yet. Punk is too important to the upper echelon of the WWE to be dragged down into the abyss of the unsuccessful midcard.
And in a way, all the company is doing is insulting one of the greatest champions of all time.