So, who saw the end of Raw on Monday?
If you didn’t, I’ll link to what I’m talking about at the end of the post. Raw wasn’t good, not gonna lie. There are numerous points as to why this is an honest, universal truth.
1) Raw Roulette sucks.
2) They’re pushing Mark Henry…again?
3) Shawn Michaels completely disregarded WCW (hey, parts of it were really good!)
4) Zack Ryder wasn’t on it. (Woo woo woo, you know it!)
Honestly, it was a normal episode of Raw. I got back into Raw due to watching the PPVs every month and figured that I might as well try to get back into Raw to follow the storylines. Sorry, Smackdown, but I still can’t be bothered to watch you. Nothing personal. Leading into Wrestlemania, with The Miz as champ, I was really enjoying it. We had The Rock coming back and cutting promos on Cena. We had Miz getting better and better. I was having fun and remembering how awesome it used to be to stay current with pro wrestling, something I haven’t done in almost six years.
Then Wrestlemania happened. Weak PPV followed by a weak string of Raw. A string that has lasted about 3 months, sadly. I was digging when Kharma was coming out and destroying the Divas, but then she got pregnant and they completely killed her character on screen, and I was back down to nothing to watch. That’s why I fast-forward through a DVR’d Raw more often than not, unless I catch it and can live tweet commentary through it with other wrestling fans (#IWantWrestling / @Shane_Dalton). This week, though, ended with CM Punk showing everyone why he’s the best wrestler in the world.
A lot has been said about Punk’s “shoot” at the end of Raw. Was it a work (fake)? Was it a shoot (real)? Of course it was a work. It was on TV, wasn’t it? Trust me, with the stuff he said, he’s have been taken off of TV and his mic cut incredibly quickly. However, he did what only the best can do. He got people talking. He got people questioning whether it was legit or all part of the show. That’s awesome.
I loved the promo. I loved it because it’s Punk on a new level. Depending on how they play this out, I’ve seen this before in 2005 in Ring of Honor. CM Punk wrestles Austin Ares for the ROH World Championship on the last night of his contract. He wins, and everyone expects him to hand the belt back to ROH and leave champion, the thing he’s been trying to do for two years, resulting in some amazing matches with Samoa Joe. What does he do? He turns heel and threatens to take the belt with him to WWE and lay it on Vince McMahon’s desk. The rest of the summer was ROH vs Punk in an all out effort to get the belt out of his hands before he leaves. It was amazing wrestling. What I saw last week, when Punk vowed to leave the WWE with the WWE Championship, immediately brought those fond memories of the Summer of Punk to the forefront for me, and I smiled. I started fantasy booking how I wanted it to play out. It was fun. Then, Monday, CM Punk added another level to the game. He threatened to take the WWE Championship to New Japan or back to Ring of Honor. Now, the average WWE fan probably has no idea that wrestling outside of WWE and TNA exists, much less that ROH is where Punk came from and that it’s currently the place to go if you really want to see WRESTLING. For those fans, the mere idea of Punk, our Indy Wrestling golden boy who made it big, bringing the main belt back to ROH…or going to New Japan and having amazing matches over there with that belt…it’s mouth watering.
Do I expect it to happen?
I expect Super Cena to take Punk out and for Punk to disappear for 6 months to a year and come back. Why? Because I always expect Super Cena to win. It’s why I knew The Miz wasn’t going to make it out of Over The Limit with the belt. It’s why I know that The Rock isn’t going to make it out of Wrestlemania with the belt. If John Cena fought Mike Tyson, I’d probably bet on John Cena, after six years of seeing him booked in the main event of WWE.
Do I want Punk to win, and hold the belt hostage?
That, to me, is an amazing storyline. Punk wins the belt at Money in the Bank, and instead of celebrating in the ring, hightails it out of the building, into a car in the garage and speeds away, leaving Super Cena either laying in the ring or watching the Titan Tron and realizing that he just let the company down. I want the ring announcers wondering what is going to happen now that the WWE is, for the first time, without their WWE Champion. I want video highlights and fan-cam footage of Punk wrestling Jushin “Thunder” Lyger or Tanahashi in Japan, entering with the WWE belt, or wrestling Christopher Daniels or Eddie Edwards in ROH. I want the WWE frantic to get the belt off of him over the next few months, because without it, their precious Cena vs Rock match at Wrestlemania loses one of it’s hooks. I want to see a breakdown of TV vs Real Life, where we see Vince McMahon the business owner, or Stephanie McMahon, trying to explain why their champion doesn’t work for their company. Cross promote with other companies! Have ROH invade WWE! Make wrestling real! Have people guessing. Make Punk’s contract negotiations and stuff like that open, and make it the wrestling equivalent of LeBron James choosing whether or not to stay in Cleveland.
Wrestling, right now, is boring. This is a rare opportunity to do something we’ve never seen before.
Sadly, that’s why I expect them to drop the ball.
Let’s hope I’m wrong.