Michael Barton Looks at C.M. Punk
By Michael Barton aka MonticelloCards
- Ric Flair
One of my favorite quotes of all time, and it fits the topic I would like to discuss today. That topic is C.M. Punk – for one – who did more in five minutes with a microphone than John Cena has his whole career. But the credit has to really go to another man, that being Vince McMahon.
There was a lot of confusion a few weeks back when C.M. Punk – at the end of yet another very lacklustre Monday Night Raw, ripped apart everything that most of us do on a weekly basis. He spoke the truth about many topics, including McMahon having a number of yes men on the WWE payroll. Many (myself included) thought it might have been a worked shoot that turned into a real one, and that is exactly what Vince wanted everyone to think. Cutting off the microphone and going to black was the perfect way to get the entire world talking about professional wrestling late Monday night, and it has since been an almost daily discussion on message boards across the internet. There are still those out there who think that it was real and that Vince is only now using it to his advantage. Don’t be mistaken – this is an angle, and it is an intelligent one at that. And Vince is the one who made this happen.
Nothing takes place on any WWE show without approval from the creative team. They write the show, period. But – in this particular case – Vince clearly put this together. What is even more amazing is that, with all of the ways we gather information in this day and age, there are only a small handful of people who know what is going to happen Sunday at the Money in the Bank PPV – Vince, Punk, and Cena being the key three. No one is saying a word about what may or may not take place. The typical sources of information are people who work in the WWE, and these sources always have to be anonymous so as not to get fired from the company. This time, however, they have nothing to pass along, and you can bet your bottom dollar they have been asked. Again, you can connect that fact to Vince McMahon. He knows how the news filters to the newsletters, so he played this very close to the vest. And it has turned into the most talked about angle in some time.
Many columnists are solely praising C.M. Punk, and I don’t want anyone to think that I feel he does not deserve it. In order to make this work, he had to come across as completely authentic, and he has. In doing so, he has become the hottest commodity in the business. But he said it best when he said he was just “a cog in the wheel.” John Cena has also done a fantastic job here, to the point where many are questioning what happens next with him. There is a possibility he turns heel, although highly unlikely due to the dollars he generates through merchandise sales, but they could add a new dimension to his character and give him more of an edge. And while I have criticized Vince McMahon countless times over the past few years for dropping the ball on angles that could have turned into long term programs within the company, he has finally seen for himself that the fans want a little more than PG. The company is not heading back to the attitude era, but Raw has certainly become more of a PG-13 type product recently. And if you understand the business, at this time it is probably the best choice to generate the most money short term, without losing sponsorships or advertising dollars in the process.
Around 11 p.m. Sunday night, the wrestling community will be abuzz with what went down at the PPV. I know I will be watching intently, and when you can get an older fan who has seen it all such as myself eagerly anticipating a show, you have succeeded. So kudos to C.M. Punk, but also to John Cena and Vince McMahon. They have pulled something off here that many though impossible in today’s world of social networking. As Jim Ross used to always say, “Business is about to pick up.”
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