Thursday, December 22, 2011

How Did I Ever Doubt C.M. Punk?

When C.M. Punk came back to the WWE in late July this summer, he promised change. Punk promised to bring a drastic overhaul to the WWE. He started that at Money in the Bank, when he "left" the WWE with the WWE Title. Now sure, he only left for a week, but during that time it pretty much brought an end to the Mr. McMahon character on television. Punk continued to say the reason he cameback was because he wanted to change things in the WWE. Punk's character was already breaking from the norm before he left, and he continued to do that upon his return.

Punk went on to feud with Cena, but then turned his attention to Triple H after Punk believed that Hunter was out to screw him. It was here where the C.M. Punk character got a bit complex. Punk and Hunter used too may insider references that lost casual fans and somewhat angered Internet fans. After his loss to HHH at Night of Champions, Punk's character somewhat became just a normal WWE character. Many people started to doubt Punk's Change and saw him getting lost in the WWE World. His character was water downed compared to what he was in July, and no one believed that anything significant would come from C.M. Punk.

C.M. Punk was kind of lost in the shuffle in October. He completely put his HHH feud behind him when he teamed with him at Vengeance and lost in the WWE Title Hell in A Cell match at Hell in A Cell. Finally, Punk was put back in the WWE Title picture heading into Survivor Series with Alberto del Rio. Punk won the Title in a very great moment at Madison Square Garden. Sure Punk was WWE Champion, but he still didn't bring about the change that many people expected him to bring. Most people expected a change in WWE Programming. Gone would be the WWE PG product and in would come a new, edgy form of content in the WWE. But since Punk has returned, John Cena is still a focal point of WWE and the product is still as PG as ever.

But then the TLC PPV came along, and by the time the show ended, you realize C.M. Punk was right. All along, Punk promised change. He said on his Twitter account that people needed to be patient, and that for those who didn't see change coming that they were blind to it. I was one of those blind people. I had lost faith in Punk. Clearly I should be given a GTS for losing faith. And after seeing these photos after TLC, you realized C.M. Punk was right all along.

Would you look at that. See all of those Champions. Notice anything? No John Cena. No Randy Orton. No Triple H. Now that is change. Punk was right, slowly but surely change was being brought about. Lets start with Zack Ryder. Ryder had been an Internet sensation for so long. He wanted his United States Championship match, and he got it. Ryder walked out of TLC with the U.S. Title. Six months ago Ryder was an after thought in the WWE. Now he is one of the WWE's more popular wrestlers. I don't know if anyone saw that happening. Ryder's push was brought about by guys like Punk who supported him and praised him for being such a good worker.

Oh, and how about Daniel Bryan? Years ago Punk and Bryan were wrestling each other in high school gyms in front of a couple hundred people. Now they are World Champions of their respective brands. Bryan won the Smackdown Money in the Bank contract in July, but he had almost no push to speak of as a result of winning that match. But Bryan had been getting more exposure in recent weeks, and due to an injury to Mark Henry, walked out of TLC with the World Title. Many people expected Bryan to be the first person to cash in MITB and lose. Well, he wasn't. Sure he didn't wait until Wrestlemania like he said he would, but it turned out to be a great moment. Now Bryan has the chance to showcase his skills on a more regular basis. I don't know if anyone thought Bryan would actually become a World or WWE Champion. But because of C.M. Punk, who constantly praised Bryan's work, he's now the top dog on Smackdown.

And how could we forget Cody Rhodes, Kofi Kingston, Evan Bourne and Beth Phoenix. All of them hold Titles and have a bright future ahead of them. Rhodes is destined for a main event push in the near future. Kofi and Bourne are entertaining to watch in the ring, and Beth is the best woman wrestler in the WWE. And we can't forget about Dolph Ziggler, who behind Punk is arguably the best in ring worker in the WWE at the moment. Ziggler has been putting on great matches at a consistent rate and deserves a main event push on RAW soon.

So what is the one consistent thread in all of these workers? Youth. The average age of all thos WWE Champions is 28 years old. No veteran presence at the top. The ball has shifted in the WWE. Instead of veterans like Randy Orton and John Cena at the top it is guys like Punk, Bryan and Ziggler. John Cena isn't being shoved down our throats anymore. He wasn't even on the TLC PPV. He's only been on one segment on the last handful of RAWs. The WWE is shifting its focus to some of their better in ring workers. I love to rip on the WWE for pushing Cena and Orton down our throats, but they haven't been doing that in recent weeks.

So as the Title of this piece says: How did I ever doubt C.M. Punk? Punk promised us change, but we were all expecting immediate change and didn't look at the overall big picture. Well, we were all fools for doing that. Instead, we should have had faith in C.M. Punk and believed in him. Because of him guys like Daniel Bryan and Zack Ryder got the pushes they are getting. For those of us who wanted fresh blood at the top of WWE TV, we are getting it. The beginning and end of RAW this week proved that. We have change in the WWE, and we should all just sit back and enjoy the ride that we are about to go on.

To all of my readers I wish you a very happy Holiday season.

Until Next Time,
Justin C
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

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