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June 28, 2011

WWE Raw: CM Punk ‘suspended’ for ‘shoot’ promo

Raw came to an abrupt end Monday night moments after CM Punk’s mic went out while he was cutting a scathing, anti-WWE promo that was filled with insider references.

After the show went off the air, it was announced on wwe.com that WWE chairman Vince McMahon has suspended Punk indefinitely for unprofessional conduct, and Punk’s bio was removed from the website.

The wwe.com story went on to say that “with [Punk’s] contract expiring on July 17, one can only assume that this suspension effectively terminates CM Punk’s tenure with WWE.”

Yeah, well, you know what they say happens when you assume. Just in case anyone is uncertain about whether or not any of this is “real,” you can rest assured that it’s all a work – and a brilliant one at that.

Punk’s delivery on the microphone was tremendous, and his worked-shoot promo was reminiscent of the Monday Night War era. Back then, breaking the fourth wall in wrestling was ground-breaking, but the plot device eventually became passé because it was overdone. Punk’s promo was so effective because WWE rarely does this kind of thing anymore (unlike in TNA, where they do it multiple times on every episode).

After interfering in the main event match between John Cena and R-Truth, Punk took a seat on the stage and said that he had a lot of things to get off his chest. Wearing a “Stone Cold” Steve Austin t-shirt (a nod to the “Twitter war” that Punk and Austin have engaged in), Punk went off about WWE not giving him the respect he deserves.

He said once again that he was the “best wrestler in the world,” while Cena was the best at “kissing Vince McMahon’s ass.” Punk noted that “Dwayne” may be even better at kissing up to McMahon.

In addition, Punk referred to Stephanie McMahon and Triple H as Vince’s “idiotic daughter” and “doofus son-in-law,” and called WWE executive vice president of talent relations John Laurinaitis a “douchebag” (which was bleeped).

Punk also said that he was “a Paul Heyman guy” and that after he wins the WWE title from Cena at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view on July 17, he may defend the championship in New Japan Pro Wrestling or go back to Ring of Honor. At that point, he looked into the camera and gave a shout-out to his buddy Colt Cabana (who had a cup of coffee in WWE as Scotty Goldman a few years ago).

Just as Punk was about to tell “a personal story about Vince McMahon” that began with a reference to WWE’s anti-bullying campaign, his microphone was turned off and the screen went black shortly thereafter.

Other thoughts on Monday’s show:

The participants for the Raw Money in the Bank match were announced and it’s a good lineup: Alberto Del Rio, R-Truth, The Miz, Rey Mysterio, Alex Riley, Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger and Evan Bourne. …

Punk did a nice job during his promo of trying to turn the fans who were cheering him against him. …

It was great having Shawn Michaels back on Raw, but I was a little disappointed that he wasn’t more involved in the show. It was definitely cool, though, to see Michaels and Punk engage in a verbal confrontation in the opening segment. …

For the record, as big of an HBK mark as I am, I won’t be watching his new show on The Outdoors Channel. Not really my thing. …

In general, I’m a fan of Raw shows that have a theme, so I liked Raw Roulette. Booker T. may not be a good color commentator but he was pretty darn entertaining as the MC of the roulette wheel segments. …

It was nice to see R-Truth get a win over Cena in the non-title tables match (thanks to Punk’s interference), but his victory was completely overshadowed by Punk’s post-match promo. …

The best match of the night by far was the tornado match that saw Mysterio and Riley defeat The Miz and Swagger. The action was fast-paced and the crowd was very hot for the match. The only negative was that the result was predictable. I would have been stunned if anyone other than Swagger did the job. …

Mark Henry ripping off the door to the steel cage during the Del Rio-Big Show match and using it to knock Big Show through one of the sides of the cage was good stuff. It got heat on Henry as well as Del Rio, who took advantage of Henry’s interference to score a cheap victory. …

Punk walking out on his match against Kane was a good heel move, but I would rather have seen Punk get the win to gain momentum heading into his title match against Cena. …

The Sin Cara-Evan Bourne match – which should have taken place on last week’s Power to the People episode but did not due to technical errors with the voting process – was fun to watch. Cara remains undefeated. …

In another make-good from last week’s show, Kofi Kingston defeated U.S. champion Dolph Ziggler in a non-title match in which Vickie Guerrero was banned from ringside. The match was fine but it didn’t come close to most of their previous matches. …

The good news is that Drew McIntyre got some TV time. The bad news is that he was on for less than a minute and was only there to take a kick to the face from Michaels. …

It was nice to see my old pal Diamond Dallas Page make a cameo appearance. He was on hand to plug WWE’s “The Very Best of WCW Nitro” DVD, which he hosted. …

Who knew Kelly Kelly was a submission specialist? The Boston Crab never looked so good. …

WWE must be serious about making Tough Enough winner Andy Leavine a future star, as it aired a video package of him training, with comments from the likes of Dusty Rhodes and Ricky Steamboat. I figured there was a good chance that Leavine would go down to FCW and never be heard from again. Time will tell.

Posted by Kevin Eck at 6:17 AM | | Comments (134)
        

Comments

Epic, epic promo by CM Punk!! Possibly the best one since Heyman shot on Vince back in 2001. As you said, Kev, the WWE rarely does stuff like this anymore, so it has much greater impact when they do do it; unlike TNA who seemingly does it every week.

We know it's all a work, especially after reading next week's Raw spoilers, but everything he said was 100% true (to me), and I'm sure he believed in it wholeheartedly. Kudos to Vince for allowing him to be mostly truthful for the sake a good angle/story.

The two stars I'm really interested in are Punk and R-Truth; what do you see next for Truth? With his basically one-and-done program (can anyone tell me again why Truth didn't get a rematch) over with with Cena, is he going to revisit his feud with Mysterio? Morrison isn't ready to come back yet, I don't think, so that rules him out.

Kev, do you think Vince knew Punk was gonna reference New Japan and ROH?

RESPONSE FROM KE: Yes, I'm sure Vince approved everything ahead of time.

yeah actually it's not a work,unfortunatly you wont be seeing punk in the wwe anymore,that is wishful thinking though.
and by the way if you think everything in professional wrestling is a work,they really do have you fooled.

RESPONSE FROM KE: This is an awesome comment. It's still real to you, dammit!

That was brilliant. I loved all the bits that you did. Punk was great. Tornado tag was excellent. Henry sounds great, and looked great smashing the cage.

Punk wearing the stone cold shirt was actually a nod to paul heyman, when he did a similar anti wwe work-shoot against vince.
Heyman was wearing a stone cold hat, also punk mentioned paul's name during his rant

Link to paul heyman rant
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vswZ73WETpc

RESPONSE FROM KE: Heyman was wearing the Stone Cold hat because Austin was the main guy in the Alliance, which Heyman was a part of. I took Punk wearing the Austin shirt as another example of him breaklng the fourth wall -- a heel wearing a babyface t-shirt just because they have been having a friendly rivalry on Twitter. Austin has been very complementary of Punk in interviews.


That segment could go down in wwe history as a defining moment for the industry. This could signal a new era in which we move slightly away from the family friendly era toward an edgier side of the business. Bravo CM Punk whether it was a ork or not.

That was possibly the best rant/shoot promo ever!!!
Better than Jericho Raw debut.
Better than Heyman Raw shoot promo.
Possibly better than "to be the man you gotta beat the man" promo.

Interesting stuff with CM Punk cant wait to see how it all plays out i see punk winning the "championship" at mitb and then the winner of the mitb ladder match probably del rio cashing in an beating him.

So sad to see whats become of Drew Mcintyre had high hopes for him hopefully theres a turn around soon cant stand to see guys like this being under utilised while guys like sin botch cara are forced down our throats.

Last year, I was extremely impressed with the violent & chaotic debut of the Nexus. This year, I am extremely impressed with CM Punk's promo. Punk was absolutely brilliant on the mike yesterday.

The two most recent WWE Title feuds (Cena/R-Truth and Cena/Punk) have been very interesting to watch. I can't wait to see where this feud goes with two weeks left until Money in the Bank.

It is interesting Punk got cut off right when he was going to comment about the WWE's anti-bullying campaign.

During the show, there was a public service ad for the WWE bullying campaign. Curiously, the Bella Twins were amongst the WWE personalities preaching tolerance. It's kind of hard to take the Bellas seriously when less than a month ago they were essentially bullying Kharma about her weight and being pregnant.

When Mark Henry knocked Big Show out of the steel cage and onto the floor it reminded me of when Big Show made his WWE (then WWF) debut by throwing Stone Cold Steve Austin against the steel cage which caused the side to collapse throwing Austin onto the floor.

Henry's interaction with the fans after the cage incident was intense especially when he said, "I'm over here and you're over there."

Hey Kev so do you think what Punk did last night most likely hurt is chances to win the WWE championship and getting a new contract i think what he did crossed the line whether it was real or not i know people on here will it was just but if your trying to new contract you don't insult your boss .

Here's an idea for you to do a list on: best worked shoot promos of all time. I haven't watched this episode of Raw so I don't know where CM Punk's promo would stand but otherwise, I reckon Heyman's was the best. It was one of the few good segments from the entire Invasion angle.

PUNK IS AWESOME!!!

Absolutely incredible promo. It was the most exciting thing on Raw/WWE in several years. It was great to see a worked "shoot" promo like that. "Shoots" were certainly overdone in the Attitude era and continue to be in TNA. This felt so real and there was definitely alot of truth to it. He spoke for that older audience that is tired of the same old same old.
I think what we'll see at MIB is a Cena/Punk match with more interest than anything since Hogan/Rock. I think Punk may actually win, then the MIB winner (Del Rio) cashes in. I'm sure they'll figure out a way to write Cena back into the company...obviously won't be fired.

Hey Kev, could we be leading to a return to TV of Vinnie Mac where cena gets screwed out of the title at money in the bank and revelaing to Punks hometown crowd that he has signed an extension thus making him hated further???

I didn't watch RAW last night but regardless of it being a shoot or not that was great. CM Punk has become one of my all time favorites. If he actually leaves in July, I will be happy for him. Sure WWE is the biggest company etc but it seems like there is this stigma that you can succeed if you leave. If you’re miserable in your place of work it doesn’t matter where you are. I am all for guys succeeding without WWE.

I couldn’t imagine him in TNA if he is "really" disgusted with WWE but it would be great if he was back with ROH in time for their TV show in September.

I am going to enjoy channel 54 WNUV showing syndicated wrestling just like the old days. Ahh……the memories. Saturdays were so cool as a kid. Good cartoons and wrestling all freaking day and night from all over the country...not just two companies. Kids now have no clue.

In closing…………….CM PUNK CM PUNK CM PUNK CM PUNK CM PUNK!!!!!!!!!

Wwe needs more outspoken people like cm punk. He may be the best wrestler wwe had but hes also an entertaining person and a rebel. I love wwe but i applaud punk for letting wwe have it for passing up punk time and time again. Thank you to punk for holding your tongue for as long as you could. Thank you for being so entertaining every single night. I will always be a cm punk super fan.

Kevin,
Did you get a chance to see what Stone Cold said about that promo on his twitter?

RESPONSE FROM KE: I did.

The headline grabbed my attention--and the article made me go find Raw online and see the deed.
I have to say that I'm impressed. That was a well-done shoot, and Punk delivered it with intensity and skill.
The sad part is that I think you are correct, Mr. Eck, in that McMahon is working a shoot, undoubtedly in the face of the fact that ROH is making a plunge into a national market on a limited basis, and that it is well known at this point that many wrestling fans prefer even the awfulness of TNA to having anything to do with McMahon's "product".
The sadness stems from the fact that everything Punk outlined is true, and I don't doubt that it was easy for him to find the intensity to give the speech. Even "turning" the fans cheering for him against him was done with truth. Of course there are fans within WWE gravitating towards Punk, and perhaps it is because they really don't like the Cena dynamic, Vince's nepotism and politics and the way WWE is run---but they're still filling McMahon's pockets and mindlessly participating. As someone who no longer watches WWE, I loved every minute of the shoot, worked or not, and again, found for myself that I didn't see it as Punk turning on those cheering for him--he was just telling more truth.
The problem is twofold, though. One side is that ROH isn't even off the ground yet and TNA is in a low-level holding-pattern---and yet Vince is pulling out all the stops as if he's competing with equal opponents. While this is great television, we can assume from past experience that as soon as Vince fires all cylinders in the spirit of competition and crushes everyone, that he'll go right back to the S.O.S. as soon as his insecurities and control mechanisms are assuaged again. It's great to turn Punk loose to say what he wants--(and I think despite the work--that it was all Punk as far the "shoot" went--and that he truly meant it all---I think Vince was just willing to let him use that intensity).
The second side is that while it's great that WWE keeps its ear to the ground enough to understand the frustration some people have with the commpany and to be able to use it for a compelling storyline---it is also all true. The problems that CM Punk references aren't going to go away once this worked storyline is over. This may be a underestimation on the part of WWE creative in that those of us who have turned our backs on WWE really mean those things that CM Punk referenced. The point is that WWE treats its fans like idiotic zombies, and sadly--many of them willingly accept that role----to use this as an edgy storyline is counterproductive---more discerning fans aren't going to come back because of a worked shoot---the point is that we're not zombies---we want real changes with the problems before we consider WWE again.
In any case, CM Punk may indeed be the best actualized wrestler in the world right now---and I guess that sums up my feelings--it's nice to bring up that fact and to address the concerns of many wrestling fans through CM Punk's stellar mic skills--but in the end, it will always be right back to Cena, or whatever Hogan clone WWE pushes next after they're done with Marky-Mark.
Also, Mr. Eck, there have been discussions on your blog concerning the faces on the drink cups, etc.---what is the probability that some birdies are sometimes using your blog to pick up the general feelings of articulate wrestling fans? I would think that if it's so, that's quite a shot in the arm for you.

are you really sure KE that it was a worked shoot???
coz I pretty much believed it to be real...
well thats what punk can do...
another night of his awesomness...
ps.
hey kev,do you think that punk is going out for real ?
i mean since they are putting him in such storylines..
maybe they are trying to recreate the 'summer of punk' or maybe its just going to be a sabbatical for punk??
your views please!

RESPONSE FROM KE; My guess is that either Punk has already re-signed or he will take some time off and returN at some point.

I watched that promo on youtube and wow... that was exciting.

I don't think much more can be said about the promo other than it was awesome. I liked when Punk said that Cena is as good as ass kissing as Hulk Hogan.

How many doors of cages as Mark henry ripped off? I feel like that was the millionth time he did that.

Also, has there ever been a Raw Roulette without a cage match?

How many consecutive weeks will Kingston wrestle Ziggler?

That promo BLEW MY MIND.

I was shocked speechless. I really can't convince myself that whole thing was entirely worked. When you look at the over-controlled, thought-policed way WWE is run, there can be no doubt Punk seriously crossed some lines...

and you KNOW C.M. Punk believed what he was saying, which is what made it so tremendous... like Heyman's promo on Vince back in the day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vswZ73WETpc

As someone who is a fan, first & foremost, I absolutely can't WAIT to see what happens next. Yes, the internet experts are sure it's worked, but I would not be surprised if Punk is genuinely suspended or fired.

What can I say? It's still real to me, dammit!

RESPONSE FROM KE: I hate to be the one to tell people that there's no Santa Claus, but think about it for a second: For WWE to convince people that it was a shoot, they had to allow Punk to say things that crossed the line.

"Who knew Kelly Kelly was a submission specialist? The Boston Crab never looked so good. …"

And not just because Kelly looks great. She put on the hold exactly like it's supposed to be done, sitting on Nikki's lower back to make the hold actually look painful.

To my own surprise, I'm actually glad that HBK's involvement was not pervasive in the show. This way, his appearances seem special and don't risk taking the spotlight away from the active roster.

However, his interaction with Punk made me weep inside that they didn't have a long angle before HBK retired. Because that would have been a license to print money.

CM Punk is freaking GOD.

The Evan Bourne/Sin Cara match was good because Bourne made it that way. It looked the match slowed down considerably from Bourne's normal match speed....and most of his moves were used to set-up Sin Cara. What a shame Bourne's talent was ruined to "push" someone who doesn't even belong in the WWE.

The funny part about Sin Cara staying undefeated is that once he loses, he will rarely win again.

I'm not sure the Tough Enough promo says as much about WWE's seriousness as it is just a good follow-through to let the casual viewers know where he is. They did the same thing with Maven, except for Maven, they had him verbalize it to the fans and it came off really lame.

I'm glad I haven't been watching TNA any so I could get the "full effect" of the worked shoot.

Punk & R-Truth are few of the only ones truly worth watching. Is any one else but me sick and tired of John Cena always winning and repeating the same story line?

Okay, that was awesome.

I quit watching wrestling a few weeks ago. I'm not going to go on a long diatribe, but things had just gotten to the point where the guys I like were either gone or hopelessly buried, and the guys I didn't like were holding the major belts. So I just stopped watching. I still keep up a bit, mostly through your blog, Kevin, but Punk's promo is the first WWE segment I've watched since John Cena and Randy Orton won their respective titles.

I will watch, these next few weeks, to see what Punk does. Because he is, indeed, the best in the world, and THIS is the push he should have gotten ages ago. And if he is, indeed, leaving, and the WWE's just using him to get Cena over before he walks, well, I probably won't watch any more come July 18th. But the next three weeks will be fun, at least.

punk was awesome last night, but the one thing i want to know is... can michaels shoot an arrow straight with those googly eyes?

Punk's promo was incredible! So glad he is FINALLY getting used the way he should. And glad that there's a storyline for the older fans too.

The matches on Raw were great too - Bourne vs Sin Cara was brilliant, and a nice change of pace.

I've noticed that this is the third week in a raw that Cena has only appeared on Raw to wrestle - no "funny" Cena promos. Top that with the fact he lost to Punk and Truth (not cleanly, but still lost) maybe WWE are taming the SuperCena character a bit? One can only hope...

Overall a great Raw, I'm really intrested in WWE, and it's been a while since I said that!

Alex Riley was awesome (pun intended) last night. Every week he is so much fun to watch in the ring. Kind of still dull on the mic, but even that's getting better. That was the best match I've seen on Raw in months.

I loved, loved, loved Punk's promo. He's officially won me over as one of the best in the business. He's a very effective heel. WWE would be dumb to let him walk out the door and they need to put the belt on this guy.

His shoot was reminiscent of the Vince Russo shoot in WCW on Hogan, who was delightfully mentioned in Punk's promo.

One of the thing really missing in WWE these days are good factions with babyfaces and heels. The last GOOD faction they did was Legacy.

This was a good Raw. Lots of good action.

Punk's promo was scathing and rang true! HE said what a lot of people are thinking and non of it reflecting well on WWE. I think everyone is interested to see where this one goes.

I really hope CM Punk leaves WWE. he is being stifled there. I wouldn't join TNA either despite the edgy content. In fact he should only join TNA if he gets creative control, I'm not a fan of creative control but in Punk's case it would be a good thing as he is smart.

Maybe Punk's promo is all a work, but I can't believe Vince would give him a platform to say all the things he said about the McMahon family and get away with it. Who is Punk that he should be handed such power to do something that no one else in the history of the company has had the power to do? If this is a work, is Vince really going to allow Punk to have a future of cutting more promos like this? Because that's what it will take for this "work" to remain legit. If after a a few months or so, Punk goes back to cutting regular promos what would have been the point of it all? Why create a storm like this to simply shut it off like it's any other angle? Like everything that was said never happened. Sometimes when you light a fire, the fire can turn around a burn you.

Why let Punk disparage the upcoming main event at Wrestlemania by being critical of The Rock and Cena? Remarks like that only hurt business not help it. By pointing out the reality of the situation, it makes even casual fans step back and take a look at why should they really want to see that match, when it's just two hand picked ass kissers, and the best guy won't even be in the main event? Why let Punk ridicule the WWE fans by basically calling them mindless fools for spending their money on the bill of goods that WWE is selling them? Why let them in on the secret? Why even let them consider for one second that what Punk is saying might be true? A magician doesn't tell his audience how the trick is performed, nor does he tell his audience that they are fools for coming to the show in the first place when they knew it's not real. If this is a work, that's the part of it that makes no sense. Could Vince be this desperate to sell a PPV?

Would Triple H simply just stand by and watch as Punk calls him a Doofus and his wife an idiot? If this is a work then all of those players Punk mentioned would have to be in on it? People have made disparaging remarks about those two before, but about their wrestling characters, not about them as WWE corporate executives. And Punk gets all the glory while they get ridiculed? If this was a work, then why is it that so many things Punk said about himself in regards to the company true? Punk isn't promoted like he should be, that's not a work that's real, and the WWE does that for a reason. Has Vince just suddenly seen the light when it comes to Punk?

However, in all honesty it does seem like a work. They typically don't let a promo end a Raw like that, so that part didn't feel natural. If it wasn't a work, it seems they would have shut Punk's mic off long before they actually did. If it wasn't a work, why did Punk seem surprised when they shut the mic off? Shouldn't he have known that would happen? During the broadcast Cole and Lawler kept injecting that Punk was disgruntled as to being the reason he was leaving as if to set up what was about to happen. It's rare that they even talk about a superstar leaving, or make a big deal about it, let alone say they are disgruntled. Typically they just quietly let them leave, so it's curious as to why Punk leaving is such a big deal now? And oh yeah, the next PPV is in Chicago. Is there any way they could go in there now without Punk being involved?

I've seen people comparing this to the Nexus angle last year, but this is bigger than that and it's not even close. Nexus was shocking, but you knew that wasn't real. This is different. Even if it is a work, there's a dose of realism injected into it where you can't tell the difference between the two. However, even if it is a work I hope it's not, because the things Punk said had to be said, not for the purposes of WWE making more money off it, but because somebody had to say it. If this really is a work, then it only makes a mockery of the truth, and it could make Punk out to be a phony. Which maybe when and if he signs his lucrative new WWE contract, won't be so important to him.

Eck, you are unbelivable. A brilliant work?? Seriously??? First of all, this whole angle is a recycled one from "The Summer of Punk" in 2005 in ROH because WWE is so uncreative they can't think of anything original to do with Punk. And second, you try to justify WWE using a tremendously overused angle from the 90s (worked shoots) by downing TNA (what else is new?) by saying WWE hardly ever does it and TNA does it all the time. That is such a lame justification, but I expect nothing less from an obvious WWE apologist like yourself. A recycled, rehashed, overused angle from the 90s, whether it has only been done in TNA, is STILL OVERDONE AND UNORIGINAL. How can something so uncreative, uninnovative, and lazy be "brilliant"?? Please take off your WWE rose-colored merchandise shades for one minute and see reality. You are just like these WWE marks Punk was talking about in worked promo. The worked shoot promo was played-out, obviously fake, and only would fool a clueless mark. If TNA had done this, and they had never done a worked shoot promo before, you would say the same thing. Real talk!

RESPONSE FROM KE: It's brilliant because it got everyone talking about it6. People who have said that they gave up watching WWE now say they will watch to see where this goes. I also know the angle worked when I saw my traffic for today. Biggest day since WrestleMania.

Good, he deserved to be Suspended Indefinitely, and hopefully, that leads to him getting Fired?

That was a once in a lifetime promo. Wow.

What a great finish to the TLC match too. Very well executed. Cena dropped Punk just a half second before he got absolutely crushed by a R Truth's spear. (It all of a sudden reminded me of the well publicized real-life feud that Ron Killings and John Cena actually had before. Interesting)

That show felt more like a go-home show for one of the major ppvs. Not a show that is 3 weeks from a minor ppv. Weird. Cant complain I guess.

It seems that people deliver their best promos when referring to how sick they are of the treatment that Cena gets. (Batista delivered a similar promo when he and Cena feuded in WM 2 years ago). Punk naming names really added fuel to the fire (Hi Colt Cabana). Just a pitch perfect promo.

Michaels facial expression is still on point. His face when Punk was on his way to the ring. Tremendous work. Might be because im a shawn michaels mark, but two of the best promos in the last 6 months had michaels in it. He's two for two between last night and the one with hunter and taker. what a legend.

If anyone's curious whether it's a work or a shoot they should read the spoilers for next week's RAW (which was taped last night since Monday is July 4th and the wrestlers get the night off). It answers the question pretty conclusively.

That was the best thing speech I have seen in Wrestling since Eric Bischoff was hired by WWE and came on the show and bragged about how WCW dominated WWE for 84 weeks in a row...

That being said, if this was real and not a shoot, then Vince would have cut Punk's mike off much earlier in the speech. I also think Cena would have broke character and walked up the ramp to stick up for the WWE.

I think that it was not a work, just punk letting off some steam before he goes. As many know, that vince is not travelling with the show all the time. So am sure they had to contact him and let him decide what to do. BUT, I have also noticed a change in the programming on Raw, with r truth and mark henry; going for that more reality type angle. Mark saying he is tired of not being given chances or having to job to guys that really would never have a chance. and R Truth going against the "jimmy's". tired of not being taken seriously. So maybe this is a change in a different direction. but I honestly think that punk is done wrestling, just may still show up and shoot again. I think he is gone to wrestle other promotions. everyone needs that time off. consider this: how many different gimics have they used on punk over the last 2 years? none have really worked. was better as a solo than with a group.

Might this be the start of the "Attitude Era" part deux? That may be wishful thinking but CM Punk was gold last night. Any info as to when tickets go on sale for TLC?

Up until Punk's ending promo, I was pretty lukewarm about the show. A few of the matches were on the far side of good, but as a cohesive program, it was only okay. And then Punk showed up and cost Cena the match. I'll take a Cena loss however I can get it. Then I noticed he was wearing a Stone Cold shirt. And then he started talking.

Wow.

I've been watching wrestling since I was six. That shoot was the first time I genuinely couldn't tell if what I was seeing was real or not. For a glorious half hour, I lived in a world where unexpected things could still happen and there was a voice fighting against the powers that be.

Of course, clearer heads can tell it was worked, even without the results of next week's show. But still, I think most fans who have been around since the Attitude Era or before really needed this shot in the arm. Monotony is the enemy of professional wrestling, and over the last few months, stretching into years, monotomy has been the first name in WWE programming. I think the take-home message of last night's Raw is that C.M. Punk might well be the best wrestler in the world, and win or lose, his absence, however brief, is going to hurt.

Just imagine of Punk had been around during the Attitude Era. Dwayne who?

Oh, one last question: any chance of getting a column on next week's Raw so those who know what's happening can sound off, and those sensitive to spoilers can easily avoid it?

Excellent work, as always, Kev. This blog has quickly become my first stop on Tuesdays.

RESPONSE FROM KE: I have not read next week's spoilers.

When Punk came out I had idea why he was wearing a stone cold shirt, I was really confused, I didn't know about the Paul Heyman shoot since in 2001 I was only 8 or 9, but I'll check it out, I must of not watched it that week. That was definitely the best promo in a long time, by far! I really thought it was real, especially when he said the things about Vince, Steph, and Triple H! My mouth dropped, it was great. If this is all a work, the wwe better realize the storyline they got, its great, and not screw it all up. And maybe now they see the talent of CM Punk!

Kevin,

I know what you're saying about Punk needing to cross a few lines to make it look real. But then again, he didn't have to include any of the backstage stuff to cut an effective heel promo. He could've simply stated that he was the best wrestler, Cena's an ass-kisser, and WWE generally sucks.

Considering how WWE whitewashes other promos out of their wreslers' histories (see: Kaval, Daniel Bryan), it seems odd that Punk could freely mention ROH and New Japan. And of course, there's his referencing Vince's death and tearing Laurinaitis a new one, among other things.

I'm wondering if he had an approved "shoot" promo, but then ad libbed it a bit. Knowing that he's a big star and the featured angle of their next PPV, he may have figured they couldn't do anything to him anyway.

RESPONSE FROM KE: Punk's too much of a pro to do that. And if he hadn't said those things, the promo wouldn't have been nearly as effective.

@ Ken Raining
That sums up my feelings also. If it weren't for Mr. Eck's blog, I wouldn't have known about this and ended up watching it.
However, as I already stated---I can't bring myself to sell back in to the WWE because of it, as they are only trying to use frustration over the quality of their wrestling to breathe some new life artificially. If I heard of or saw a move to ACTUALLY change these things, instead of having CM Punk reference them as a heel, (of all things),--maybe I'd think again.
I also think it's likely that this storyline is a direct result of the fallout of the whole Christian situation. From what I understand, a lot of people turned off after that. It's not that Christian isn't headlining a few PPVs now, it's more that the ability of the fans to will him to the top spot was corrupted just as referencing the fans' frustration is here. This is why WWE and wrestling in general have not again hit the heights of years ago. The majority of the older audience comes from a time when everything was more participatory and active---they're not coming back unless they feel that their participation is appreciated again. Even Cena will eventually fail McMahon in this context. There are a lot of older folks who aren't going to be sharing their love of wrestling with their children, because McMahon has turned them off.
As I said, I loved seeing CM Punk's ability in delivering this worked shoot---I just would prefer that instead of referencing the problems for a storyline, that the problems were actually fixed. The fact that Punk is doing this as a heel, just as Heyman did years ago, shows exactly how far real change will go. If WWE let Punk keep his character open as a possible face or tweener for people who agree with him to rally around---and effectuated real promotional change once the amount of people who would go for that might actually come back to WWE, that would be a different story. This story, however, is that McMahon is manipulating what people really want to see by using it as bait to try to lure them in via a cheap hustle, while never intending to make real change and admit that he is not as smart as he thinks he is. The bait is a facade. It really comes down to that he thinks all of us are dumb, and that his most brilliant schemes will convince us to watch what HE wants, instead of what WE want. I have no interest in falling for that. It's LCD behavior and it is ultimately destructive.
I do want to mention one more time though that Punk really is the best wrestler in the world right now. There are a lot with potential, but he is converting that potential to kinetic, and is a great performer.

First of all, I really, REALLY hope Punk either comes back, or goes to ROH (which I will try watching). I really hope that Punk doesn't go to TNA because I've given up on them, but maybe if he goes I'll watch a couple episodes.

Second of all, for those of you who think it was a shoot, think about this: if it wasn't a work, how on earth was Punk's mic not cut sooner. If Punk just walks out (okay, after interfering in a match) with a mic and cuts a promo without WWE letting him, they would cut his mic in about 3 seconds. They actually let him insult the entire company. If it isn't a work, he doesn't get that far.

Third of all, it was a great promo and all (and I really did love it), but isn't it a bit similar to what is going on with R-Truth's "conspiracy"? I mean yes, this is something different, but Truth had a similar deal going into Capital Punishment.

Finally, I predict Punk wins the title, but then whoever wins the raw MitB cashes in. I know it wouldn't be a revolutionary move, but there's my call.

I was worried that Punk was gonna break the internet last night. While it was a great promo, I'm not as lathered up as the rest of the IWC about what it means. First off, anyone claiming this was anything but a work should really seek counseling. Secondly, I remember how everyone was all riled up about the debut of Nexus, and not to toot my own horn (OK maybe just a little), but I predicted that it wouldn't ultimately mean much and it didn't. It was a great VKM-approved moment, but remember that it was a VKM-approved moment. I am intrigued by where it goes from here (and I'll need to avoid the internet so that no one spoils RAW for me next week), but I don't expect it to be a moment we look back on as a turning point in the business.

As far as the rest of the show, Booker T has struggled as an announcer, but he was good as the MC last night. DDP got a surprisingly strong pop last night considering how poorly he was booked during his WWE run. There was a lot of good action last night, and the lineup for RAW's MITB match could be worth the price of admission alone. I knew R-Truth would get his win over Cena as soon as the wheel landed on tables match, it's a match Cena can lose without actually being pinned, but he actually got to put Cena through the table opposed to winning on Cena falling through the table as a fluke. Del Rio continues to spin his wheels, last night he was overshadowed by Mark Henry of all people, although in his defense, Mark has been great in his monster heel role.

If this whole CM Punk getting suspended is a gimmick to get people interested in the upcoming pay per view, then I will start watching WWE again. This is the kick start that a lot of real fans have been waiting for ever since the WWE became all PG on us. I quit watching because it lost it's edge along with losing Edge. To me it seems like Vince is trying to relive the 80's and Cena is his new Hulkamania. I understand it's all about money and "little Jimmies" begging parents to buy products is a big part of WWE revenue but they have to realize that they are losing thier core audience and not to another promotion. I never understood the draw to Cena, ok maybe if your a kid but he's a cheap heat performer, he has never impressed me as a wrestler yet he always has the belt, hell they even redesigned the belt to fit him. With so much great talent WWE has no excuse to be so down in the ratings besides MMA. I really hope that lastnight wasn't the last time we see CM Punk, because his rant was so dead on and that's what kind of performer I would tune into see. I hope this is Punks time and I hope that they would quit casting such a bad light on the fact that he is straight edge, I have battled drug addiction in my past and it's nothing I would wish on anybody. I much rather my kid idolize CM Punk than John Cena. Anyways I didn't mean to get this deep into the subject. I'm just excited that CM Punk was given a chance to speak his mind and it was the best spot I have ever seen because unlike everything else in wrestling it was real!

Of course this was a great promo. A work, but a great promo nonetheless.

He'll probably beat Cena, then lose to the MitB winner, creating a new star in the process. Then he can take some time off and come back fresh.

Eck, did anyone do a writeup of the fantastic ROH show in NYC on Sunday? I was there and it was spectacular, as usual.

RESPONSE FROM KE: No, there has been no write-up of the ROH show.

As Jericho wrote in his book, there is nothing that's said on Raw that hasn't been approved by Vince. Kudos to Vince for either allowing him to do it or coming up with the idea himself.

Kev,

I absolutely loved the CM Punk promo. With him pulling the promo off so well that some people actually believed that it was real should show the wwe how great he really is. Punk deserves to be in the main event picture going forward if and hopefully when he decides to re-sign.

Also Kev line of the night (other than Punks promo) for me had to be when Shawn told Booker and DDP that he never saw any of those matches because he was working. Awesome!

I know when "controversial" angles like this happen people start speculating all kinds of things but I really believe CM Punk is such an asset to this company on the mic that even if he is done in the ring I could even see WWE cashing in their "the identity of the anonymous Raw GM reveled" chip to a tie-in with this and it being Punk himself. Not saying it doesn't have holes in it like the times he's been in the ring and had conversations w/ the Raw GM but they could easliy say someone was assisting him. He's also a known prankster to the WWE Universe so an elborate deception like this would seem fitting. The out as to why he choose to stay anonymous is right there to, him still being an active competitor on the roster at the time... I'm just saying if Punk is done wrestling he would be the perfect "heel" GM that Raw needs, and he'd still be heavily involved in promos, the thing that he proved last night he does better than anyone else currently in the company hands down.

Punks shoot was pure genius and something that Raw and the WWE have needed as of late. There's nobody else in the locker room that could've sold it like punk did.

And I'd just like to say, I believe the cage match was a bit of redemption for Mark Henry after the botch a couple years back when he took several minutes to rip the door and chain.

I haven't watched a wrestling show in a long time but I caught the end of Raw last night and I knew I was seeing something extraordinary. Punk nailed it. He's the king now and if you don't believe me check with his colleague's in the back. Of course it was a "work" as they say, but never has so much been so eloquently articulated in four minutes. Think about the impact those 4 minutes will have. It's crazy.

shamus is so good when in a fight its the good fight he brings and even non fan of him,i have to admit he is brilliant and would be missed if he was not in title fights.

I love CM Punk, hes a heel with an intellect and he diversifies his vocabulary. What do you think Kevin? Scottie Steiner was funny on the mic, but compared to CM Punk its uncomparable, he does not have to use profanity in excess to make it so convincing. In sum, CM was articulate, hes jobbed too much for RKO, he needs that HW belt.

Hey Kevin, what's your prediction on what WWE will do with this? It looks to me that WWE has a real opportunity to get away from the stagnating kiddy entertainment and back to "wrestling".

I believe WWE is going to turn him into the modern day Stone Cold. Like him or hate him, he is the way he is.

Great job WWE creative team for maximizing the influence of the internet with that storyline.

Celebrate the best promo in recent WWE history with a Pepsi.

Davey R,
RE: spoilers for next week's RAW (which was taped last night since Monday is July 4th and the wrestlers get the night off). The wrestlers don't get any time off. RAW was taped last night because they are going to be in Australia for the next week-and-a-half.

Hey Kevin, what's your prediction on what WWE will do with this? It looks to me that WWE has a real opportunity to get away from the stagnating kiddy entertainment and back to "wrestling".

I don't even know what to say. It was so good I watched it twice. I might watch it a third time. And a fourth time. I may never EVER delete it from my DVR.

How can punk wrestle for the champoinship if he is suspended? If your suspended your out till the suspension is over.

RESPONSE FROM KE: Something tells me the suspension will be lifted.

By the way, that was the greatest promo ever (I'll have to watch the Heyman one, I do not remember it). CM Punk is the best everything in pro WRESTLING today.

I don't see how this took people off-guard. Isn't this to be expected in pro wrestling in this day and age?

This was an excellent episode of Raw in my opinion. Booker T really showed me something being the MC of Raw Roulette. I believe in roles like that or maybe even the RAW GM his talent would shine through, but on commentary not so much. C.M. Punk showed why he is among the best in the business with that brilliant worked shoot promo to end the show. I hope WWE does not let this angle flop. Add all that in with a great appearance by HBK and some good to great matches, this episode of Raw was a great one. Give it a perfect 10!

The "suspension" was lifted, it's on WWE.com.

My prediction: Punks wins the title and Cena is "fired" (according to the new stipulation to the match.)

I know Cena has been "fired" before, but I have read on other wrestling sites (don't know obviously if it is true) that Cena is beat up but has been working through the pain.

If this indeed is true, what better way to get him off the show and heal up.

Just my two cents.

Of course this was a great promo..however...he said it himself..he likes Cena ..but hates McMahon...so why isn't he doing an angle with him?

I think he got the boot when he started putting down the USA Network...would love to see what the "premiere episode" of Suits - after RAW - got after Punk called them (shows on USA Network) 'stupid" ..they pay the bills..angle or not - not cool making fun of your home...and the real reason why I think he got booted..I predict he'll be off of Raw..but will have a promo on smackdown or on youtube on how he plans on invading the pay per view...which would increase buys..

Kev, what do you make of reports saying the Punk was told to go out and explain why he was leaving WWE, with no script given to him, and all of it being improvised? The WWE would then pull the plug on his 'shoot' when they thought it had gone too far. What do you think? Thanks.

RESPONSE FROM KE: Possible, I suppose, but I think it's more likely that Vince knew everything Punk was going to say ahead of time.

Here's what they ought to do... Have Punk win the title at M.I.T.B. PPV, then disappear with it for a week or 2. Then on a Smackdown, have him return with & a big handfull of former WCW stars like DDP, BOOKER ect. & totally overrun the show shades of the nWo back in the day, (i know punk wasnt in wcw, just bare with me lol) Then the following week when they all appear again, have Shane McMahon appear with some documents & lawyers & state that he now owns Smackdown & with that, bring back WCW by turning Smackdown into NITRO!!! And on that 1st Nitro, have Punk state that he doesn't even want this POS WWE title, but he is holding it hostage until the old WCW WORLD title is returned (basicly, the one Orton carries, even tho its not really the same belt) Think about how this would shake up the wrestling world? Smackdown is pretty lame anyway most of the time. They could each do a PPV every other month so there is actually some time to build some friggin storys leading up to them. Once a year the draft would be AWESOME instead of confusing. (they hold these drafts, then you see the same guys on both shows anyway so ???) & every year both come together for wrestlemainia! That would be awesome crap!!!

On WWE.com, when you go on Money In The Bank's section the Cena vs Punk match isn't shown anymore,, It was last week. And Punk's promo was over the top from beyond, but I noticed over the last few weeks, some of the rules have been broken without notice. For example, last week on SmackDown(I think), Mark Henry (I think) said he was a wrestler in his speech to Big Show, and Kharma, when she announced her maternity leave, said things similar to Punk, but what she said was not against WWE,, Also, Raw went about 10 minutes overtime yesterday, meaning they wanted to include some of Punk's rant, and if he was really saying it out of nowhere, he would have been cut off way sooner. But I'm confused as of why WWE let him say all that if the show is supposed to be PG...Oh, and another broken rule: The Rock wasn't censored a few times when he said some of his many catchphrases including the 'a' word(among others). I'm confused.
I hope my rant doesn't confuse you Mr. Eck.....

BEST PROMO EVER! - WHEN CM PUNK SPEAKS THE WORLS LISTENS!

sorry rock...but you were always way to over the top for all your promos and used to bore us to death!

BEST PROMO EVER!
CM PUNK IS AWESOME!

I am tired as hell today. I don't get home from work till about 1 in the morning and I try to squeeze in RAW before I go to bed (thank you WWE for making it 2 hrs again, trying to watch 3 hrs of RAW that late was not happening) so I got done about ten till 4 and then I couldn't go sleep after I laid down because Punk's promo was so off the charts, amazing it kept me up wondering where this is all headed.
My dream scenario for MITB would be for Punk to beat Cena and then the winner of the MITB match for RAW's side, Myestiro would be perfect, comes down and tries to cash in and fails and then the winner of SmackDown's side tries to cash in and fails. And the last image we see is Punk walking off into the sunset, laughing, with the title held over his head. And then we don't see him again for like two months, all the while WWE is trying to pick up the pieces of what just happened. Then Punk finally returns after a new champion is crowned.

The company appears to understand the fan frustration with Cena and is simultaneously running two stories intended to feed off of it (i.e. R Truth's muttering against Cena and his "Jimmies", and Punk's diatribe against Cena and the backroom administrators, who keep Cena on top).

The quality of the promo - miles ahead of anything we've seen lately - indicates what Punk could do if given a run at the top. His last Wrestlemania match with Orton also indicated that in addition to the mike skills, he has the wrestling ability to be champ.

As DSmark indicates, there is a real issue with the product here, (which involves the longstanding positions of both Cena and Orton on top - guys who have really been in those spots too long and whose gimmicks and wrestling have gotten stale).

The WWE is now seemingly trying to turn the frustration into short term angles to refocus the heat but it will be interesting if they take the next step and change the booking. That is what would be necessary to do something more meaningful about it.

Do you think this is the start of a possible CM Punk - HHH feud?

I remember reading somewhere that WWE is planning Punk vs HHH for WM 28.

That was the best promo I think I have ever heard from a wrestler or sports entertainer in all my years of watching. Work or shoot, it was amazing. To me, it kind of seemed like Punk keeps an ear on what fans are saying about the WWE product. A lot of it sure sounds like stuff folks have expressed on this blog at various times.

I haven't read all of the comments, but I must say this. If Punk does sign a contract to stay on with WWE (which I hope he does), now would be the perfect time to bring back Jericho.


Punk could win the title, lose it to the MITB winner, and then Jericho could come out and squash Punk to set up an awesome feud.


After squashing Punk, Jericho could say something like, "I'm the best in the world at what I do, not you!"

That promo should erase any doubt as to who the best wrestler in the world is. Sorry, Jericho.

Re: Orton1 + RESPONSE FROM KE: "Possible, I suppose, but I think it's more likely that Vince knew everything Punk was going to say ahead of time."

I am 100% with you on that one Kev. Otherwise, the timing of him telling an insider story about Vince and the bully campaign and his mic cutting off with just about 60 seconds left of airtime would have been a coincidence. More likely, that was the cue to cut the mic.

Albeit, if I were a dirtsheet journalist, I would want to promote the idea of it being legit myself too. Let the fans believe... ya know.

CM Punk is very good, but let's not go overboard here. He's no Ernest Miller.

WOW--Punk went all out Monday night. This didnt look like no script either. Punk sounds like a guy that is just not happy at and what goes on at his job (like a lot of people). Not a big Punk fan but that was one of the best most unexpected and even a little bit shocking performance I have seen in a long time. Maybe Punk was trying to tell it how it really is. At least from his point of view.

As brilliant as Punk's promo was, the sad part is it will all be for nothing. The WWE have something good hete, but - like the Nexus angle last year - they're just gonna use it to put Fruity Pebbles over for the 8541269735th time. Same old sh1t! Same old sh1t! Same old sh1t!

One of the best promos next to Paul Heyman's against Vince in 2001 and Joey Styles when he "quit" the company. Everything Punk said is so true. I agree with everything he said.

When the WWE sells babyclothes, there is a problem.

Why are people saying that Del Rio already won MITB when he won the royal rumble? Big difference.

Well done promo Punk. When he comes back he will be the anti hero. Seeing HBK again is always a good thing.

"Stunning" indeed (pun intended). This is the annual summer angle done to perfection...so far...hopefully they can keep the momentum from this firestorm going.

I don't see how Punk cannot be at least a tweener when half the Vegas crowd, it seemed, was cheering him. Imagine the reaction he will get from his hometown! Cena will be booed out of the building. Punk is the modern-day Stonecold, and the nod towards Austin's 3:16 speech was clear. In fact, the 1996 KOTR promo was nearly 15 years to the day of Punk's promo...a new generation.

I don't see Vince allowing so much air time and storyline emphasis to someone who will leave indefinitely. WWE needs a return on all of this hoopla, and if Punk does take a break, it won't be for too long. You don't blast the man's company and "get away with it".

Ok anyone suggesting this is not a work because things are being said about Steph and Trips, needs to get a reality check, Steph allowed and encouraged Jericho's and Rock's abuse of her to sell matches/PPV's in the past of course she is ok with it. Much worse things were said about her during the McMahon-Helmsley era. Trips continued a match with a torn quad... do you seriously think a few words would get him annoyed, especially when they are pre-approved, if it wasn't a work then you would have seen Trips coming out and Vince too, also Punk would never have been able to mention the name Hulk Hogan and still had his mic on, let alone Colt Cabana.

How dare you speak about Booker T being colour ? I take it your white..... I just don't see why you had to put out the fact that his dark...we aint blind you stupid stupid man.

RESPONSE FROM KE: If this comment is legit, it's absolute gold. Gold! (Oops, that's another color reference).

CM Punk hit that one out of the park. It doesn't get any better.

Does anyone know why Drew McIntire has been buried lately?

The only thing about Punk's performance with which I can find any fault at all was his attempt to sing (I saw the video elsewhere). I credit him for not botching the lyrics to an old standard, but I have to wonder how many folks at a wrestling (sports entertainment?) show, even in Vegas, had ever even heard the word "toddlin'" or could tell you who Billy Sunday was. If there's to be a musical element to the PPV, I hope they just have him lip-sync, maybe to Chicago's own Ross Bon and the Mighty Blue Kings. (I know ... I'm dreaming!)

Otherwise, I gotta give him a 15 on a scale of 10 for both the script and his delivery. I was hyped to hear his thoughts on the Bully Business and disappointed (like I was expected to be, I guess) by the interruption at that point.

I'm the eternal optimist (also maybe the only one in this "neighborhood" old enough and lucky enough to have seen Sinatra perform live), but I understand the "Fool me twice, shame on me" attitude of many regarding any significant change in the overall product arising from this.

However, allow me to pose one question -- what's the likelihood that the company's distancing itself from all that is "Wrestling" has been a set-up to this storyline and what may develop from it? I'm skeptical, but I can't help but wonder.

I know this is not WWE but does anybody remember when Stone Cold was fired from WCW and he went to ECW and that promo he cut, ripping into the WCW? That's to me, the greatest promo ever cut, even better than Heyman's but much respect to CM Punk. I wasn't a Punk fan or much of a WWE fan anymore unless Austin showed up, but Punk has changed my views of him.

With all the references to Paul Heyman in Punk's promo, will we see Heyman in the WWE ever again?

hi Kevin, what do you think about CM Punk? Who do you like as a candidate for the greatest heel, Scottie Steiner, Austin or CM Punk, I love how CM is so candid and obnoxious at the same time. Hes a heel with an intellect and he diversifies his vocabulary. What do you think Kevin? Scottie Steiner was funny on the mic, but compared to CM Punk its uncomparable, he does not have to use profanity in excess to make it so convincing. In sum, CM was articulate, hes jobbed too much for RKO, he needs that HW belt. Take care!

Sincerely,
Omar Hacallar

@ Boomerang41144
I've missed the opportunity to converse with you.
I think there is a likelihood given recent activity as far as wrestlers obstinately using the word "wrestling", leading up to Punk's rant, that perhaps it IS a pleasantly intelligent insider storyline. You may be right about that, or you may be smarter and more logical than McMahon Inc. sometimes seems to be.
We can only make conjectures, but I know that WWE programming sometimes changes on the fly. My GUESS would be that there was more negative fallout from the Christian debacle and from the "re-branding" campaign than was orginally anticipated.
Keep that in mind as we wander and observe that the initial scuttlebut about Punk's possible departure at his contract expiration was not treated as big news, and neither was the fact that a couple of months ago, there was a period where WWE wasn't doing much with him and he was kind of jobbing in limbo, (the unsatisfying conclusion to his Orton feud being an example).
The Christian situation and the re-branding, as we know from all of our discussions here, really led to a backlash against WWE, and Punk's name consistently popped up everywhere as the best example of how WWE misuses grade-A talent under McMahon's control freak business model.
To make a long story short, (am I capable of that?), we may be seeing, with the coming introduction of ROH with a fan interest unprecedented for the company, thus making two big coompetitors and one dark horse that many expect may take advantage of sagging interest in more dynamic wrestling, is Vince, in one of his infrequent fits of lucidity, turning to other people for ideas.
It may be that he worried about Punk leaving and strengthening a competitor---he is probably aware that despite his treament of the man, Punk is recognized by many as possibly the best in the world now. The stickler for Punk's staying on, which naturally coincides with McMahon competition anxiety and negative fan reaction, (the recent events just a big gout in the slow bleed of the last decade), may have been that Vince was willing to listen to Punk, and that Punk, and perhaps some others supporting him backstage, may have seen this work, possibly correctly, as the solution. Vince has a record of listening to reason when he feels threatened in some way and his usual Bormann-esque solutions aren't working.
However, as I said---with Vince it isn't "fool me once, shame on you, etc.", it's more like "fool you countless times for almost three decades in a big-time national market..."
Vince deigned to entertain what fans might really want to see and rewarded individual creativity last time when WCW hit him like a whack-a-mole every week and ECW was building the kind of underground cred he may be worried about with ROH---Admittedly, this was perhaps the best WWE ever was to this point---where new ideas were tried, wrestlers were presented as such, and legitimacy within the company was more weighted towards the performers who had the best overall skills and could electrify the crowd, instead of telling the crowd that they're electrified, and then counting on the less critical to play along. There have been for years constant mentions by Cole, et al, that Cena "provokes all kind of reactions in fans--that's why he's great". Like Goebbels, WWE thinks that if you tell a lie enough, it becomes the truth. The real truth is that kids like the character, and kids buy merchandise. Actual committed wrestling fans hate him. Not in the way we hate heels--we simply hate the LCD pandering that he represents. Punk WAS right too about the people cheering against Cena who still come to the arena and buy the crap. Cena was a big part of making me leave WWE as a fan. I truly don't like the direction he stands for--and I simply refuse to watch what I think is overall hurting wrestling. I am not alone in that--and that factors into this as well.
Strengthening my guess is that Punk was involved in something similar in ROH's 2005 "Summer of Punk"---is it possible that this means that Punk brought the idea to Vince to use on a bigger stage--and to keep Punk around and because he may feel his stranglehold on wrestling slipping---Vince agreed? Maybe. Unfortunately, as soon as Vince feels safe again--he'll pull the plug on anything interesting and promote another Hogan clone like Cena, or just stick with the current orange Nerf ball himself.
I will put this out there---if McMahon ever had some sort os seizure, and allowed a storyline to play out with Punk destroying Cena's character--basically calling him out for what he is and really getting rid of the character forever--followed by the elevation of folks who have been kept waiting in the wings, folks who aren't even getting shots now, the ackowledgement of veteran faves like Christian as being as legitimate as we all know they are---then WWE would again reach the heights of the Attitude era. This time perhaps too Vince would learn that the potty humor, risque crap and otherwise was not what excited fans--it was overreliance on those aspects that eventually fizzled it out. The real draw were exciting, dynamic characters allowed free reign, (well--as far as Vince can stand to allow it)---and the excitement of never really knowing where it's all going. You don't have that with Cena and Orton--(doubly sad for Orton--because he definitely has a place if used differently)----To conclude with an example--there is a huge difference between Then--when Mankind was recognized as a guy willed by fans to the top and was involved in a very sympathtic story where he struggled to retain the title in a brilliant feud with the Rock--who at that point represented what Orton does now--except as a heel for doing so with Foley the working man's face----and Now, with Christian being the heel for being the working man's pick, and the corporate guy being the face and the idea that Christian should have a legitimate title reign presented as a villainous idea. That is a WORLD of difference, and it is actually amazing that McMahon is so blind that he doesn't seem to get that until a few people hammer him on the head with it.
The fact that Punk is playing this as a heel is not a good start.

Live event obligation = RAW...Brilliant.

well it was worked... but u say hta tpunk wore Austin's shirt cz of the llittle war going on? give me a break... since when WWE starting making storylines cz of Twitter...
But i dnt get how Punk took the name of Hogan, when Hogan's images, name everything has been removed from every angle of WWE including the WWE trademark footage...

RESPONSE FROM KE: Dude, give me a break. WWE has become obsessed with Twitter. Plus, it's an inside reference that not everyone would get, which is what a shoot promo is.

I read that Mr.McMahon had no idea what Punk was gonna say, but he did allow Punk to say why he was leaving, which was all improv, The cut-off was real, and WWE did that because Punk went a bit overboard, the suspension was staged though.... I'm gonna wait till next Raw before I come to conclusions though...

even it was the attitude era, this promo would still have been awesome cz of its content...and the way he delivered it with the anger and intensity...it was worked, but it was coming from his heart and i wont be surprised if he has added a few things to it...

Punk's promo had to the best in years.

Idea for a future poll/list: "Best Individual Promos Ever"???

By the look of things Kev you'll need to do your Ring Post Xtra show on CM punk's promo. I hope Axl is there to talk about it. I love reading current wrestlers and former wrestlers thoughts on it. I can say it any other than brilliant.

Wow Sin Cara and Evan Bourne match was great!

If anyone actually believes anything that was said on Raw, you need to be reminded, that this is the same company that "fired" the golden boy, John Cena. I see it 2 ways, after hammering out a new contract Punk wins the "championship" and sets up an epic summerslam series with Fruity Pebbles, or he falls victim to Supercena and leaves WWE until a new contract can be reached, either way, Monday night after MITB will have CM Punk, and thats the bottom line!!!

i will give punk 100/10

@kevin - is this the best feedback you ever got?

RESPONSE FROM KE: No, but it's up there.

@DumbSmark
For someone who hates the product you certainly give it enough thought!

Thanks that guy!
Now we are going to get another 10,000 words about why DumbSmark gives it so much thought.

@dumbsmark-

I had the same reaction as you in fearing for the long-term viability of a sort of "mechanics' invasion." Nonetheless, there is something to be said for a well-executed promo and storyline, and just because it isn't likely going to lead to the type of fundamental change in business model that our vocal minority would prefer, we can still enjoy the execution in the moment.

What are the chances that Punk wins the title, runs off to ROH, and defends it against the "fired" John Cena. Cena wins the title back, and gets "rehired" while Punk takes time off. Sort of a "WWE helped the 'little' guy here so that we might have REAL competition?"

Just sayin...

CM PUNK totally justifies his WWE theme

"EVEN THROUGH THE DARKEST DAYS...THIS FIRE BURNS ALWAYS..."

MAN...i can't believe how much people love CM Punk although he is the father of heels.

Firing cena was a big joke...lol...he showed up every week after getting fired and used 2 get involved physically although he was claiming me to be a "fan" in the attendance but was getting his hands dirty by getting involved with the nexus and he never wore a Nexus tshirt....except for once....before he was freed...tht sucks....

@ Andrew
I did enjoy the execution, and the clip of Punk's promo is some of the best wrestling television I've seen in years. I just despair the eventual outcome.
@ That guy $ Andre the midget
Yeah, I give wrestling in general a lot of thought, and I've been watching it for thirty years. I think it's culturally important. I also think it's important for ideas and concepts about it to be disseminated. One of the worst aspects of the digital age is the assumption that true ideas and concepts can be exposited in a ten word comment or text.
If you guys have more in-depth ideas you'd like to put forth--I would love to hear them, and Mr. Eck is to be commended by allowing such long-form, critical conversations to take place. Let 'em fly. I'm not ashamed to detail what my ideas are, and you shouldn't be either. Rest assured that I'll read every word of them and be happy to get a thoughtful view of your perspectives.

@Mike in IN

I'm not sure that ROH fans would even let Cena into the ring without abusing him. Having him win a match in ROH, especially against CM Punk, would likely cause a riot.

I think another problem with that is whichever face wins the title back from Punk (assuming Punk wins at MitB) is probably going to be portrayed as the WWE hero. Punk vs. Cena at ROH makes Punk look like the hero, and there aren't going to be any WWE fans watching. With all the boos Cena's going to get, WWE probably can't even show footage of the victory.

@DumbSmark

You do know you can get your ideas across in 100 words or less without the long, drawn out Ultimate Warrior like solilquoy right? Commenting on a discussion board must give you some sort of feeling of importance. In reality, you are not that important.

The fact is the WWE product is flawed and it always has been, even during the Attitude era. The NFL, NBA, MLB, and so on are flawed. Not every game is that exciting. I can rant and rave as long-time fan about how boring John Cena is or how much it sucked that they took the belt off of Christian in two days but it doesn't matter in the long run. I watch every Monday and Friday night and ignore the boring and ridiculous when it comes across my television screen. If a PPV isn't looking up to snuff I don't buy it.
I look forward to seeing what they do with CM Punk going forward. It may very well surprise us all.

On another (entirely unrelated) note, I've noticed since WWE became an empty acronym (STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!) that the commentators and wrestlers (or whatever the hell they're supposed to be) have been using the word "wrestling" a bit (and I'm not counting Punk's promo on monday).

I thought this was odd because when WWE still officially stood for "World Wrestling Entertainment" commentators and wrestlers almost never used the word "wrestling". The closest I heard was one of Matt Striker's catchphrases on commentary: "this is the WWE and let's not forget what the second 'W' stands for." Beyond that, almost nothing.

My best guess is that now that they've taken it out of their name they're feeling more relaxed about use of the word – since it's a lot harder to associate the WWE with the word "wrestling" now. Either that or they're trying to cool the backlash. Any thoughts

Also...

@Anonymous

I don't know, WWE got away with an RVD vs. Cena match at ECW by stressing the fact that not only did the ECW audience hate Cena, but they loved RVD. If they put up a match in ROH of Cena vs. Punk, they might do the same thing. Of course, the odds of Mike in IN's suggestion of coming true are pretty small, but we'll see.

Kevin how do you know everything punk said was approved by mcmahon, have you heard this from people in the company? I read on pw insider that their sources say vince didn't know the verbiage ahead of time!

RESPONSE FROM KE: I don't know it to be fact -- I was saying that I'd be surprised if that wasn't the case.

im sorry but you have this whole thing going on for the tag match with mysterio and Ryley but you only give a short mention of the Cara-Bourne match which was the only good match of the night. Dude you are the exact kind of person punk was ranting about. It's because of your kind that WWE stays this systematical show. You wanted my opinion by putting a comment section pulling my comment would just prove my point

I am still getting a chuckle out of Maria's comment. Kevin it was not just gold it was was a Solid Gold comment.

@ that guy
I don't feel I've ever implied or explicitly stated anything that can be construed as my feeling myself important.
I feel everyone's opinion here is important, and those who think in depth and leave longer posts I enjoy reading and thinking about. I enjoy reading the shorter ones as well, but they are inherently not as thought-provoking, typically.
I also attempt to be civil with everyone, until someone is uncivil with me.
Perhaps you are projecting, and you are attempting to assert your own inflated sense of importance by attempting to censure me and accuse me of the same, when there is no logical evidence or context to arrive at that conclusion.
Let me suggest this...shut your fuc#ing mouth if you don't have anything constructive to say. If you don't like the length or critical elements of my posts, then don't read them, you facist little dips#it. I've had it about up to here with people who can't just use the forum in a democratic and open fashion, and can't be civil to each other.
If you don't like someone's comments or posts, then don't read them---do not instead attempt to insult them or accuse them of arbitrary personality deficiencies---and read and respond to those that interest you in lieu of being an egotist pric*.
It's easy to insult someone. It's harder to accept everyone's civil opinion and way of expressing themselves, and to remain open to differing ideas and expressions, and even if you don't agree, to respect the other people. It's called democracy, pencild&*k, and if you have trouble with its tenets, then move to Argentina. I hear Bormann and Mengele still keep an estate there. There is nothing extraneous here, and I feel that it is a more articulate and precise way of saying it, instead of just writing Fu** You, Nipplehead. That would have been three words, but don't convey the same sense.

@DumbSmark

Now, now you have actually gone and shown your actual IQ. Let me explain it this way chump. Less Ultimate Warrior, and more Sin Cara!
Let me remind you that this is a wrestling blog, you self-important jack@$$. You seem to be some kind of tough guy behind your anonymous, ridiculous moniker. I respect those opinions that actually make sense and not the ones that just jack their jaws for the heck of it. Case in point, if you really think that wrestling fans prefer the awfulness of TNA you are delusional. If you think McMahon is losing any sleep over ROH getting a very limited television contract you are doubly delusional. If anything you write made any sense I would read them and move on. They don't and that is why I commented on it. Now go puff your chest out and go try and bully the kids in the kiddie pool or something.

@ (Not So)DumbSmark

Thanks for offering a thought or two on my "brain fart." I guess the gist of my question was a case of wishful thinking that this will be more than just one moment when we'll say "Blessed Defecation" -- except we say it in three syllables.

I thought it was interesting that Colt Cabana seemed to be trying to sell it as real (that Punk was just fed up) in his interview yesterday.

OK, (NS)DS, make sure you're sitting, and you may want to sip a potent potable (as they say on Jeopardy) before swallowing this one.
I'm aware that you debunked the rumor a while back, but I can't help thinking that Vince might really be involved with TNA, similar to the way he bucked up Heyman and ECW back in the day. Would you agree that he, at least in part, induced the current "Wrestling Matters" theme, however much "nudge, nudge, wink, wink" they've wrapped it in? And this at a time when his own product is ratcheting up the physicality, i.e. the "competitive" wrestling. Booker T is talking about a "winner's purse," echoing Eric Young's rantings of a couple of weeks ago. Last night Mexican America did everything but say "We lie, we cheat, we steal!" Just little things, but they keep happening.

It's probably just a combination of coincidence and old age (mine), but I do find myself occasionally thinking "Could it be?" as I watch the shows.

Have a nice holiday weekend, everybody -- and share a hot dog with a real one.

@ Boomerang41144
I don't know...you may be correct. I'd say that it is a reasonable theory, and since wrestling companies exist in a sort of shadowy limbo as far as the specifics of what goes on backstage and businesswise, it is as hard to disprove Vince's possible involvement in TNA as it is to prove it.
The circumstantial evidence you've brought up could be perceived as Vince being somehow involved, and there is the fact that many WCW workers and performers have stated in interviews that there was a similar theory going around the boys in the back as far as Russo being a sort of "double-agent" when went to WCW.
It could be also that some incompetence is so mind-boggling that it makes more sense to a rational person that it must be on purpose, because it's hard to believe that someone could be that far gone as to produce things of that quality.
On the other hand, it would make sense that TNA pushing "Wrestling Matters", and then almost purposely not delivering, followed by this push by WWE could mean some sort of malfeasance---or it could mean that Vince saw the negative backlash to his re-branding and some of his business practices, saw the initial positive reponse the the IDEA that TNA put forth, and just put the thing together better than they did.
Who knows? There really isn't the push and opportunity for wrestling journalists like Mr. Eck to get critical and in-depth and to pose hard questions about things going on of that nature, because it seems that a journalist could easily blackball him or herself by doing so, since the predominance of wrestling journalism is weighted towards upholding kayfabe, not talking too loudly about many backstage and business aspects, etc. Without a concerted, mass push by wrestling blogs and publications to do otherwise---to treat it say as ESPN does MLB or the NFL, it doesn't leave too much room for a journalist to look at these sort of things. Anyway, good thought, and always I enjoy talking with you.

@ "that guy"
If you would have civilly stated in the first place that you disagree that TNA gains a lot of its audience from folks dissatisfied with WWE, and that Vince may be worried in a business sense about the coming nationalization of ROH, then it could have been discussed civilly. If you don't believe that those things are true, then please provide a logical argument, using historical and current evidence to prove otherwise. I would take the stance that you are wrong if you think these things are not true, and would back them up with reasoned argument.
As for bullying---that is what you have done here to start this. I have never once in commenting on this blog antagonistically insulted someone, as you did. On three occasions, including this one, I have done so defensively in a way which asks the antagonist what they hope to benefit from by doing so.
You have not reasonably explained why you disagree with my opinions, and you started the conversation by being condescending and insulting. I don't tolerate that s#it. Everyone on here should respect everyone else. There are plenty of posts that I think actually ARE written by delusional people. I do not however, write an answering comment accusing them of that. I merely read them, enjoy them for what they are, and respond to the ones that I find interesting or which may lead to an interesting conversation or open up new points of view. You are the one who attempted to be a bully, and you got smacked down, and you're getting smacked down again, and it makes you mad, so you keep projecting your inadequacies on me. Just shut up. We can move on, and maybe eventually you and I can hold a discourse in which we explore our justifications for our differing opinions. Until that time, if you continue to insult me, then I will continue to assume that you are a cretin that is incapable of reasoned argument and interpersonal respect. I give the exact respect that I receive in all parts of life---and that double-edged sword is fair, in my opinion.

Honestly the two biggest killers of this industry is Vince, and Eric.I loved TNA when they started, they were edgy and in your face. they seemed not to have a 3rd wall. they wanted to have a what you get is 100% real kind of feel. And they came at a time when WWE was falling down into soap opera mode, thanks to Vince. I miss the days of Nitro, an excellent company, that had limitless potential. Enter Eric. Enter Hulk.. Good bye Nitro. they pretty much handed them the company. now that WWE seems to be going away from the less violent, more child approach shows, we see Eric over on TNA, working to hand Vince another. If C M Punk's comments were wrote by him, or just a line for a story, they rung true. I see WWE as a slap in the face of Mr McMahon's WWF When Vince's father passed, so did the company. I only hope when TNA falls, no other company is going to be stupid enough to bring him in.

@DumbSmark
First off, all I said was you write about something you supposedly hate, yet you take the time to do so. My friend, if you are so thin skinned about this issue why do you even reply back?
Second, you are certainly delusional if you think you have smacked me down. Because you can take the time and look up a few things on google? LOL!
As for ROH going national, have you actually checked the stations Sinclair owns? I don't count this as being a national launch. VKM is hardly losing any sleep over ROH's national launch. As for those "wrestling" fans that follow TNA because they are dissatisfied with WWE, I am sure their are a handful of them like yourself that are enamored by another Sting-Hogan matchup or Jeff Hardy's inebriated style of wrestling. TNA is a complete joke, just like you are. Your douchebaggery has reached such levels as having me believe you are either Vince Russo or Eric Bischoff.
Now go away, or I will make like Daniel Bryan and choke you with Justin Roberts' tie.

Hey, i know that there had to be some real feelings in there. All of the superstars that left wwe because they were getting passed up with being a top star lik mr anderson, jeff hardy, mvp, and yeah even christian for a while so on an improvised promo yeah there probably is some real feelings in there somewhere.

@ That guy
Well, you provided some reasons for your disagreement...let us look at them thusly...
ECW in their early stages garnered a lot of underground cred. By the time they went truly national via cable--McMahon already had a hand in the cookie jar. One could reaonably assume that Vince would apply the past knowledge and context to ROH. You have simply stated that Vince does not care. You have not provided any thought to back that up. As far as ROH not being national---Sinclair is broadcasting in several markets across the U.S. That is the definition of national--it is in fact more than ECW had when they started to build validity.
As for TNA---although their ratings are not spectacular--they obviously have an audience capable of supporting the second largest wrestling company. Many of their plots and even their presentation play off frustration with WWE--which their not insignificant audience react to. You have also not addressed this in a reasoned manner, but have given your own unfounded opinion, which as such doesn't mean much. I also find no logical basis for the assertion that myself or TNA fans generally are enamoured of the concept of Sting vs. Hogan or a drug-addled Jeff Hardy. Come on over to the TNA comments if you think otherwise.
Those are the seeds of reasoned arguments. I also, since you have no context for this and cannot be blamed---do not need to look things up on google. I have watched wrestling since 1981. That is thirty years now, and I pay attention. I also have never stated that I "hate" WWE. I am simply extremely dissatisfied with their creative direction and business practices over the last decade or so. I am not someone who believes that the "attitude era" was a perfect epoch, and I didn't like everything then either---but it is the last time in WWE that I saw elements of dynamism and risk from a business and creative perspective.
Now, the fact remains that you began by insulting me, and you have continued to do so. This does not make me a dou##ebag, it makes you one. It also makes you ignorant, in that you get angry because you didn't get away with insulting someone, and that you cannot back up your silly, unfounded arguments when confronted.
As I said, I am perfectly willing to have a reasonable conversation with you. Above you will find my counter to your initial assertions. If you wish to respond to them, then please feel free. We can have a discussion. However, you simply saying that Vince McMahon doesn't care about ROH, (it was even referenced as part of Punk's "shoot"--while TNA wasn't mentioned at all---don't think that this is not caring)----with no corroborating evidence and nothing but your own opinion, means absolutely nothing at all. Nothing. I could say that I think that the sky is red instead of blue. If I insist on that and call someone a dou##ebag for asking me to prove it without doing so, that makes me an ignorant clown. This is what you are presenting yourself as.
As for having thin-skin--I do not personally have it. I do however have thin-skin for people who cannot engage in reasoned and respectful debate. In fact, I have no tolerance for it. It is fascist, ignorant thinking, and it is culturally and personally self--destructive. If you are not a penc*ldi#k, or an oozing human chancre, or a chattering, mindless jackal--then prove it. Show us that you can think and use proper discourse.

Dumbsmark vs that guy is a work

@DumbMark

I have seen a bunch of "Marks" in my day but you take the cake. If national means 22% of the country getting the ROH product then we live in a very small country. By the way, if I actually lived in a Sinclair market I would watch ROH because they put out a good product unlike TNA.
I've checked out the comments on the TNA page and outside of your usual fantasy booking and drivel nothing is meaningful. You make TNA out to be actual competition as if it were WCW circa 1996. It is not. It can't even run a house show correctly (see how fans were upset at the BaseBrawl event in Brooklyn).
While I am no fan of Randy Orton or John Cena they are at least viable wrestlers in their prime, unlike Hulk Hogan and Sting. The creative decisions and storylines run by WWE are head and shoulders above TNA's. Please, an ECW invasion 12 years after its relevancy? LOL!
I am hardly angry. What idiots write on a wrestling blog doesn't make me angry. You are the one that is getting all pissy. If you can't handle someone calling you on your B.S., too bad. It is self-important B.S. at that. As for being fascist, the only fascism I subscribe to is the one brought to the ring by Fritz and Waldo Von Erich.

Punk just said what everyone already knows (or should know). Vince & his family are complete idiots. The McMorons are millionaires but should be billionaires if they ran the business without so many cartoonish exaggerated and downright retarded crap. They are truly an example of "SPECIAL ED" lowlifes with money. The only reason they have this money is because Vince's father, who made the multi-million dollar business, left it to his mentally unstable son Vince McMoron - and that's the complete 100% truth!!!

Nathan

The WWWF of Vince McMahon Sr. was hardly a multi million dollar business. It was a regional promotion centered in the Northeast United States. Vince Jr. turned it into a worldwide conglomerate. You can't rewrite history just because you don't like somebody. That's the truth, the whole truthe and nothing but the truth.

@ that guy
Well, you continue to insult, which again points to the fact of your own inflated self-importance that you are attempting to project on me---yet...
The percentage of the country has nothing to do with the definition of the word "national". Sinclair is broadcasting in markets in varied parts of the U.S. That IS the definition of national. A percentage of the totality of the states would represent the SIZE of a national market, not the FACT of its being national. This also does NOT address the matter in the correct context. As stated, ECW built validity with a much smaller market. Vince seemed worried with them, and also pulled a lot a content from them to produce his "Attitude" era, as well as a few stars. In this context, how can we blanket assume that he cares nothing for ROH? (Again, why did Punk reference them--what market was that intended to provoke if Vince has no interest in that market?) You yourself stated that you would enjoy watching ROH, as would I and many others. You don't think Vince would be aware of that potentiality for them to build and get bigger? Vince has not shown a proclivity in the past to viciously compete with anything he feels a threat? If you would contend that these things are not true, you will not be well-supported by history and facts.
Also, please find any comment I have ever made asserting that TNA is WCW from 1996, or otherwise. What is backed up by my previous statements is that I feel TNA is very sub-standard, but that I support it without complete dismissal because I feel that competition is what is needed to increase the quality of wrestling overall for all of the companies. I would not and have not ever stated that TNA is in someway superior to WWE, and one of my most constant complaints with TNA is that they DO push over-the-hill performers like Hogan and Sting over younger, future stars like A.J. Styles and Matt Morgan.
So, you did a bit better this time, but you did not address any of the issues at hand. You are not working from a basis of objectivity, but are writing from a basis of assuming what a TNA fan is, what the general outlines of wrestling fandom are, (the most apparent bias being that wrestling "fans" rabidly throw their blind support behind any one company), and what your own biases are.
I am a wrestling fan. Because of that, I will support any company that provides diversity overall, and I will also call for the leader, which is now WWE, and has been WWE, to be scrutinized with the same criticism that is laid against the others. TNA is not great. They have much potential, but they fail to execute. However, WWE is guilty of many of the same things.
Being the biggest doesn't mean that you are the best. Nathan's, (see above) McDonald's related comment is valid in that context. McDonald's is one of the biggest food service providers in the world. However, their food is provably detrimental to human health and is made of the cheapest, most artificial components possible. Do people eat there en masse? Yes, they do, and that is the problem. Companies, through propaganda, push for "consumers" to identify with their "brand" like a sports team, and to use no other brand, and to defend the brand to the death. This makes quality inherently go down. There is no need for quality with a captive audience. It reduces profits and surety of profits to take the risks that increasing quality demand.
If the consumers were more critical, there would be the ability for them to abandon McDonald's, or WWE, and to say, this is no good for us, no good for the future of food, (or wrestling), in general, and we demand an upgrade in quality. Then a competitor might be able to take advantage of this by offering that upgrade to quality. If this was successful, then McDonald's, or WWE, would also have to raise their own quality in order to compete. That is the essence of fair market competition---but it doesn't happen anymore. In fact, everything falls to the lowest common denominator----where McDonald's is the same as Burger King. They just have different superficial propagandized presentations. Ditto TNA as compared to WWE.
Since people are willing to be uncritical, to buy the propaganda, and to identify more with the "brand", than with the quality of the actual product, whether it's food or wrestling, that the company offers, then there is no incentive for the companies to provide content. Eventually, you end up with a behemoth, like McDonald's or WWE, that is not only so ensconced that many lament their criticism meaning anything, as the majority of the consumers are blindly playing along, but also so much so that the quality is the lowest that it can possibly be.
I am a wrestling fan. I have no company which I feel represents my interests in quality wrestling. I feel the only thing to do is to show support for a competitor, in the hopes that diversity may equal an eventual upgrade. I do not have high hopes for this. However, in this vein, with the emergence of ROH, in a market bigger than ECW started with, and TNA not going away if not huge, it is foolish to think that this does not have much to do the decision to run this Punk storyline. PPV buyrates and ratings and have been going down for WWE for years. They are still LIGHT-YEARS ahead of TNA, but it is obvious, even to Vince, that interest has been declining. It is not hard to figure out why interest is declining, if he pays attention to the reasons why fans have been leaving. Don't think for a second that he doesn't do that. He is a business man, and a good one, (sometimes).
Anyway, that's more towards the truth, I would think. Again, if you can hold a discourse without being insulting and condescending, (while simultaneously accusing the other of being insulting and condescending), those are the kind of points you have to address if you want to make a valid counter-argument. This doesn't mean re-stating them and then offering nonsense opinion or untrue facts. It means using your brain. If you do that more often, you may find that it is not unlike a physical muscle.

@DumbSmark
By simply allowing Punk to mention ROH, McMahon doesn't see them as a threat. TNA would potentially be a bigger threat, but they were never mentioned by Punk. Why do you suppose that was? Wouldn't it be a bigger deal if Punk took the belt and defended it at Bound for Glory instead of an iPPV?
As for ECW, they were a niche product that couldn't survive even with McMahon's backing. McMahon was smart enough to take some of Paul E.'s best ideas and use them as his own, and discarded some of the rest. Unfortunately, ROH if is a niche product at this point, even though hardcore fans like myself and supposedly yourself enjoy does not play to a national market. The majority wants John Cena vs. The Rock, whereas I would rather watch Punk-Daniel Bryan. Even with the right storyline I don't think Punk-Bryan is going to sell PPV's unfortunately.
The problem with both companies is the lacksadaisacal approach to storylines. Outside of the Punk-Jeff Hardy storyline and Michaels-Jericho I can't really say any has held my attention. As for TNA I can't think of anything, outside of Angle-Jarrett but even that is kind of absurd.
WWE is scrutinized by the paying public, as PPV revenue is down. But the true competitor in that market is UFC not TNA. Everyone's entertainment dollar is stretched thinner.
Like I stated before, I buy what interests me and don't buy what doesn't. The past two PPV's have been dreck and I didn't buy them. MITB is intriguing because of Punk's promo and the two MITB matches which always seem to deliver.
By the way Sinclair Broadcasting is only in 3 markets in the western half of the United States. That doesn't construe "National" not even by R-Truth's geography.

Again, your understanding of the usage of the word "national" is shaky. Only three western "markets" still means that there is a presence in the western U.S. If there is at least some presence in all regions of the U.S., no matter the size--then this is the definition of national. It's just what the word means. If you mean pervasive and dominating in its presence, then you are right, ROH is not---although the mindset that we should change the meaning of words to represent the kind of presence that the most powerful, ensconced, multinational and national corporations have is a dangerous one, as it implies a validity just by the mere fact of power and presence. That is very close to inviting fascism---which before you get riled up--please look up the semiotic history of this word as well---I would suggest scholar Hannah Arendt's "The Origins of Totalitarianism".
That aside, I respect that you articulated yourself more carefully, and with only peripheral jabs, but the situation with ECW's success and failure is more complex that you have presented, and it is not clear that given different management circumstances whether or not it could have thrived.
It is also unclear whether or not Punk mentioning ROH translates as Vince not caring at all about them. It made the "shoot" feel more real, as it referenced something that McMahon may very well care about. TNA obviously wouldn't be mentioned as they are a viable and established competitor, if we were to assume this context to be true. This would represent the "reality" added to the shoot, tempered by approval from McMahon. Which are only conjectures when you get that specific.
The main point, which we still haven't really gotten your answer on is that this move was pretty extreme. It would be logical to assume that an extreme measure was used because Vince sees a slippage to his audience. If UFC were the problem, we would see more of Bryan-type characters--attempting to create a UFC-type atmosphere. While this is being experimented with via Bryan and some others---it would obviously not be a good idea, and that seems recognized by WWE managament. At its core, wrestling is not unlike Greek theater--UFC is actual physical contest and sport. It is not wrestling's place to compete with MMA, and if done well, it doesn't need to--it fills different cultural needs.
WWE then must be worried about something else--as the Punk "shoot" is a very "wrestling" type move. If Vince wasn't worried about the fact the fans have dropped off because of wrestling quality, and that the second biggest competitor is still around, and a new one is emerging which could possibly go somewhere, then why pull this stunt at all? It was a risk, and McMahon is a pure capitalist, he doesn't take risks unless he has to. He'd rather sit and fill his pockets with more sure conformity to his usual model.
I appreciate that you were able to articulate yourself more fully, and with only two peripheral insults that would be a mistake on my part to respond to at this point, as it is counter-productive---but you've again only offered your personal opinons couched in language to make them sound as if they are valid in just being said. They have no historical or evidentiary context. If that is your endpoint, then thank you for expressing it more fully, and I must disagree and keep faith in what I feel are my more well-thought out and backed-up views.
If you are in the market for introspection, you may want to consider that your main bias may lie in assuming that because Vince has the biggest comapany, that he is somehow unassailable in his practices and cares for no possible competitor. This does not prove true in any aspect of modern capitalist life, and is the reason why so many people are so confused as to why things are not working out well generally in any aspect of modern society, because they all hold the same bias, produced by a capitalist warping of Darwinian theories. Not the strongest or biggest, as the bias goes--but the most adaptable. That is all Sir Charles ever said--although American business continues to misinterpret and misunderstand him. That is however, a completely different discussion. For that, I would suggest Uruguayan journalist Eduardo Galeano's "Upside-Down: A Primer for The Looking Glass World". Take Care, and at least there are two differing views on the situation available for anyone who cares. A proper and respectful disagreement should end that way.

Did (Not So)DumbSmark just call Vince McMahon pure???
Oh, a pure capitalist -- my bad!

Kidding aside, I'm not sure I agree with your premise that significant business concerns motivate the extreme action of Punk's luscious linguistics.

Think of Vince as a teacher who has tenure, that guy from high school who never ran out of corny jokes or the desire to tell them. He kinda does what he wants cuz he can -- whatcha gonna do to him -- from Regal smooching his tuccis to him scaring the bejabbers out of Bob Costas on HBO.

All the hubbub's about Punk leaving or Cena getting fired, but maybe this angle is going to be Mr. McMahon's Last Match.

And one final comment on how I think Vince McMahon runs his business:
I feel 101% certain that CM Punk had contractually committed to WWE for at least two years before he ever sat down Indian-style on that stage in Vegas.

@ Boomerang41144
I agree with your more than 100% certainty on Punk's contractual commitments prior to the "shoot". The only way that McMahon could be hurt at all by this is if the reality of the work was enhanced by Punk's actual departure. That would make what Punk said TRUE, and as I said, the problem I see with the plot going forward is that it would be nice if some of the move towards change WAS true, but it's Vince, and it probably won't be. He doesn't mind referencing frustration, but he has not often done anything to change the aspects causing it.
So yeah, it is beyond debate that McMahon would not have allowed this sort of discussion about his company to by catalyzed by Punk's mouth if he was not assured complete control of it. As I said back there somewhere--notice that at least for now--Punk is being played as a heel in doing this, just as Paul Heyman was during his famous anti-WWE shoot. Who knows? I would like to see this go somewhere that could really elevate WWE beyond what they've been doing for awhile now, but I don't know if Vince can be trusted at all anymore.

I'll let this go at this, you simply aren't getting "national" attention when those western markets are only Oklahoma City, Dallas, and Las Vegas. If you're not in California then that is missing out on huge markets. As for your economic arguments, capitalism isn't perfect but marxism pretty much sucked as well.
The WWE has tried the UFC thing before with Owen Hart and Ken Shamrock Lions Den matches. While they are competitor for the PPV dollar, Vince has said over and over again they are not in direct competition with UFC. We'll see with UFC buying the G4 network and WWE launching their own cable network.

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
E-mail Kevin.
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