One year post-Pipebomb

Posted: June 28, 2012 by Kick Out At 2! in Shane D

Today was one year removed from the night I really got excited about wrestling again.  I remember being at my friend’s house, with Raw in the background, while my attention was on the Internet.  Then, at the end of that episode, CM Punk grabs a mic, sits at the top of the stage, and mesmerizes me.

I’ll get a few things out of the way:  No, it wasn’t the greatest promo of all time.  No, I never actually thought it was a shoot.  No, I didn’t expect it to revolutionize the business.  However, what it did do was entertain the hell out of me and set the course for Punk taking over Randy Orton’s position as the number two guy in the company (sorry Robbie…).

Punk’s promo, to me, was something I loved due to it being the first time I really thought that they were going to go somewhere with him.  I had been following Punk since ROH, so I knew a lot about his promo work, and I knew a lot about what type of character he could be, when used correctly.  Having basically seen this same angle play out in 2005 in ROH, I was so happy that it was going to be given a go on the big stage.  In my opinion, Punk played his part to perfection.  In some ways, he played it a little too well, as it almost instantly went from the snarky guy who should have been the heel in the situation to the bigger babyface by the time that Money in the Bank rolled around.  The angle brought in tons of mainstream attention and suddenly CM Punk was the talk of the town.

Of course, then HHH and Kevin Nash stepped in and derailed the train for a few months, but that’s for another time and place.

Thing is, a year removed, not a whole lot has really changed, but I do feel that what has changed has done so for the better.  For almost a year, John Cena has been out of the title picture.  In a lot of ways, I feel that Cena’s hit the level where he could never hold the title again and still be the biggest draw in the company for a few years, but we all know that Cena will get the title back eventually.  However, the main thing is that Cena hasn’t been wrestling for the title, or held the title, in almost a year.  They’ve taken that year and made Punk into the number two guy in the company, as well as pushed guys like Sheamus and Daniel Bryan up to the forefront.  Mark Henry got a monster push and, for a few moments, looked like a million bucks, before they started having him job every time he showed up on Raw, despite being a monster on Smackdown, but again, I digress.  The point is that they’ve started taking chances.  Daniel Bryan and CM Punk were the champions together for about 4 months.  Punk’s been Champ since November and the last two PPVs have showcased him against Bryan in some way with  next month’s PPV doing the same.  Through the way that they’ve handled Punk and shuffled some things around, the main event scene is almost brand new in this post-pipebomb world.

The biggest thing is that CM Punk is now a player.  There’s no going back down from here.  Look, for instance, at Randy Orton.  Randy spent a lot of the year in lower card matches and not in the title hunt, but has remained popular and is still in that main event slot.  That’s the spot Punk’s in now.  Over the last year he’s cemented himself in one of those top spots and he’s not going to lose that.  They’ve brought Daniel Bryan up to his level as well and he’s proven that he’s also here to stay.

Punk, sadly, didn’t revolutionize wrestling last July, like he said he was going to and, oddly, how he acts like has when he cuts promos.  What he did do, though, was open doors.  He kicked his own door open last July and became a huge star for it, and while that door was swinging closed a few other guys made it through as well.  For all intents and purposes, the title picture in the WWE on both brands is different from what it was last year, and that’s the biggest thing in my eyes.  We were given around a year’s reprieve from Cena and Orton in those spots and we were introduced to some new blood.

Let’s just hope those waves that Punk made keep spreading out, though.

-Shane

 

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