Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Registering a Complaint

Are we supposed to like or loathe CM Punk? Thanks to WWE's confusing booking policies it's not clear.
'The Voice of the Voiceless' kicked off RAW by complaining about incompetent officiating and the General Manager being out to get him. While protesting and kicking up a fuss is the act of a bad guy Punk's character has been doing this to the sound of cheers since last year. Complaining is what instigated his face turn.
He also happens to be right. The referee did miss the champ's foot being on the ropes in his tag match against John Cena and Sheamus. AJ's response was to laugh about it. That's not what an unbiased GM would do. Punk appears as the wronged babyface (despite supposedly being a heel) and AJ looks like the villainous authority figure out to screw him.
It's a doubly disappointing situation when you remember how hot an act AJ was just three months ago. WWE have certainly blown that haven't they?
The whacky booking of Punk continued during RAW's final segment. After delivering a by-the-numbers speech demanding that the injured John Cena vacate the ring Punk turned his back on 'The CeNation Leader' (presumably in disgust). Cena then lamped Punk with a lead pipe to send him scampering backstage.
Yes, the heel champion was assaulted from behind, with a weapon, by his allegedly honourable babyface rival. It's another confusing use of Punk and a muddying of the waters with regards to his ongoing programme with Cena. Why should we dislike a guy who's been wronged and demands justice? More to the point why should we support a man who chooses to smash people in the back with lead pipes? Cena gets a mixed reception as it is. This isn't going to help.
Where WWE did get it right with Punk on RAW was in his segment with Mick Foley. 'The Hardcore Legend' emphasised the importance of a Hell in a Cell clash between Cena and Punk, stating it would be of significance to the champion's legacy. That was important because we've seen them face off so many times before, including in the HIAC (alongside Alberto Del Rio at last year's show).

CM Punk reminds Mick Foley who the WWE champion is
Foley also managed to paint Punk in a negative light without harming his character or credibility. It was a commendable performance that enhanced Punk's status as a bad guy and briefly got him the reaction he's meant to get all the time.
WWE need to start booking Punk consistently as a villain. If they want him to hear boos then the audience can't be given reasons to empathise with him. He can't be the lead bad guy the company needs and wants until this situation is rectified.

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