CM Punk Would Be the Last
So, rumors abound about CM Punk perhaps looking to step away from the WWE at the end of his deal. If that’s what makes him happy, I’m all for it. I don’t know him, never met him but he seems like a sharp guy who saved his loot.
But if CM Punk leaves, he will be the last of an era.
I guarantee you that no wrestler will ever be able to come in to the WWE with his own name again. No way Vince ever invests in anyone again and allows them to leave with tangible assets.
I am not saying that CM Punk leaving the WWE would be wrong… far from it. He owes them nothing and he’s given them a ton. In an era when only paint-by-numbers, bland clones are given the ball, Punk has been as non-conformist as you’d expect. I’m not writing his eulogy, signaling the end of his WWE career but to me, he’s never fit in… CM Punk was never a WWE guy.
They’ve taken Bryan Danielson and jacked him around.
They’ve taken everyone else, including all second-generation guys and given them horribly stupid names.
They’ve launched Tough Enough– fart sound – and NXT – bigger fart sound – because the WWE still believes they can create wrestlers when the theory has never worked. Sorry to Miz and Morrison… they work hard but nothing they do in the ring makes me care. And I’ll argue that the WWE still wants wrestlers but they can’t figure out how to get them over anymore. So, they blame the wrestlers, not the broken process.
All the while, CM Punk was working hard to get over and got over, despite the changes along the way, all because of his abilities as a Professional Wrestler.
John Laurinaitis will never be invited to Harvard Business School to discuss his acumen. After all, when some schlub in FCW called Johnny and said his heart wasn’t in it, the former flag-carrier for the Sheepherders did what every good exec would do… he gave the schlub more money. True story. Didn’t release him… he gave him more money. Genius.
So how would I try to motivate CM Punk to get him to stay? Assuming he wants to stay and the company wants him to stay? Be honest with him. Punk seems like the guy who would sniff out BS quickly. Then I’d call Stone Cold and enlist his help. Word is Austin likes Punk and the boys trust the boys more than the Office.
So don’t cry for Punk, who may decide to re-sign with the WWE and finish his career there. He could go the Jericho route and take some time off, only to come back when he’s ready. Or he can move on and do what he wants.
That’s what Professional Wrestling is supposed to be. You work for whom you want, as long as it’s mutually agreeable for both the wrestler and the company. Agree on money, agree on dates and go put asses in seats. If you don’t, move along. Even if you do put asses in seats, eventually you’ll move along because nothing is forever when you are a Professional Wrestler.
That’s the problem with so many independent wrestlers today. They are comfortable living where they live and rarely, if ever, pull up stakes and move to a new area. Those who are tied to either Mommy’s apron strings or their childhood home are not Professional Wrestlers. They are wanna-be’s.
If you are comfortable doing what you are doing, then you are going to stay doing what you are doing.
Don’t cry about “unfulfilled dreams” when you only dream.
But when a carload of guys drive to the Midwest from the Northeast for gas money, that’s pro wrestling. When a guy moves to Louisville or Nashville or Chicago in hopes of getting regular work, that’s pro wrestling. When a guy who was over huge in ROH goes to the WWE and gets over, that’s pro wrestling.
Vince pays his talent well and in return, they surrender all rights. That’s the deal. No gun to their head. The Punk story also says that he won’t have big-money matches until he signs a new deal. Again, Vince’s rules.
But it’s the Professional Wrestler’s decision in this case and that bothers Vince.
So, what will CM Punk decide?
I hope they don’t rebrand, actually. It’s too good having them bomb on a weekly basis. Of course, the reportedly shameful treatment of talent is disgusting and whoever is responsible must pay for their mistakes.
Simple decision?… Change the name and change the creative direction. But, long-term, what really is going to happen, I think, has more to do with Spike TV than anything else. Are they really committed to TNA as programming for their network? Word this week that a new executive was hired has talk of a new direction for the network, one that focuses less on guys.
Some would say that TNA doesn’t focus on guys either because their ratings are so microscopic. In fact, recent recaps of TNA tell me that they are actually looking to make the show even less watchable… is that true?