NOTE: The following editorial by Mark Madden was written before last night’s WWE Raw. Expect plenty more by Mark Madden on the CM Punk/shoot angle from Raw in an upcoming column, exclusively here on WrestleZone.com.
PETTY AND POINTLESS
What is the point of Cena vs. Punk in Chicago, Punk’s hometown, on the eve of Punk’s departure from WWE? Cena’s hold on the babyface portion of his following is tenuous enough. That’s throwing Cena into the lion’s den. You’re supposed to put your top talent in a position to succeed, not in a position to be rattled and humiliated.
Allowing Punk to leave over something as trivial as ownership of his name is IDIOTIC.
Punk could be this generation’s Piper if he wasn’t overly scripted. What does WWE gain by owning “C.M. Punk”? Would they cast someone else as the new “C.M. Punk”? If Hulk Hogan’s name and Jeff Hardy’s name don’t help on Impact, Punk’s wouldn’t, either. Owning the names “Diesel” and “Razor Ramon” didn’t stop the nWo invasion from getting over. Why should WWE own “C.M. Punk” anyway? Punk came up with it. He IS C.M. Punk.
The whole thing is petty and imbecilic on WWE’s part. It’s nothing to do with business and everything to do with control.
Here’s what WON’T happen when Cena and Punk meet in Chicago. Punk WON’T win the belt, then leave, unless it’s a prearranged work with Punk having secretly renewed. Punk WON’T double-cross the finish, or shoot, because he’d be WAY SHORT of friends in the ring. Earl Hebner WON’T execute a fast count. No one will spit in VKM’s face (unless they’re told to).
Punk’s a pro’s pro. He has respect for the business and WWE. Short of unnecessary and malicious humiliation – and let’s not rule that out – Punk will do what’s asked on the way out.
The big question: What direction is Cena headed? His cheers are more and more limited to girls and kids. He remains professional, unfazed by his fragile grip on being a babyface during a very bland, vanilla run for the whole promotion. Cena needs the creative resources of WWE to help him. Being matched with Punk in Chicago for Punk’s farewell doesn’t help. Don’t forget, you’ve got to keep Cena hot until next WrestleMania and his main event with The Rock.
I attended UFC’s live card at Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center. The presentation – music, graphics, timing – it’s hip, it’s sexy, and it’s SO FAR AHEAD of anything done in legit sport, or WWE. Not even in the same ballpark. UFC is a few more recognizable personalities away from burying WWE.
Pro wrestling seems an ugly anachronism after watching REAL FIGHTS promoted with an edge, polished with a sports entertainment sheen. There’s a glory to reality that fake just can’t match, especially when fake stopped trying to pretend a long time ago. Wrestling used to be a work. Now it’s just fake.
THE NEVER-ENDING STORY
DDMe’s interview in Pro Wrestling Torch is just UNBEARABLE. The constant self-aggrandizement via name-dropping, the repetitive stories: “Bill Watts never thought I’d make it, but even he had to admit I was great.” “Dusty Rhodes had to give me credit: I lived the impossible dream.” “Jake Roberts thought my career was a crack nightmare. But my success was real.” ON AND ON AND ON. Then he characterizes the “converted” as his close friends. Like so many people – hell, like ME for a while – these guys agreed with DDMe so he’d SHUT THE **** UP and stop beating his own drum FOR JUST A FEW ****ING SECONDS.
During my tenure at WCW, no one was a bigger joke figure than DDMe. Mention his name, eyes would roll. And that went even more so for the people he calls his close buddies. Scott Hall put it best: "Being Dally’s friend is EXHAUSTING."
You want the entire DDMe story, Wade? Here it is, and it doesn’t have to run in 10 ****ing parts: HE ACHIEVED HIS SUCCESS TOTALLY THROUGH CRONYISM. BECAUSE HE LIVED NEXT DOOR TO THE BOSS AND DID HIM FAVORS. That’s it. That’s the WHOLE ****ING STORY. If DDMe had any talent beyond that, he’d still be working, as a color commentator if nothing else. (DDMe would be better than Booker. MUCH BETTER. That, I’ll admit.)
Same goes for his bitchy ex-wife. Boy, Kim couldn’t jump off that leathery, scaly gravy train fast enough once the well ran dry, could she? She danced like she was having an epileptic seizure. Those who know say she wasn’t even a good stripper. SO HOW DID SHE BECOME THE LEADER OF A DANCE TROUPE ON NATIONAL TV? I would think the answer is fairly obvious.
DDMe acts like he’s on a level with Randy Savage. He’s a lot closer to Disco Inferno – who at least knew when to GO AWAY.