THE ONLY FINISH
Money in the Bank is Sunday, and there is only one finish: C.M. Punk has to beat John Cena for the WWE championship, then lose the title, immediately, to one of the Money in the Bank winners. Perhaps Punk beats one Money in the Bank winner, then loses to the second. Here's betting Alberto Del Rio winds up WWE champ.
But Punk clearly won’t beat Cena, then actually leave. Cena beating Punk is too easy. It’s one thing to expose wrestling as fake. It’s another to rub the audience’s face in it. Cena doesn’t get fired if he loses. Cena gets fired if Punk "leaves WWE with the championship."
This match needs a swerve. It’s a predictable one. But there’s really no other option. It has to happen.
I like the Money in the Bank stip. The anticipation of the cash-in. It’s an angle that’s never far below the surface. To eliminate that on the same night as the MITB PPV sucks. But the situation mandates.
WWE should sign Punk to a contract extension, then have him win the championship at MITB and “leave with it.” Defend it on a few independent shows, even. Have an “unemployed” Cena chase him down, beat Punk on an indy show, then use possession of the championship to extort re-employment by McMahon. Punk returns in pursuit of the belt. There is precedent, albeit on a lesser level: I saw Eddy Guerrero defend the Intercontinental belt on an indy show while he was serving a suspension from WWE.
Bottom line: WWE needs to re-sign Punk. But I sense that Punk needs a break from the WWE mentality. WWE may need a break from Punk, too. Given the inevitability of a Punk sabbatical, there’s only one finish.
Punk will return someday. WWE is the major league of wrestling. Punk is a major-leaguer.
HEY, WHAT IF…
Colt Cabana, Punk’s long-time friend and ROH crony, says he will be at Money in the Bank.
What if McMahon hired Cabana and, during his first night back in WWE, Cabana somehow screwed Punk? That would be SO McMahon, scripting an angle where a guy got F’d by his real-life buddy, somebody Punk had lobbied for during his recent epic promo. “You wanted Cabana hired, Punk? Fine, he’s hired. BUT YOU’RE FIRED!”
Which would make me believe Punk mentioning Cabana during his “shoot” promo was always part of the plan. Nothing is an accident.
I’d love to see Cabana get another shot at the big time. Only this time, let him be Colt Cabana. As is, he’s better than half WWE’s roster.
*I wrote a few nice things about Bobby Heenan last week. I’ve since learned that whenever Bobby autographs a photo of the old WCW broadcast team, he intentionally writes over Tony Schiavone’s face. Big joke. Ha, ha. Yo, Brain, Tony never stole a paycheck. Never mailed it in. Never worked in a stupor. Grow up, for God’s sake.
*I got nasty e-mails over my recently reiterated opinion that women don’t draw money, can’t talk, can’t work and are employed so the boys can have sex with them, comfort women for the road. You think I’m wrong? Tell me a program, in the past 15 years, that had a woman as a major player and A) drew money or B) anchored a promotion. (The Savage-Elizabeth wedding was 1991, BTW.)
*I read an opinion that nicely sums up WWE’s problems: “WWE resents C.M. Punk’s star power.” That’s true. They do. Anything that WWE didn’t create – anything germinated elsewhere or anything that spontaneously combusted within WWE – WWE hates. In many respects, Punk got over despite WWE, got over beyond his push.
If WWE was primarily about success, the attitude would be: Why ask why? Take advantage of the situation. Get that money. But WWE is about ego. WWE serves one man’s vision. Punk isn’t part of that vision. VKM really IS a multi-millionaire who should be a billionaire.
*A pizza place threw turkey on a pie and named it after Punk’s finisher, Go To Sleep. Tryptophan aside, Raw makes me drowsy.
Mark Madden hosts a radio show 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WXDX-FM, Pittsburgh, PA (105.9). Check out his web page at WXDX.com. Contact Mark by emailing