This Was Never The "Summer of Punk"
by Bob Bamber
The old saying some things never change hasn't been more appropriate than WWE's current direction. CM Punk dominates our screens and appeared to be ushering in the new era – 'one nation under Punk'. Well, except the CeNation of course. But as summer will become autumn it will quickly become clear that while the WWE appears on the surface to be giving us something fresh, new and different, they are instead giving us the tried and tested.
There's one thing bigger than the “MONEH!” for Mr McMahon the character, and I'm sure Vince McMahon the person too. That thing is family. In 2001 when the invasion storyline was hitting top gear many were weighing up the comparative value of Booker T and Kurt Angle. But as then is now, it was never about anyone else, it was about Vince vs Shane and Stephanie. Fast forward ten years, it's now Vince vs Hunter.
Can CM Punk propel himself legitimately alongside John Cena when all is said and done? Absolutely. But that's not the aim here. Punk is the foil to Vince and Triple H. Ten years ago Vince could just about fight his own battles, now his age hasn't been so kind. Why do you think they were so keen on hotshotting Punk back onto our televisions? It wasn't as horrible an idea as many made out, as the iron was hot and there was the small matter of Summerslam being around the corner (boy has that come at a horrible time by the way).
But when push comes to shove, and when the PPV posters come out, and the DVD covers get printed, Punk won't be on them. Just like the Invasion poster from 2001 which featured one face, half Shane, half Vince the poster for whenever this feud culminates (likely Survivor Series) will feature a half HHH half Vince equivalent. Punk being in Vince's corner will be strange, but better the devil you know than the one you don't.
I don't have much faith that Punk will leave Summerslam as the Unified WWE Champion, although that may have more to do with Alberto Del Rio than John Cena. He's a perfect fit for this role and heck, if anyone on that roster can make themselves a star even when the powers that be aren't that bothered – it's CM Punk. But never mistake this current run as Punk being pushed in his own right. He is the means to a far bigger end. For those who are calling for WWE to move back to the Attitude Era, we may be closer than you ever know. Can Punk be the next Steve Austin? We'll just have to wait and see.
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