The Anti-Antagonist: Keeping it Clean

Adam Gorzelsky

CM PunkAs an analyst for both Wrestlezone and the Voice of Wrestling, I do my absolute best to remain objective in my assessment of wrestlers, storylines, and the direction of the business in general. In other words, I try to remove my personal feelings as a fan as much as possible when it comes to determining whether a development will have a positive or negative effect on what we see in the near and distant future.

With that said, anyone who has been gracious enough to follow my opinions for the last year will recognize that I am an unabashed mark for CM Punk. From a wrestling standpoint, I absolutely believe that he provides a level of entertainment that rivals some of the greatest that this business has seen. From a personal standpoint, his story of doing things “his” way and obliterating any barrier put in his place is one that reaches across the aisle and provides a motivational example for people in all walks of life.

I want to see him succeed…I want to see him succeed both because he makes the product better and because he deserves success as much or more than any individual in the locker room. I’m still of the opinion that he should have been given the opportunity to defend his title and his streak in the main event of Wrestlemania…To see a historical reign not being represented on the grandest stage of the year is disappointing to say the least.

With this in mind, one would think that I would be vehemently opposed to the clean loss and ultimate coronation of John Cena on Raw this week. In reality though, given the circumstances and chosen direction of WWE, I couldn’t be more pleased with the decision to end the match in this manner.

First and foremost, it was a spectacular match. You can say that Punk brings out the best in John Cena, but the fact remains that every time these two step into the ring with one another, magic happens. The excitement and quality of the match rivaled that of a Wrestlemania Main Event…Although it’s a shame that we may never see this Main Event, the bottom line is that last night once again reminded us why we are fans.

As for the implications of the match, whether we like it or not, John Cena vs. the Rock is going to happen at Wrestlemania. It’s going to be a singles match…It’s going to be the marquee attraction. Given the fact that this is the reality, every step must be taken to ensure that the build-up for the match is fresh, coherent, and intriguing.

The story being told now is one of redemption…John Cena is seeking to overcome every failure that plagued him in the past year with the ultimate pay-off arriving when he overcomes his most documented failure…the Rock.

While the Rock may represent the pinnacle of Cena’s frustration, CM Punk unquestionably provided a track record of blemishes a mile long. From a storytelling perspective, regardless of how he lost their previous matches, the fact remained that Cena never managed to strip Punk of the title for more than a year.

In order to tell this story in a coherent and compelling fashion, Cena needed to go over Punk and he needed to do it cleanly. There is no opportunity to overcome a final hurdle until the rest of the race has been run…Punk represented one last roadblock before a story more than two years in the making could come full circle.

In the end, do I agree with Cena/Rock part II? I think I’ve made my feelings relatively clear in that regard…However, with this plan firmly rooted in place, all available resources must be utilized to tell this story in the best manner possible…Even, dare I say, at the expense of CM Punk.

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