CM Punk Is The Best, But He’s Acting Like A Child

Justin LaBar

cm punkI write a wrestling column every Monday and Friday for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. 

Today, I talk about the hot topic of CM Punk walking out on WWE. The following in an excerpt:

I've always applauded Punk's love for wrestling and care for it to be presented correctly. That same love, though, has become a downfall.

Punk got mad, so he took his toys and went home. The guy has made millions of dollars. Reality is he can do what he wants. He's earned the financial security.

However, financial security doesn't make him immune to doing the right thing.

Punk has worked a lot of shows, taken a lot of bumps and worked hurt. Thing is, so have a lot of other guys. Punk is one of the best I'll ever see in my lifetime. This isn't a question of talent. This is a question of character.

How many other guys on the WWE roster do you think have been frustrated with their booking or the overall creative direction? I'm sure everyone at some point or another. We don't hear about them walking out on the company.

We're talking about a large portion of a roster that has guaranteed money in their yearly contracts, and those contracts aren't worth as much as Punk's royalty checks. Think about that for a second.

Many fans seem to not want to accept Punk's departure as legitimate. Fans either think this is a big storyline angle or that he will be back on television this week after a few days to calm down. I don't think so. If this is a work, only Punk knows it.

Punk's a huge commodity for WWE. He could gain leverage out of this entire situation. He might be acting like a child, but he's not dumb. He knows his stock is going up at the moment with all of the buzz surrounding him.

I wonder what it will take to get him back to WWE and when.

I've been writing and saying since October 2012 that Punk will be retired from wrestling by some point in 2015. He's not the type to be still working at the age of 50 or attending every convention possible to sell a few pictures from his glory days. He's earned that career freedom.

The one goal he's wanted to accomplish is main event WrestleMania. He's gone to the event as the WWE Champion, but wasn't the headline as The Rock versus John Cena took precedent. He's gone to the event as the challenger for The Undertaker's WrestleMania streak. Once again, The Rock and John Cena, that time with the WWE title, took precedent that year.

If he hasn't headlined the event yet, what will it take? A dream match against his dream opponent in Stone Cold Steve Austin is about the only thing I can think of worthy to trump WWE's other WrestleMania attractions.

Ironically, Austin walked out on WWE in 2002 over a creative dispute. In addition to being unhappy with the overall creative direction of his character, Austin didn't want to lose to Brock Lesnar in an unadvertised King of the Ring qualifying match. He would return for the next year and take part in his final WrestleMania match.

Again, if this is all a big elaborate plan, only Punk knows.

How should WWE handle this? I give my answer in the rest of the column.

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