Stars in Progress: Hogan & Hogan, Punk Down, Matt Striker

It's always incredible to me how Raw can change so drastically from one week to the next. Shouldn't surprise me anymore, but it still does for some reason.

Last week was great from top to bottom; this week was all over the place and left me scratching my head at several things. 

Starting with…

CM PunkCM Punk – One Step Down

Following the intense confrontation between Punk and Lesnar last week that ended with one of the best F5's I've ever seen, I had high hopes for the former WWE Champion last night. It wasn't horrible — that's impossible with him and Heymans' talent — but it was a disappointment by their standards.

I realize they have to slow burn the program between Lesnar and Punk, but it felt like a screeching halt.

WWE is repeating last year's model for the MITB matches with the WWE Championship side of things featuring big names, including Punk. Punk won't win, so it's all a wash from my point of view. And predictable.

Even more predictable, we're getting a tag match next week of Punk teaming with Curtis Axel to face the Prime Time Players. High-quality television right there!

It just felt to me like last night held Punk down in every way possible. They're just killing time until Paul completely turns on him and they get the big payoff with Lesnar. 

Unfortunately, in the meantime, we have to see WWE continue trying to make a bigger deal out of Curtis Axel than he is right now. Didn't he just win the IC Title? Couldn't he be doing something with that for a change? 

It was just one week, and I'm not trying to overreact, but that's also the point of this column. Much like Raw, superstars like Punk can go up and down from week to week.