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The Punking of Punk's Title Reign
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Dec. 13, 2012 5:25 p.m.

Your WWE Champion, CM Punk

Photo by: My 1-2-3 Cents

@chadsmart & @my123cents on Twitter

Longtime readers of the

blog, or loyal listeners of From The Rafter’s Radio have heard myself and Kevin

talk a lot about the lack of logic in today’s wrestling storytelling.  Last week on Rafter’s Radio, I praised

Chikara (as I normally do when the company comes up in discussion) for their

attention to detail in their stories and how all the stories told over the 11

months of Season 11 were logical. In the last two months of watching (or more

honestly, reading recaps) RAW, I am impressed with how much WWE has changed the

CM Punk character and tainted his title reign. <>

What started out as a solid

reign with a champion vanquishing foe after foe first turned into a champion

demanding respect. At this point there was some truth to CM Punk’s complaints.

Even though he had been champion for nine months, he had only headlined one pay

per view and was taking a backseat to John Cena even though Cena wasn’t

challenging for the title.  Then for

some reason, even though CM Punk had defeated John Cena on two consecutive pay

per views a year earlier, Cena claimed Punk still had to beat Cena in order to

had legitimacy to Punk’s reign.  <>

After winning a triple

threat match against John Cena and the Big Show, Punk then had to once again

face Cena in Cena’s hometown in order to get respect. That match ended in a

draw as both men had their shoulders on the mat for a three count.  With respect still not earned, even as

he was closing in being the longest reigning champion in the last 25 years. Punk

was faced with another big challenge, the undefeated monster, Ryback. <>

Suddenly, the cocky Punk was

trying to get out of matches and running like a scalded dog whenever Ryback

would appear. In their first match at “Hell In The Cell,” Punk needed the help

of crooked referee Brad Maddox to help put the first notch in Ryback’s loss

column.  The next month at Survivor

Series, Punk used the debuting attack of The Shield on Ryback to take advantage

and pin John Cena. For over a year CM Punk wasn’t necessarily a dominant

champion, but was clearly capable of holding his own against any competitor.

What happened in the last four months to make Punk lose his mojo?<>

It’s not that I am upset

over the change in character per se. It’s more that the change in character seems

forced for the sake of the story being told instead of natural. Most successful

wrestlers evolve their characters over time. One of the biggest criticisms

against John Cena is that his character is stale and needs to change. CM Punk

could have easily, and logically, morphed from cocky champion to paranoid

champion. Unfortunately, WWE writers jumped from step one to step four and

completely bypassed steps two and three. Perhaps John Cena’s elbow injury and

unforeseen time off, as well as the sudden ascension of Ryback to challenger

eliminated the plans for the subtle character change. <>

After the double pin fall at

“Night of Champions,” CM Punk could have shown the hint of vulnerability and

commented that even though he walked out as champion; John Cena pushed him to

the brink of near defeat.  Paul

Heyman, Punk’s mouthpiece, could then inform Punk that he was only a few short

months away from taking the record of longest title reign from John Cena. This

plants the seed of desire in Punk’s mind that he must at whatever cost keep the

title for as long as possible. <>

With each passing day,

Punk’s love for the WWE title grows and he becomes very Gollum-like thinking of

the title as his Precious.  After

Ryback is announced as his next challenger, Punk could keep up a brave face

inside the ring when cutting promos while expressing doubt to Paul Heyman

backstage. Heyman could offer his sincerest assurance Punk has nothing to worry

about. After the Brad Maddox help and the Shield interference, Punk, while not

in on the plans, starts to regain his cockiness thinking he is unbeatable. <>

Preparing for the Royal Rumble

Photo courtesy: WWE 

Getting through the end of

2012, Punk is heading straight to the “Royal Rumble” and a date with The Rock

for the WWE Title. CM Punk, once again full of attitude and bravado, cuts promo

after promo detailing how he has no fear of the Rock and how the WWE Title will

remain around his waist until he decides to hang up his boots. The week before

“Royal Rumble,” while Punk is going on and on about how he’s the best champion

and The Rock doesn’t concern him because no Hollywood actor is as tough or

talented as the WWE Champion, The Rock shows up on the Titantron and informs

Punk that Paul Heyman had nothing to do with Brad Maddox or The Shield.  The Rock wanted to make sure CM Punk

was WWE champion when the “Royal Rumble” rolled around so he, The Rock, did

what he needed to do and enlisted the services of the four men to help Punk

retain the title. <>

Okay, I’m getting off track

and didn’t mean to go into fantasy booking mode.  I hope you get the point I was trying to make and that is

appears WWE has/had no long term plan in place for CM Punk’s title run and

therefore has to change his character on a whim when they come up with a new

direction. That lack of foresight has been one of the biggest problems in WWE

over the last few years. <>

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