CM Punk’s “shoot promo” this past Monday night on Raw was easily the best segment produced by the WWE since The Rock made his return prior to Wrestlemania earlier this year.
He blasted the WWE, calling Stephanie McMahon “idiotic” and her husband, Triple H, a “doofus son-in-law.” Punk labeled himself as a “Paul Heyman” guy, which might as well be a curse word in the WWE locker room these days. And those weren't even the best parts of the promo (scroll down to see the entire segment). Punk (pictured on the mat above) had the Internet wresting community eating out of his hand on Monday night as he bashed backstage personnel of the company.
They tore down the “fourth wall” with a sledgehammer before his microphone was cut and Raw abruptly ended similar to the finale of “The Sopranos.” When I say “they” tore down the fourth wall, I mean Punk and the WWE. The segment was scripted and no doubt approved by the creative team including the big honcho himself, Vince McMahon.
There could be a number of reasons why they chose do let Punk “shoot” on the WWE:
1.) His contract is expiring on July 17
2.) They figure to let him go out with a gang
3.) Who knows why, but it was terrific and I want more of it.
Or, it could be for another reason, which I’m very interested in finding out because the WWE doesn’t allow this stuff. Today’s promos are highly scripted and each star must stick to what has been written for them. Punk’s rant on Raw was clearly all him, but again, approved by the WWE. It worked so well because we haven’t seen anything like this in ages. During the “Attitude Era,” the WWE did plenty of “shoots” and WCW basically did one each week and ran the concept into the ground. It soon became watered down and didn’t grab fans anymore and send them to the Internet searching to get the dirt on what was really going on behind the scenes.
Today, every star’s promo on Raw or Smackdown sounds the same. It’s all vanilla and we need some Rocky Road in there, or at least some Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia. Guys like the Miz and John Cena are exceptions. Remember, Cena broke into the WWE in 2002-03, when the company allowed their guys to simply be themselves. Cena’s rapping gimmick that shot him to stardom was not created by the writing team. That was who Cena really was, a guy who enjoyed rhymes and rapping.
In 2011, everyone comes out and cuts the same promo on how they will beat Guy A and win which ever title. John Morrison sounds no different to me than Drew McIntyre. Before R-Truth started his “Little Jimmy” rants, he sounds just like Kofi Kingston or 85 percent of the locker room.
Punk’s shoot was fresh and executed by a guy who is a phenomenal talent both in and out of the ring. Now that he’s “suspended” and his contract is set to expire in a few weeks, the WWE is going to lose their hottest and most-talked about star at the moment. He clearly knocked The Miz off his perch as the guy you run to the TV to see when they grab the microphone.
This work the WWE has created shows me that the company can still produce riveting TV with great storylines even in the PG environment. I’m holding out hope that Punk remains with the company and we can see a little more of this.