Monday, July 11, 2011

Has Punk Been a Success in WWE? Of Course He Has, Stop Being Dramatic

The portrait of a WWE success story
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For five years, CM Punk has gone nearly non-stop for WWE. Since being brought into the ECW brand, he's been on TV for the most part excepting a week or two between injuries. Even so, he's been in the public eye as an announcer when he's been hurt. He pretty humorously replied someone who asked him how he could stay on the program without using painkillers that he's "not a pussy". So now, as the Zero Hour approaches, many people are left to ask "Has Punk been a success in WWE in those five years?"

Those people miss the point entirely. Of course the man has been a success. A resounding one, I'd say.

The argument that a lot of people have is that CM Punk has been misused, mistreated or even buried in WWE since coming up. They point to long PPV losing streaks or shoddy booking and I get it. Punk hasn't been used optimally in WWE. I mean, I'd have booked him differently, but at the same time, you can say that for nearly everyone in the company save John Cena or Triple H at some point during the last five years. Even golden children like Randy Orton have had the run of bad booking slung against them. It's a fact of life.

Meanwhile, in his time in WWE, Punk has won the ECW Championship, the World Tag Team Titles, two Money in the Bank briefcases, the Intercontinental Championship, three World Championships, was featured prominently in two straight Royal Rumbles, got to be the guy who chased Jeff Hardy out of WWE, has a winning streak against Cena and was deemed to be so important by WWE that he was placed in the commentary position while injured. I'd say all of that is pretty successful by any metric.

It seems like there's a certain portion of the Internet that wants to paint all their indie favorites as martyrs, and that the WWE does EVERYTHING to screw them. It's microanalysis that ignores the bad treatment that other guys have gotten and dishonestly pretends that Punk is somehow maltreated. Even if he was made to look like a jackass at every turn, the maltreatment argument is bunk, because they're paying him pretty well.

So can the talk about him being unsuccessful is bunk. Could he have been "treated better"? Sure, but that's the nature of WWE nowadays. It's not acceptable in that they need to change their practices, but let's not pretend they're doing wrong by Punk (or Daniel Bryan or Evan Bourne or any other indie guy who made it), okay?

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