Sunday, March 2, 2014
WWE Comes To CM Punk's Backyard In Chicago
We all remember the night that CM Punk came home to Chicago had a match of the year with John Cena at Money in the Bank and won the title driving off to his house and putting the title in his fridge and tweeting it to the world. It is the iconic moment if you are a CM Punk fan where he was at the peak of his popularity. That crowd in Chicago the often mentioned hometown of “The Best in the World” was a huge part of that moment.
Wrestling is not like traditional sports very often but on that night CM Punk had the home field advantage perhaps more than any other wrestler has ever had. The only comparable is Canadian stars like Bret Hart, Chris Jericho and Edge have returned to Canada at certain points.
When the news broke that CM Punk left the WWE and went home to Chicago many people soon circled Match 3rd on their calendar with the WWE returning to the building of that iconic Money in the Bank match in 2011.
Wrestling fans over the past few years have become more and more a part of the show which can be both good and bad at the end of the day. In this case many feel it will be bad as Chicago will attempt to hijack the WWE’s flagship show Monday Night Raw.
The WWE has to be fully aware of what awaits them in Chicago. If they don’t have a C.M Punk rabbit in their hat they are going to face an uphill battle. Punk has been silent since leaving the company and next to invisible. Other than some TMZ style photos of him picking up girlfriend A.J Lee at a Chicago airport. Along with the a low key CM Punk appearance at a UFC fight when he was in attendance at UFC 170 to watch Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah McMann main event. Steve Austin was at the same show and appeared on camera during the event.
The WWE Storyline has moved forward without Punk and the rumoured match against HHH is now being pegged for Daniel Bryan. This makes you wonder where Punk would fit even if he were to suddenly reappear in Chicago.
What happens on Monday in the crowd is of more interest to everyone than anything that will take place in the ring. Which makes you wonder has all of this crowds being a part of the show has gone too far? We have seen the signs if Cena wins we riot or if Punk loses we riot before. No one honestly believes that would actually happen in reality. What is happening is a struggle for the WWE to get its agenda over to its audience.
At a time when the WWE is trying to get over a brand new network with a very different concept from the normal conventional thing we are use too. Entering the biggest part of their year building towards Wrestlemania. This is in addition to the on going negations for their new contract on conventional broadcast television.
This is not to say this is a make or break time for the WWE right away. In fact in terms of the business with the stock price the WWE has never been stronger. This is a company that has been able to eat loses with such things as the WBF, XFL and more recently their failed WWE Studios that has lost a reported 48 million dollars in the last 3 years.
WWE has lots of money to maintain itself through troubled times if they do indeed come. As much as people may complain about the Wrestlemania 30 card the reality is the building gets sold out long before a match is even announced. The event is what sells not the parts that make up the event. We are a long way off from that changing.
Even Punk himself said in his famous promo in Vegas that he realizes the WWE Machine will keep on rolling with or without him. That no matter the mistakes they make, they will still make money in spite of themselves.
This does feel like a moment though where we could see something that we have never seen before from a WWE crowd and how the WWE will attempt to combat it is far more interesting than any match that we will honestly forget in future months and years.
The WWE Universe vs. the WWE might be the most exciting angle in wrestling today. The advantage the WWE always has over a fan base is the fact that they are always a united front where wrestling fans to find that unity consistently is a struggle. To get them to turn away from the product is an even larger struggle. Wrestling fans more than fans of anything else have been conditioned to accept that they may not always get the product they want and desire. Deep down through all the crazy chants and rants on social media they all know this.
The WWE know what they are having on their pizza while the fans can’t always agree on the toppings for their pizza.
About the only thing that would be surprising is if CM Punk showed up to the party on Monday uninvited. Even than most would think it was part of the show or storyline. That is highly unlikely to happen as Punk has always been a wrestler that seems to have no issues separating his job from his life. It wouldn’t shock me if Punk is the one person that isn’t even watching on Monday. He has better things to do like watch a MMA Fight or do the Blackhawks have a game? Maybe the Cubs have a season preview on somewhere.
He might be the only one not totally fascinated with what might happen in Chicago on Monday night.