Did Triple H's mere presence ruin yet another hot angle with a potential breakout star? Photo via upload.wikimedia.org.
It's clear that CM Punk's onscreen feud with WWE management has long since fizzled out into being just another angle, after he turned the wrestling business on its head with a shocking, out of the blue, "shoot promo", the likes of which hadn't been seen on WWE programming for several years. This much people are in agreement with. But there's been plenty of online debate about exactly when the angle jumped the shark. Some would point to SummerSlam, where CM Punk prematurely lost the Undisputed WWE title when Alberto Del Rio cashed in his Money In The Bank briefcase after a Jackknife powerbomb from one Kevin Nash. A program with that old, overrated, broken down, windbag was sure to set Punk back and indeed it has, though thankfully, due to Nash's unforeseen pesky Wellness problem, at least he hasn't yet had to solve the seemingly intractable puzzle of how to get a WWE PPV quality main event match out of such a fragile and immobile opponent. Others would suggest Punk's far too rushed return to Raw on July 25th ruined the angle, as his return was just eight days after he had fulfilled his vow to leave the promotion with the WWE Championship by beating John Cena in front of one of the most rabid crowds in company history at the Money In The Bank PPV. The most cynical observers would go back one week earlier and proclaim the moment that killed the angle dead was when we heard Motorhead over the WWE PA system sing "It's time to play The Game" for the first time since the Raw after WrestleMania 27. Give me a break, the big payoff to Punk's complaints about the status quo was the return of Triple H to fire his father-in-law Vince McMahon, that's like replacing one tired character with another more tiresome one! Moreover, Punk's been the latest victim to die in flames when he took on The Cerebral Assassin at WWE Night of Champions and there's no rematch in sight.
It seems like ESPN's Bill Simmons is now a part of that most cynical grouping, which is quite the turnaround, as in late July it was clear that when he interviewed Punk for his B.S. Report podcast that he was a big fan of the angle. On the B.S. Report on September 19th he wasn't quite so gushing about WWE when he went off on a wrestling tangent while talking about the dearth of exciting big name boxing fights left in 2011:
It's really out the window that sport and now wrestling, wrestling's comeback has also gone down the tubes it looks like because Triple H had to insert himself into the whole thing. God forbid, god forbid he just like ruined the Punk thing for a couple of months. Well, it was a good four weeks.
So what do you think Cagesiders, is the mainstream sports columnist bang on the money with his assessment or was he far too harsh with his criticism of Triple H?