This monday at RAW CM Punk was in the middle of the ring when Chris Jericho appeared in the Titantron and proceeded to unleash some hard facts about CM Punk's straight edge lifestyle. The reveal that the Alcoholism of Punk's father was the detonant for the "Best in the World" to embrace the Straight Edge lifestyle was completely unexpected by most on the audience, and even Punk himself seemed to be surprised and deeply upset.
My intial reaction to the promo was something like: "Wow, that was strong, that was deep, that was great TV".
In fact, the developments of this week RAW added a whole new layer to this CM Punk/Chris Jericho feud and added a lot of extra heat to the angle, but despite it's positives someting felt wrong about that promo and for quite a while i couldn't just put my finger on it. After giving it some thought i've managed to nail it down and i'm here to share it with everyone on Cageside Seats.
My problem with this promo is rather simple and it all boils down to timing, in the previous weeks Jericho and Punk had gone back and forth, Chris Jericho claimed that it was him who was the best in the world and that The Straight Edge Superstar was nothing but a copycat. The very vocal CM Punk initially had no reply other than to point as his Best in the World T-Shirt and raise his WWE Title on the air. Off course Punk would eventually answer to Jericho and explain his points leading to very entertaining exchanges on the Microphone but this dispute wasn't gonna be resolved with a microphone, it was going to be settled in the most appropiate way possible. Two Wrestlers facing each other in a wrestling match during the biggest wrestling event of the year, the winner would be cemented as the Best Wrestler in the World and would have a championship belt to show for it.
Before RAW this angle was simple and solid, it was Combat Sports promotion 101, two wrestlers facing each other to prove who the best was, it's how professional wrestling used to be promoted, creating a story to create interest on a Match. It put over the PPV, it put over the match, the wrestlers and even the title (and god knows how much those titles need some sort of prestige back).
But then RAW happened and Jericho got this feud into deep water, he made it personal, now it's not about who the best in the world is, it's all about a man disliking the other so much that he's willing to air his deep personal issues on free television just to upset him, it's probably gonna be about how Punk reacts to it. I still think it was good TV, i still think is a good way to add heat into a feud and i'm sure this is gonna be great but this small promo killed all my interest on the Wrestlemania title match, Albeit replacing it with a whole different interest, seeing Punk kick Jericho's ass and making him pay.
So what's the big deal, i'm still gonna want to pay for the PPV right? Yes, but this wasn't needed, i already had interest on the previous angle and they had weeks to expand on the concept and add some more fire to it. I'm sure almost every WWE Fan wanted to see a Punk vs Jericho feud and most rather have the feud last longer than one month, this feud is probably gonna be stretched for a while and Punk vs Jericho is most likely gonna main event Backlash, this whole CM Drunk saga would been a huge selling point for Backlash but now it's being "wasted" behind Cena/Rock and HHH/Taker 3.
So why is this change in feud-direction happening? It might just be WWE Creative not thinking things through and that wouldn't suprise me one bit but that wouldn't be my guess, if i had to bet i'd say that WWE is entering desperation mode. Not even the Rock and HBK have been able to move the needle in terms of ratings, ratings are down from last year and even Rocky's survivor series PPV numbers weren't that great and this has WWE deeply worried because it's no secret than they have
big HUGE expectations for Wrestlemania, it's supposed to be the biggest Wrestlemania of all time and there's a fear that it's not gonna live up to it.
Whether it's WWE cancelling the Money in the Bank PPV, adding the match to Wrestlemania and then reversing it's decision or simply jumping the gun on an angle that would've brought good business later on the year, when it comes to Wrestlemania 28 i can't only smell what the Rock is cooking but i can also smell the stench of desperation coming out of the Stamford offices.