Punk vs. The American Dragon: What is This Strange Feeling in my Chest?



I have a deserved reputation for being a hardass when it comes to pro wrestling. In virtually every instance I make a comment, it's about how much the Miz sucks, or how terrible the latest Kane feud is, or how the humiliation conga-line that is Dolph Ziggler's career is indefensible. All those things are true, but that's not what I'm about today.

Because Bryan "Daniel Bryan" Danielson and CM "Punk" Punk are going to face each other on a WWE PPV in the main event, and not one of those fake main events where they tell you that the Smackdown title actually matters, but the honest to God RAW main event.

Puncture-wounds of Christ, is this the emotion your kind calls happiness?

It's not a perfect set of circumstances. Punk had a lot of his heat capped off the previous year, which was just an extension of every singe other time he received a slight push in WWE only to be capped off. DBD had his heat killed even more recently in front of even more people at Wrestlemania 28, which was just an extension of his entire WWE career. The PPV will likely do around the same buyrate last years Over the Limit had, maybe even slightly less, and the ratings will likely not pick up at all. The build to the show will likely also be horrible, with terrible promos, a few comedy skits, and maybe even a clean loss from either guy in an non-title match during the buildup. There's also a small chance of either a shit finish or a complete burial that DBD will endure on the PPV itself, and even if the match really kicks ass, there's little chance DBD's career in WWE will be allowed to prosper.

At the moment, it's hard to care about any of that, because if the match is given just twenty or thirty minutes, even a whole month of terrible buildup and a shit finish won't keep it from being a classic. For the first time in his life, Bryan Danielson will have the chance, however small, to show how fantastic he is to such a large audience in the main event of a WWE PPV. Barring injury or match length, barring everything that's happened to both men in their WWE career past or present, everyone who watches this match is in for a classic.

As always, my faith level is low, my interest in watching RAW, even for this, is even lower, my faith in the future of the industry has reached the universes singularity in a quest to find the lowest point it could conceive of, and even then it does a terrible job of showing how dark my dreams of wrestling's future are. All that matters now is that Punk and Danielson will have a match on a WWE PPV that has half a chance of closing the show, half a chance of going twenty minutes, a quarter-chance of going thirty minutes, and a smaller chance yet of a clean finish.

Even if the earth collapses into the sun the next night, even if the entire industry is doomed to fail, even if the American Dragon's future in WWE is total shit from the next day onward, the very existence of this match will make me happy in some way, and make happy anyone who is a true fan of wrestling.

My Kafkaesque nightmare some call a fandom has suckled at teats of honey, and the small, damn near untraceable ember in the lump of coal that has replaced my heart has grown just large enough to generate what some might call warmth. If Punk vs. DBD is even half what I hope it is, that ember will grow into a bonfire on the twentieth of May. I once thought the death of Osama Bin Laden on my birthday last year was the best present I'd ever receive, but this match will likely make a close second, even if it is nineteen days too late for my birthday.

The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Cageside Seats readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cageside Seats editors or staff.

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