(Editor's note/reminder: These views do not necessarily reflect that of Cageside Seats or its staff. But this was good enough to be edited and put on the front page.)
This is in regards to a Twitter account that has popped up to attempt to organize the fans at Raw in Chicago into a rebellion. Also it is being written with the possibility in mind that Punk will show up anyway, the shoot will have been successfully turned into a work, and none of this mattered anyway. But the points within still stand.
I find this idea of hijacking Monday Night Raw in Chicago on March 3, 2014, horribly misguided.
First and most obvious, if you really wanted to make an impact in a way that the WWE would actually care about, you wouldn't even buy a ticket. You're paying them money to attend and hope that your chants have an effect on their show. WWE's level of interest in that plan stops right after "you're paying them money". It's going to be a sellout and all WWE cares about is business. But in typical fashion, people want to bitch and moan about the company while continuing to tune in, order pay-per-views (PPV), buy merchandise, and buy tickets. Learn to speak with your wallet. WWE doesn't care if you're a mark or a smark. They care that you're a paying customer with your butt in one of the seats. (Same goes for anyone who claims to hate the product but still signed up for WWE Network, you're contributing to what will be the biggest financial year for the company that you claim to be tired of -- but that's for a different discussion.)
It's a shit storm the company just has to withstand for one night. If they filmed in Chicago every week, maybe they'd need to change the product. They'll hit the road and head off to other towns that aren't "smart" crowds and get back to business as usual. They'll carry on to a sold out WrestleMania even with a main event that nobody wants to see. You're not going to change anything except maybe create a very disjointed and messy three hours of television. Maybe they'll even decide to book fewer shows in the future in towns where people purposely show up to try to disrupt the event. Then what? Will that feel like a victory? Destroying Chicago as a market that WWE enjoys coming through?
Secondly, doing this in the name of CM Punk is laughable. He left. He didn't care to honor the contract he signed in which he agreed to be on your TV entertaining you. He didn't get fired. He wasn't getting buried. He walked out on you too. You're planning to lash out at WWE, who, by all accounts, have been trying to get Punk back ever since he first left. They didn't get rid of him in the first place and they haven't been too proud to try to woo him back either. WWE wishes Punk would be there on Monday just as much as you do; his being there would make them money (although that's debatable since you're all showing up anyway). You're chanting something at them that they already understand and agree with. So you're ruining the show for no reason. Punk won't be there because of Punk, not because of WWE. He won't be there because of the ego that you're just going to inflate even further when he hears an entire broadcast was ruined on his behalf. You think you're supporting this movement of unrest and displeasure with the WWE product by chanting for the guy who got upset enough to walk out, but really what you're doing is buying a ticket to attend a WWE show and supporting the company.
Punk didn't care to remain there any longer trying to fight the good fight for a better product. Why are you now deciding to suit up and try to carry on in his name when he's already decided he earned enough money off of his fans to go sit comfortably at home and not worry about it anymore? He'll be laughing at you, not with you, if he pays attention to what happens Monday at all. He's got millions of dollars in the bank that WWE and its fans paid him, but a bunch of wrestling fans who I'll assume are in a much lower income bracket than Punk are gonna spend their paycheck to buy a ticket to Raw and fight in his honor? He's a millionaire who decided he doesn't need you or his job anymore, not the savior of wrestling and friend to all the fans.
Go, show up, cause a scene, but do it in the name of guys and girls who actually care enough to still be there entertaining you, still doing what they can to improve the product in a company environment that tells them not to. Chant for Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, and Cesaro; boo the people you're tired of being told to like; but don't chant for someone who doesn't even care to show up anymore. There are people in this business who have worked just as hard and have gotten 10 times less than Punk ever got. People who will still be in that locker room Monday night to make the money you spent on your ticket worthwhile. You're going to insult them by cheering for the guy sitting at home instead? We hate Batista because we don't like people who leave and come back, but we like someone even more who left early and won't come back at all?
That doesn't make sense.
You're supporting your "lovable hero" who would look at you like a piece of shit on his shoe if you actually ran into him in Chicago and asked him for a minute of his time. There's a story out about how Daniel Bryan just allowed an impromptu autograph session at a hotel he was staying at because so many fans were waiting to see him. Meanwhile Punk recently popped up in a picture with a fan with yet another sarcastic unhappy look on his face, so bothered by one of the fans who made him a millionaire asking for him to take 10 seconds to take a picture. Let's support the people in this business who actually know how they made it this far and are appreciative of it. Let Punk keep living in his fantasy world that luck is for losers and that nobody but him contributed to his success. I'll choose to support the guy who gets to his hotel exhausted and decides to sit down and sign autographs until everyone leaves happy. Ironically DB is the one stepping into Punk's place in the booking (as of right now at least). Seems fitting. Give it to someone who appreciates it. Grant Punk his wish of fading into irrelevance and moving to a mountain cabin somewhere. If you really love the guy so much why do you want to drag him back to something he doesn't love anymore? You know he'd just be unhappy in WWE again.
I live ten minutes from the Allstate Arena and I'll be staying home and spending my money on other things. Not sure if I'll even tune in. I didn't even watch last week to see Hulk Hogan and Undertaker. I haven't signed up for the WWE Network yet either, despite it seeming like a great bargain for PPVs. A bad PPV at $10 is still a bad PPV. And for the record there are three Punk shirts somewhere in the closet behind me. I was a fan of his, until I got tired of all the tales of his diva behavior.
Be a vocal audience. Blow the roof off the place on Monday. Let WWE know the product sucks lately. Just do it on behalf of people that deserve it. Being a Punk fan seems like some sort of Stockholm Syndrome. Stop loving the guy who pretty much hates you. He sure doesn't mind your money in his bank account though. Just don't you dare ask him for a picture or expect him to honor the contract he signed to entertain you until July. If he does show up on Monday and comes through the crowd, make sure not to pat him on the back; he might turn around and elbow you in the face for being such an annoying wrestling fan. Buy some DB merch and enjoy the show.
Let Punk move on and follow up on these rumors that he wants to get into MMA. That would be a wonderful sight to see. Maybe attempting to be the best in the world at something that isn't choreographed would get that diva attitude in check.