As we noted during this past Monday night's episode of Cageside Live, CM Punk continues to be big news in the pro wrestling world despite the fact that he hasn't publicly spoken or made any appearances for anyone since leaving WWE back on Jan. 28, 2014, something that won't change until this coming Sunday night when he does the Talking Dead show on AMC. When asked why we continue to write articles about him, we simply responded by saying, well, it's because people are still incredibly interested in reading about him.
After this past week, that may no longer be the case. And we have WWE itself to thank for that.
Really, what the company has been able to do in just one week's time is impressive as all get out.
First, the company had a show rolling through Punk's hometown of Chicago, Illinois, and a set of fans planned to hijack it. They even drew up a schematic, an embarrassing failure with the benefit of hindsight.
WWE handled this by bringing out Paul Heyman to start the show and having him cut a promo blaming the fans for taking Punk away from him. He also said the loss to Undertaker at WrestleMania 29 played a big part in the "Straight Edge Superstar's" downfall and eventual hiatus, and he's going to get revenge for it by sending Brock Lesnar to end the streak at WrestleMania 30.
There has been zero mention of Punk since that promo.
The rest of the show was crafted to tease fans that Punk would make an appearance before the night was out but that never happened. It was done simply to minimize the damage the crowd could inflict during the three hour program airing live on USA.
It worked so well, in fact, that there were next to no chants for Punk at the SmackDown taping the very next night in Detroit. Even if there were, they were edited out in post-production before the show went to air on SyFy that Friday.
Then, we got to Raw this week in Memphis.
Notice any Punk chants?
Fast forward halfway through the show and WWE pulled the trigger on booking Daniel Bryan in a match with Triple H at WrestleMania with the added stipulation that if he wins, he'll get a title shot later in the night by being added to the Randy Orton vs. Batista match in the main event. This was exactly what fans have been clamoring for all along.
The focus of the promotion is now solely on Bryan, as it should be.
And CM Punk is now an afterthought, as he should be.
Well done, WWE.