Last Monday (March 3, 2014) was a wild day. I was incredibly pumped up for a wrestling show. Lately, that's not something that happens too often. Still, there was the distinct possibility that one CM Punk was going to make his grandiose return to WWE and correct the awful course of events that seemed to be leading into a Randy Orton vs. Batista title showdown at WrestleMania.
In a deep corner of my mind this made too much sense for it to be just a missed opportunity and even with the reports saying that Punk was a no go, I still held hope that this was just an elaborate work.
Imagine my surprise and happiness when the reports went 180 and said that Punk was likely to appear. It was the perfect recipe to hype up an excitable 24-year-old wrestling fan. That coupled with the #HijackRAW movement made it sure that I was about to experience an historic event.
I didn't just get hyped, I managed to stay hyped through the weekend and was just eager to watch everything unfold. I sat back in my chair, tuned into my favorite
channel website, and patiently waited for RAW and, more specifically, CM Punk to come up on the air and make this fan a happy camper.
Cult of Personality immediately played and my heart raced. My mind quickly caught up: "He's here.. they are opening the show with him to avoid the riots".
Seconds passed and he wasn't coming out.
I quickly rationalized this: "Okay, Bad News Barrett is up next...Maybe Batista comes out to start up their feud."
But suddenly Paul Heyman started coming down the ramp and every part of my mental construct started collapsing quickly. Down the ramp came Paul Heyman, wrestling god, promo master, and one of the guys I enjoy the most in the entire WWE. For once I wasn't happy to see him; instead, I was irreversibly sad and experiencing a deep feeling of loss.
I just didn't know it yet.
My train of thought was similar to what Geno put on his recap and reactions post.
"WWE having the balls to go through with putting that music on the speakers and not delivering the man himself is glorious. Paul Heyman might be the right guy for it."
He made it to the ring and he sat Indian style. He was going to drop his CM Punk style pipe bomb. He started with pro-Punk retorts and I totally fell for it. But then he started blaming the crowd for Punk's absence and I was able to move on to the next stage.
"Noooooooooooooo! How could I be that stupid? Heyman doesn't make sense at all here. Heyman is a heel; at least tonight Punk is the biggest babyface in the roster...
"Unless they are going to feud, wait...they already did, and Heyman is busy with Undertaker...oh no, Punk faced Undertaker...is this just WWE trying to channel the heat from a lack of CM Punk into the Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker feud?
"Punk is not coming back, $#!% ...(angry rant here)."
My thoughts were heavily influenced by the promo Heyman was cutting. I would love to claim that I saw it coming from a mile away but it might have just been a case of me actually following Heyman's promo logically.
It didn't matter if I saw it coming or not. Heyman did bring in Brock and used the heat to further the angle with Undertaker. Well played, WWE.
I didn't have any reason to be angry anymore, and you might have Paul Heyman to thank for that.
"Okay, maybe CM Punk is here but they wanted to build up to his return a little more..."
Maybe it didn't make sense, but I wasn't ready to give up on the thought of CM Punk making his return. Bargaining is said to be a weaker line of defense anyway.
I kept on watching the show, keeping my eyes open for a scenario that could lead to Punk's triumphant return.
The first hour was pretty good and managed to keep me interested regardless of the lack of Punk. The second hour wasn't so great and you could argue that Christian vs. Sheamus and Divas Bathroom Break Action were enough to send a man into depression but for me, that wasn't what did the trick.
Boo-tista appeared and he cut a promo, but he didn't reference Punk at all. He referenced Daniel Bryan instead.
But that wasn't the straw that broke the camel's back. No, that was actually Daniel Bryan smartly hijacking the #HijackRAW movement.
Well played, WWE.
I am now depressed.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, Dolph Ziggler, Aaron Paul, John Cena, the Wyatts, Lana, and more happened during the rest of the show. It is all a blur since I didn't really care. The only thing that managed to bring me back from my depressed stupor was Cesaro teasing the swing on Jack Swagger, but even that was just a quick flash of hope with no payoff.
I hadn't got what I wanted out of the show, but the product still had some good parts.
Antonio Cesaro had shown me the light and things were now clear. CM Punk wasn't back but that didn't mean WWE wasn't worth watching. Cesaro might have sparked this reaction but there are many more performers worth my attention: The Shield, Sami Zayn, even Bray Wyatt, whose promo I ignored earlier because I was too distraught with the situation.
Daniel Bryan is another great performer and he came out next, but I looked at the time and it wasn't enough to have a proper match. I had gone through too many ups and downs during the night and I didn't have it in me to stomach another segment of The Authority screwing Bryan over and the show closing with him on the ground.
So I shut the show down and went to sleep.
The next day, I read the results here on Cageside and just as I feared the show ended with Triple H's music playing and a downed Daniel Bryan.
Punk didn't show up, but the WWE goes on.
It was a wild day but after an admittedly fast period of grief, I can proudly say this.
I am now over this CM Punk situation.