It's almost hard to remember now, but last March, just weeks after CM Punk's exit from pro wrestling, Raw was headed to his beloved Chicago and WWE pretty successfully convinced the world that The Best in that World would make his return on the show.
That's not to say they convinced everyone all of the time, because wrestling fans on the internet (which, contrary to one of this week's themes, can occasionally be a force for good) spent a lot of time discussing and joking about how WWE would cover for his absence and try to defuse the partisan crowd.
Creative actually handled it quite well, with Paul Heyman addressing the issue head on in the opening segment and channeling the crowd's anger into loathing for he and his client, Brock Lesnar (back in the innocent days when we could still debate whether or not Undertaker's WrestleMania Streak would be broken). But one of ideas often bandied about by the IWC was to have Bad News Barrett troll the audience with Punk's entrance and his gimmick.
Unsurprisingly (because it wasn't that creative), it was an idea that also was bandied about by WWE, right up to the last minute.
Barrett explained to Chris Jericho on this week's episode of Talk is Jericho:
Actually, it was in the script. Yeah, it was in the script until about 30 minutes before the show and then they pulled it because I think Paul Heyman ended up doing something similar. I think they felt that by me going out, I didn't have like a storyline angle or an important business angle at that time where I was going on pay-per-view but Heyman and Brock did, obviously, and they felt they needed to get the boos, not me. Even though it would have been funnier for me to do it, I think, it would have been a good comedy moment, it's probably not the best use of all that heat.
Should they have gone with the Barrett plan, or was using Heyman and building to the final Streak match the way to go?