COMMENTARY | CM Punk, the “Straight-Edge” Superstar, is a WWE favorite for many fans, and while it’s already assumed he’ll one day end up in the WWE Hall of Fame, it’s unlikely it will ever happen. Truth be told, it probably shouldn’t.
But not for the reasons you’re probably thinking.
See, CM Punk walked away from the company when he was needed most. When his time had come, he took his ball and went home because he couldn’t stand the pressure of carrying the company on his shoulders.
In other words, he left before he could achieve that “legendary” status of a Stone Cold Steve Austin or a Hulk Hogan, and when he was a Main Event guy, it was during a time when the WWE was at one of its weakest points.
He was never able to meet the enormous responsibility of lifting the WWE to new heights. When the company was at the most visible it had been in over a decade — yes, I’m talking about the WWE Network — he ducked out.
This was a slap in the face to the company, and since WWE is the only serious national wrestling promotion, it was a slap in the face to his fans and the business of professional wrestling.
The actions of CM Punk are too selfish to be remembered and revered. Yes, his matches were entertaining, his promos strong, and his athleticism undeniable. But sports entertainment should only revere those who give back, not the ones who turn their backs on it, or those who base their careers on whining about how they’re being held back, as Bleacher Report rightly observed.
Steve Austin had languished in pro wrestling for years before he ever made it over, and he didn’t get there by crying and moaning that the Bret Harts and HBKs were holding him back. He worked on his craft and kept trying new things.
Can CM Punk reverse course and have a career worthy of the WWE Hall of Fame? I believe it’s still possible.
But that would require coming back, showing us he wants to be there, and taking WWE to a higher plane. He doesn’t appear to be interested, and WWE is developing a strong talent stream that should make him an afterthought inside of five years.
The sad thing is he’s a talented guy with potential to be one of the greats, but he’s squandering all of it on a glorified temper tantrum.
I don’t blame WWE for running a fire sale on his merchandise and blotting him from the company. It’s a generous company with a big heart, and if CM Punk wants to be the Prodigal Son, he’ll be accepted. But as long as he stubbornly refuses to do right by the business and fans who made him, he’ll stop every good thing he has left to experience in life from happening.
Farewell, CM Punk. We barely knew ya.
What do you think, readers? Is CM Punk destined to be forgotten? Share your thoughts in our comments section.