The wrestling world is good for many things. It creates moments that people will remember forever. For example, Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon at WrestleMania 10 is considered one of the best matches in WWE history. It was for the Intercontinental championship the same night Bret Hart fought Yokozuna for the WWE title. That night was memorable for many reasons, but professional wrestling is about more than one night.
Remember CM Punk’s WWE championship victory over John Cena at Money in the Bank 2011 in Chicago, Illinois? That was a moment that arguably created the legacy Punk cemented that evening in Chicago against the Face that Runs the Place. Another great moment was Dolph Ziggler’s Money in the Bank briefcase cash-in after WrestleMania 29 in New York. He was a huge fan favorite, and it culminated in one of the best babyface pops in WWE history.
Another thing pro wrestling is good for lies in the controversies that often arise from the squared circle and the many superstars. Whether it is nude pictures, controversial statements or hatred towards one another, it seems that wrestling always finds itself in the headlines for a negative reason. Buff Bagwell is the latest example of that. He’s a former wrestling star turned entertainment star who was in the wrestling industry for a long time. So, his opinion is quite valid compared to others in the Internet Wrestling Community.
Bagwell decided to direct comments towards CM Punk, who isn’t the most well-liked anymore, and he got brutally beaten in his UFC debut against Mickey Gall at UFC 203. Bagwell used that popularity towards Punk’s name to criticize him and Samoa Joe on the Pancakes and Powerslams podcast.
“Here’s how I look at it. If I was a promoter like Vince McMahon or Ted Turner, if I was trying to make money in the wrestling industry, I would judge it by having a person walk through Walmart,” he said. “If CM Punk walked through Walmart even as popular as he is, he’s not going to get noticed as much as Hulk Hogan walking through Walmart The reason why I say Walmart, is that’s our fan base.”
“To the world of wrestling fans, who’s going to be Sting’s tag team partner? The options are Lex Luger, Marcus Bagwell, and Samoa Joe. I mean, who in the heck is Samoa Joe? And Luger wasn’t fit enough, so I fit the part perfectly,” Bagwell said.
The problem that WWE fans can’t handle is that Bagwell is absolutely right. It’s mostly due to professional wrestling not being nearly as marketable as it once was. There’s a reason why John Cena, Hulk Hogan, and the Rock are three of the most over men of all-time. They are also big in the mainstream media. Hogan is a pop culture icon. The Rock is the highest paid actor in all of Hollywood, earning $64.5 million for his film roles in 2015.
Cena is doing a television show a week it seems. Stone Cold Steve Austin is also in that conversation and has done multiple movies. He’s considered the most over man in wrestling history. Wrestling isn’t quite as popular with the declining ratings and low buy rates for PPV’s. Everything is changing, which Bagwell indirectly alluded to.
CM Punk really doesn’t miss pro wrestling, and why should he? Ratings are terrible and with the return of Monday Night Football, it’s only going to get worse. For Punk, his quest to return to the UFC will take a long time, and it will only enhance his popularity to pass the Walmart test. His coach said multiple MMA promotions would love Punk to be in his or her promotion. Perhaps if he passes the Walmart test, he would return to the UFC and become a household name.
[Featured Image by WWE.com]