The Cena-McMahon segment felt like shades of The Montreal Screwjob, where in this case, McMahon’s afflictions are towards C.M. Punk leaving as WWE Champion, which would make him Bret Hart. But Bret never did get to leave his hometown as a proud WWE Champion, and if McMahon has it his way, neither will Punk.
When McMahon suspended Punk, he was exercising a calculated risk to eliminate the possibility of Punk leaving WWE with the championship. He did this because he doesn’t believe that John Cena can get the job done. With Punk having a non-title victory over Cena, McMahon’s legitimate fear lies in his belief in C.M. Punk.
“I don’t hate you, John. I don’t even dislike you. I do like you. I like you a hell of a lot more than I like most people in the back. I hate this idea that you’re the best. Because you’re not. I’m the best.” C.M. Punk’s words rang true to the Chairman of WWE, and also to John Cena. Despite Punk cutting the shoot promo of a lifetime at Cena’s expense, as the WWE Champion, Cena wants to defend the title against wrestlers who have earned it, regardless if he can beat them or not. McMahon didn’t want to reinstate Punk because he fears that Punk will take the championship and make it meaningless. But if C.M. Punk isn’t given the opportunity that he earned, and if Cena isn’t allowed to defend the World Title against all comers, then McMahon already made it meaningless.
John Cena was right that a showdown between he and Punk sounds like the Match of the Year. Can John Cena overcome a hostile Chicago crowd? Can the kid who rode alongside in Cena’s car at WrestleMania 22 become the WWE Champion? What happens if C.M. Punk defeats Cena and walks away as the WWE Champion?
McMahon struck Cena with an ultimatum: He would reinstate Punk and the championship match at Money in the Bank, but if Punk does win the title, Cena will be fired. And if the Montreal Screwjob is any indication, McMahon will not risk the fate of his company in a wrestling match between Cena and Punk, he will have an Ace in the hole. His Ace is the Raw Money in the Bank winner.
But what if C.M. Punk not only wins the WWE Championship, but also delivers the first loss to a Money in the Bank holder? Then what?
“I’m leaving with the WWE Championship on July 17th. And hell, who knows, maybe I’ll go defend it in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Maybe…I’ll go back to Ring of Honor.”
Regardless of what happens, Vince saying that John Cena can’t get the job done against C.M. Punk is a hell of an endorsement for The Chicago native.
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