Wow… Not often is this word said at the end of a wrestling program nowadays, especially since Monday’s episode of Raw opened with the “blockbuster” announcement of John Cena teaming with WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart to take on the WWE champion Alberto Del Rio and his ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez. That wasn’t even the main event, it actually preceded a Champion vs Champion rematch between two SmackDown Superstars. The wow factor transpired from the fierce back and forth (with words) between CM Punk and WWE’s C.O.O. Triple H.
Advertised as the Final Face-Off, CM Punk and Triple H laid the ground work for what should be an excellent pay-per-view main event come Night of Champions. Yet it wasn’t until the last two minutes of the debate where things really started to heat up. CM Punk broke the fourth wall, a no-no in the business, by stating that he wasn’t CM Punk talking to Triple H, he was Phil Brooks talking to Paul Levesque. Once Punk, or Brooks, shed the ring names his microphone cut off. Similar to what occurred at the end of CM Punk’s now infamous promo of June 27, CM Punk went too far, crossed a line, and someone in the back felt the urgency to cut off the live mic(s).
Granted, Triple H runs the company, but he isn’t the type to call for a seven-second delay, or even have someone on standby to cut the sound off. This was apparent as Triple H passed his mic to Punk, which also cut-off, and then asked for a third mic from a crew member by ringside. So who was cutting the mics? Was it Stephanie McMahon, who has been the butt of CM Punk’s jokes? WWE’s Executive Vice President for Talent Relations John Laurinaitis who has had some secret meetings with the unemployed Kevin Nash? Perhaps Laurinaitis is covertly exerting Triple H’s demise as C.O.O., a position that he himself might have deemed rightfully his after working under Vince McMahon for ten years. Or it can even be a returning Mr. McMahon, who was fired by Triple H.
The usual suspects aside, the greatest mystery is what CM Punk would have said before the microphones cut-off. One could only fathom the depth Punk would have gone to win the war of words with Triple H. Instead we can only look back at what was said.
Triple H kept driving the point home that to make it in the WWE is not based on what the WWE office feels about a particular Superstar, but, rather, it’s what the WWE Universe wants. Now that the people are on CM Punk’s side, he’s being afforded everything he could have wanted out of the business.
Then again, Triple H is telling only half the story. Because as CM Punk recounted, during his first pay-per-view in Philadelphia, where he was part of Team DX, the crowd was not chanting DX, Shawn Michaels, or Triple H, they were chanting CM Punk. Yet, despite his popularity, he was not offered the opportunity to move up in the company.
CM Punk then broached the long talked about mentality that Vince likes bodybuilders, and Hunter doesn’t like him because he doesn’t fit the mold. Triple H pointed out that Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Mick Foley, and Rey Mysterio did not fit the description either, but have been WWE champion. While Hunter may be right in referencing these names, Michaels, Hart, and Foley were champions more than a decade ago, with exception to HBK who is nearing his tenth year removed from a WWE World title.
And Rey Mysterio? As soon as WWE’s Biggest Little Man won his first WWE title, he was pushed into defending it on that same night against John Cena, who later won it. Let’s face it, Rey Mysterio, though a three-time former WWE World champion, will never be remembered as such. At most he will be known as an incredible masked aerialist who was able to put on spectacular matches whenever WWE needed to fill the card.
Bret Hart was the first of his build to be credited as a viable WWE champion; Shawn Michaels and Mick Foley followed suit. The goals of Bret and HBK were to bring the sport back to wrestling, and not simply the power moves of the larger bodybuilders.
CM Punk may be the person to bring that sort of change back to the WWE. And if Triple H is not down with that, well, CM Punk already told him to “Suck it!” after he beamed him in the head with the microphone.
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