On the historic 1000th episode of Monday Night RAW, when the WWE championship would be defended for the 53rd time in RAW’s history as a result of John Cena cashing in his Money in the Bank contract, CM Punk turned heel.
July 24, 2012, marked the day CM Punk surpassed the WWE championship reigns of Hulk Hogan’s 1991 reign and Shawn Michaels’s 1994 reign. And though Punk should be thrilled with reaching the plateau of such wrestling legends, he wasn’t. Despite being the WWE champion, having show stealing matches, and touting that he is the best in the world, Punk hasn’t main evented a single pay-per-view this year.
John Cena vs Kane. John Cena vs The Rock. John Cena vs Brock Lesnar. John Cena vs John Laurinaitis. John Cena vs The Big Show. John Cena’s first MITB ladder match. John Cena hasn’t been the WWE champion in over a year, why in McMahon’s green WWE earth has John Cena been headlining pay-per-views and RAWs? Shouldn’t the WWE champion be closing out the shows? These have been questions Punk has been wrestling with for months.
Then, on the week leading up to his title defense against Daniel Bryan, Punk ran into Eve Torres who shrewdly pointed out Punk’s greatest concern: he’s an afterthought.
So when The Big Show knocked out John Cena during their match, CM Punk faced a moral dilemma: wait for Cena to regain consciousness; or go for the easy pinfall. After much deliberation, Punk went for the latter but to no avail as too much time had elapsed. Surely the fans could forgive such an act? Punk was doing what any champion is supposed to do–try to retain.
Fortunately for Punk, Big Show attacked Cena in blatant view of the referee; thus ending the match in Punk’s favor. At a crossroads again, Punk chose to turn his back on Cena and walk away. Then The Rock rushed out from the back and delivered a spine buster to Show. And just as Rock was about to connect with the Most Electrifying move in all of entertainment, Punk stopped Rock in mid-run with a flying forearm smash, and then put him to sleep with the GTS.
Despite being the WWE champion, CM Punk’s status hasn’t changed. McMahon still favors these guys above him. CM Punk has been known for his pipe bombs and backing up his words with his wrestling ability, but it seems that Punk is done talking.
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