CM Punk is quite arguably one of the greatest pure wrestlers to ever step into a ring. His technical brilliance paired with his uncanny ability on the mic made him one of the WWE’s top guys back around 2010. However despite being naturally amazing at everything a WWE superstar needs to be, bad booking and Punk clashing with the higher ups caused Punk to walk out on the WWE after the Royal Rumble in 2014. Immediately the WWE fans were outraged that he had left, as to many he was the only hope of the product moving forward, and at the time I 100% agreed. Punk was one of two men on the roster that where pure wrestlers and not “Sports Entertainer”.
Yet now, looking back at the WWE since Punk left in 2014 I’m not so sure it’s was as bad as it seemed. In2011 after his (bullshit) 2 week hiatus, after he beat Cena at Money in the Bank, he returned saying that he wanted to instigate change. And I think h did. It didn’t happen till he left some 3 years later but since he left the WWE has improved. Slowly yes but the improvements are there.
Before Punk all we had was a procession of Cena, HHH, Randy Orton, competing for the belt with the rest of the roster having short scrappy matches that made no sense. WWE would occasionally sign a Indy star but then change them so much that they became a watered down version of who they signed. Look at How Matt Sydal became Evan Bourne. The use of Sydal was downright insulting to the work he had done around the world beforehand. Even during the “summer of Punk II” storyline we saw HHH get back into the ring and barely weeks later none other than Kevin Nash returned.
Yet since Punk walked out we’ve seen a massive change in the talent brought to the company. 5 years ago, having the likes of Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Neville, Nakamura, Samoa Joe or Austin Airies was simply the pipe dream of some internet smark’s blog(….awkward..), Yet now all of these guys are in the WWE and many of them are on the main roster. Plus aside from a couple of name changes they are being allowed to be the same guys they had been on the Indy circuit. There are even rumours of KO and Sami being pushed to the main event! One of my favourite matches ever was Kevin Steen vs El Generico, Ladder wars and I never even dreamed we’d someday see them in WWE, and yet we are seeing them go at it on Raw each week.
Don’t get me wrong there’s still a long way to go to make Raw amazing again but we are seeing significant improvements on the talent front. And I think it’s down to Punk leaving. By leaving the WWE, CM punk has made Vince and HHH realise that Indy stars can be used in WWE and used well. This is made even clearer to me by the signing of AJ Styles and the “Bullet Club” and immediately pushing them to the main event.
Simply put, CM Punk, we love you. Should you ever come back to WWE the fans are waiting with arms open? But by leaving you made the WWE better. So thank you!
Thanks for reading. What do you guys think of the influx of Indy talent? Leave us a comment down in the comment section. Head over to Facebook and drop us a like at Wrestling Rising and you can follow me on twitter at @benji_siddall
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