Tuesday, March 4, 2014

CM... Shut Up

CM Punk
Photo courtesy: My 1-2-3 Cents
By Chad Smart
@chadsmart & @my123cents on Twitter

Back in 1998 or 1999 (I forget the exact time and am too lazy to look it up) Ric Flair asked for time off to go watch his son, Reid compete in a wrestling tournament. Eric Bischoff denied Flair’s request and when Flair went to the tournament anyway, Bischoff suspended Flair and kept him off TV for several months. The day after Royal Rumble 2014, CM Punk, for whatever reason, decided he was done being a WWE Superstar and walked out of the company a few hours before Monday Night Raw began.

During his suspension, fans routinely chanted, “We want Flair” during episodes of Monday Nitro and Thunder. Eventually Eric Bischoff relented and brought Flair back to television with a Four Horsemen reunion interview.  Since his walkout, fans have routinely “hijacked” WWE programming with chants of “C M Punk.”  As of Tuesday, March 4, 2014, it doesn’t appear CM Punk will be returning to WWE anytime soon and the fans that keep chanting for him need to stop.

The difference between the Ric Flair situation and the CM Punk situation is night and day. An egomaniacal boss kept Ric Flair off TV. CM Punk is off TV because of his own decision to not show up for work.  When fans cheer CM Punk, they’re basically cheering a deadbeat, pissy, child.  Maybe those are the wrong words to use. I don’t know the details of the situation. There could be a very legitimate reason why Punk has chosen to walk away from wrestling. Until he makes an official statement though, the perception is he took his ball and went home due to selfish reasons.

The Punk Pipebomb
Photo courtesy: WWE
I understand the fans desire to see CM Punk back in a wrestling ring. However, I think the time for chanting incessantly for him is over.  There are several guys on the WWE roster who want to be there and would love the opportunity to step into the hole created by Punk’s absence.
When Batista or Randy Orton are in the ring and the fans are chanting for Daniel Bryan, this is an attempt to tell WWE management, “We don’t like what you’re giving us. This is what we’d prefer to see.”  When “CM Punk” chants ring out during every match, it’s saying, “screw the wrestlers who actually showed up to work, we want the guy who walked out on the company.”  Why should the fans even want Punk back?

If rumors are true, Punk’s contract expires in July and speculation is he won’t be re-signing. So if Punk were to return today, he’s only going to be around for four months before leaving again. At that point, will fans still chant his name hoping he’ll magically come back for their entertainment?

Photo courtesy: WWE
One problem I have with the CM Punk chants is how they’ve become almost robotic. During the March 3, RAW, during the match between the Shield and Wyatt Family, a “This is awesome” chant was quickly followed by a CM Punk chant. It’s almost like the fans were enjoying something and then realized they weren’t chanting what they were told to chant. Which begs the question, do wrestling fans think for themselves or simply take on a group mentality based on what they read on-line? 

Over the past couple of years there has been on-line negative reactions to guys like The Rock, Chris Jericho, and Batista who only work a handful of dates (one of which is Wrestlemania. The biggest pay date of the year) and don’t seem to have the passion for the business. Why should CM Punk escape the same criticism now?  Yes, he’s probably worked more dates and sacrificed his body more over the past 7 years than the three guys I just mentioned combined. So he’s built up fan respect. At the end of the day though, CM Punk chose to walk out on the WWE, on the WWE fans and in my opinion has tainted his legacy in doing so.  Again, I don’t know the details that led to his decision, and based on some of the speculation I’ve read, I agree with a lot of his complaints. However, I don’t support the manner in which he chose to deal with his grievances. Instead doing business like a professional, he acted like a spoiled teenager.

As far as we know, CM Punk isn’t coming back to WWE anytime soon. While fans may want him back and think cheering for him will make him magically appear, chanting CM Punk three times isn’t the same as chanting Beetlejuice three times.  I do think CM Punk should make some type of comment regarding his situation. I don’t know if it would change things, but if he were to simply say, “I’m done. I’m not coming back,” maybe that would help quiet the chants. What I do know is “CM Punk” is quickly becoming the new “What?” and I can go another lifetime without hearing either chant.

My plea to you wrestling fans is this; support the guys, and girls, who show up. Support the wrestlers who want to perform and entertain. When a wrestler is done and moves on, let them go in peace.  

Editors' note, so we're not posting the same blog, Kevin agrees with the points Chad has listed here. It's our 1-2-3 Cents.  

1 comment:

  1. I disagree and this is why. The chanting of CM Punk may or may not be for the man himself... but I personally take it as a battle cry from the audience. To me the "CM PUNK" chant has become the "WWE Universe's" calling for a better product. This "Road to Wrestlemania" has been absolute garbage short of a bright point or two. Wyatt Family and whatever they do with the Shield are the only bright points IMO. Everything else has been lazily booked matches and predictable beyond belief. Even a large portion of the Chicago audience decry "NO" when DB asked if they wanted to see him face HHH last night... those who say "YES" to that question are the mindless robotic drones you speak of. At this point it's a message... CM PUNK means we want better than we're getting... I really hope the WWE is listening.