|IS CM PUNK REALLY GONE?|
The internet is all ruffled thanks to the "early retirement" of CM Punk, and everything that went down at The Royal Rumble. Petitions have started, Tee-shirts have been created, and cryptic details continue to roll in.
Courtesy of Matt Fowler, reports are that Punk left for a number of reasons, chief among them being dissatisfaction with his WrestleMania storyline. He was also reportedly none too happy with the idea of 'putting over' Antonio Cesaro on this past Monday Night Raw, and so refused to appear on the broadcast much like Stone Cold Steve Austin in 2002.
Punk's body has suffered of late from a series of nagging injuries due to burn out and over-work, he supposedly hasn't been giving his all in matches or on the mic, and he has enough money saved that he doesn't "need" the WWE as much as they need him. Notorious for his dissatisfaction with the creative direction of the WWE, Punk has said that "everything is up in the air" with regard to his contract, which officially expires in July of this year.
His documentary has been taken off Netflix Instant Watch, his name has been taken off the WWE's schedule, and the WWE has "unfollowed" him on Twitter.
The majority of fans think all of this is real and are quite distraught about it, even seeming to get upset at the mere suggestion of a work.
Not only do I think this is all a brilliant work with the WWE utilizing social media and the overly emotional IWC to its advantage, there are signs that point toward The Royal Rumble's dissatisfying conclusion being a calculated decision.
Just have a listen to this interview with CM Punk.
If this is a work, a small snippet like this, sent out to roam the internet wild, does wonders in covertly telling a good story.
The best argument I can think for all of this being a work is also the simplest one: it's gotten us talking. We're more engaged now than ever and nothing has actually happened. A week hasn't even passed since The Royal Rumble!
Now my only concern is that the idea of this all being a work will catch on, and the WWE, pissed that we think we're so smart, purposefully does a swerve of some kind that negatively effects the potentially brilliant direction they've already taken. I think they may have masterfully laid the foundation for this work so long ago that they can move forward without any fears of it getting spoiled. Fans are so devoted to the idea that the company hates them, and the information that gets out is so convincing, that even if people do start to think it's a work there will be enough doubt that anything that happens will be a surprise. The WWE has, perhaps, effectively blurred the lines of fiction and reality, all to the potential benefit of the medium.
This series of events, particularly Punk's departure, is all just a little too perfectly timed, with just the right amount of convincing information being revealed, and just the right amount of subtle choices made by the WWE to be completely real.
To watch all of this from the perspective that it is indeed a work makes it the most entertaining story the WWE has told in a very long time. Watching the IWC scramble is also thoroughly enjoyable.
If you find yourself losing hope, getting too upset over the uproar the WWE has caused and the resignation of Punk, just keep a few things in mind: CM Punk versus Stone Cold has been a long-rumored match, a week after The Elimination Chamber pay-per-view Monday Night Raw comes to Chicago, and the WWE (and wrestling as an art) always strives to shock and surprise the fans.
|"BEST IN THE WOOOOORLD!"|
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