Was Change Really What We Wanted?
The biggest topics of conversation through the WWE of late have been CM Punk and Triple H. To be honest, I have a short term memory when it comes to wrestling. I do this for a reason. People’s styles change and their stories change. I want to like, or hate, a wrestler for what they are at this moment and not what they did years ago. Or else I might question my love for Dolph Ziggler more if I focus heavily on the Spirit Squad days. While at the same time Zack Ryder has only improved upon his character since he was having daydreams of Rose Mendes on ECW.
CM Punk was the villain, because we know that living your life against alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs could not be something we want to teach our children. CM Punk was the villain until he decided he deserved better than how he was being treated. He wanted to be not just A guy but THE guy.
CM Punk found his voice in July and became “The Voice of the Voiceless,” but then quickly just became “A voice”. Once CM Punk became a main eventer he began to lose focus on the change because he had what he wanted. Now instead of being the voice for those that the WWE was not listening to his real focus came into play; himself. It was always about CM Punk.
Now, I’ve said time and again I’m not an expert on wrestling. So when my friends turn and say he’s “sloppy” in the ring I will shrug and say, “If you say so,” because I don’t tend to notice. If I do notice an error in wrestling it’s probably a really bad sign (I’m looking at you Alex Riley). I can only say if I enjoy someone in the ring and if I enjoy the character I’m seeing on the screen.
I do not enjoy CM Punk any longer. In the ring or on the microphone. I’ve heard this speech before. Please move on.
In mentioning CM Punk I would be remiss if I left out Triple H. Triple H is the man the fans want to see. I do not care how many people complain about Triple H, I’ve been one of them. As I stated in an earlier blog he is the one with the most cheers. He’s the one still in the top 10 merchandise sales even without a new shirt. He never fully left the minds of the fans.
I have less thoughts on Triple H than I would like to. When he walks in I don’t feel excitement, but I don’t feel ire. I don’t scream his name but there is no desire to boo him. He does not bore me but he does not make me want to tune in for him. It’s complete apathy when it comes to Triple H. I wish I had stronger feelings about it because I would love to discuss it with a reasonable head, but I can’t. When people bring him up in anger I want to defend him, but when they bring up in some celebratory manner I want to tell them where to stick it. Never have I felt so conflicted on an entertainer within the WWE and it makes me feel I’m a horrible judge to talk about him in depth.
Which is why I turned to my favorite lot of wrestling fans and asked them their opinions on CM Punk and Triple H.
@yawsrko on CM Punk
Face turns always make me scrunch my nose, roll my eyes, and make me unable to give any fucks. After Luke Gallows was released and the Straight Edge Society seemed to disband w/o any real closure to the storyline, I sort of really didn’t care about Punk anymore.
Then what happened in July didn’t really change your mind about him?
I already didn’t care. Sure, I got a few chuckles when he’d sit in the middle of the ring cross-legged, but he wasn’t my reason for watching. Basically.. he entertained me, and it’s no fault of his own that Serena and Luke got released, but I felt Creative treated us like idiots. Not giving any closure/explanation to a storyline that was watchworthy.
On Triple H
Ever since Hunter fired off that line of “I’m not Hunter, I’m your boss,” I’ve had a hope that he chokes on a bowl of *censored*. There’s so much (awesome) truth to Miz calling HHH a hhhypocrite. I am so over Hunter it’s not funny. Why does he get new merch when he barely wrestles? Why can’t another guy who works his ass off get opportunities? I see HHH as the next Hogan. Where he doesn’t know when to knock it the hell off.
@TheSupremeForce thoughts on CM Punk
I’ve been a fan of CM Punk for years, with my favorite “era” being during the Straight Edge Society days. Sure, Punk jobbed constantly, but his character was fantastic. Also, I kind of miss Gallows and Serena.
The “New” Nexus was crap.
Punk’s “shoot” promo was highly entertaining, and I was firmly behind him during his “I’m leaving” match against Cena, but I loathe Cena, so take that for what it’s worth. Since Punk’s return, all he’s really done is spend a lot of time repeating himself on EVERY show. He’s become increasingly hypocritical, and generally started to turn into John Cena. At this point, it appears that the “change” Punk wanted was to be CM Cena. Congrats.
I keep hearing people blame everyone else for Punk’s perceived failure at becoming the #1 guy, but the reality is that he was never taking the spot, nor does he deserve it.
Thoughts on Triple H
Triple H receives a lot of hate from “internet fans.” That’s nothing new. I’ll admit that I’m a long time fan of the guy, but I’ll admit that he does tend to eat up too much television time, especially since he’s not an active competitor. If Triple H wanted to return to a (nearly) full time schedule, I’d say go for it. But I don’t like hypocritical, pander obnoxiously to the fans Triple H. Make it stop. Please.
A lot of people have accused Triple H of “burying” CM Punk during their brief feud that brought zero closure. Maybe he did. That being said, I don’t care. Once Punk started spouting off his lame ass “shoots” every week, it opened the door for people to respond in kind. If CM Punk can’t out talk Triple H in that sort of environment, screw Punk.
The fact remains that Triple H is vastly more popular than CM Punk right now. Punk was unable to do anything about it, leaving me to conclude that Punk is really a lot of bark with little actual substance behind his words. Triple H tends to sound like a knob lately, as well, so it’s not like he’d even set the bar all that high.
I certainly haven’t been watching Raw in order to see either guy. The WWE has been doing a lot of things well recently, but that wasn’t one of them.
@MarkBilly on CM Punk
If you look on the internet, the internet will gladly impart the wisdom that FacePunk is much like the man behind CM Punk, he is Straight-Edge but isn’t militant like HeelPunk. However FacePunk and HeelPunk are as close to the man behind Punk as Viscera is compared to ‘CM Punk’ of now.
The fact is CM Punk hasn’t been seen in WWE for the past few months, the man masquerading as CM Punk has been Phil Brooks. The smarter ones will know Phil Brooks IS CM Punk but until now the reverse hasn’t been true.
Starting with THAT promo CM Punk has gone and Phil Brooks stands in his place. Everything PhilPunk has said in the past few months has been from the heart of Phil Brooks (with a little added WWE glitter). PhilPunk shook wrestling and the aftershocks are still working their way through WWE, but to think that this is new for CM Punk is wrong. The highlights of his promo are nothing different to past work by CM Punk. He used the ‘in my hands this microphone is a pipebomb’ line in Ring of Honor. In his closing days of his ROH stint he threatened to walk out with the ROH belt to WWE, in fact he did leave the building with the belt when faced with a challenger (though he did return to defend, and relinquish, the belt, he didn’t (kayfabe) leave the company).
The idea of trying to change things isn’t new either, when TNA stopped its talent from wrestling with ROH Punk tried to persuade then champion and fellow ROH buddy AJ Styles to speak up and resist, he hypothesised that if the ‘ROH guys’ stuck together they would be allowed to continue wrestling for ROH.
So history tells us that nothing overly new is occurring, so why is it only now that it has any effect? Simple – scale. I don’t know the viewing figures for WWE but a live WWE mic puts you in more auditory canals than a ROH mic does or no mic at all and that is a big factor. To paraphrase Biffy Clyro, PhilPunk wants to affect a change, with voice and electrical noises. The self appointed (and universally approved) Voice Of The Voiceless now has the electrical noises and is sending billions of volts surging around WWE. He’s popular because he’s saying what a lot of people think and is doing what Styles failed to do, using his position to speak up. Ten million hands on keyboards have nothing on one live mic.
To summarise, I think Punk’s character and current angle is great, it’s been waiting to happen in WWE for a long time. Long may it continue, but just to be sure, shovels at the ready because a microphone doesn’t work if it’s buried, the faster the dig, the faster we get our Voice back.
Now I really should put my immortality potion in the fridge before it goes off…
On Triple H
Triple H needs to decide whether he wants to be a wrestler or an authority figure, and when he does he better start doing a good job at it. There’s no place for an authority figure that sucks up to the crowd and there’s no place for a face Triple H.
Triple H is still doing the things he has done throughout his career that stops him from getting the respect he would like. Triple H would sell his own children to get what he wants (before you start stalking his house Angelina Jolie, I’m joking… I think).
Triple H started from the bottom as Hunter Hearst Helmsley, few would argue that he did well and was destined to shine once he ditched the terrible gimmick he was stuck with. This was not good enough for him though and he destroyed anyone who might stop him getting to the top.
Now he’s COO he doesn’t need to be liked, Vince McMahon never needed to be, his sole job should be to put over his talent. His past glories and WWE Universe’s belief that he can bring back the hallowed Attitude era mean he’ll be honoured and respected. Unless he is going to be hypocritical he needs to use this for the company’s benefit, not his own. The sarcastic comments he makes after one of ‘his talent’ speaks makes people forget what that talent said and a lot of the time they have a very good point.
For example, Wade Barrett spoke on Raw this week, one of the best up and coming mic men in the business according to just about everybody… Who remembers what he said? I only have a vague recollection of subject and remember that he delivered a fabulous speech but Triple H took all the heat and momentum out of Barrett with the smarmy remark about the Nexus, all of which occurred whilst Triple H was injured, not on WWE TV and before the position of COO was ever imagined. It left people wondering why he brought it up, rather than basking in the wonderful words of Wade Barrett.
Many men have tried to go on too long and tarnished their legacy, Michael Schumacher (google him), Ronaldo (google him), Bret Favre (you probably won’t need to google him).
Triple H is in danger of doing this, I have never been a fan of his but that doesn’t mean I want him to ruin his legacy.
It will be interesting to see what this vote of no confidence brings about in WWE and how Triple H reacts to it.
Which group will Triple H join – Armstrong, Lauda, Favre (2nd comeback) or Leonard, Borg, Favre (1st comeback)?