Don't you think it's incredibly selfish of CM Punk to walk out on WWE the way he did at a crucial time of the year for the company supposedly because of "poor booking" ? WWE gave the man a title reign that lasted 434 days and now because he's not happy at this moment in time with his spot and he walks out?
I don't think it's fair to start making assumptions on what happened with CM Punk until we find out what happened. The only thing we know is CM Punk met with Vince McMahon at Raw on Monday and after the meeting, he left. That's it. We've brought to light as much information as possible, reporting things we know before this happened and what we know about the current direction of Wrestlemania but it's still too early to say who is in the right and who isn't at this time. I encourage you to make sure you are up to date with our coverage, which has been very extensive. I'll provide those links below:
Extensive Update On CM Punk Leaving WWE & Being Pulled From Shows – Backtracking The Plans For Wrestlemania & How Punk Ended Up An Afterthought, Examining The Possibility Of This Being A Work Or Becoming One With What We Already Known About Original PPV Plans
Kaitlyn left WWE for being unhappy with her direction. CM Punk left because he was unhappy as well. Dolph Ziggler has also been vocal about being unhappy at times. Do you think this could turn into a trend where superstars unhappy with the company may choose to leave and join another ship similar to what happened in WCW? I know, there is no competition now for WWE but maybe with this top talent leaving, they may actually give WWE some competition?
I'll caution that every situation is different. Kaitlyn, while not optimistic about her direction, wanted to pursue opportunities that she couldn't pursue while under WWE contract. Dolph Ziggler is still with WWE and despite frustrations, there's no reason to talk about his future at this time. As for CM Punk, we do not know the full story. Was he happy with his Wrestlemania direction? No he was not. Was he happy with the direction of his character? No he was not. However, I implore everyone to realize we do not have enough details about the story to make a sweeping judgment call at this time. As for some mass exodus threatening the stability of WWE, allow me to pose a question. Where is all this talent going to go? Did you hear that? Crickets. TNA isn't an option. They just let guys like Hulk Hogan and AJ Styles, who they've spent a tremendous amount of money and resources on, walk because they couldn't afford to pay them. These names are leaving, knowing they aren't just leaving WWE but they're leaving their pro wrestling careers as they know them.
CM Punk's contract is up in July and even if he didn't walk out at Raw, there's still chance he retires. Kaitlyn, while she had shown improvement, her departure wasn't even a blip on the radar. WWE is on the brink of a very profitable domestic TV distribution contract that is going to compliment the upcoming WWE Network. They're set and those that aren't on board are just going to be left behind. I don't want this to sound like I want workers to leave, as I'm frustrated for many of the reasons Punk is frustrated, but WWE is so much bigger than one worker and they're not getting any smaller.
If WWE were to do one of their polls to find out who fans would like to see fighting for the title at Wrestlemania, I would suggest Batista would finish way behind Daniel Bryan and CM Punk in the voting. Do you think WWE messed up by asking their established stars to take a backseat to Batista? After all, Batista is not The Rock. You could argue that even at the height of Batista's popularity (around Wrestlemania 21) he was never as over for as long a duration as Daniel Bryan or CM Punk are right now.
I agree 100% that Daniel Bryan and CM Punk are more popular than Batista and I don't think it's even close [especially amongst older fans]. I spoke about this in a media interview on Wednesday, where I expressed this uprising going on amongst many WWE fans. This uprising is comprised of people that are looking for something different, a new star to get behind. They see Batista or even John Cena as the "old way" and they want to root for Daniel Bryan. It's how CM Punk catapulted himself to the main event scene a few years ago. However, I also do not believe this makes stars such as Batista or Cena irrelevant. Batista popped Raw viewership in a big way when he returned and we saw post-SummerSlam how badly this company still needs John Cena. It's a delicate mix between the old and new and the part-time talent that creates the best shows. The fan in me wants as much relevant talent as possible and while I want Bryan and Punk to have featured spots, I'm still very interested in Undertaker defending the streak and seeing the spectacle of Brock Lesnar in a WWE ring.
I know you have already stated that no one knows the full story about CM Punk but with the feature story on TMZ and the WWE Twitter unfollowing him, isn't it feasible to suggest it's all a work?
The TMZ story and WWE unfollowing CM Punk on Twitter have been the very things some people have pointed at to solidify this isn't a work. I'll tell you that I truly believe WWE hopes they can get everything sorted and turn it into one big work but again, we really don't know just how bad the damage between Punk and WWE is because we don't know the full story. TMZ's report seems to imply that Punk quit because he feels it should be him and not Batista challenging for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania but we know this isn't true based on Punk's appearance at the Portland Comic Con on Friday night. Punk said he felt Daniel Bryan should be headlining Wrestlemania because it's a Daniel Bryan year. We have footage of that appearance online at this link. Again, we also know Punk wasn't happy with his Wrestlemania direction but asserting that he got his Wrestlemania plans and just up and walked out is based on nothing more than speculation. I'll repeat one more time - we know CM Punk met with Vince at Raw on Monday. After the meeting, Punk went home.
From the Ask WNW vault…
March 2012: Why does Vince McMahon and the WWE want mainstream exposure for their company? I don’t see what they get out of it and as much as I know, the media will just forget about them like 5 seconds later. - Any time WWE can generate attention from the mainstream media, it’s free promotion. WWE embraces any opportunity they can to draw a buzz from the mainstream media and get their product in front of as many eyes as possible. On the flip side, WWE tries to limit negative attention at all costs.
The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Friday, January 31, 2014.
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