CM Punk is still one of the most talked about characters in the wrestling business even though it is now over a year since he left WWE under a dark cloud. Even after Punk signed with UFC in December wrestling websites have continued to document the never ending controversy that seems to follow him around. Not since The Beatles (Google them kids!) called it a day has there been such clamour for a momentous comeback from the general public. (OK maybe that's just me and a few others!)
Despite Punk never being far from a dispute of some sorts I was surprised to see that things had escalated somewhat when I read Richard Gray's news report over breakfast today.
There doesn't seem to be a day go by these days without ex-employees of the big promotions shooting on each other, the tit-for-tat internet bitching wars can be far more vicious that a Terry Funk no holds barred match. A washed-up former star's bitter rants can be more damaging to an individual than a Ryback power bomb (a reference which is purely coincidental of course). Things have stepped up a notch today however with $million lawsuits being dished out on the back of one of these common public slatings.
Dr. Christopher Amann has a very impressive C.V. having worked in Ice Hockey, Football, Boxing and travelled to Beijing as the team physician with the gold winning U.S. Women’s Soccer team before becoming "Senior Ringside Physician" for WWE. As a result of his public dispute with Punk he has now become the most famous/infamous doctor since Conrad Murray, however unlike Dr. Murray I doubt that he will see the inside of a courtroom.
I'm going to put my neck on the line here and suggest that charges will be dropped sooner rather than later and this story will not be growing legs, or a purple baseball-sized lump for that matter.
It is quite strange this is now happening, why would WWE, who have been very diplomatic about Punk now publicly allow an employee to go to war and re-open the old wounds? Nobody else mentioned in the pod-cast has publicly threatened any action and all contract and merchandise wrangles were seemingly resolved quite amicably by legal representatives behind closed doors. Even after the Colt Cabana hosted "The Art of Wrestling" pod-cast Triple H maintained his poker face and the public stance with regards to a CM Punk u-turn remains "never say never".
Unless of course the obvious answer is the right one in that it is an underhanded way of Vince or Triple H at hitting Punk in the wallet and raising doubt about the truthfulness of all his other claims about his time with WWE. Punk did say he got all he wanted "and some" in his settlement so perhaps they want to claw some back. Maybe privately they can't stand Punk and want to destroy him but with his popularity still high they can't risk another fan revolt after the Roman Reigns Royal Rumble embarrassment. Therefore Amann is just a puppet, the public face of the McMahon legal action.
I doubt this is the case though as the last thing WWE want is further spotlight being shone on their always controversial approach to 'medicine'. Although there are probably fewer "big guys" (ahem) than ever before I strongly doubt Vince would want to discuss such matters again in court, especially with WWE being strongly committed to being a PG product and having such strong commercial ties to toy manufacturers and stockists. In addition there are plenty of other athletes who have complained in the past about having to work through injuries and I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to find a few willing to testify against McMahon.
The WWE hierarchy have been made more than aware Punk is not afraid to pull any punches and trying to take him on could result in some highly embarrassing insider information being shared with a courtroom full of journalists. According to Punk the podcast was just him "setting the record straight" so imagine what he would say if he was in full-on "bitter and wanting revenge" mode. The internet would probably break and implode.
The allegations Punk has made are going to be quite hard to prove, but the insults towards the Doctor have been downloaded by over a million people and are in no doubt. This could be a good opportunity for Amann to save face in what is very embarrassing for him professionally.
Maybe a legal representative has approached Amann realising he has a good story. The legal represenative has informed Amann that given the level of fame Punk has etc he could be looking at a pay out in the millions. Amann probably hasn't spoken to Vince about this but has agreed to go ahead as he wants to rebuild his reputation.
I'm also going to guess that as he is still employed by WWE he is being spoken to about this now and WWE will release a short statement fairly soon to deny any of this is happening and Dr. Amann will continue in his senior position and all will live happily ever after. The last bit being key as if Amann and his staff are encouraging wrestlers to perform through injury then I'm sure as medical professionals they don't adopt this approach off their own back. An angry "tell all" from a doctor could be even more traumatic for management.
Neither Punk or Amann have left a comment on Twitter today, but the pod-cast is still available to download on iTunes which suggests that the legal threats aren't being taken too seriously by Punk or his legal representative. And neither do I.