How WWE Ruined the Summer of Punk (Reliving Wrestling)

How WWE Ruined the Summer of Punk (Reliving Wrestling)


the early part of the 2010 was a bit of a dull time to be a WWE fan in the preceding few years the company had seen the departure of several high-profile stars but it struggled in their attempts to replace them as a result the WWE was left with a paper-thin roster which featured a laptop computer is one of the company’s top heels followed closely by the flagship shows lead announcer but it was during this otherwise unremarkable time in the WWE sister II that one of wrestling’s biggest stars broke through the glass ceiling CM Punk made his WWE debut on the July 4 2006 episode of ECW on Sci Fi to Astron reception but facing an uncertain future punch ears and the independence had earned him a reputation as the king of the Indies which carried a negative connotation in the WWE at the time additionally he had the distinction of being Paul Heyman’s dull boy the two having worked closely together in OVW which long-time creative team member michael hayes admitted hurt Punk as Paul Heyman was seen by WWE management as a trencher Aryan known for embellishment some unlikely stars nonetheless hunter see the slow but steady push in ECW eventually winning the brand’s title in September of 2007 he’d actually been chosen by Paul Heyman to win the championship and the main event of the WWE incarnation of ECW is only pay-per-view December to dismember but this decision was overruled by Vince McMahon who decided to put the belt on Bobby Lashley instead Punk won the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania 24 and was drafted to raw a few months later cashing in his briefcase in its edge to win the World Heavyweight Championship his first night with the brand after being forced to forfeit the title due to an attack by the legacy hunt again won the Money in the Bank contract at WrestleMania 25 this time moving the SmackDown and cashing in against Jeff Hardy at the end of Extreme Rules in 2009 after dropping the championship back to Hardy then regaining it in the main event of SummerSlam Punk lost the belt to the Undertaker and a hell in the cell match and began to take on the persona of a cult-like Savior offering salvation through his straightedge lifestyle he returned to raw in October of 2010 spending time on commentary for a while due to a hip injury before assuming control of the Nexus who used to seek revenge against Orton for costing him his world title back in 2008 CM Punk’s road to the WWE Championship began on the June 20th 2011 episode of Raw we’re punked open the show by taking a seat in the ring and announcing that he should be named the number one contender to seen his title clunker defeated Rey Mysterio at capitol punishment the previous night which had actually been his first pay-per-view victory in over a year the last being at Extreme Rules 2010 braid also defeated Rey Mysterio however he’d managed to defeat Cena in a non-title match the previous week on Raw if they stood extraction by r-truth so his the man wasn’t entirely unreasonable Punk threatened to hijack the show literally making snow angels in the ring until the raw anonymous general manager scheduled a triple threat match that night between Punk Rey Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio to determine the number one contender for the WWE Championship Punk pinned Del Rio to win the match and in the promo afterward revealed for the first time that his contract would end after the money in the bank pay-per-view on July 17th he promised that he’d be leaving the WWE with the title and hands this angle mirrored a similar storyline from punts last months in Ring of Honor where he threatened to abscond with their world title going as far as to sign his WWE contract on top of the Ring of Honor world championship belt in the observer Dave Meltzer reported that Punk’s contract inning was real and that the creative team had been told that he’d be gone after Money in the Bank courting the punk he’d been burnout and unsatisfied with his position for some time and had decided to leave the WWE over a year earlier dodging the company’s attempts to refine his contract was actually scheduled to end two days before money in the bank but he agreed to a short extension in order to work the pay-per-view the next week on the June 27th episode of Raw CM Punk interrupted the main event tables match between r-truth and Cena costing scene of the match a Cena late in the ring collapsed on the broken table set down on the top of the entrance ramp and began to cut what is arguably the greatest and most famous wrestling promo of all time in this scathing six minute worksheet promo CM Pont declared that he was undisputedly the greatest pro wrestler in the world and that he’d been held back by his refusal to suck up the Vince McMahon comparing himself to Brock Lesnar who walked out on the company several years earlier Punk nain dropped hold holding in the rock attributing their success to kissing Vince McMahon’s ass and accusing Sina of following the same path he claimed that after he captured the WWE Championship at money in the bank he might go to fin the title in New Japan or return the Ring of Honor he closed by addressing speculation that the WWE would improve after Vince McMahon’s death which he felt was unlikely as the company would then be taken over by his doofus son-in-law and his idiotic daughter as he launched into a personal story about Vince McMahon and the company’s anti-bullying campaign punts mic was cut and the show went off the air needless to say people lost their minds over this promo no one had ever seen anything like this past and present WWE stars took to Twitter to comment on the angle with Stone Cold Steve Austin claiming puns promo had so much heat it melted his TV there wasn’t even a clear consensus at first whether or not this was part of the show a lot of people initially believed that Punk had been legitimately shooting on the company at the time the WWE was undertaking a ridiculous marketing push to distance itself from the term wrestling preferring to call what they do simply entertainment in one case a WWE publicist actually harassed journalist Chuck Ross for having the gall to refer to the 2001 Royal Rumble as a wrestling event assisting that the company did not hold wrestling events they held entertainments the Punk referred to himself as the best wrestler in the world did not go unnoticed but of course this promo wasn’t actually a shoot and even though it so effectively blurred the lines between what’s scripted and what’s real there was actually nothing said here that directly broke kayfabe wwe.com announced later that night the CM Punk had been indefinitely suspended for his unprofessional conduct before later updating the story to clarify the Punk would continue to work house shows Cena cut a promo the next week criticizing the WWE’s decision to suspend punt for speaking his mind and demanding answers from Vince McMahon himself Vince claimed that punk was being unreasonable in his contract negotiations and that he couldn’t risk having the WWE title taken to another company Cena McMahon argued back and forth was seen as stating that Punk had earned his title shot and that if he didn’t get it the championship was worthless after Cena handed over his belt and began to make his way to the back bit man finally relented announcing that the magic money in the bank would go forward as previously scheduled but that John Cena would be fired if Punk walked out of Chicago was the world champion in The Observer Meltzer reported that Vince’s line about Punk’s contract demands being unreasonable reflected the real-life situation as multiple sources had told him that punts the man’s estate were legitimately very high much harder than someone in his position would normally receive even claiming that punch was demanding a main roster position for his close friend Colt Cabana we’d name-drop during the promo ironically every person Punk mentioned during this promo asset Colt Cabana would eventually return to WWE television going in the Money in the Meltzer reported that the WWE was operating under the assumption that Punk would be leaving the facts haunt you actually made headlines for using homophobic language towards a fan during a house show in Australia on July 4th which embarrassed the company due to their affiliation with GLAAD officials at GLAAD were reportedly told by WWE management than Ed today this departure is not part of a storyline he is contractually leaving the organization although the so called pipe bomb promo had actually been intended to get punked over as a heel with Punk even directly attacking the fans for the lack of support it ended up having the complete opposite effect and CM Punk walked into money in the bank in front of a red-hot crowd in his hometown of Chicago as the biggest babyface in wrestling after an intense 33 minute classic match that was awarded five stars in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter CM Punk defeated John Cena with a go to sleep to win the WWE Championship before fleeing the Arena title in hand later interviews Punk claims to have refined his deal midway through the pay-per-view after much soul-searching and advice from friends who told him that he could help undervalued WWE performers by staying the next night on Raw Vince McMahon cut a promo disavowing CM Punk we called an ingrate whose name would never again be mentioned on WWE television Vince announced a single-elimination tournament to crown a new WWE Champion and later in the night confront john cena about the consequences of losing his title Cena thanked pond for a hard-fought match and made thinly veiled references about joining TNA if McMahon went through with his threat to fire him if you make me walk tonight then I will walk on someone else’s television show and keep doing this suddenly Triple H made his way to the ring tribulation recently returned at wrestlemania xxvii after taking several months off to recover from injuries and begin his transition to a behind-the-scenes executive position he had retired from a full-time schedule at this point having worked only one televised match in the last year 104 events that he just come from a meeting with the Board of Directors who were concerned about Vince’s judgment as of late and had filed an injunction with a vote of no-confidence he added the board and appointed him to take over the day-to-day operations the company and as such he would not be firing John Cena which everyone basically assumed anyway as the WWE had run a Cena gets fired angel less year earlier which didn’t even last a month CM Punk still kayfabe gone from the company spent the night and join a Chicago Cubs game and also crashed the San Diego comic-con a few days later to confront Triple H during Mattel’s WWE panel the next week on Raw Rey Mysterio defeated the Miz in the final round of the WWE Championship Tournament to win the title for the first time in his career however his reign only lasted a little over an hour as he was defeated by John Cena later in the night and his first title defense as seen it helps Rey to his feet the sound of cult of personality filled the arena and CM Punk made his return with this new theme brandishing a WWE title of his own his departure from the company had lasted all of eight days in a twenty minute long segment that opened the net Suites Raw Punk explained that he’d returned in order to change the company from within which he couldn’t do sitting on his couch in Chicago and seeing his Vince McMahon had been removed from power during his short vacation he was off to a fantastic start acting CEO o Triple H made his way to the ring and a tense confrontation followed with Hunter calling pong a smug overrated attention-seeking guy that puts a little bit too much stock in his own hype Conte responded by accusing Triple H of using his relationship with them in Mane’s to bury other talent how many times did you say well you know I just don’t think he has what it takes while you’re lying in bed with your wife referencing Triple H’s so-called golden shovel which has been discussed at great length online and even on this very channel although Punk’s words here were obviously scripted the truth is Triple H coming out of his quasi retirement to insert himself into this angel was cause for concern especially after Hunter announced that he would personally serve a special guest referee during the scene of verse upon title unification match at SummerSlam John Cena vs. CM Punk one-on-one that should sell tickets right there but no Triple H needs that spotlight at this point even TNA tried to get in on the action shamelessly announcing on their website the punch matches with the company early in his career have been added to their on-demand service although the story leading up the SummerSlam and mostly focused on the tension between Punk and Triple H it was actually Cena who ended up getting strew as hunter counted a pinfall while Cena’s lad was clearly on the bottom rope this was poorly executed as Cena placed his foot on the rope at 1:00 in full view of Triple H who had to pretend he couldn’t see it nevertheless the pinfall stood but his Punk celebrated his victory a face from the past seemingly appeared out of nowhere laying him out with a jackknife powerbomb seeing his opportunity money in the bank holder Alberto Del Rio cashed in his briefcase robbing CM Punk of his title the return of Kevin Nash one of the biggest stars of the 90s was quite a shock Nash had been absent from the WWE since SummerSlam 2003 after leaving the company to film a scene for the 2004 Thomas Jane movie The Punisher he’d spent the preceding years working for TNA mostly in a non wrestling capacity [Music] [Applause] [Music] but it made a one-night-only return as his former character diesel at the 2011 Royal Rumble which was well received by 52 year-old Kevin Nash will be attacking the company’s new top babyface at the end of the second biggest pay-per-view of the year it was a bit of a mystery to everyone but in theory bringing back Kevin Nash to work with Punk wasn’t the worst idea in the world the WWE’s roster was paper-thin at the time and only Cena Orton the Undertaker and Triple H were left as legitimate main event level draws the feud with Cena couldn’t go on forever and Punk had just finished up a feud with ordinate Extreme Rules Undertaker was only working WrestleManias and a match against Triple H was planned to headline Survivor Series the company needed an established star for pun to go over adding to that Vince McMahon was high on Alberto Del Rio at the time and wanted him to carry the world title through the company’s house show tour of Mexico having Punk’d worked with Nash would put Punk in a holding pattern but keep him at the top of the cards the next night on Raw Triple H addressed the controversy at SummerSlam apologizing for his poor officiating and claiming that he had no involvement in Nash’s attack on Punk Kevin Nash and Triple H were members of the clique a group of WWE wrestlers who banded together in the 90s to use their star power to exercise backstage control over the WWE’s booking although they had there issues the real-life relationship between Triple H and Kevin Nash is well-known to fans hunter claimed that Nash has simply texted him asking for tickets to the show which he left it will call and that was it later in the night Kevin Nash cut a promo claiming that he attended SummerSlam as a fan despite the event taking place over 2500 miles away from his home but it received the Ted saying no matter what happens in the main event stick the winner for me which he assumed was from Triple H as it came from his phone but hunter denied sending the text claiming to know nothing about it CM Punk interrupted this promo saying that he received the text message of his own that night from his sister who wrote oMG Kevin Nash WTF thought he was dead lol what followed was rather pointless verbal sparring with Nash calling Punk Andy rich and Pont responding that Nash didn’t know what was good for business know we’re in this long come faulted exchanged which ended with CM Punk backing down from a few bored-looking security jabbers did anyone attempt to establish who sent the text message that resulted in Kevin Nash powerbomb and CM Punk at SummerSlam on commentary Michael Cole admitted that this segment had left him even more confused than before in a later interview Kevin Nash stated that he was unhappy with the strip for this promo we saw Punk making jokes about his age with Nash given basically no retort let me get this straight I cost you the world title and you’re gonna do stand-up comedy and bury me because I’m old according the Nash he went through with the segment due to his loyalty to Triple H even though his involvement was an initially planned to last past SummerSlam The Observer reported that Nash refused to do scripted promos going forward and Meltzer stated that Nash had showed up in great shape but having difficulty walking due to his numerous knee surgeries he reported that the feeling backstage was that a Nash first Punk match should the WWE go in that direction would not be pretty Triple H announced that a rematch between Punk and Cena to determine the number one contender to Del Rio’s WWE title would headline the show that night later he called Kevin Nash to the ring to set the record straight about the attack at SummerSlam Nash had been shown walking around backstage shaking hands with a true member earlier in the night which Meltzer reported was a date of Booker T’s Heat with the young bucks over a missed handshake at their recent tryout match Triple H once again denied involvement and gnashed claimed that he’d originally come to apologize the Punk’d but after dwelling on their encounter last week he wanted to fight instead this led pond to make his way to the ring getting in hunters face and accusing his beanhead wife of sending the text which resulted in Nash losing his temper – taking a cheap shot to close the segment backstage triple h stole the nash for attacking Punk and with the heavy heart asked him to leave the arena but about 10 minutes later a panic John Laurinaitis came rushing through the hallway informing hunter that Nash had been in a serious car accident concern for his friends well-being Triple H immediately left for the hospital but it was all a clever ruse and Nash interrupted Punk’s match that night costing him the title shot at Night of Champions the August 29 2011 episode of Raw opened with a three-way confrontation between Triple H Shawn and Nash Nash admitted to lying about the car at but defended his actions claiming that Ponce insults had gone too far and questioning Triple H’s manhood for not defending his wife he also revealed that while hunter was out of the building the previous week head of talent relations John Laurinaitis had resigned him to a lucrative guaranteed deal Punk responded in disbelief further insulting Nash and hunter when you walk click-click click-click and CM Punk first Kevin Nash was officially scheduled for Night of Champions but Nash couldn’t wait and he interrupted punts match against the Miz later in the night stick punked with another powerbomb the show went to break with Kevin Nash standing triumphantly over punts unconscious body but at the end of the night Hunter and it split ibly announced that the match had been cancelled and that instead it would be him facing Punk at Night of Champions this entire night of television made little sense behind the scenes the originally planned Nash first Punk match had to be cancelled due to Nash not being medically cleared to wrestle that’s understandable he had a medical issue and they had to go with Plan B it happens but Nash’s failed physical wasn’t late-breaking news the company knew that this match wouldn’t take place beforehand but still publicly announced it then heard Nash lay off the guy who was supposed to be their new top babyface instead of using the show to build heat between Triple H and Punk the WWE spent the night promoting a match they knew wouldn’t happen then had hunter coldly announced that plans a change blaming the unseen board of directors so why was Nash pulled from the match it wasn’t actually because of the injury or anything like that he failed this physical because he was taking blood thinners as preventive medicine due to a history of heart disease and his family the September 5th 2011 episode of raw saw another hostile exchange between Nash and Punk with Punk stating that he expected Nash to interfere in the match at Night of Champions and joking that he couldn’t even legally drive the last time Kevin Nash was relevant in the wrestling business Nash responded that every time he came to the ring he left punk laid out on his back which was pretty much true Triple H interrupted revealing that newly-found security footage from his office the night of SummerSlam had been unearthed not not the the main security some stuff they kind of forgot about and revealed that it was none other than Kevin Nash himself who had sent the text message using Hunter’s phone Nash cut a short promo admitting to the lie but claiming that he had attacked Punk in order to make the WWE cool again which was sort of a strange motivation two sitting punts pipe-bomb promo had earned the company the most mainstream attention had received in years last week John Cena lost his title to his arch enemy a guy named CM punk the conversation got heated and ended with Hunter assaulting Nash before publicly firing him later in the night after Pont defeated r-truth in the main event Triple H came down to the ring telling Punk that he was taking their match at Night of Champions which would now be a no DQ match personal and a dream to put his job as CEO on the line at Pont suggestion this stipulation came as a surprise as Triple H have been in power less than a month which wasn’t really enough time to establish himself as an authority figure and give the threat of him losing his position any meaning additionally the last pay-per-view had carried a similar stipulation the Cena would be fired should he lose his match against Punk which the WWE didn’t follow through with the go home run September 12th opened with another long exchange between Triple H and CM Punk which punk accused hunter and Vince McMahon of holding him back due to their bodybuilder fetish slash fantasy about what a main event caliber superstar looks like Triple H dismissed this allegation mentioning guys like Shawn Michaels and McFaul E who’d been made of at level stars despite lacking a bodybuilders physique he had used Pont of making excuses for his own failures but on his podcast longtime commentator Jim Ross revealed that there was some truth to ponce accusation that he was held back for not having the right body and the backstage Hunter was not a fan of Punk’s looked remarkably had a fan and was too soft to be a WWE Champion as the conversation became more confrontational Pont claimed that he was no longer speaking as seeing Pont to Triple H he was speaking as Phil broads to Paul Levesque but his mic was continuously cut before he finished his thought which Triple H claimed to know nothing about frustrated at being censored Punk at at honor with a mic and left the ring the match at Night of Champions opened with Punk jumping hunter before the bell and the two brawled on the outside with hunter sending Punk into the barricade and over the announcers table after both teased their finishers they squared up in the ring where the brawl resumed into the corner and punk missed a high knee falling to the outside where hunter attacked is led with the ring post but Punk fought back throwing hunter into the barricade then connecting with the knee triple Eight’s recovered in the match spilled into the crowd with hunter beating Punk up and down the aisles before Punk took back control using a garbage can and a guardrail but his knees slowed him down allowing Triple H to execute a catapult into the pay-per-view set he tried to follow it up with a pedigree but Punk escaped launching hunter over the led street and onto the floor the two fought their way back to the ring where Punk introduced a steel chair mocking Triple H before attempting a pinfall hunter came back to life of the spinebuster which earned a two-count then threw Punk shoulder first into the steel chair in the corner Triple H resumed working the knee with the ring post and the steel chair but was sent straight into the steel steps following a failed figure-four attempt on the outside he attempted to fight back with a TV monitor only to receive a kick to the head which left him sprawled on the announcers table and punk capitalized with a flying elbow from the top turnbuckle which received a huge pop barely able to stand both men stumbled to the ring where the Miz and r-truth who had been working at angle where they claimed that there was a conspiracy to keep them out of the main event scene despite both men recently may have been in pay-per-views for the first time in their careers made a run in attacking Punk and Hunter before pulling Punk’s lifeless body over Triple H for the cover under protest the ref began his count only for Hunter to kick-out at two – the shock of the Miz who berated then attacked referee Scott Armstrong but Punk and Triple H recovered cleaning house together until Punk was distracted by John Laurinaitis andreen side which allowed hunter to connect with the pedigree however the ref was injured on the outside unable to make the count and when a second ref came sprinting from the backstage area Laurinaitis stopped him directing him to check on referee Scott Armstrong rather than enter the ring frustrated Triple H climbed towards the edge of the ring to see what was going on allowing Punk to wake up and surprise him with a go to sleep upon seeing Punk go for the cover Laurinaitis immediately instructed the second ref to make the count but our truth interfere glowing punt to the outside before eating a go to sleep himself up to the top rope and Punk attempted a fly enough which was blocked by hunter and followed up with another pedigree one – and punk kicked out at two and three-quarters – the trout’s disbelief on the outside Laurinaitis was shown suspiciously pacing away from the ring using his cell phone as both men struggled to their feet kevin nash entered through the crowd attacking punk and triple h before executing a powerbomb on Punk as nash cleared the announcers table on the outside Triple H blindsided him with the sledgehammer before returning to the ring and hitting Punk with yet another pedigree winning the match in 24 minutes and 10 seconds the match at Night of Champions received the midst reception with Wrestling Observer Newsletter fans voting at simultaneously the best and worst match of the night which Dave Meltzer reported was the first in the publication’s history Meltzer awarded the match three and three four stars noting that he’d heard a lot of fan negativity based on Triple H going over Punk but given the stipulation there was no other finish possible but being his Triple H was fired as CEO o less than a month later anyway that doesn’t appear to be the case riding for the son Rob McNichol praised the match but noted that the repeated interference more closely resembled the booking of WCW or TNA than a WWE main event match in the years that have passed this angle and this matches booking have been increasingly criticized with fans accusing Triple H of coming out of retirement just the Buried punch while Punk was obviously protected in the finish to the match which saw him take three pedigrees before the pinfall a loss of this magnitude at this stage in his push was a huge step backwards CM Punk himself admitted that shortly before he departed the WWE he ripped in the Triple H for cutting off his momentum in this feud the victory at Night of Champions did nothing to benefit Triple H but could have significantly elevated punk who at this point had nothing but three Screwjob wins over John Cena to hang his hat on in a later interview Triple H acknowledged that this storyline didn’t work but claimed that the decisions made along the way were Vince McMahon’s and that they were made with good intentions among the internet wrestling community and even his own employees Vince McMahon has a bit willy wonka reputation he could wake up tomorrow and decide that WrestleMania should take place underwater or all the wrestlers need to start smoking and no one would even bat an eye there’s even a phrase that gets thrown around for these types of decisions Vince being Vince but for everyone else it’s hard to understand the reasoning here why would the WWE take their only wrestler to get over in years and beat him into the ground following Night of Champions Punk ate the pin in a triple threat match against del Rio and Cena at Hell in a Cell the next month of vengeance he teamed with Triple H to take the loss in a tag match against the Miz and r-truth finally at Survivor Series hunt defeated Del Rio to win back the WWE Championship he never got to rematch with Triple H and never had a match with Kevin Nash at all Nash returned in December and was defeated by Triple H instead on the Brightside hunts title run was one of the longest in modern history lasting 434 days but during that timeframe he may have ended only five of the 14 pay-per-views with the WWE Championship taking the backseat to matches such as John Cena versus John Cena versus the Big Show and John Cena versus John Laurinaitis pawn dropped the title to the rock at Royal Rumble 2013 and went on to lose to the Undertaker at WrestleMania 29 he was defeated by Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam that year but came out ahead in a feud with Ryback and even managed to defeat all three members of the shield in a handicap match at TLC 2013 following the 2014 Royal Rumble CM Punk walked out on the company due to concerns about his health and numerous other grievances aside from a short unsuccessful run as a UFC fighter Punk has spent the last few years semi-retired working on non wrestling related projects here and there his current relationship with the WWE mates any sort of return in the near future seem unlikely but both sides claimed and Never Say Never so we’ll just have to wait and see as for now as far as the WWE is concerned Hunt’s name lives on only as a chan of protest thanks for watching

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