With some brief tears in his eyes, whether legit or kayfabe, CM Punk hugged long-time mentor Paul Heyman Monday on RAW–and promptly left the ring. Any long-time wrestling fan knew as Punk was walking back up the ramp that this would be the last time we would see the ‘Second City Saint’ for an extended period of time.
But, just how much time should the hiatus consume?
Well–to begin with–whatever the extent of the injuries are that Punk is working through at the moment, his stay away from a WWE ring should be long enough to heal up most of the nagging ailments. The man carried the company as WWE Champion for over 430 days, which was probably the time-period that these injuries began, as well as worsened over time.
For the work ethic and time put in by Punk despite the injuries, he deserves the much needed relaxation and rehabilitation time.
That part right there mainly benefits Phil Brooks the human being and his health.
But, what about the part that benefits everyone–Punk, the fans, WWE–as a whole?
WWE Management needs to keep Punk away from the game so long that the casual fans nearly forget he even existed. As ironic as it was, when CM Punk stood in the ring tonight, the fans in attendance showed him the legitimate respect that he had been longing for in his promos since RAW 1000. Giving him a standing ovation and chanting his name, they showed their appreciation for the performance he delivered last Sunday night against the Undertaker.
The fans putting aside past storylines to show respect to a performer who put it all on the line for them is a rare moment. Now, WWE needs to take advantage of that.
Next time we see CM Punk and ‘Cult of Personality’ hits over the speakers, the fans–in the arena and in their households–need to come unglued out of their seats. And, they will if done right. Whomever Punk confronts upon his return, be it a face or heel, the fans need to favor the two-time WWE Champion over the person he’s returned to defeat.
That’s why I urge WWE management, as much as it pains myself and the rest of the IWC to say this, to keep him away and let him drift from memory.
Now, that’s just the beginning, but where’s the end?
WrestleMania XXX is the end–the main event to be exact.
Upon his return, a healthy Punk needs to simply go on a tear. While mentioning on RAW that he simply can’t get the job done lately, make his hiatus about him going to find the right way to get the job done.
Given such circumstances such as wellness policy violations, unforeseen injuries and hotshot firings–I was never really one for fantasy booking. So, with that being said, I’ll pave the road like this.
Punk wins the 2014 Royal Rumble. Punk challenges the WWE Champion at next year’s event in New Orleans. Punk wins said title for a third time on the grandest stage of them all.
Tonight, the WWE Universe showed CM Punk the respect he deserved. Now it’s your turn, WWE.