Monday Night Raw ratings are down mostly because of the competition from the NFL, but it doesn’t help that the best overall performer in the world in CM Punk doesn’t have a championship and is essentially feuding with his former manager.
Punk will wrestle Ryback, managed by Paul Heyman, tonight at WWE Battleground in what will likely be a good match only because Punk and Heyman are pretty spectacular.
In the last three years, CM Punk has come the closest to matching the greatness of the amazing Shawn Michaels from the early 1990s. Punk is one of those guys who makes every one of his matches better. He elevates the talent around him, and the fans love him as a good guy and hate him as a bad guy. Punk also displays somewhat of a throwback attitude toward pro wrestling. He loves it. It’s been his dream.
For Punk, pro wrestling is his first choice. It’s in his blood. The only difference for Punk is that he’s not super close with the McMahon family or Triple H, which is why he feuds with guys like Ryback, or is forced to lose the title, then lose again to the Rock, a quarter-time wrestler.
The best thing about Punk right now is that he and Heyman are taking part in some truly classic good guy vs. manager action. Heyman, who’s kind of the Ric Flair of managers, is playing the Bobby Heenan weasel role to perfection. Punk is playing the scorned-talent-seeking-revenge character like no one else. These guys will have great stuff to talk about in a few years on their DVDs.
Punk, however, needs to be in the main event storyline, preferably holding the title. This whole Daniel Bryan-Randy Orton mess is wearing out the fans. The fans want Bryan to be the champion, yet the WWE insists on toying with everybody. By the time Bryan does get a decent run with the belt, the fans will be long over it.
CM Punk, however, is not a storyline or an angle. He’s a movement. He needs to be at the top, leading the company while John Cena is out.