Last Monday, Tyson Kidd received news that no Superstar wants to hear: Due to a knee injury sustained at a WWE Live Event in late December, he would be forced to take an extended hiatus from in-ring competition. The only opponents he’d face for six to eight months would be ligament and meniscus tears in his right knee and a fracture in his tibia plateau. His only tag team partner? Physical therapy.
But not even a demoralizing prognosis could keep Kidd from attending the first Raw of 2013, emanating live from the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Fla., mere minutes from where the Canadian ring warrior now resides. After CM Punk defended the WWE Championship against Ryback in a hellacious Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match earlier that evening, The Straight Edge Superstar revealed he would drop a massive verbal “pipe bomb” that promised to set the tone for the year to come. Looking on as a fan, Kidd eagerly anticipated Punk’s latest proclamation and the WWE Champion’s likely confrontation with his Royal Rumble opponent, The Rock.
Finding a secluded spot near the entrance ramp, a hoodie drawn over his close-cropped hair and a metal brace fortifying his knee, Kidd listened intently as Punk not only laid into the WWE Universe — as he is known to do on a weekly basis these days — but also WWE officials and management, the main targets of his original pipe bomb on Raw back in June 2011.
“The more popular you are, the more money you make,” Punk spat, as his associate Paul Heyman grinned approvingly at his side. “The more you people cheer for any given Superstar, the more opportunities [they’re] afforded. Why do you think a guy like John Cena, who has admittedly had the worst year of his career, gets title shot after title shot after title shot? Or why a lethal grappler, why a serious submission specialist like Daniel Bryan, puts a smile on his face and saddles himself, belittles himself, with catchphrases? Or why a 400-pound monster like Brodus Clay soils his hands by touching your filthy, ugly little children to get in the ring so he can shuck and jive for ya? Or why an invisible child, ‘Little Jimmy’ is better positioned on the flagship show, Monday Night Raw, than a workhorse like Tyson Kidd?”
As the crowd erupted following the mere mention of the name “Tyson Kidd” — accompanied by a simultaneous firestorm of conversation on Twitter — one thing was abundantly clear to the former WWE Tag Team Champion: Punk has a point.
“My initial reaction was that: A.) These people understand and care, too, and B.) Punk is 100 percent right,” Kidd told WWE.com, speaking out for the first time since CM Punk’s pipe bomb. “I respect CM Punk to the highest degree. If he comes out in his gear, I’m excited. If he comes out with a microphone, I’m equally excited. Love him or hate him, he’s good at what he does.”
Kidd, too, is good at what he does, and Punk’s argument about professional recognition couldn’t help but resonate with the mat technician, who is ironically less visible to most Raw viewers than R-Truth’s invisible friend.
“I’ve always considered myself a workhorse, and I’ve definitely used that word to describe myself over the last two years,” Kidd said, reflecting on Punk’s carefully chosen terminology. “I go out there and give it my all every single match — and I’ve been doing that for 17 years. Whether in WWE or Japan or Europe or back home in [Calgary, Alberta’s] Stampede Wrestling, it’s always been the same story. In a worst-case scenario, I will outwrestle everybody on this show. Anyone that’s gonna outwrestle me had better perform after me, because I’m going to outperform everybody that I saw before me.”