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Sunset Flip Presents Did They Peak?
By Jerrod Sullivan

Has the C.M. Punk and John Cena feud reach their peak? After the promo heard around the world, the match dubbed a classic, and a semi-conclusion in Chicago, can this feud truly continue? I personally believed it had the potential, but that was quickly dismissed after the August 1, 2011 edition of Monday Night Raw. Before I question Raw, let us rewind to mid June.  

C.M. Punk wins a triple threat match to become the next challenger for John Cena. After his match, Punk informs the world his contract expires at midnight after the ‘Money in the Bank,” pay-per-view and he will be leaving the company and with the WWE title. Behind the scenes, Punk’s contract did legitimately end around that period and he honestly wanted to leave the company so he could rest his body. So with those ingredients came one of Punk’s most infamous moments in wrestling.  The following Raw, Punk ended the show with the straightest bullet to the head promo heard in years. Honestly, I was in shock after viewing the video several times. From the name-dropping, personal attacks, and declaration of being the world’s greatest “Wrestler.”  Work or shoot? Those two responses were going through my head like a revolving door. After a moment, I quickly came to another thought, what will happen next. The following day, Punk was suspended by WWE and I applaud. 

Work or Shoot? I didn’t care anymore; I just wanted to enjoy this amazing ride. I applaud WWE for allowing the promo to settle in fan’s conscious and draw their own conclusions. The following Raw, Cena convinces McMahon to rehire Punk and reinstate their match. However, an added bonus is that if John Cena loses, he’s fired.  At that moment, I began to have a little doubt about this feud, but stayed positive. The following Raw, Punk returned and he wanted to negotiation his contract in the ring that night.  Once again, I began to doubt this feud. Doing the contract negotiations, Punk’s character changed from being under-appreciated wrestler to being someone who shocks the crowd with backstage references. C.M. Punk did say some honest statements, but somewhere illogical.  However, the segment put over the importance of the title and put heavy interest into their “Money in the Bank,” match. With an impassioned Chicago crowd and the hometown hero back in town, you had the recipes for something special. Later that evening, Punk and Cena gave the Chicago crowd a memorable match and night. The match ended with Punk winning and leaving the company with the title. What fan wasn’t screaming at their television in excitement because of what was just witnessed?  All I can ask is what would happen next? Vince McMahon dismissed, Cena reinstated, and Triple H in charge. I was really questioned this feud, but I was giving WWE a chance to prove me wrong. 

Comic Con is where the company would prove me wrong. C.M. Punk gave that Comic Con crowd another memorable moment. The video spread over the internet, along with some candid photos of Punk all over Chicago with the title.  As those moments were immerse in my conscious, this feud slipped on its face. How? Punk returned too early, Cena’s title and Punk’s title are worthless, and the potential it had is gone. C.M. Punk returns to Raw a week later and his motives were completely different from how this all began. He came back to work for the man, he called idiotic.  Another issues, is that Vince put some much emphasis on the title and completely ignores his words. He stated the WWE title has been in his family for 50 years and instead of fighting to retrieve the title, he goes and make another one. As soon as he announced a tournament for the WWE title, both titles lost credibility. Imagine if this feud was given time to build and the potential that could have happened. Ring of Honor invasion could have been possible, but it’s not. The elevation of the secondary title could have been amazing, but no. WWE could have put more interest in the main event of Wrestle mania, by having C.M. Punk challenge for the spot since he brought that matter to begin with. I asked if this feud has peaked, and it has, back with Punk winning the title in Chicago. 

This had potential, but with the new direction, it’s all about the game. 

If you appreciate exceptional wrestling discussion, check out the alternative to traditional pro wrestling radio at sunsetflipwrestling.podomatic.com Check out this week show where it might be the final straight edge segment and Bill’s classic of the week. This week it’s pro wrestling radio mixed in with the music of Ducktales.