Shahid’s Blog: CM Punk and The Culture of Personality

CM-Punk-cm-punk-29763250-680-768

Apparently CM Punk is returning from his brief hiatus to Monday Night Raw in Chicago.  Perhaps he’ll cut another promo explaining his absence, and is inserted into the title match.  Maybe he’ll complain about HHH holding him down, and switch positions with Daniel Bryan.  Neither the reasons regarding his departure nor the cause of his return are of importance to me.  If he was able to finagle himself into a higher position at WrestleMania, then God bless him.  Wrestling is a ruthless business, and the primary goal of an individual is to maximize their earnings while minimizing risk.  I’m not a fan of CM Punk, but I have admiration for his drive, and can appreciate his difficult journey towards the upper echelon of WWE.  Since he’s talked of retiring in the near future, he should use whatever leverage he has accumulated to achieve his main event goals before he rides off in the sunset.  He’s not a villain for doing so, and he is no different than any other wrestler who has used similar tactics.

He’s also no better than any of those wrestlers.  I’m aware of the legend of CM Punk.  An indy anarchist who overcame a broken home to walk his own straight edge path.  A super nerd who plows through the hottest women in (and sometimes outside) wrestling. A pipe bomb slinging truthslayer who somehow defeated the evil booking of Vince McMahon and the chicanery of the locker room politics.  He’s somehow reached the apex of WWE even though he’s a proud Paul Heyman guy, and not a muscled up manufactured mimbo like John Cena, Randy Orton or Batista.  And now he’s going to ride into Chicago as the conquering hero, due to the power of his fans, who hijacked the system and saved us all.

What a bunch of nonsense. CM Punk, after being frustrated with booking, decides not to resign when his contract expires.  He’s allowed to cut a shoot style promo, burying popular superstars, and playing into internet stereotypes, while being a heel.  He beats John Cena for the title at Money In The Bank in his home town, and leaves with the belt.  He comes back, while holding the belt, with a raise and a higher position on the card.  He has a high profile match with HHH and deals with some nonsense from Kevin Nash.  Then he wins the belt again, and has the sixth longest title reign in WWE History.  He has two main event title matches with The Rock, followed by a WrestleMania match against The Undertaker.  Not to mention a PPV match with Brock Lesnar at Summerslam.  Now, with him speaking of retiring again after his contract expires, he decides to go home because he doesn’t like his position on the WrestleMania card.  Or he needs a break from the road, or perhaps frustration with part timers moonlighting as super stars stealing his spotlight.  Or something.

How is any of that WWE’s fault?  Why is Batista being punished for being offered a position based on his name and legacy?   Why do we have to hear CM Punk chants during Randy Orton Matches, or angry fans chanting for Randy Savage or Husky Harris during main events involving young talent?  CM Punk left and came back on his own accord.  WWE didn’t send him home.  Vince, Steph and HHH didn’t frame him for a wellness violation. For all this talk about looking out for the full timers and young talent looking to climb the career ladder, his actions have done damage to those individuals.

I wonder how Daniel Bryan would feel if he got pushed down the card because Punk was rewarded for his temper tantrum.  I seriously doubt The Shield, or Kofi Kingston, or The Usos appreciate hearing CM Punk chants while they’re busting their ass trying to do their jobs.  John Cena, who is a bigger star than CM Punk, is in a midcard feud with Bray Wyatt for WrestleMania.  I don’t hear his fans throwing a hissy fit trying to derail the show.  People commend him on his bravery of speaking his mind, while not drinking the corporate Kool Aid.  Dolph Ziggler spoke his mind, and decided to ignore advice, and he’s suffering for it.  If Kofi Kingston decided to stay home to prove a point, he’d still be home.

For all the talk of CM Punk being a Paul Heyman guy, in truth he is a Vince McMahon guy.  People love to rightfully complain about his booking decisions, and how they don’t reflect what the fans want.  Yet CM Punk wouldn’t have worked his way to his current position without the blessing of Vince McMahon.  All of the snarky remarks, Stone Cold shirts, Macho Man trunks and pipe bombs happened on his watch.  This isn’t some Brian Pillman situation – Punk wasn’t going to show up in TNA with a bigger contract.  He played the game just like HBK and Nash, HHH and Hogan, and Austin and Lesnar before him.  Yet all of those individuals were savaged for their selfish actions, while Punk is treated as the love child of Malcolm X and Peter Parker.  I guess what Batista said on Smackdown was true – fans will cheer their heroes if they can convince themselves they could be them with enough hard work.  It’s also delusional and hypocritical.

I’m not angry at CM Punk, and I’m glad he’s back.  Adding him to the card will make a better show, and since I’m attending WrestlMania 30, I’m rooting for an enjoyable experience.  I just hope his fans don’t have a nerd-fueled heart attack if Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker close out the show….. -Shahid

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Stunt Granny Audio Show #249

The Network from drafthouse.com

The Network from drafthouse.com

Jeremy & Kevin are back again and this time they’re only talking about wrestling. No random side stories to start this show. They start by talking about Hulk Hogan hosting Wrestlemania since that news broke on Friday. Why didn’t they wait to announce it on Monday? How much is Hogan really going to do? Will he get involved in a match like the Rock did? Jeremy & Kevin move on to talking about the WWE Network. How much did Kevin watch? How much free time does everyone have that they can complain about the content that isn’t one there yet? How many devices does Jeremy have that still can’t play the WWE Network? Is he bitching about it to the poor people answering the phones about the problems? Or is he just bitching about the people bitching about the missing content? Is it smart to hold content back? Did the WWE stress their servers intentionally for a tune up to Wrestlemania? Jeremy & Kevin finally got around to yapping about the a mix of Elimination Chamber, Raw and Wrestlemania talk. Was the pay per view worth purchasing? Did the Wyatt Family versus The Shield live up to the hype? Where did the Elimination Chamber rank in the pantheon of Chamber matches? What has Kevin found strange about the build up to Wrestlemania? Do the guys even get around to talking about Brock Lesnar and Undertaker? Find out when you click the link below!

CM Punk Gone From @WWE Or Just Another Angle?

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Welcome to corporate America CM Punk. According to a report at TMZ.com CM Punk left WWE because of the way The Royal Rumble turned out and the plans for Batista to headline WrestleMania 30. He also disagreed with Daniel Bryan’s treatment and how he not only didn’t win the Royal Rumble but didn’t even appear.

Punk was livid when he learned officials scripted Batista to win the Royal Rumble … because he feels Batista isn’t in great wrestling shape and shouldn’t be featured in the title match at the upcoming WrestleMania.

So essentially, CM Punk wasn’t being recognized for his hard work and seeing others pass him on the corporate ladder pissed him off. This exact same scenario happens every single day in every office on the planet. I texted Kevin and said if this is all true then this is an absolute baby move by CM Punk. He doesn’t get what he wants so he takes off? He would have had a high profile, and logical, match with Triple H on the show. All signs pointed to CM Punk taking on Triple H for the last few weeks if not a month at the least. How was this a surprise? Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe the situation of not getting his WrestleMania main event finally wore on Punk. His interviews recently point that he was on the borderline of a total burn out so it makes sense.

I take back though that this is a baby move on Punk’s part. It is actually a rather impressive move to walk away from guaranteed money. How many of your friends do you hear bitch about their jobs and do nothing about it? Punk essentially told his boss to fuck off and left. He took his ball and went home if you will. Instead of stewing and continuing to waste away, mentally and more importantly physically, in a job he doesn’t enjoy then why not just go? Yeah he has a contract and yes he is letting people down but if he feels that this is important enough to take these actions then he should be envied.

For more on this story as well as Matt Hardy getting arrested as well as Sting to WWE rumor mongering make sure and check out Stunt Granny Audio #245 tonight. – Jeremy

@WWE Children’s Book Ideas

50th-birthday-cakeIt was announced that the WWE has signed a deal with DK Publishing to produce eighteen books over the next three years. According to MarketWatch.com

two upcoming commemorative books WWE 50: Celebrating 50 Years of Sports Entertainment, which chronicles the company’s 50 year history and 30 Years of WrestleMania, the ultimate guide to WWE’s annual pop-culture extravaganza. DK will also publish new line of children’s books focusing on the careers of John Cena, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and other top WWE Superstars.

Both of the commemorative books sound pretty damn cool. I’m sure you will have seen some of that information before but they always seem to turn up a little something more every time. The eye catching part to me though is the line of children’s books. They mention that John Cena and “The Rock” will get books but we don’t know their titles. May I suggest:

Dwayne The Rock: Too Cool For School – How One Superstar actually got out of the Biz. Inspiration here.

John The Bachelor: John’s Big Bachelor Pad (My First Bella Twin Experience). Inspiration here.

That also means that there will be fourteen other books. Let’s see if I can guess the other fourteen titles:

Daniel Hears a YES! by Dr. Bryan. Inspiration here.

Diary of a KSU Grad: Kick To The Head – The Story of Dolph Ziggler. Inspiration here.

Roderick Rules: The Story of a Company the WWE Won’t Acknowledge. Inspiration Here.

Jake & Scott: No News Is Good News Because That Means We Haven’t Relapsed. Inspiration here.

Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky I Am For Getting This Many Chances? By Alberto Del Rio. Inspiration here.

AJ Lee Wardrobe Malfunction

She is an odd one. But also hot. From wrestlingnewssource.com.

There Was An Odd Diva Who Got a Tattoo by AJ Lee. Inspiration here.

Rob Van Dam and the Grower’s Stoned. Inspiration here.

Randy Orton and the Chamber Pot of Gym Bags. Inspiration here.

Brie & Nikki’s How To Dress Like a Slutty Princess. Inspiration here.

The Superstars Employment Agency: The Future Endeavored Edition. Inspiration here.

Evan’s Not So Secret Garden. Inspiration here.

The World of Vince McMahon: The Complete When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Sixty-Eight and Trying to Bury Every Hatchet. Inspiration here.

Who do you think some of the other Superstars and titles will be? Put them in the comments below and I’ll make a full post of those ideas.

Weekend Rewind – Ted DiBiase, Batista, Sandman and Oklahoma

trader_after_busy_weekend– Let’s start off the weekend news with two birthday wishes. One for Batista who will be coming back to Raw as a forty-five year old. Ted DiBiase, Sr. turned sixty years old. Congrats on hitting the big Six-0. I can’t wait for Batista to show up on Old School Raw in fifteen years, looks as large as Vince McMahon did at that age and gives the double guns salute to the newest WWE superstar, Ted DiBiase III.

Sandman is set to fight former WBC & WBA Tim Witherspoon for the World Extreme Entertainment Champion. I don’t think there’s going to much entertainment with two fifty plus year olds fighting. I wonder if Sandman will get to use his Singapore cane since it’s “extreme”. I doubt even the use of it would even things up. It’s made even more sad considering that the owner Damon Feldman had previously run the Celebrity Boxing shows. Since this is taking place in Philadelphia, you know the crowd will be ready to chant “You’ve still got it” to both the Sandman and Witherspoon when they don’t get gassed out  after the first minute of action.

Sonjay Dutt shut down the independent Omni Wrestling in Sperry, Oklahoma when him and his opponent Michael Wolf went into the crowd. A representative of the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission stopped it because going into the crowd is a violation of their rules. Good for Oklahoma, they got this one right. TNA doesn’t trust Sonjay Dutt enough to employ him full time so I certainly don’t want him performing maneuvers near me. I’m also sure that Michael Wolf has impeccable in ring skills. Let’s keep it in the ring where you can only do damage to the yourselves and the referee. – Kevin

Thanks to Prowrestling.net for the news as usual.

Stunt Granny Audio #244

Winning.

Winning.

If you don’t think it’s time for another edition of Stunt Granny Audio, then you are a complete imbecile because it is absolutely time for another edition of Stunt Granny Audio! This time around, your co-pilots are Kevin and Dusty, and oh my my, is there a lot to talk about! The two discuss the impending induction of Ultimate Warrior into the WWE Hall of Fame. Will his speech be as bat shit crazy as his old promos were? Who the hell is going to induct him? Is Vince McMahon crossing old vendettas off his list before he kicks the bucket? The two also get off on a side tangent here about Vince dictating in his will that his corpse still be involved in angles.

They also discuss how Monday Night Raw is usually really good during WrestleMania season, but express their frustrations on the whole Daniel Bryan/Bray Wyatt storyline. They also talk about ridiculous contracts being given out in professional sports (congratulations, Clayton Kershaw), make fun of the new Chicago Cubs mascot, and a whole lot more wackiness than you can shake a stick at, and it’s only going to take about an hour of your life, so listen to it or else they’ll send Crowley after you!

Eric’s Blog: #WWEWorldHeavyweightTitle match did not require 1-on-1 traditional stipulations

Last night’s match at the WWE TLC pay-per-view to unify the WWE Title and the World Heavyweight Title has a number of detractors for a number of reasons:

  • It didn’t have big-match build.
  • It didn’t have a big-match feel.
  • It wasn’t a traditional, one-on-one match.
  • It wasn’t very creative; they even rehashed the handcuff gimmick from a TLC match held only two years ago.
  • The finish was botched, which wouldn’t have been an issue had it been a traditional, one-on-one match, freed of its abstract Tables, Ladders and Chairs stipulations.
  • The match probably didn’t have a big-match feel because it wasn’t a traditional, one-on-one match, grappled in the past by the likes of Jim Londos, George Hackenschmidt and King Mabel.

Some of the criticism holds water: If John Cena weren’t expected to crash through a table, there wouldn’t have been a table to miss. Had the catalyst of the match not been the non-wrestling figurehead Triple H, it may have had a stronger build. Hell, had it not been held at a glorified In Your House, maybe the wrestling audience would have cared, period.

But the one argument I refuse to agree with is that, to paraphrase, “a title match of this magnitude should have just been a traditional, one-on-one match.” This sentiment popped up on Twitter a handful of times before, during, and especially after the match. A mouth-breather from Yahoo (and what a perfect last name, Durr) had this to say:

And shame on the WWE for having such an important match contested in a TLC match in the first place. If it wanted to truly build an appreciation for the unification of the two championships, the match should have been contested in a tradition [sic] one-on-one match. The WWE relied heavily on the history of both championships in its buildup of the match but elected to contest the all-important unification in a gimmick match.

Gimmick matches rank among some of the greatest matches of all time, that much we can all agree with. But to poo-poo on adding a gimmick to a title match, a title unification match, or any other one-of-a-kind main-event match is poo-pooing the very wrestling history you’re attempting to salvage. Rose-colored glasses may only allow in epic world title matches like Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat or Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant, but they improperly filter out classics like the Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels ironman match, or Ric Flair vs. Harley Race in a steel cage, or…

If you really want your argument stomped out like Smokey the Bear attacking a cigarette in the woods, look no further than the 1992 Royal Rumble. Regarded as one of the greatest matches in pro wrestling history, the Rumble match crowned Ric Flair as the new WWF Champion after a month of vacancy, in a contest pitting not one, not one-on-one, but 30 wrestlers against each other. And not even all at the same time! Gasp! The horror! Wrestling history iz DEAD!

Granted, the examples I can offer are limited. Have there been fewer gimmick matches than traditional to either decide or unify versions of the World Heavyweight Title? Yes. Does the fact that those few matches were gimmick matches preclude an incredible quality of athleticism or level of excitement? Absolutely not. If you wish to complain, don’t hate the chair, hate the chairman.

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