This past Monday on Raw, CM Punk, the ROH alum, cashed in his money-in-the-bank briefcase to capture the World Heavyweight Championship belt.
It was a move that shocked both casual fans and smart marks (smarks) of the wrestling community.
Was it a good move? Is he just another 'transition' champion? We will see the next few weeks as this unfolds.
But here's what we do know. CM Punk, since his win at Wrestlemania 24 for the money-in-the-bank briefcase has been rendered the most impotent winner of the MIIB since its inception. He's done jobs left and right for wrestlers who have no right going over (at least on him). Apparently backstage in the lockerroom and on the road, CM Punk is a bit of a dick. He rubs people the wrong way. Apparently. So if you're going to punish a guy by making him job all the time, fine. By why put the MIIB on him? The MIIB is supposed to elevate a superstar to the upper echelon. A clear path must be paved if the fans are to truly believe that he is a great champion. What they did instead was create a joke.
Before this Monday occured, the smarks came up with two possibilities. The first was that CM Punk would be the first MIIB winner who cashed in and lost. Tragic. The second was that CM Punk would be turning heel after frustrations of so many losses and then be elevated as a top heel. Well, neither of those occured.
After Punk won the belt on Monday, John Cena and Rey Jr. both cut promos on the show trying to establish him as a worthy champion... except it's counterproductive if you keep calling the champ a kid. Building him as a worthy person for the championship should have occured right after the MIIB match, not after he's won the title. The only thing reigning is his impotence as a champion.
Here is the last thing we know. This past Monday's Raw drew a 3.5 in the ratings, making it the highest rating since Triple H became champion. What that hopefully tells us is that the audience is sick of seeing the same guys on top. We want to see new stars and new battles, not the same old geeks on top for 10 years.
I may sound a bit negative on Punk, but I'm not. I'm a fan of his. I want him to be a great champion. I am negative on WWE's creative choices in handling his career path. The ratings alone should indicate to WWE to keep him on top, regardless of as a face or heel.
Us geeks shall continue watching closely to see what they decide to do with Punk.