What Did CM Punk’s Title Reign Really Accomplish? - Wrestle Newz twitter google

What Did CM Punk’s Title Reign Really Accomplish?

CM Punk Title 1

If you go back and watch CM Punk: Best in the World, there is a point towards the end where he claims he was going to quit the WWE because he was sick of working there. But after a phone call to Joey Mercury, he decided to stay because he thought he could make a change. As WWE Champion, he could show that you don’t always have to stick with the status quo and that a different face at the forefront of the company could turn round potential staleness. Well, after a record breaking 434 day reign as champion, he lost the title to the returning Rock who will act as a placeholder for John Cena to win it at Wrestlemania for the 11th time. The status quo.

The day after the Royal Rumble, the Internet exploded with anger from fans and outrage from marks who felt that they’d been ripped off with The Rock winning the WWE Championship. Many claimed that they were done with the company and that they would never watch a WWE program with either The Rock or John Cena as champion. Marks predicted that they would all turn off in their droves and while many of them may have held up their end of the bargain, WWE Raw has been doing gangbuster ratings numbers because non-hardcore fans are returning to the product to see The Rock, a person they recognize, as their champion.

What many CM Punk fans seem to miss is that Rock as champion is a smart business move. Wrestlemania 28 may not have been the biggest Mania ever, but it scored a 1.2 million buyrate with global sales in excess of $67 million. People did not buy Wrestlemania 28 to see Big Show win the IC title off Cody Rhodes, they did not buy it for Sheamus beating Daniel Bryan for the World Heavyweight Championship and they certainly didn’t buy it for CM Punk to retain against Chris Jericho. They bought it because The Rock was returning for his first singles match and he was fighting the company’s number one babyface: John Cena. Aside from the obligatory Undertaker bout, this was a one match card – and it brought in huge money for them. As a businessman, why wouldn’t you want to book this match again to try and replicate its success?

One school of thought is that Rock/Punk II could have drawn just as much money given the chance and some good build. But the problem with this idea is that CM Punk is not a recognizable name around households of the world unlike a Rock or John Cena. This is the biggest night in the company’s year and it needs it biggest stars on top. You could also argue the law of diminishing returns means that Wrestlemania 29 won’t bring in as much as 28 and to a point I would agree with you. While I do think it will break the million buyrate mark, I don’t see it topping last year’s number because the ‘once in a lifetime’ sheen is now lost. But with Rock/Cena II now for the WWE Championship and not just bragging rights, there is a chance it could at the very least match their previous effort.

What it boils down to is business. The marks may not like the status quo, but the general audience who have been tuning into Raw seem to. WWE made a smart choice by putting their most prestigious title on arguably their biggest star to defend it against their poster child on the grandest stage of them all. All CM Punk was there for was to make the title feel prestigious again. His long reign as champion has made the title feel important for the first time in years and not just a prop that one wrestler carries around from time to time. The hot potatoing of the title (the likes of which not seen since the final days of WCW) was devaluing the belt, but putting it on a Hollywood mega star with huge drawing ability – who had to beat the longest reigning champion in decades to do it – has once again made the WWE Championship the focal point of the show.

CM Punk did make a change, it was just the change was not for him or for marks. It was for business and the status quo.

CM Punk Title 2


  • Danny Morgan

    hmmm so surely making this a tripple threat with punk in there would help punk to becoming a household name which they need to do, otherwise u will get many older fans with a keen interest in prowrestling not bothering buying the ppv because a repeat of last years main event with what looks like a 99% one way outcome is very disinteresting. yeah they will still sell shead loads but this adds to the staleness of the product that so many marks often complain about surely the triple threat gives a freshness and takes nothing away

  • Guest

    wwe puts the title on cm punk for 434 days..longest title reign in 25 years…give him the best manager of all time in paul heyman ..give him clean wins over alberto del rio miz daniel bryan chris jericho kane mark henry ..don’t allow even cena to beat him clean …derailed rybacks push…feature him prominently each and every week on televison and ppv …and yet still marks complain that he isn’t pushed enough.. it’s not that punk isn’t talented enough and it’s not even that he isn’t big enough ..it’s just that he dosen’t have the it factor that draws people in ..he just dosen’t ..and that’s the goddamn truth

  • Chelsii

    I watched WM 28 for CM Punk/Jericho and HHH/Undertaker. Not Rock/Cena.

    • SdotC

      This whole notion that the WWE overlooks CM Punk is ridiculous to me (and I’m as big a fan as you are of him). Was there any effort from WWE to bring STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN out of retirement to face Cena or Orton recently? No. Enough said. People need to appreciate the fact that WWE put so much stock into Punk, and we should be thanking them, because if not for Punk’s reign, I guarantee you we wouldn’t have seen the Shield just go over the 3 golden boys at the same time on PPV, nor would we have seen Daniel Bryan as WHC. I think that speaks for itself, and what more could you really ask for? I think Punk is directly responsible for things like that, for guys like the KoW and Generico being signed, as well.

    • SdotC

      This whole notion that the WWE overlooks CM Punk is ridiculous to me (and I’m as big a fan as you are of him). Was there any effort from WWE to bring STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN out of retirement to face Cena or Orton recently? No. Enough said. People need to appreciate the fact that WWE put so much stock into Punk, and we should be thanking them, because if not for Punk’s reign, I guarantee you we wouldn’t have seen the Shield just go over the 3 golden boys at the same time on PPV, nor would we have seen Daniel Bryan as WHC. I think that speaks for itself, and what more could you really ask for? I think Punk is directly responsible for things like that, for guys like the KoW and Generico being signed, as well.

      • SdotC

        (cont…) and it seems like every time someone wants to discuss Punk’s push, they compare it to Cena or Rock. How about comparing him to Orton, Sheamus or Ryback? Look, WWE will ALWAYS try to get Cena over, whether it’s booking him as an “underdog” or his pandering to Zack Ryder, it’s just what they’re going to do. Doesn’t make Punk any less valuable. That’s like saying Savage didn’t matter just because he wasn’t Hogan.

      • SdotC

        (cont…) and it seems like every time someone wants to discuss Punk’s push, they compare it to Cena or Rock. How about comparing him to Orton, Sheamus or Ryback? Look, WWE will ALWAYS try to get Cena over, whether it’s booking him as an “underdog” or his pandering to Zack Ryder, it’s just what they’re going to do. Doesn’t make Punk any less valuable. That’s like saying Savage didn’t matter just because he wasn’t Hogan.

      • Sean Patrick

        PREACH! WE THE PEOPLE!

      • Sean Patrick

        PREACH! WE THE PEOPLE!

      • Chelsii

        The only people who overlook him are the ignorant morons still upset CM Punk made his heel turn by hitting a clothesline on that dinosaur past his prime.

        • SdotC

          Rock is clearly way past his prime, but so was Hogan in 2002, ya know? It sucks for me as a Rock fan to see him come back and not be anywhere near what he once was. The only reason I don’t bash you for calling him “Dwayne” is because sometimes I feel like Rock never really returned, Dwayne did. However, I’ve never heard you comment on Rock’s original run to my knowledge, so I hope you have the sense to realize that between 1999 and 2003 that man was a God amongst men in wrestling.

        • SdotC

          Rock is clearly way past his prime, but so was Hogan in 2002, ya know? It sucks for me as a Rock fan to see him come back and not be anywhere near what he once was. The only reason I don’t bash you for calling him “Dwayne” is because sometimes I feel like Rock never really returned, Dwayne did. However, I’ve never heard you comment on Rock’s original run to my knowledge, so I hope you have the sense to realize that between 1999 and 2003 that man was a God amongst men in wrestling.

          • fj2305

            I couldn’t say it better ;)

          • YM5

            he isn’t any less of a wrestler, he’s not trying. back then he did it for the money, it was his meal ticket, then he did it because Vince needed it, Austin left and they needed a bridge to what was supposed to be Brock Lesnar but ended up being John Cena, now he’s just here because he can be. I’ve walked out in front of 7,837 people and got chills, walking out to 70,000 can’t be matched by ANYTHING. I found it funny when he brought up crackheads on Raw because that’s essentially what he is. He’s addicted the high. He tried his damnedest to get away from this business but he couldn’t stay away, so now he’s whoring out his supposed “fame” to keep getting those hits whenever he needs em

          • SdotC

            What the hell does that have to do with what I said? And how is Rock “not trying”? If that was true, then he deserves all the criticism he gets. What I said was that Rock isn’t nearly the performer he once was. Your comment is irrelevant, and since you’re probably the one that thumbed me down, that’s irrelevant too.

          • YM5

            I actually thumbed up your comment, but you said “Rock is clearly way past his prime, … It sucks for me as a Rock fan to see him come back and not be anywhere near what he once was” my point was, hes just as good as he ever was. the effort is what changed and I gave the reason why

          • SdotC

            Oh I gotcha. I still gotta say I disagree. Until Rock can show that he’s as good as he ever was, I don’t believe it. I’m sure when he first came back, or when we was cutting promos with Cena for his first WM match in a decade, that he wanted people talking about him and how great he still was. His best in-ring effort was the tag match with Awesome Truth and even that was nothing special compared to the dozens of classics he’s had. For someone who worked as hard as he has from football to wrestling to acting, I just can’t see him being the kind of guy that would sell himself short, and sell the fans short, while talking about how much we mean to him. For as much as he was handed in WWE (and he was handed a lot more than most guys are), he always gave the impression that he understood that and worked hard so people knew he deserved it….

            Maybe by “not trying” you just mean that he isn’t putting the effort into wrestling that he could be because he’s also worried about Hollywood. But if that’s the case, then I’ve lost a lot of respect for him. I’ve said many times that I defend him coming back, I think it’s great, but that changed when he agreed to take the WWE title without putting in the effort that he KNOWS first-hand comes with carrying that title. I hate the way he’s handled the past few months. Maybe you’re right though, and I’m just telling myself “It’s because he was gone for so long, and it’s also because it’s a different era than the one he worked in”…maybe I’m just doing that out of denial because I don’t want to admit that he’s not really the people’s champ anymore.

          • SdotC

            (continued…) Like, when you have I Quit matches with Mick Foley, then wrestle Raw the next night, and the house show circuit, you definitely deserve that title. But when you can’t even make every Raw, you only wrestle PPVs and you give half-assed promos about crap like cookiepuss and twitter, you don’t deserve it. I’ll give two comparisons– Lesnar and Jericho. Lesnar is on a similar schedule, and I’m almost as happy about his return as Rock’s. But Brock ain’t gonna be champion. That’s a big difference. And compare Brock vs Cena to Rock vs Cena, the difference is insane. Brock worked like he never missed a beat. And Jericho– here’s a guy who also has a 2nd career to balance, yet he still makes house shows, wrestles on Raw, and despite being a future HoFer and special attraction, he’s barely won any matches, let alone titles, and yet he still goes out there and cuts epic promos every week.

            Like I said, maybe you are right. But if Rock really isn’t even trying, that isn’t a compliment to his real skill, it’s an insult to everyone like me who was so happy that he came back. And it IS an insult to the other wrestlers. I’m one of the people who always said the wrestlers can’t complain about Rock taking the WM main event because it’s good for business, but honestly, if he’s putting in this little effort to where we aren’t even good enough to see him wrestle on Raw, let alone even show up for every Raw, yet he gets to be champion, then they have every right to be spiteful of him. If the REAL Rock shows up, then I’m all for it. But if things are going to stay the way they are, with him totally taking advantage of his status in the same way Hogan used to (even worse actually), then maybe he should just leave after WM29.

      • Chelsii

        The only people who overlook him are the ignorant morons still upset CM Punk made his heel turn by hitting a clothesline on that dinosaur past his prime.

  • Rob

    Ummm I bought WM28 for Punk vs Jericho…

  • tmcfan15

    RESPECT!

  • http://www.facebook.com/princetrill Trey Doss

    like i told my friends i totally get why wwe put the title on rock i get it but i would’nt have cared if punk won it at the rumble and lost it to rock the next night ty or not living not even getting a title shot rock comes back doesnt earn it hasnt had over 5 matches and wins it im not marking for punk but for the guys in,out and the ones who have died had never gotten a title shot and rock just comes it right now mvp carlito masters shelton and a whole bunch of names should be major stars right now

    • SdotC

      I think Punk deserves one win over the Rock, but there’s still time for that. However, if Punk gets to wrestle Austin someday, I don’t care if he loses on that night, and I don’t care if he never goes over Cena or Rock clean. Just the fact that the WWE tried to book Austin vs Punk shows how much faith the WWE has in Punk.

    • SdotC

      I think Punk deserves one win over the Rock, but there’s still time for that. However, if Punk gets to wrestle Austin someday, I don’t care if he loses on that night, and I don’t care if he never goes over Cena or Rock clean. Just the fact that the WWE tried to book Austin vs Punk shows how much faith the WWE has in Punk.

    • Bryce

      just wanna see Rock wrestle a televised match

    • Bryce

      just wanna see Rock wrestle a televised match

  • SdotC

    This article dramatically undercuts the true value of his reign. First of all, it validated CM Punk. Whether he was holding it from Oct to Jan just for the Rock or not is irrelevant; it showed that WWE is willing to have faith in someone who goes against the grain…not just for a 3 month reign during a feud with Cena or Orton, but a real reign. To some, Punk may have still seemed like 2nd fiddle to Cena, but how can you really argue that? Just because he didn’t main event every PPV? Look at what both men accomplished in 2012 and it’s safe to say that for the first time since Orton in ’08, Cena was truly the one who was 2nd fiddle. Furthermore, where do you think The Shield would be without Punk? Ambrose and Rollins would have debuted in mid-card feuds. Do you really think they would have been in a position to go over guys like Sheamus, Ryback and Cena, without Punk breaking that door down?

    Punk’s reign was a momentous changing of the guard. Be honest, did you ever think Daniel Bryan could be WWE champion one day, if I had asked you that question in May of 2011? What about now? I rest my case. The WWE validating “indie darling” CM Punk not only cements his place as a HoF-caliber star, but it is directly responsible for the way that indie wrestlers have been treated since. What the hell more could a championship reign accomplish in this day and age? You think giving him those PPV main events or a clean win over Cena really would have changed things that much? No, it wouldn’t. I’m very, very happy with Punk’s reign and what it accomplished.

  • Sean Patrick

    So… this guy writes an article telling fans… I’m sorry, “marks”, (classy)… how naive they are here on a site for wrestling fans. Oh, you contrarian, you. Consider the pot stirred, sir.

    • Rob

      I was wondering who this new assclown writer was.

  • Sean Patrick

    So… this guy writes an article telling fans… I’m sorry, “marks”, (classy)… how naive they are here on a site for wrestling fans. Oh, you contrarian, you. Consider the pot stirred, sir.

  • DoingMaThing

    Hey look…yet another Punk article. Why am i not surprised? This website is filled with Punk marks. Everyone is a Punktard here except me and 2 others. Punk is so overrated

    • Chelsii

      Why are you reading it if you don’t like it? Retard.

    • Chelsii

      Why are you reading it if you don’t like it? Retard.

      • DoingMaThing

        I didnt read the article retard!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Chelsii

          Why click on it if you don’t like Punk? Retard.

        • Y2J

          If you would have read it you would’ve seen the stuff he said about The Rock, like saying Rock has huge drawing power. Read the article or STFU.

      • Guest

        why do you pretend to act be a girl when everyone knows you are obviously a guy or a very very very unattractive girl

        • Chelsii

          Excuse me?

          • YM5

            totally off topic but I’ve always seen Miesha Tate whenever I read your comments, idk why I just do

          • Chelsii

            Who’s Miesha Tate?

          • YM5

            shes a MMA fighter

    • Rob

      If you don’t like it don’t f@cking click on the article dipsh!t

      • DoingMaThing

        I’ll click on it and complain if i want to. Mind your own business dipsh*t

  • DoingMaThing

    Hey look…yet another Punk article. Why am i not surprised? This website is filled with Punk marks. Everyone is a Punktard here except me and 2 others. Punk is so overrated

  • unc4life15

    This is a nice opinion piece. But what this reign did was take Punk from a superstar into a legend.

    Orton and being the legend killer. Edge and his evil turn with Lita with a lot of sex and humor. Cena and beating JBL after being face and the doctor of Thuganomics. Even HHH and him crashing Stephanie’s wedding then winning the belt and being with DX.

    This title reign is that moment that 10 years from now we will look back on as fans, as CM Punk defining moment. What other person in wrestling today could hold the biggest championship for 434 days, and people say it was cut short?

    Punk from now on is a true superstar, in sports, TV, and entertainment. But in wrestling, he is money, he is now officially a legend.

  • Cee Jaih

    I bought WM 28 for Punk/Jericho

  • http://www.facebook.com/adamdjt Adam Daniel John Thompson

    Punk showed that relevant champs can hold the title for great periods of time. No one would have complained if Punk held it for two to three years if he kept being entertaining.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004075500239 James Jones

    would wwe care about rock if he wasnot doing movies, lets face it we see more of the rocks trailors for his movies than we do of the rock the so call champ himself, i agree why didnot they just ask stone cold to help, undertsaker vs cm punk would of been good, its all about the rock it pisses me off all this talk about him making over 1 billion at the box office news flash fast furious gi joe were doing great without him,

  • blake327

    no change what so ever

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