Seriously, how bad did the ending of RAW drop the ball tonight? OMG A CENA/PUNK MATCH AT SUMMERSLAM. That was a foregone conclusion at this point. Even the crowd was like “meh” when Triple H announced it.
No cliffhanger, no twist (I’m still left waiting for the inevitable Triple H heel turn), no big moment… Just announcing a match that everyone and their mother already knew was going to happen.
I don’t know if they were going for some sort of Hogan/Rock vibe , but they failed miserably. The dueling theme music was just annoying, and all it did was dampen the heat this angle has been building over the last month.
I’m already getting a bad feeling about this - the HHH/Punk promo that opened the show was good, but seemed to be forcing the shock value. What once felt unpredictable and off the cuff now feels rehearsed and scripted. And that’s not a shot at either guy. Punk is still Punk, and I think he can work a crowd better than anyone in the company right now, and Triple H has been doing fairly well with the new onscreen role he’s taken. But it feels like once CM Punk came back, some of the air was let out of the balloon. (I’m still loving “Cult of Personality”, though)
Next week is make or break heading into SummerSlam. They’ve gotta keep the fire lit heading into the PPV, and they can’t afford to have their hottest angle in years fizzle out before the finish. Tonight was the first time the story lost momentum, and they’ve gotta pick it up and see this thing through in order to make it a success. Because right now it’s not successful. Right now it’s still an experiment, and if the SummerSlam buyrate isn’t huge, CM Punk is headed right back into midcard obscurity.
I hope they can pull it off, I really do. I want to be interested in wrestling again. I want the WWE to be able to entertain me. I’m a jaded internet smartass, sure, but I’m a jaded internet smartass that loves professional wrestling. I don’t hate the WWE, I hate the WWE when it sucks. Until tonight, this angle hasn’t sucked. Tonight kinda sucked, because it didn’t take the story anywhere new or exciting, it was just the WWE catching up with what everyone already knew was going to happen. I want this to work, I want it to be huge, I want Punk/Cena II (as it will inevitably be referred to - see Punk/Joe) to be a classic, and I want everyone involved to elevate themselves and the company to new levels.
But I’m a jaded internet smartass. I’ll be surprised if they don’t just have Cena squash Punk and in three months have CM Punk teaming up with his brand new buddy CP Munk.
I’ll give ‘em this much, however… I’ll be watching.