The Summer of Punk vs A Cold Hard Twinter

If something is cool it’s usually no longer cool, which will make it cool again I guess. Do people still even use cool to describe something?  Leading up to the  Money in the Bank pay-pre-view in July the WWE for the first time in about 10 years seemed “cool” again.  CM Punk someone who flew under the radar in the WWE but just high enough for some to notice his stellar in ring ability and brilliance on the microphone emerged out of nowhere as the new “Stone Cold” Steve Austin type character that hated the establishment he was a part of, hated his boss, didn’t care what people thought about him or his actions and shot his mouth off in the most entertaining way possible.  All of this wrapped up with a nice bow of “maybe some of the stuff he’s saying is real” and this started what people dubed “The Reality Era” Work or Shoot…doesn’t matter it was awesome.  CM Punk was becoming a counter culture anti-hero amoung the John Cena hating older fans that have hung on to the fake sport that they love and things were finally rolling in a possitive direction.  At Money in the Bank Cena and Punk put on an outstanding match with CM Punk winning the title and seemingly leaving with said title creating something even more interesting.

A week later CM Punk showed up at comic con which is really where the WWE should be tapping it’s market but we’ll get to that on another day.  The video of Punk taunting WWE Brass with his new found title hit the web with a fury.  Everyday I’d be hitting twitter where Punk would post new pics of him and the belt, and follow fellow WWE stars heaping praise on CM Punk for his outstanding match and helping change the culture.  Finally CM Punk returns to RAW two weeks later and suddenly the steam started to disapte from the locomotive that was “The Reality Era”  Triple H got involved with the feud between Punk and Cena, their rematch was muddled with an apperance by Kevin Nash and then the wheels were off the bus carrying “The Reality Era” and it wasn’t till last week I realized how bad the WWE really missed the mark and maybe this bus never had any wheels.

In 1997 the WWE realized that the world was an edger place and that rather than watch the world go by they adpated to make their product a reflection of what the real world was.  I thought that in July of 2011 a time when the WWE was lossing steam again they were going over come and adapt to a more reality driven product to reflect today’s entertainment but boy was I wrong.  I realized recently why I eat up all of the WWE’s DVD releases; it’s because they’re not treating you like a kid anymore.  Wrestlers talk about the business in a real and facinating sense and knocks down the walls of bullshit that the storylines create.  I know the very point of wreslting is it’s a fake story wrapped in real athletisim and a scripted ending.  I know that’s what it is but lately I feel like that stuff needs some redirection and I thought we were getting that, but was I wrong. Once again a smart mark is just a mark as we’ve learned time and time again.

Recently it’s been back to business as usual with CM Punk chasing the WWE champion Alberto Del Rio, a new evil GM in John Laurenitis who has less charisma than the steel steps  and now the Rock as returned all be in on a once in a while basis.  Last week at The Rock’s debut he stood in the ring and pretty much cut a “Twitter” treading promo for 15 minutes.  Now whatever The Rock does he entertains so I enjoyed the promo but it wasn’t till afterwards it hit me what had just happend;  This was CM Punk’s fault, this was the corporate reaction to CM Punk’s “Reality Era.”  It was like the end of The Usual Suspects when I started to think back over the last few months; WWE Superstar Twitter feeds are have become boring and storyline based, when before they were just honest looks at the people behind the character and their opinons on things.  A viral video hit the web after The Miz and R-Truth were arressted and fired after Hell In a Cell, pretty ineffective to the story but I realize now they were trying to capitalize on the strength of Punk’s comic con video.  Like ECW, the NWO, and Mexican style wreslting, The WWE took Punk’s reality driven storyline, stream lined, and made it wholly un-cool.  Much like when your parents showed up on Facebook, Twitter is slowly become another piece of pop culture losing it’s luster and being watered down by the corporate machine.

This past week showcased The Rock and John Cena trying to get new catch phrases to tread on Twitter which was funny and all be pretty horrendous.  Just another example of the corporate WWE brass seeing something that has potental and pile driving it into submission.  So from I understand the WWE saw what Punk was doing smiled and said yes this is good and it culminated in each Wrestler have his twitter handle tied to the Television graphic of their name as they walk to the ring.  This Monday made it official, it’s not the reality era, it’s the twitter era but the problem is they need to worry less about what’s trending on Twitter and figure out why your top Superstar is being boo’ed by everyone in every arena over the age of 12.  In a reality era, John Cena would have walked out in his home town of Boston showered in boos and told that crowd to kiss his ass.  How he works 300 plus days a year, grants wishes to kids around the world, has made more public appearances than anyone in the business over the past 5 year and how without him this place would be shit.  Unfortunately he has to smile watch the fans cheer a guy that left the business to make disney movies and try and get dumb catch phrases to trend.    The stretch of bad Monday Night Raw’s has outweighed the good from this point to back in July when things started to feel “cool” again.  I still hold hope that we will get a more reality driven story and not pop-culture driven social media pandering bullshit.  I guess the more things change in the world, the more the WWE stays the same.



~ by ATOM on November 18, 2011.

2 Responses to “The Summer of Punk vs A Cold Hard Twinter”

  1. I remember when the term “reality era” came around and I thought for a second that things were going to change also. What we got when Punk came back was a couple awkward promos by Nash and Cena where they tried to come across like a shoot, but just came across as bad acting.

    When wrestling is at it’s best, its showing you something that you totally buy in to as real. That’s why we like so much more when we’re younger, to a degree “Its still real to me dammit”.

    There’s been countless times growing up that I saw stuff on wrestling and said, “Holy Crap that was real!” I think those moments are tougher to come across as we get older and know the business better. The CM Punk “shoot” promo was amazing and def made me say “Holy Crap that was real”. Those are the moments as an older fan that I love cause they still fool me. WWE can’t go in to the “reality era” because they’re marketing to masses, not the group that grew up during the “attitude era”.

    I think its clever that they’re utilizing different social networks. Although they’re promoting everyone’s twitter, I don’t think they have full control of the content yet and it will only be a matter of time before they use it properly to get another “Holy Crap that was real” moment.

    I’m still undecided about the handling of CM Punk. They couldve done things differently but at the same time he still cuts a good promo that has sprinkles of reality in them for the older fans. I think starting Sunday its going to be interesting to see what they do with him.

  2. Yeah I understand the problem of balancing a product to a mass audience is incredibly challenging so I totally get what your saying with that. I should have added that one bright spot lately has been the PPV’s have delivered as of late which is so tough because of the amount of content on a weekly basis and 12 a year. So I’m hoping Survivor Series at the garden is one to remember.

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