Like I said in my previous report: I doubted that Punk would appear at RAW in Chicago and I doubted that he will ever appear on a WWE show again. But this belief was tingled with shades of possibilities because just one day before RAW Dave Meltzer stated that one Superstar teased him that CM Punk would almost 100% sure appear on the show. Dave Meltzer is a trustful source so that there was slight expectation was certain. Now that we all know that CM Punk was absent and stayed absent throughout RAW in Chicago I’d call this strategy almost genius. There were several well placed spots throughout RAW with the perfect opportunity for Punk to emerge.
The best and most obvious was right at the start when his music hit but then after a while Paul Heyman appeared. He still is one of Punk’s best friends and with that in mind he started his promo brilliantly. The Chicago crowd obviously hadn’t forgotten his feud with Punk last year, so they booed him and cheered for Punk. Heyman than pointed his microphone over the ropes straight at the audience because he thought that Punk would deserve more and louder chants. He then sat Indian style like Punk several times before during his very own pipebombs and told us his story of CM Punk, the Paul Heyman Guy, no-one wanted in WWE from day one and no-one wants in WWE right now. I think that this was the part that wasn’t scripted like I have read that there was a part of Heyman’s promo that wasn’t written or talked about before. He then blamed every single person in the audience for Punk leaving because of their influence and his (scripted) break-up with Paul. He then blamed The Undertaker, too, because it was a downfall from there on for his relationship with Punk. And that was the circle closed when finally Brock Lesnar appeared as the man, who Paul Heyman would get revenge with and end the streak of now 21 undefeated matches for Taker at Wrestlemania. Even Brock Lesnar himself spoke a few words before Mark Henry appeared, Lesnar beat him up and destroyed the announce table with him.
Another interesting moment for CM Punk to come back could have been then one after Seth Rollins walked out on The Shield and watched the end of the match from ramp side. Punk could have joined him there, looking on with interest or interfere or whatever. I seriously even read somewhere that there is a possibility that Punk could join DA and Reigns for The Shield once Rollins is really out of it. I haven’t laughed that hard for quite a while. But I haven’t read the original source, just the quote of it and I didn’t even wanted to search for the original because… well… it’s just too ridiculous to think about it. More on the Shield vs Wyatts match (and the explanation for the headline of this very piece) later on.
Punk could have been coming back during this nonsense backstage promo by Batista but I didn’t feel it then.
He could have come out during Sheamus vs. Christian that was far too long for my liking and adding to that not very entertaining. Later on backstage Christian beat up Sheamus, who won the match and I’m afraid that we will get yet another match with these two. So, Punk could have come out to comment the second part of the match in sharp irony like Wade Barrett did with this boring Miz vs. Brodus Clay match.
After Emma / Santino vs. Summer Rae / Fandango had a decent mixed match (I really like Emma’s gimmick but not her pairing with Santino not to mention this blossoming ‘romance’) there was now another Divas match, AJ Lee not included. Word was that she was backstage but wasn’t involved in or on ringside because WWE officials didn’t want to have even louder CM Punk chants.
Another opportunity for Punk to come out emerged when Daniel Bryan cut his promo inside the ring. And here I have to ask: Am I the only one, who likes CM Punk but doesn’t really get into Daniel Bryan? Not that I would have a problem with it – I like to belong to the minority or even being the lone ranger. I just don’t get it why I only read that you HAVE to like Daniel Bryan when you like CM Punk. Is that because of their recent tag team experiment? Just tell me. Anyway, DB challenged Triple H for a match at Wrestlemania but he didn’t give in. After some mocking together with Stephanie (what happened with the Bullies Campaign, by the way?) directed at DB, Triple H even called for security to get DB out of ‘his’ ring. And exactly THAT was the perfect moment for Punk to come back again so stand by his old Indie friend. It didn’t happen.
Punk could have also come into the arena in the Mustang driven by Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad (promoting his new movie ‘Need For Speed’) but instead new hero Dolph Ziggler came with him to fight Alberto Del Rio. I sensed before that Aaron Paul was a bit more down to Earth but he practically fangirld and freaked out on the occasion. He was announced as a ‘host’ but appeared like a fan kid basically. Disappointed me a bit.
The 4th inductee to the Hall of Fame class of 2014 is the late Paul Bearer and I think Paul Heyman could act him again on this ceremony. Yes, I mean this sarcastically.
Another Punk opportunity strolled by when Super Cena cut a promo inside the ring. He basically had to show of his ‘knee injury’ and -HELL- he even got the Chicago crowd to cheer for him. Right, he got them with the statement that he wouldn’t be there for a fight that night but just being silent on that would have been more effective. But that shows that the mass is just dumb and that you can turn them from booing you into cheering for you within a few words (if you aren’t Batista, of course!). Instead of Punk Bray Wyatt interrupted Cena to cut a promo from the Titantron. It was another strange one. And this time I didn’t really get what he wanted. Anyway, this will lead towards Bray Wyatt vs. Super Cena at WM30.
Then Randy Orton appeared backstage to wish Batista good luck for his match against Daniel Bryan (that was announced as the main event of the night…) and it would have been brilliant for CM Punk just to stroll by to hit Orton on his shoulder or something like that. Obviously also that didn’t happen.
Punk could have thrown Alexandr Rusev from his little stage he finally appeared live on the show to announce that he would destroy anyone, bla. That he is strong and powerful, bla, bla, bla. We already got it during the 163 little segments within the last couple of weeks since the Royal Rumble.
During DB vs. Batista (that started just before 5am in my time zone and lasted until 5:16am) Randy Orton interrupted the match to watch it from ringside sitting comfortable in a commentary chair until be got hit with DB. Of course, also Triple H, Stephanie and Kane had to come out but also just watched. Finally Randy Orton causes disqualification with hitting DB. He missed the RKO on Batista and went back to where he instantly came from: outside the ring. Batista power bombed DB and then The Authority went inside the ring to mock DB again. Also here Punk could have come out to at least send the crowd home happy. But he did not.
So, here we are: you can’t tell me that there weren’t any opportunities written in for Punk to appear or at least make the audience think that he has to appear after or during one certain segment or after a match. There were several chances. And I think that it was well done to turn the fans’ anger and frustration for the WWE against Punk, who didn’t came back to stand up for his hometown; who didn’t came back to help a friend who was massively bullied; who didn’t came back to mock low quality matches; who didn’t came back to explain himself to a certain level. And last but not least: who didn’t come back to be the voice of the voiceless again. Clever turn, I have to admit, and it worked. The crowd was loud and there were more CM Punk chants than normally. But that wasn’t a big surprise given the fact that Chicago is his hometown. But there was no riot at all. No hijacking. No real frightening atmosphere.
The only riot that happened that night was Dean Ambrose inside and outside of the ring. The first difference to prior matches that caught my eyes was his new belt in barbed wire style very likely as a reminiscence to his barbed wire matches on the Independent circuit and his barbed wire trunks at FCW. This time his U.S. Championship belt was around his waist again but not for very long. It flew through the ropes outside the ring very quickly (just to make sure he could fly through the ropes himself later on to knock down Erick Rowan just before the match against the Wyatts even started. And DA went on being his old FCW self to even top his craziness and pace during the actual match. He also showed off some great moves we have already seen from him several times in Indie matches and on FCW but for the WWE universe they might have been new because DA of late was more sold as the punch & stomp guy. Good to see him doing again what he is really good at. What he wasn’t good at last night was keeping the focus on the actual match. Just when Seth Rollins wanted to tap after he was the legal man for the most part of the start of the match DA went for Bray Wyatt outside the ring and Roman Reigns went behind to get DA back on ringside. The next opportunity for the tap did actually work and it was brawl time with Dean Ambrose. Finally he also was beaten up but when he wanted to tap this time Seth Rollins had enough and walked out (like Roy Keane did on Saipan back in 2002). Roman Reigns now went for Rollins but he stated to him that he had enough, because they weren’t there for him when he wanted to tap but only focused on other things, being selfish and / or had their little arguments with each other. Rollins felt that he couldn’t be the glue between Ambrose and Reigns anymore to keep the Shield together. So he thought and told Reigns that it was time for Ambrose and Reigns to figure it out – their differences with each other apparently without him this time. Rollins stayed in the arena and looked on while Ambrose and Reigns now fought for themselves against the three Wyatts and in the end lost via Sister Abigail by Bray Wyatt on DA.
Later on DA and Reigns were spotted backstage at RAW Fallout:
So, apparently Rollins later left without telling them where he would went. But their reaction to that knowledge looks slightly split: on one hand concerned that Rollins could have left them forever; on the other hand angry about him walking away. But this isn’t the final split because after DA disappeared during the match at Elimination Chamber and now Rollins walked out during the match, there is still Reigns left with something ridiculous to do on the other two guys. I still hope that all this will lead to DA vs. Rollins vs. Reigns at WM30 with them finally starting their singles careers in WWE. But maybe some rumours are true and DA will have to fight Big E for the unification of the U.S. & Intercontinental Championship belts with Rollins and Reigns at ringside both walking on DA then. However it’s now pretty certain that the final cut and the last nail into the coffin for The Shield will be at WM30.
Personally I can’t wait for it.