I will never know all of CM Punk’s story. None of us will. We’ll know what WWE says and what Punk says, whenever they decide to spill the beans. That could be 20 years now for all we know, but we certainly won’t get the full story. We may get somewhere close at some point, but you can bet that what we get will be cleaned up from the real nitty-gritty.
For the time being, let’s say that CM Punk is now gone from WWE. His contract is going to run out with an appearance from him, or he’ll get an early release from the company. Either way, he’s gone from WWE and won’t be a part of their programming in the future. Obviously there was some heat behind the scenes that lead to this situation. I can understand that and how grating it can be. With that said, does Punk owe anything at all to his fans?
This is my opinion and I’m certainly not saying it’s right or wrong. It just is and you can feel free to disagree with me. Personally, I believe that Punk definitely does owe his fans a parting gift from WWE. Without his fans, CM Punk certainly wouldn’t be where he is today. That includes fans that watch RAW every week as well as fans internally at WWE. We all helped to get him to the level he hit, in both big and small ways.
Take a look at RAW last week in Chicago. The crowd was absolutely insane with CM Punk chants. The roars were so deafening at times that you couldn’t even hear what was going on in-ring. Yes, it certainly helped that RAW was emanating from Chicago, but it’s not like that’s the only RAW where we’ve heard CM Punk chants. It’s very clear that a large, vocal part of the WWE fanbase appreciates what Punk has done in the company.
Let’s say Punk had the absolute shittiest time possible in WWE. He got along with no one, never liked the story direction he was given and absolutely hates everyone on staff. They could never agree about anything and the time spent with WWE was nothing but an absolute disaster. I give Punk every right to feel that way and then just disappear from the company. I may not agree with it or think it was handled the best way, but so be it. My issue comes up with the fan support.
For years and years, Punk built up a group of fans that only grew with each year that passed. He was cheered in big, big ways. He received praise from fans that few wrestlers get to enjoy. There were people out there buying his shirts and other merchandise, which he does see some profit from. These are diehard fans that live and breath what CM Punk does in the world of wrestling. He’s one of the biggest superstars the industry has ever seen, no question.
CM Punk’s situation is his own and he can handle it as he sees fit, but I find it a bit sad that he hasn’t reached out to fans. The last we got from him was a tweet before he left the company that applauded fans. After that, it’s been absolute radio silence from Punk. No tweets, videos, interviews or anything else. All we get are some photos that were snapped in secret. With each day that passes, that irks me more and more.
Do I feel like I’m owed something for being a fan of Punk? I honestly don’t, but I’m not a huge fan of Punk. I do enjoy his in-ring/mic skills, but there’s always been something that didn’t sit right with me. I don’t know what it is, but I would never let that blind me from his obvious talents. I also wouldn’t knock anyone for being in love with what he does. The man has some great abilities in all areas of wrestling. I just feel angered that Punk hasn’t done a single thing since leaving to show his fan appreciation.
If I were him (and I’m not), I would swallow my pride and make something happen. Even if I had no plans to return to WWE for a career, I’d fight tooth-and-nail to get some sort of message out through the company on my appreciation. Sure, Punk could tip-toe around the wrestling situation and company status all he wants. He doesn’t need to discuss that to come out and tell fans that he truly appreciates the support and couldn’t have gotten to where he is without it. Years and years of shows that people attended, with cheers and signs, tears and cries. Fans have really stood by Punk and right now I feel he’s letting personal issues get in the way of the big picture.
He doesn’t ever have to come back. He doesn’t ever have to say a word to fans. In the most direct answer to the question, Punk doesn’t owe fans a damn thing. I’d just like to think that Punk is classy enough to feel motivated to do something. I don’t think the chances are good that he tried to do something and was shot down. I think he’s just taking some alone time and swimming about in his own thoughts. No one can get him out of that mess but himself.
Sure, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe there’s some sort of gag order in place. Maybe he feels he can’t say what needs to be said until things are cleared with WWE legally. I really hope there’s a reason in there for going silent on fans. A few words on Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr or whatever would work wonders. A simple three-sentence statement could let fans know he appreciates them. I find it hard to believe that there’s something outside of his own power keeping him from doing that, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
Punk did all the work to get to where he is. Bumps, bruises and all sorts of injuries piled up. Years of mental issues to tackle when dealing with the nature of the business and backstage politics. We all see how that can beat someone down in every way possible. With all that said, a majority of fans have been at his back all the way. He may only hear them chant in an arena or see them holding signs, but CM Punk holds a special spot in the minds and hearts of those fans. Certainly he could come forward and recognize that in this unsure time.
I’ll keep holding out for a classy end to this mess. I don’t expect him to come back to WWE now, but I would love to see a personal message to fans. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for and I would hope Punk fans feel the same. To walk away from his fans as he did the WWE would really leave me with a sour taste in my mouth. That’s not a fitting path for someone that calls himself ‘best in the world’.