CM Punk=Money In The Bank! But What Happens Next?

Recently here on the MCM Buzz we have been following the developing story of WWE star CM Punk and the impending expiration of his contract. In the past several weeks starting with that infamous promo (see here for more), Punk had promised that on July 17th he would walk out of the WWE with its coveted WWE Championship and without renewing his contract. In the weeks that followed both behind the scenes and on the screens, WWE valiantly fought to get Punk to renew his contract so that they would not lose one of their top stars. A stipulation was also introduced into the match following a storyline interjection by John Cena that also meant if CM Punk won, John Cena would be fired! At this point many longtime WWE fans and commentators alike thought that this meant it was all but certain John Cena would triumph but still nobody apart from Vince McMahon and a select few knew the plans.

So by the time last nights Money In The Bank pay per view arrived, many people were saying that this had the potential to be the WWE’s most anticipated match and pay per view in years. So after a great two hours of entertainment, the time came for the match between Cena and Punk. You could feel the tension and excitement from the crowd as it oozed from the screen. The match began like any other with one difference this time, the reaction to CM Punk was absolutely amazing as the whole arena appeared to be cheering their hometown hero, and at points it looked as if this reaction was moving the typically cocky Punk to tears. Meanwhile the normally mixed reaction to John Cena was replaced with a chorus of boos that was almost as loud as the cheers for Punk a few moments before; all of which John Cena seemingly took within his stride. The match itself was fitting of the occasion and many might say in the days and weeks to come that it was a classic one full of near falls (thats 2 and 2 and half counts to you and me) and almost submissions for both combatants. Also towards the end of the match Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis (the latter person being the one who in real life was unsuccessful in getting Punk to re-sign and as a result many believe him to be in a lot of trouble) emerged from back stage and tried to interfere and cost Punk the match but were stopped by an angry Cena. Minutes later and the match was over after CM Punk used this distraction to pull off his signature move (The Go To Sleep) and pin John Cena allowing him to win the match, the title and the fans the chance at a storyline of a lifetime.

So as the dust settles on this extraordinary event what does this mean for the WWE? Will John Cena be fired? Will CM Punk walk away with the WWE Champsionship? Will Vince McMahon be embarrassed as never before? This is where the story truly gets interesting! In this writers opinion this is an interesting time for the WWE, as lately the company has been floundering due to the fact that they were losing top talent due to injury or them not wanting to re-sign their contracts when they expired. So Vince McMahon needed something to capture the audiences imagination, something that had never been done before. Enter CM Punk.

CM Punk has long been thought by many within the wrestling world to have been underused by the WWE, a fact which he himself also thought. He brought to light his feelings about it in his incredible promo several weeks ago. So when it came time to renew his contract and the negotiations failed, something which many blame on John Laurinaitis, as well as the fact that Punk genuinely wanted time away from the WWE’s, at times, relentless and unforgiving schedule, opportunity it appears was knocking.

What happened next is purely speculation on this writers part but based on the WWE’s history of letting some of its top performers speak unscripted (Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock and John Cena are thought be at least three who are able to do this), it is likely that Vince McMahon let CM Punk go out that Monday Night and deliver the promo exactly the way Punk wanted to. The rest, as they say, is history, as Punk delivered the most talked about promo in history, and in doing so took his career and stock within the WWE soaring to new heights. So what the WWE had now was a match that not only had the world buzzing with anticipation, but they also had masterfully given CM Punk the push of a lifetime. In doing so they might possibly be able to use it as leverage in future contract negotiations. As the weeks went by and the storyline started to develop, many fans began to speculate that the WWE would never let Punk win and walk out with the title. So ever the one to up the ante, Vince McMahon adds a twist to the tale, one that will see John Cena fired if he loses to Punk. At this point many, including myself, began to smell a rat as to why the WWE would fire their most profitable superstar? Answer, they wouldn’t as they would lose a lot of money in merchandise from his fans, and money is key at the moment to the WWE, as they plan to launch their own cable network in 2012. On the other hand the firing of John Cena would give the WWE an excuse to allow him some time to rest and avoid the risk of injury heading into his big Wrestlemania match with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson next year; a match which the WWE again has a lot riding on. So as the match drew closer many, including myself, began to think that Punk was destined to lose, but hoped secretly that the WWE would do something completely amazing and let Punk win, which in the end they did. The result of the WWE doing so is that they have now breathed fresh life not only into their TV product but also its fans, who are now chomping at the bit to see what will happen next.

So now back to my earlier question, is Vince McMahon embarrassed? No he is not. What he has shown in allowing this to unfold the way he has is that he is not only in touch with the fans but also able to take risks in order to benefit his business. This in turn helps promote his performers, pleases the fans, and more importantly to him, increases his profits. In terms of what happens next for CM Punk and the WWE, it is thought that Punk may have signed another extension to his contract (the first being signed weeks ago and meant that his contract would end as in the storyline – on July 17th) prior to the start of Money In The Bank. Thus meaning that this storyline could not only continue but that Punk also did not leave the WWE with the WWE Championship, but again this is pure speculation and only time will tell if it is indeed true. There is one thing however that suggests it may not be speculation, as The Rock recently hinted that he was returning to teach John Cena a lesson very soon and many believe this will occur at the company’s next marquee event, Summerslam. So with John Cena fired this would seem highly unlikely now, unless of course The Rock was not refering to Summerslam but another event entirely. The WWE could also give John Cena a rematch at Summerslam, as after all in the WWE all champions have a rematch clause in their contracts, only to have The Rock interject and cause John Cena the embarrassment of losing twice. Right now the answers to these questions are anybody’s guess, but one thing is for certain, WWE programming is going to see a huge rise in audience figures, and the money is going to roll in, as the fans get ready for the most talked about storyline in years.  

Did you see Money In The Bank? What do you think of the result? Add your thoughts in the comments below!


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