Editor’s Note: In March of this year, we posted an article titled Why We Chant For CM Punk. Although Punk has long since moved on to greener, more bruised pastures, this post is still one of our most clicked links from search engines and so we are doing an updated version of it here.
Last night, Monday Night Raw came to us from Cincinnati, OH. The fans began chanting for CM Punk during the Cruiserweight match. It was a disrespectful move to Tony Neese and our Cruiserweight Champion, TJ Perkins, but it almost seems unavoidable. No matter how often Punk stresses that he is done with WWE, fans continue to not only chant his name, but bring signs catered to him at live events.
Punk made his UFC debut in Cleveland, Ohio on September 10th against Mickey Gall. He was submitted via rear naked choke at 2 minutes and 14 seconds in the first round. Punk outlasted Gall’s last opponent, who submitted at the 45 second mark in the first round. After 20 months of training and two surgeries, Punk made a strong debut regardless of what the haters may say. He refused to give up until there was no other option and lasted longer than many of his fellow fighters could have. Still, it was a dismal debut.
I was genuinely nervous during Punk’s UFC fight. I have never been so invested in two short minutes. It was heartbreaking, exciting, and put my husband and I through a whirlwind of emotions in just a few seconds. Current and past WWE stars have had mixed reviews on his debut, ranging from “uncomfortable” and a sign that he should pursue another career, to “inspiring” and a great effort for a first fight.
As can be expected, a lot of people have hinted that his so-called failure in UFC should prompt Punk to return to WWE where he is already established as a winner. Not an event goes by in his hometown of Chicago where we don’t see fans wearing his shirts and hear at least one crowd chant for his appearance. And as we saw on Monday Night RAW, Punk is clearly still over as a fan favorite.
We can probably safely say that Punk will never set foot in a WWE ring again, and we can also safely say that the chants won’t stop for a long time. It’s not about the hope of him returning anymore, we’re past that. We chant for CM Punk because us Punk fans respect the hell out of the man. Even though he isn’t watching Monday Night Raw, we chant his name and hope somehow he knows how much we appreciate what he has done for professional wrestling. Regardless of where he goes from here, we’ll be supporting him and looking for any excuse to chant his name.
Article by Mrs. Jamie Baker
WWE’s Payback PPV will take place tonight in Chicago, IL at the AllState Arena. My husband and I attended Payback in 2014 and had a blast, so if you’re in the area and attending, I am jealous. This was originally scheduled to take place on May 22nd in Newark, NJ, but was rescheduled. It will be the fourth Payback PPV in history. Every title but one is on the line tonight, plus we will find out the future of Shane McMahon and his sister, Stephanie. Let’s take a look at tonight’s matches and make some predictions.
Kalisto (c) vs Ryback – United States Championship Match (Kickoff Show)
For the second PPV in a row, the US Title will be defended on the pre-show kickoff, because the WWE clearly doesn’t care about making this title matter. Kalisto’s title reign is on track to become more useless than Dean Ambrose’s reign, and that’s pretty bad. What is the point of having this title if it’s ignored or shoved to the preshow on a consistent basis? Complaints aside, I’m hoping that these two go full force and give us a match that screams Main Event. I’m also pulling for The Big Guy 100%, which is no surprise.
Dean Ambrose vs Chris Jericho – Singles Match
Jericho has thankfully moved on from bothering AJ Styles and calling him a rookie, and is now wrapped up in Ambrose’s antics. Ambrose shoved Jericho out of the way, replacing the Highlight Reel with the Ambrose Asylum. I thought that Jericho would be taking another break from in-ring action after his feud with Styles ended, but it looks like he’ll be sticking around for a few more months. Jericho may still “have it” if you listen to the fans, but for me, he’s best used in a part time capacity in limited matches. It’s unclear whether or not this match-up will be repeated in the future, but I hope it isn’t.
WINNER: Dean Ambrose
Enzo & Big Cass vs The Vaudevillains – #1 Contender Tag Team Championship Match
I initially thought that the tag titles would be defended tonight, because that would make sense, but instead we’re getting the qualifying match to see who will face The New Day for the titles. I’m disappointed not to see a Tag Title match, but incredibly excited to see Enzo and Cass compete. They are among the most over wrestlers in the company right now, and for good reason. NXT took a hit when it lost these two, but I’m happy they finally got a well-deserved call up to the main roster. I hope that New Day takes over the commentary table for this match the way they did on Smackdown recently.
WINNER: Enzo & Cass
The Miz (c) vs Cesaro – Intercontinental Championship Match
I love that The Miz keeps winning titles in underhanded, obnoxious ways. This time around, he stole the title from Zack Ryder 24 hours after he won it. I’m sadly not a fan of Maryse, Miz’s wife and new valet. She is joining the cast of Total Divas and will be on Raw and Smackdown for the foreseeable future as a way to promote her appearance on the reality series. Cesaro is back from injury with a new James Bond 007 gimmick that wasn’t necessary but not completely terrible either. I’m glad he’s back and still popular, and I’m hoping he wins tonight so he can have a decent run as champ. He’s earned it.
WINNER: The Miz
Charlotte (c) with Ric Flair vs Natalya with Bret Hart – Women’s Championship Match
Fans want Sasha Banks to be champ. I want her to be champ. WWE wants Charlotte though, and they don’t want her without her daddy in tow. Adding Bret Hart to the mix is actually an interesting move. It evens the playing field so we can hopefully finally have an honest match instead of seeing Charlotte’s victories earned by her father instead of by her. My hope is that Ric and Bret entertain each other outside of the ring so that Charlotte and Natalya can have a true one-on-one. The worry here, of course, is that Bret helps Natalya win and she becomes the same sort of champion Charlotte is now.
Dolph Ziggler vs Baron Corbin – Singles Match
I became a serious fan of Corbin after watching Breaking Ground and I’ve been enjoying his (squash) matches on Raw and Smackdown lately. He’s a powerhouse and his character feels genuine because it’s based on his personality to the letter. Ziggler is a good guy to have Corbin go against because he can make being hit by a light breeze look like getting mowed down by a freight train. I hate to see Ziggler jobbing, but if he has to job to someone, Corbin is a good choice. And maybe Ziggler doing the job now pays off for him in the future.
WINNER: Baron Corbin
Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens – Singles Match
The build to this match has been phenomenal. Owens and Zayn have one hell of a history, and have gone from best friends to mortal enemies. I imagine that both men are excited about this one. Having worked with someone for so long and then both make it to the main roster of the WWE together has got to be a great feeling. This match has had so much hype behind it, you would think it was the main event. And rightly so; it’s about damn time we recognize real talent instead of the John Cena’s and Roman Reigns’s of the world being the only ones coming out on top. Regardless of how this turns out, I’m happy. It’s going to be fantastic and will also be a nice preview of what is to come when these two men finally main event a WWE PPV together (eg: WrestleMania 32?)
WINNER: Kevin Owens
Roman Reigns (c) vs AJ Styles – WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
I’m so confused about this match. I don’t know why Styles was thrown into the title picture so quickly, especially given all the “rookie” nonsense. No other male competitor has received a title shot so fast, and while Styles may deserve it, it is questionable given all the other seasoned talent on the roster. I’ve been working with the assumption that Seth Rollins will return at or around Summerslam, so I’m closely analyzing every move they make with the WHC belt. Styles makes no sense to me. As far as Reigns goes, it’s clear that we’re not going to have the strong and silent Reigns any time soon, so it’s also clear that I’m not getting on board with him. If I see him blow on his fist as if it is the barrel of a shotgun one more time, I’m going to lose it. I’m curious to see if The Authority makes an appearance during this match, especially since Triple H is due his rematch. Keep in mind the name of the show is “payback” so maybe HHH, Gallows and Anderson, or even Rollins comes out to get some.
WINNER: Roman Reigns
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
CM Punk has not been present in the WWE since early 2014, but that doesn’t stop fans from chanting his name, especially when a live event is held in his hometown of Chicago. His departure with the WWE isn’t one that happened on the best terms, as he was “accidentally” terminated on his wedding day; the story is that no one realized he was getting married on that particular day, but I’m simply not buying it. Punk chose to left for a long list of reasons, and considering the way he was treated and underutilized, I can’t blame him. He has since moved on to sign with the UFC and will debut later this year (we hope).
Even though Punk is done with the WWE, the fans are not done with him. Prior to AJ Lee retiring, the Punk chants filled the arena when she would walk out; not very respectful to her, but I can understand the urge to do it. When my husband and I attended the 2014 Payback PPV in Chicago, we chanted for Punk all night, plus had the signs and the shirts as we hoped he would come back. The March 7, 2016 Raw in Chicago started off with a bang with Shane and Vince McMahon squaring off, and Vince ended up being interrupted by a booming “CM PUNK” chant as he berated his son. On last night’s WWE Roadblock, Canadian fans started out the night with a spur of the moment Punk chant. We still see the signs, the t-shirts, and we will always have that group of fans that hold on to the sliver of hope that Punk will one day surprise us all with a triumphant return to the squared circle. I personally don’t believe it will ever happen, but I’m guilty of thinking “what if” from time to time.
We chant for Punk because he wasn’t lying when he printed Best In The World on his t-shirts. When he was a heel, I truly hated him. He didn’t resort to using easy insults to get booed, he made you want to punch him square in his smug face. He tore down whoever the current hero was in a way that was uniquely his. When he was a face, he demanded the crowd cheer for him without changing his personality or chasing cheap pops. He seamlessly transitioned into whatever role was required without compromising the person he was. His departure left a gaping hole in the WWE that no one has been able to fill yet.
We chant for Punk because he brought something special to the WWE. His infamous Pipe Bomb paved the way for countless other wrestlers to stop being afraid of the consequences of breaking the 4th wall, going off script, or speaking their mind. His wife, for example, subsequently delivered one of the greatest promos a female wrestler has ever given in the WWE. He made it okay to be a smart ass, to say things that were once forbidden, and to not give one single shit about what anyone thinks of you so long as you think the world of yourself. He gave people the go ahead to have a backbone and to demand something better.
We chant for Punk because his MMA debut is going to be a must-see event and is one of the most highly anticipated debuts in recent history. You have the fans that have followed Punk from the beginning, those who only know him from the WWE, and then you have the group of people who detest the man and want to see him fail. People on both ends of the spectrum are going to be buying the PPV, or at the very least scouring social media and YouTube for updates and video. My husband and I have already decided to buy it, which will make it our very first UFC PPV purchase.
We chant for Punk because he lives his life for himself, not for the fans. He (and wife AJ) don’t post selfies at the gym or in their home. His meals aren’t getting posted to Instagram, along with arsty photos of the park he jogged in this morning. He lives a private life and doesn’t spend one second trying to win the approval of anybody. His wedding was a private affair and he was pretty damn upset when a wedding photo leaked, stealing a moment meant for a few and giving it to the masses. Punk remains shrouded in mystery, and it’s hard not to respect what he does to keep things that way.
But most of all, we chant for Punk out of respect for everything that he has done during his career and for never giving in to pressure. From his early days in 1999, to Ring of Honor, to ECW, to WWE, to Marvel’s comicbook landscape and now to the UFC, he has commanded every stage he’s set foot on. He puts 100% of himself into everything he does. When he doesn’t have 100% to give, he doesn’t waste his time trying to give anything at all. His UFC debut will be one to watch, because Punk isn’t the type of person to waste time on something if he can’t conquer it in every possible way. And when he finally walks out to that cage and touches gloves with his opponent, we will all loudly and enthusiastically chant for CM Punk.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
WWE’s Payback Pay Per View is nearly upon us, and my husband and I are lucky enough to have tickets in hand for what is looking like a seriously solid event. Look for us; we’ll be the ones jumping around with Wyatt Family and CM Punk signs. Unlike Extreme Rules, where I was able to guess nearly every match outcome, Payback seems nearly unpredictable. The card is overflowing with the announced matches and the rumored events that are coming on Sunday. Here’s what we can expect.
Mask vs Hair Match (Preshow): El Torito vs Hornswoggle
I initially laughed off this rivalry and was incredibly disappointed to see that a WeeLC match was booked for the Extreme Rules PPV. To my surprise, it turned out to be one of the best matches of the night. If Hornswoggle wins this Sunday, El Torito will be unmasked. If the bull pulls out a win, Hornswoggle will have his head shaved. These two set the bar high with their performance last month, so I fully expect them to deliver again.
WINNER: El Torito. On the off chance Hornswoggle wins, I expect El Torito to be unmasked only to reveal a second mask.
United States Championship Match: Sheamus vs Cesaro
Dean Ambrose held the US title for quite a while, but barely ever defended it. Once he had to, he quickly lost it to Sheamus. Pitting the Irishman against Cesaro should make for a great match, as both men are quite dominant in the ring. Having Paul Heyman at ringside always works to enhance any match and should give Cesaro a slight edge. Sheamus hasn’t been champion for long and given Cesaro’s current push, we may see his short reign come to an end at Payback.
WINNER: Cesaro. Cue speech by Heyman.
Divas Championship Match: Paige vs Alicia Fox
It’s no secret that I dislike Paige and don’t think she should be champion. AJ is rumored to return after her wedding to CM Punk next month, so this match will likely be short and uneventful. Alicia Fox would be a great victor; she’s turned into a monster of sorts, unable to control her temper after matches. Pitting the returning AJ against Alicia doesn’t make sense and leaves things unresolved between AJ and Paige. Then again, Creative seems to put the Divas dead last, so they may be unconcerned with the storyline altogether.
WINNER: Paige. Let’s hope she can lock in her submission move in under 60 seconds this time.
Rumored: Adam Rose vs Jack Swagger
No one cares. Poor Jack Swagger looked as though he was going to have a big push in 2013, but then got himself arrested for DUI. Things were looking up when he was paired with Cesaro, but Cesaro has moved on. Now the guy is stuck feuding with the lollipop enthusiast and waste of space that is Adam Rose. I hope this rumor is nothing more than that because this is the last thing the PPV needs, and I have zero desire to see this acid trip of a man live and in person.
WINNER: The audience, assuming this match never happens.
Recently Announced: Big E. vs Rusev
Rusev is a beast, but so is Big E. This has the potential to be a great match IF they allow it to progress longer than Rusev’s matches have been thus far. We need more than a few minutes of action in order to give both competitors the opportunity to showcase their abilities. Big E needs a chance to show he’s not to be forgotten just because he’s no longer champ. Rusev needs a chance to show he can do more than squash jobbers and/or men half his size. If given the time, this will be a great match.
WINNER: Rusev. Expecting to see a different finisher than we’re used to.
Intercontinental Championship Match: Bad News Barrett vs Rob Van Dam
I could not be happier to have Barrett back on the main card. He’s a fantastic heel, his entrance music kills, and he’s fun to watch both in and out of the ring. Rob Van Dam is a fun guy with moves that are hard to match, and part of me wonders if his recent return was set to come with a title run. Considering the backgrounds of both men, I fully expect a violent and brutal match. Here’s hoping they can deliver.
WINNER: Bad News Barrett. It’s too soon to kill his momentum with a title loss.
Rumored: Dolph Ziggler vs Sami Zayn
On the May 27th episode of Main Event, Ziggler faced off with NXT’s Sami Zayn in a dark match that has been described as “unreal.” Complaints have been all over social media about the decision to not televise this amazing match. Due to the positive feedback, it’s now rumored that we may see these men compete at Payback. Being a huge fan of Ziggler, I hope there is something behind all this buzz. Cut out some of the useless John Cena promos and give us the Show Off!
WINNER: Ziggler, naturally with the Zig Zag.
No Holds Barred Elimination Match: The Shield vs Evolution
This match has been a slow build. Tensions between the Shield and Triple H rose bit by bit. The reunion of (most of) Evolution came as a serious surprise; it was the perfect way to turn tension into a solid feud and to separate Triple H from Stephanie as she deals with other matters. The problem with predicting an outcome here comes from the fact that both teams needs this win; both have the same goals and both have the same strong desire to emerge victorious.
WINNER: The Shield. I say this with very little confidence, but feel a loss for Evolution would give Batista a good opening to leave to do promotions for his movie. (And possibly pursue a skinny jeans modeling career.)
Rumored Tag Team Title Match: The Usos vs Erick Rowan and Luke Harper
This match will very likely happen, but I cannot find anything stating it has been made official. I feel that the outcome of this match is directly connected to the outcome of the Cena vs Bray match. We’ve seen far too many three-on-three brawls with these six men lately; it’s painfully obvious that we’re meant to see the Usos as Cena’s backup, the answer to the Wyatt family trio. Whatever the outcome, I hope this feud is put to rest after Sunday night.
WINNER: Erick Rowan and Luke Harper. How amazing would those freaks of nature be as our champs?
Last Man Standing Match: Bray Wyatt vs John Cena
At Extreme Rules, Bray picked up a very spooky victory over Cena by recruiting a young member of the Cenation to scare the living daylights out of everyone in the arena. Bray is the dominant man here; he’s superior on the mic, unpredictable in the ring, and clearly the right person to be the last standing. He’s proven time and again that he’s better than Cena. The WWE universe is tired of seeing Cena hop up like nothing’s wrong over and over again. He needs to go down for the ten count.
WINNER: Bray Wyatt. This will hopefully end the Cena/Wyatt feud as well with the family coming out on top.
State of WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Daniel Bryan has been talked about quite a bit lately on FaceToHeel, and for good reason. We’re all on the edge of our seats wondering what will come next. Payback should give us our answers. Bryan is faced with the threat of his wife Brie losing her job if he fails to comply with Stephanie’s demands. It seems likely that Bryan will bend to save his wife, but that seems too simple. Perhaps he’ll issue a challenge that will take Brie out of the equation. In all honesty, I’m stumped on what will happen this Sunday. My only hope is that Bryan is able to enter and leave that arena with his head held high, smile on his face, as us fans do our best to make Stephanie’s ears ring. YES!
Elephant In The Room
Will he or won’t he? CM Punk has been out of action for months and was completely silent on Twitter until just recently. He’s been vocal about his upcoming wedding and about Blackhawks games, but has been mute when it comes to anything WWE related. Every fiber of my being wants Punk to come back at Payback. It’s such a perfect set up and no secret that the fans are eager for it to happen. If he is planning a return, it’s been beautifully kept under wraps. I can analyze the situation and come up with a list of reasons it will happen, but I can also make a list of equal size about why it won’t. This is one prediction I cannot make, but know that I’ll be wishing it into existence from this moment until the very last second of the PPV.
Dear CM Punk,
I spent the majority of my youth impressed by figures such as The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Triple H. I marveled at Chyna’s in-ring abilities, passionately hated the McMahons, and laughed at Hulk Hogan’s antics. I was impressed by the athleticism of the Superstars and intrigued by the various storylines, but assumed it was all not much more than a soap opera for men, if you will. The fights were fake, the personas manufactured, and it surely wasn’t something I felt the need to invest any real time into. Fast forward to 2011; news broke that The Rock would be a Wrestlemania guest host, so my husband told me we were watching Raw and I had little choice in the matter. I was expecting to be captivated by some jabroni beating, pie eating, trailblazing, and eyebrow raising. What I wasn’t expecting was to have my full attention on you, the voice of the voiceless. I went from perplexed to impressed in about 5 seconds flat.
I was lucky enough to develop my WWE addiction around the same time that you began your 434 day long WWE Championship reign. I cheered for you as you feuded with the Human Lite Brite, Chris Jericho, who drove me nuts calling you “CM Drunk” and dousing you with booze. I laughed when you walked out into the ring wearing an “I Dig Crazy Chicks” shirt during AJ Lee’s quest to find love. I was annoyed when you lost the WWE title to someone I admired but who was either unable or unwilling to be as present in the ring as you were. I was nearly convinced that you would be the one to break the streak at Wrestlemania 29 and vowed to wear my Punk gear to work the next day if you scored that victory. When you fell to The Undertaker and followed it up by leaving the WWE for over two months, your absence hung heavy in the air.
I’ll be honest, I was slightly annoyed with you just prior to your departure. As an evil Paul Heyman guy, you mocked people relentlessly and made me want to rally to their defense. It wasn’t until after you had left that I realized that what you had done was shown me what it really meant to be a heel. I was shocked by the way you taunted The Undertaker by using the recently deceased Paul Bearer as a tool in your arsenal, but saw later that it was essential in adding fuel to the Wrestlemania fire. I hated your Knees 2 Faces shirt and detested how you verbally beat down The Rock, but didn’t see until later how perfectly played it all was. You caused the fans to care so much more about matches and feuds by making them want you to go down in flames or making them long to see the villain conquer over good. We were expertly turned in directions of your choosing as you played your part to perfection. And at the height of it all, you bid us farewell and left us hanging for two long months.
Your return at Payback was celebrated by all, and I was delighted to see you immediately begin to turn away from Heyman. The two of you played perfectly off of each other, making the feud one of the most talked about stories each week. What may have been an average bout with Ryback was turned into something spectacular due to your visible animosity towards Heyman and the insane lengths you went to overcome him. Teaming with Daniel Bryan, briefly forming The Best and The Beard, made for some must-see tag team matches. What was apparent though, to myself and to many other fans, was that you weren’t being pushed to the top where we knew you belonged. Skipping ahead to the Royal Rumble, and not only are fans let down that Daniel Bryan wasn’t even a part of it, but they are let down by the returning Batista earning something that would have been much better suited for you. Before the fans could even process the PPV outcomes, you were gone again, only this time it was without a trace of true explanation.
My husband and I have tickets locked away in our safe for the Payback Pay Per View in Chicago this June. I have my current Punk gear on standby and a new shirt on order, in the hopes that my enthusiastic wardrobe choices will somehow draw you out of hiding and back into the squared circle. Plain and simple, the WWE needs you. No one on the roster is as sharp on the mic or as quick in the ring. I watch the current John Cena and Bray Wyatt feud and think of how brilliant it would be if you were to take Cena’s place and verbally spar with the ringleader of the backwoods family. I watch Triple H make all the right moves to control the company and gain power and wonder what you would have to say about it all. There are some fantastic things going on in the WWE right now, but it’s tarnished by the fact that you aren’t a part of it.
I may never understand the reason for this unexplained absence, and perhaps I’m not meant to. What I do understand is what a vital part of the WWE Universe you are. Just look at me; I’ve temporarily turned into a shameless ass kisser in the hopes that it sways you to reconsider and come back to us. How perfect would it be to break back into the ring at Payback to a crowd that will lose their shit the moment your music hits? How amazing would it be to be able to address the awful way that pro-Punk fan signs were confiscated at live events or fans were kicked out for chanting your name? If you want to retire, I completely understand and respect that, but don’t let your final play in the WWE be a vanishing act. Come back, kick ass, and let your final act be something worthy of the legacy you’ll leave behind. No one cares about Christian yelling about One More Match, but you better believe we’d be glued to our TV screens for yours. Please come back and fill the gaping punk-shaped hole you left behind.