By: Travis Thayer
January 27, 2014 marks the day that professional wrestling started to die. Now, wrestling isn’t dead yet, but it might as well be an endangered species. WWE Superstar C.M. Punk left the company on Monday following the annual Royal Rumble event. Punk’s contract was due to be re-negotated in six months, but he decided he’d had enough. Punk was allegedly upset about the direction of the main event at Wrestlemania. As of right now that match will be contested between WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton and the returning Batista. Batista returned two weeks ago, and he walked right in and won the Royal Rumble and the right to be in the main event at Wrestlemania. That didn’t sit well with Punk, who has been busting his ass his whole career in order to main event the Super Bowl of wrestling. Once Punk saw he wasn’t going to be in the main event, he bolted for Chicago.
Now that may seem a little childish, but the man is in the right to walk away. Wrestling isn’t what it once was. The fans no longer want to see the guys with the huge biceps, who look like men made of stone. The new fan base wants to see smaller, agile guys who can actually wrestle. Guys like C.M. Punk and Daniel Bryan should be headlining Wrestlemania, not Randy Orton and Batista. As much as things change in the WWE, they really don’t change that much. There has been an infusion of young talented guys who can really wrestle, but they are just there to fill out the card. Guys like John Cena, Randy Orton, and whatever former star that decides to return, whether it be The Rock, Batista, or Brock Lesnar are the guys getting the main event spots.
C.M. Punk is one of the main reasons I watch Raw ever Monday, and I’m just as disgusted with the situation as he is. Each January I start to get excited about Wrestlemania because it is the biggest show of the year, and I expect it to be the best show of the year. Now that Punk has left, I’m not so sure that Wrestlemania will be that impressive. The reasons being a moronic main event that is currently scheduled to happen, the old-timers-nostalgic-affect, and not knowing how to book your biggest stars. Yeah maybe the WWE is building to some ultimate moment where the fans will go wild, but wouldn’t it be smart to have that epic moment at your biggest pay-per-view.
If Daniel Bryan isn’t the WWE World Champ going into Wrestlemania, he should be winning that very belt at Wrestlemania. His opponent should be C.M. Punk, which would potentially be the greatest match of all-time. Oh, but wait, that can’t happen because the WWE lost one of its biggest stars because they wouldn’t use him correctly. Who cares if Triple H doesn’t get to have a Wrestlemania match? The last time I checked he’s not a full-time wrestler. How about Batista versus Brock Lesnar in a I Came Back For Money Match? I could go on all day, but the fact of the matter is that the best wrestlers are underutilized in the best story-lines, their bodies are beat up constantly from working every day, and it’s all because they supposedly don’t look the part.
Now I know some of you are thinking, wrestling’s fake, who care’s who’s in the main event and so on? My response is, Yes, wrestling is fake. It is a worked shoot where the outcomes are predetermined, and the punches are pulled. That doesn’t mean that it’s not a competition backstage, and that there is no physical toll on the wrestlers. Everyone on the WWE roster wants to be the top guy, so why shouldn’t a guy be pissed when he’s not put in the position he so rightfully deserves. And I’ll admit, in two or three weeks we could find out that this was all a ploy to gain viewership at the most opportune time on the WWE calendar. C.M. Punk has walked out before and come back weeks later, but this time I suspect it’s going to be for good – or at least for a long time. Part of me hopes it’s a ploy because everyone is talking about Punk and the WWE. This could either be the start of something special, or it could be the day professional wrestling started to die.