Shaking Things Up, But Keeping In Balance

A few days ago I wrote an entry on turning John Cena heel. Some people say it can’t be done, I say it can easily be done.

A1 blogger and podcast panelist Josh Weiner did make a good point though to me over Twitter – who replaces Cena as the top face if he turns heel?

I’ll admit I didn’t really think of that at the time, but I believe I mentioned Randy Orton and another who’s name I can’t remember at the moment. But, I have the solution.

Who replaces John Cena as WWE’s top face?

CM Punk.

Those that know me and talk to me about wrestling know that I was a big fan of Punk’s edgy face/near tweener character where he was still out for himself, but he was racy and controversial and exciting and everything that I loved about the character. Now, the CM Punk character has degraded into a greasy whiny heel that is hell bent on people “respecting” him for everything that he accomplishes, but the problem is he doesn’t accomplish anything.

I understand that these character types are a staple of villains in wrestling and the “greasy heel” is a popular villain type, and while I’ve enjoyed those characters in the past there’s something about the current CM Punk character that rubs me the wrong way. It’s whiny greasy heel cranked up to 13, and I’m not feeling it. I’m a much bigger fan of his previous incarnation, “pipe-bomb Punk”, for lack of a better term.

So how does all this get fixed?

It just takes one promo.

In short, make the (supposed) “scandal” between AJ and Cena, and all the attacks and weekly “exposes” from Vickie Guerrero *get* to Cena. He tries his best to fight it and do the right thing and defend both he and AJ but it just eats away at him, and he finally snaps. He’s been trying to do the right thing and be the role model for 10 years, but now it’s time to go into business for himself. He has to right things *his* way.

In the meantime, CM Punk holds the WWE Championship until Royal Rumble where The Rock returns and defeats him for the belt. Since they’re heading for Rock vs. Cena II at Wrestlemania next year, Cena’s going to get booed anyway so might as well have Rocky be the good guy and Cena be full bore villain for the best effect.

Once Punk loses the title, here’s the kicker – the promo I mentioned above. Paul Heyman cuts an epic promo where he acknowledges that it wasn’t Punk behind the Brad Maddox swerve vs. Ryback – Heyman set it all up. It wasn’t Punk that brought in the three men that saved his title at Survivor Series – it was all Heyman’s doing. That’s the key – it’s not Punk, it’s Heyman that’s been the machination behind all this the whole time. Heyman has lobbied for easier matches. Heyman has bought the protection. Heyman has greased the wheel, and he saw money in working with Punk. Punk was Champion, so Heyman hitched on to his star and kept him on top, taking his cut as he went.

But now that Punk is no longer Champion, the gravy train has stopped, he’s no longer the best in the world – never was, actually, and there’s no point in staying with him. Without the title and everything that goes with it, there is no Heyman. Without Heyman, Punk is worthless.

BAM. Instant face. That would sufficiently tick Punk off to direct him back to the style of his pipe bomb character which I am such a big fan of, keep the heel/face balance in check at the Championship level, and give Punk a chance to refresh his character while giving himself a whole new series of feuds against whomever Heyman aligns himself with next while Rocky and Cena feud over the WWE title.

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