Why you should forget about CM Punk.
Look in my eyes, what do you see?
The crowd goes wild.
"CM PUNK! CM PUNK!" they chant as the Straight-Edge Superstar swaggers out of the tunnel, tattooed arms outstretched.
His smile stretches from ear as he drops to one knee and his fingers run lightly over the floor.
The bright lights reflect over his oily, slicked back hair as he checks an imaginary watch.
The crowd goes wild as he bellows a catchphrase he shares with Marvel's "The Thing"
"IT'S CLOBBERIN TIME!"
He emphatically punches air and strolls toward the ring and...
Well, then I usually hit the start button on my Xbox controller, skipping the rest of the entrance.
See, the only way that one of Punk's millions of fans can enjoy their favorite WWE superstar is by popping in one of 2k's WWE video games.
Or of course, by subscribing to the WWE Network for the low, low price of 9.99.
It's been that way since January 27th of this year, when Punk walked up to Vince McMahon at Raw and said, "I'm going home".
Since that fateful day, the WWE Universe has clamored for his return.
Every time the WWE visits his hometown of Chicago, they scream his name, as if hoping that if they yell loudly enough, he'll toss on one of his old shirts and cut another brilliant promo for them.
Every time that his wife, Diva's Champion AJ Lee wrestles, the chant even louder, hoping that he'll hear their cries while he watches his bride perform.
And every single time that anyone mentions CM Punk's name, the masses tune in for hopes of a glimpse of the longest reigning champion of the last 25 years.
But alas... They're in love with a lie.
They're chasing ghosts, pouring their cash, sweat, and tears into a dream that looks more and more like a nightmare as time passes.
Don't believe me?
Then feel free to keep reading.
Why did he leave?
It's a fair question.
Punk's contract was up in six months, why did he walk away from the company he claimed to love so much?
Well... There are a number of completely valid reasons.
1. Awful WWE Booking.
Anyone who has tuned into Raw lately can understand this one.
One of the most consistent feuds in the WWE over the last 6 months has been El Torito versus Hornswoggle.
I'll say that again.
El Torito versus Hornswoggle.
Do I even have to explain why that we don't need to see that match once, let alone a dozen times, not mentioning how often it happens at pay per views?!
And those are just the gimmicky characters, what about the way the WWE has managed their talented wrestlers?
Other than hideous breakups with talented workers like Rey Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio, the stars on the roster have been put through hell lately.
Kane and Randy Orton, two of the best workers in WWE history, have been been delegated to playing Triple H's henchmen and putting faces like Daniel Bryan and John Cena over.
Sheamus has been the U.S. Champion for months, but his feud with former number one contender, Cesaro has gotten less face time than the Bella Twin fiasco.
In a time where the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships have been merged, and both are absent from television, the minor belts should be getting more work than ever.
Even Dolph Ziggler's IC title is playing second fiddle to a Total Diva's storyline.
Speaking of absent titles...
CM Punk was furious that Dave Batista came back to win the Royal Rumble, a spot rumored to belong to the Second City Saint. Not only was Batista taking Punk's spot a rough pill to swallow, but he took a spot that Punk believed rightfully belonged to fellow independent wrestler, Daniel Bryan. Of course, Punk couldn't have known that Bryan would go on to beat every active member of Evolution in the Main Event of Wrestlemania to become champion, but even if he did...
Brock Lesnar ended the streak at Wrestlemania.
He beat The Undertaker, a man who had emerged victorious at each of the last 21 Mania's against the likes of Randy Orton, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Batista, Kane, Edge, Kevin Nash, Mark Henry, Ric Flair, and yes, CM Punk.
But you know what all those guys did that Brock didn't?
They worked year round.
They were integral parts of the WWE(F) during the entire year.
What did Brock Lesnar do?
He had a "match" against the Big Show.
Then he went on to destroy one of the most legendary superstars in the history of sports entertainment, and he used that momentum to claim the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Wanna know how many times he's performed on Raw since Wrestlemania?
He's made the occasional appearance, but for the most part, Paul Heyman has done most of the work on Raw on the Champ's behalf.
Now he's injured, and rumored not to be back until Royal Rumble.
That's in January 2015.
And another rumor says the WWE won't strip him of the title, even though it will be well over 30 days before he steps in the ring again.
That means there won't be a WWE championship match at Hell in a Cell, Survivor Series, or TLC, three of the biggest pay per views of the year as the WWE builds into Wrestlemania season.
And that Dave Batista guy who just had to win the Royal Rumble?
He's off playing Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy and may not step foot in the ring ever again.
Good job, WWE Creative. Hope the Punk for Drax trade worked for you.
3. He was unhappy with his push.
This is the one I can't quite get behind.
While it's true that Punk was stuck in the midcard, and worried that Triple H wouldn't put him over at Mania...
He's a bit spoiled.
While it's true that CM Punk only had three main event title defenses during his 434 day title reign...
He did hold the title for 434 days. That's kindof a big deal.
And while he complains about the pushes he didn't get, allow me to run off some of Punk's WWE achievements.
He was the ECW Champion for 143 days.
He was the Intercontinental Champion for 49 days.
He was the Tag-Team Champion for 47 days.
He won the World Heavyweight Championship three times for a combined 162 days.
He won the WWE Championship twice for an impressive 462 days.
He remains the only WWE Superstar to not only win the Money in the Bank ladder match twice, but to successfully cash the contract in twice.
And, as a little tidbit that I dug up, he's the only person to be undefeated against John Cena in championship matches.
Even the great Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson dropped the belt to Cena at Wrestlemania 29.
Literally, the only thing that Punk didn't knock off his checklist was being part of the main event on the stage of the immortals.
When Punk realized that probably wouldn't happen on his current contract, he lost all interest in being a part of the WWE.
What's ironic is that Daniel Bryan had no business being in the main event of Wrestlemania 30.
The only reason he got that opportunity is because he became the number one opponent for The Authority.
If Punk had stayed, maybe it would've been his momentum that pushed him into that same "Win and you're in" match that Bryan got.
Maybe Punk would've become WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Maybe Daniel Bryan was so over that he would've gotten that opportunity anyway.
Even if Bryan had become champion, that means he also would've gotten hurt.
And the title would've been vacated.
When Bryan was hurt, the WWE needed a new face to keep the belts warm for Lesnar.
They only options they had were John Cena and Randy Orton.
They weren't necessarily stoked about giving the titles to John, but they felt like the fans were fed up with Orton as champion.
Punk would've easily been the best choice to hold the title, and the WWE Universe would've eaten the Best vs the Beast pt. 2 up like CM Punk Ice Cream Bars.
Punk was some kind of champion for 863 of the 2,775 days he was employed by the WWE.
That doesn't sound like much, but when you compare it guys like Daniel Bryan or Stone Cold...
4. He was tired and beat up.
This is completely logical.
Despite only being 35, CM Punk had been wrestling since he was a teenager.
He's taken countless bumps over those years without ever really stopping.
Not to mention that he had been been RKO'd, Pedigree'd, AA'd, F-5'd, speared, punted, Shell-shocked, and choke-slammed over and over for almost ten years.
Being a smaller guy, and having to take all that punishment for half of his life while basically living on the road... I can't imagine your body ever adjusts to that. Plus, he started right out of high school. It's not like he had a posh, simple childhood like most of us were blessed with. He had been wrestling and traveling for his entire life. He never got to take vacations or travel for fun, or just sit at home and binge-watch shows on Netflix.
He got the crap beaten out of him weekly since 1999.
Wouldn't you want a break.
5. He was a perfectionist.
"Best in the World" was more than a catchphrase, it was a way of life for CM Punk.
In everything that he did, he wanted to be the very best at it.
Any less than the very best wasn't good enough for Phil Brooks.
So as time passed on, his body started to break down, and he stopped caring about what he was doing, it must have chewed him up inside knowing that he wasn't putting out matches like he was during his legendary championship reign.
He even acknowledged himself that he didn't feel like his matches were up to the standard that he set for himself, as you can see in the tweet below.
So to sum it all up...
CM Punk was tired.
He was tired of playing the same characters, having the same matches with the same people with the same results. He was tired of people getting twice the perks despite doing half of the work. And he was just plain tired.
He wanted to headline Mania, but not if it meant working at least another year for a company that did things differently than the way he believed they should have been done.
He was limping through the final stretch of a feud he was bored with.
You might think that the reason I called this article, "Why you should forget about CM Punk" is because he deserves his rested retirement and he has no business coming back because he clearly doesn't want to.
And you'd almost be right.
But here's the thing...
He might come back. Not any time soon of course, but someday, down the line, when Triple H and Stephanie have gotten over it and Punk's pride has subsided, they might be able to pull some "Bret Hart" magic and maybe even induct CM Punk into the Hall of Fame, where he belongs.
But... That's not the case.
I wrote this article because...
CM Punk has forgotten about you.
That's when CM Punk's contract with WWE expired.
While July and January both start with J, I don't believe the Straight Edge Superstar got them confused.
CM Punk could have done the adult thing and finished his commitment with the WWE.
He could have done his 7 months, shook some hands, and spent the summer lounging in his Chicago loft missing his stunning bride.
Then, if he got bored, the phone would always be there.
He could pop in for a year or two, maybe even get that main event at Mania that he always wanted.
But he didn't.
He realized he wasn't going to get what he wanted, so he took his ball and went home.
He didn't apologize to the fans who loved him with all of their hearts, he didn't consider the fact that walking out might endanger his wife's career, and he didn't thank the WWE for making all of his dreams come true.
He just disappeared on a brisk Monday night in Cleveland, Ohio, and was never heard from again.
Did I say never?
I meant until he came back to taunt his fans.
By saying he'll "Never ever" step foot in a squared circle again, by rolling his eyes when they called him a WWE Superstar on Nerdist's "The Talking Dead", and by trashing wrestling and the WWE during his podcast at San Diego's Comic Con.
But all that was fine.
Stone Cold Steve Austin walked out on the WWE, did his thing, and came back.
Bret screwed Bret and he came back.
The WWE is capable of forgiving and forgetting.
And then 2k sports announced that CM Punk would be part of WWE2k15's Showcase mode, where the players could re-live his classic rivalry with John Cena.
As a huge CM Punk fan, I rejoiced.
He may be gone from the company, but at least I could have one last hurrah with the wrestler who got me into the WWE.
And how did Punk react?
He sued the WWE.
A man who has millions and millions of dollars stashed away, is married to another wealthy superstar, and a guy who could grab pretty much any entertainment job in the world sued the WWE for the use of his likeness.
That was the last straw for me.
He had his reasons for walking out on the company, but trying to steal whatever was left of his ghost for what must be pennies to him?
Now the WWE shop has removed anything saying CM Punk on it, and there are questions about whether he'll be playable in the game (Due out October 28th for Xbox 360 and PS4, November 18th for next generation consoles).
It's a good thing I already have all of the CM Punk shirts, because honestly, I can probably sell them for a good price on eBay! I mean, since money is obviously the most important thing!
You should forget about CM Punk because honestly, he's not coming back any time soon, and he's forgotten all about you. He would rather sit in his comfy loft in Chicago and play with his money than do anything to help the WWE universe feel better about what they've lost.
Not all hope is lost.
True, Cena is still hovering around the main event, and it'll be a while before there's an interesting champion angle, but...
There's just too much talent in the WWE to be upset.
The Ascension should be joining the main roster soon, and they're going to tear through superstars much like the Shield and the Wyatt Family did.
Between Finn Balor, Hideo Itami, Adrian Neville, Sami Zayn, and frankly, most of the stars on NXT right now, the future looks bright for the WWE.
Not to mention, 1 CM Punk is not worth more than the combined awesomeness of Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins.
Those two are so similar to CM Punk if you just look past the storylines.
Dean Ambrose is a scrappy young fighter from the independent scene who says what he wants, when he wants, about who he wants. He's easily one of the best talkers that the WWE has right now and guys like that have a way of staying relevant.
And Seth Rollins?
Rollins is the spitting image of CM Punk.
Maybe not 2011-2014 CM Punk, but if you look back at the way his career started, it's hard to tell the two apart.
Both were huge stars on the independent scene, hell, both of them were Ring of Honor champions.
Both won the developmental championships while in WWE. Punk was OVW champion way back when, and Seth was the very first NXT champion.
Both were tag team champions, though Roman Reigns was probably a better partner than Kofi Kingtson.
And both were Mr. Money in the Bank.
If you think that Seth is lacking the ability that Punk had, I insist you go back to watch him as NXT champion. He had an opportunity to be a much more diverse character than he has been able to show with the Shield and Authority.
CM Punk will always be the wrestler who made me a fan.
I'll always use the Anaconda Vise as my submission finisher in the WWE games.
Both "This Fire Burns" and "Cult of Personality" will always be on my iPod.
I'll always be able to recite the "Pipe Bomb" verbatim.
I'll always shout "Best in the World" when I play football with my friends.
And I'll always hop on the WWE Network (only 9.99) and re-watch some of my favorite PPVs of his. (Money in the Bank 2011, Summer Slam 2009, Wrestlemania 28 and 29).
But much like Rose let Jack go in the Titanic, I think it's time that the WWE Universe forgot about the Straight Edge Superstar, the Best in the World, the Second City Saint, CM Punk.
If the static hits someday and he tells everybody what time it is, you can bet your millions and your millions that I'll mark the hell out.
But until that day, I'll just keep sitting here and hoping that Seth Rollins gets to cash in on Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania 31.
Wait... Did I say that out loud?