So there’s a lot of interest and a ton of Internet buzz about what CM Punk will say and do on Monday night at the TD Garden in Boston during Monday Night Raw.
The insider wrestling community has been talking about Punk’s worked shoot interview from two weeks earlier, in which he addressed a bunch of taboo WWE topics before supposedly having his microphone turned off.
But in the bigger scheme, while I’ve enjoyed Punk’s performances in and out of the ring, I think the WWE continues to miss the mark on using the basics to draw people in. Wrestler interviews should raise issues that are important within the plotline. The fans should feel matches are important. Championships should be the ultimate goal, not merely belts used as props.
I know I’m nostalgic about 1980s WWF wrestling because it’s what I grew up on. But I am not blind to it. There have been great WWF and WWE moments after December 31, 1989.
But consider this promo from Piper’s Pit that built up Andre the Giant challenging Hulk Hogan for the WWF Title at WrestleMania III in 1987. There was no “inside baseball” commentary, no funny one-liners that shot over the heads of the majority of the audience, and no feeling of a worked shoot. Instead, it just set the match up in easily-understood terms with great body language (I love when Andre lifts Hogan’s chin up):
This is what WWE needs to focus on. This is why Hogan and Andre drew 78,000, 93,000, or whatever amount of people you believe attended WrestleMania III. Punk vs. John Cena will never draw that many people to a match, ever.
Don’t get me wrong. In today’s WWE environment, the CM Punk angle is intriguing and has people guessing. Punk is great at delivering his promos, and he strikes a nerve not often done in wrestling.
But I’m not sure the WWE can make real money off of it, which is the No. 1 goal.