As the saying goes, high school never ends. However, sometimes the outsider can win a victory over the tyrannical hierarchy of those trying to maintain the “normal” status quo. But unlike movies like Revenge of the Nerds or The New Guy, where these fights took place at school, CM Punk’s arena was the square circle.
A no-nonsense indie wrestling darling from Chicago with an affinity for comics, punk rock and horror movies wasn’t Vince McMahon’s idea of a WWE Superstar. However, fans have stood behind Punk since he debuted on WWE Television in 2006. And they stayed behind him after he won title after title over the years. But in 2011, he was frustrated with how WWE was supporting native talent like John Cena and Randy Orton. Despite being considered one of the best wrestlers in the world, Punk felt he was held back from grabbing the imaginary brass ring because he didn’t fit into McMahon’s preferred squeaky clean and muscular “sports entertainer” mold for top talent . As the Second City Saint became the number one contender for Cena’s WWE Championship, he announced that his WWE contract would expire immediately following the Money in the Bank event and that he would be leaving the company with the title after earning the Doctor of Thuganomics had defeated.
Much like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin before him, fans rallied behind the anti-authoritarian voice of the voiceless as he took the boss by surprise at every opportunity. To keep the star from running away with the championship, McMahon agreed to Punk’s contractual demands for a private bus, the return of WWE ice cream bars, and a public apology from the chairman. But after Cena intervened, Punk tore up the contract and marched forward to carry out his plan.
Once inside Chicago’s Allstate Arena, it felt like Cena was stepping into enemy territory. The match with Punk was one for eternity. But when the ref counted to three, it was Punk who emerged victorious as the new WWE Champion and newest free agent in professional wrestling. For once, Vince McMahon’s will was not done and CM Punk was validated in front of a raucous crowd in his hometown by showing that sometimes you can fight the status quo and win. (Ben F Silverio)