After Wrestlemania CM Punk decided he was going to take a break to let his body heal. Vince McMahon didn’t want to let him have the time off, but Punk stuck to his guns and threatened to quit. I know some fans saw this as a “whiny” move on Punk’s part. That he was just throwing his weight around because he could. It’s funny how quickly people forget. The internet wrestling community (IWC) is so quick to get angry when a storyline in the WWE requires fans to overlook or forget something that happened in the recent past; claiming “how stupid do you think we are? That we would forget so quickly and easily?!” Yet at the same time, people are getting mad at Punk now for taking time off to heal his body. They are claiming he just wants to throw his weight around, that he just wants to flex his political muscles because he can. Fans have already forgotten that Punk was WWE champion for 434 days. That means no days off folks. I’d like some of the IWC go that long without a vacation from their job and not get a little fed up. Not to mention he had problems with his knees during his rivalry with Ryback, and elected not to have surgery, but to work through it. Remember, CM Punk is the guy who cracked his skull and kept wrestling. It isn’t like he is one to just call it a day because he is hurting. Punk will work through the pain if he feels he can. If he is taking time off, it’s because he truly needs it, both mentally and physically.
I look at his time off for the time being as a blessing. Not only will it prevent Punk from getting burnt out mentally and physically, giving him time to rest up. It will also help regain his love from the IWC. If the IWC were a person, it would be a greedy, spoiled 7 year-old with severe A.D.D. Think about it, IWC gets a new toy it likes, no one else likes it, so it says that everyone else should like this toy, then if everyone DOES start to like that toy the IWC decides it’s stupid now and picks a new toy, starting the process all over again. A break from CM Punk will make the fans forget about him for a bit, so when he does return everyone is back on board, remembering why they loved him so much in the first place. It also helps that John Cena is the WWE Champion again. Fans will start complaining about that soon, I’m sure, so if Punk returns to challenge Cena, fans will look at him as a knight in shining armor. Here to save the WWE from the evil John Cena title reign.
If you think about it, fans are so easily won over by a return. Not that fans shouldn’t be happy one of their favorites has returned, but they go from hating a superstar, to marking out for them when they return. Think about some of the great returns where fans were not only glad, but ecstatic, to see said superstar back in the squared circle. Kane returning with his mask got fans on their feet. When Edge made his big return at the Royal Rumble fans came unglued. Every time Chris Jericho makes a surprise return to the company the fans get electrified, and he does it fairly often, too. When Triple H made his triumphant returns to the company after his two knee injuries people were overjoyed to have him back. For the most part fans dislike Triple H because of his stroke with Vince, but not on those nights when he returned. Even the big bad, always hated, John Cena had fans on their feet in excitement with his shocking return to the WWE when he entered at number 30 in the 2008 Royal Rumble.
If all those stars, who fans would go back and forth on, can regain love from the masses with a return, CM Punk will as well. Especially because Punk is mostly a fan favorite, even if people have been turning their backs on him lately. The problem is, do they want to bring Punk back as a heel or a face? Having a heel return is never easy, the fans will naturally want to cheer for the returning superstar. If you remember, when Chris Jericho returned to Raw early last year, they had to slowly phase him in to being a heel, by having him be silent for weeks on end. WWE knew he wouldn’t be able to draw heat right away on a return, especially a fan favorite like Jericho. Don’t get me wrong guys like Jericho and Punk can get heavy heat when they want to. It is just the nature of the return after a long break, people WILL cheer for a returning hero. So does WWE bring him back as a face and let it ride? Will they try for the difficult heel return? Heel returns are difficult but not impossible. It would probably be something along the lines of a surprise run-in attack on a face. If they go that route they can’t have him attack Cena or fans will just cheer him. Maybe they do the face return and a quick heel turn. Have him return as a face, work a tag match with a beloved face like Jericho, perhaps against The Shield, and have him leave said face high and dry to be attacked. Maybe they bring Punk back as the new leader of The Shield to put him instantly as a heel. There are plenty of options, but the question is which will they go with, and when will he return? Either way, this break that Punk is taking is a win/win all around, for WWE, for Punk, and for the fans.