CM Punk has been on a campaign for respect.
The on-screen character has lambasted WWE at every turn for giving priority treatment to other superstars instead of the reigning WWE champion.
This week, though, it's hard to argue that Punk had the spotlight that a champion deserves.
He was featured in the main event of Raw in a tag team match, was part of the centerpiece attraction of the debut episode of Main Event on Wednesday and main evented tonight's Smackdown in a match against Dolph Ziggler.
Granted, Punk has been the beneficiary of John Cena's absence, so that has certainly played to his favor this week. But it will be interesting to see if it lasts.
The strategy as of late has been to fill numerous segments a night with Punk, and it could have something to do with pushing his DVD that is set to be released next week. But when one looks at ratings, it shows a mixed bag.
Personally, I think fans read too much into individual show ratings and I missed the mass educational offerings on how to analyzes the Nielsen system and its effects on business, but Raw's rating was drastically down this week. Main Event, though, did solid numbers and came out swinging.
Punk's journey through the WWE has been an eventful one, and if at any point it's truly felt like WWE accepts Punk as a realistic candidate to be the "top guy," it has to be this week, when he's been the featured attraction on all three television programs.
When Big Show was a babyface, he worked a program with a heel Cody Rhodes based around his lack of successes at WrestleMania. Now that Show is a heel, he's working a program with a babyface Sheamus based around the fact that he lost the World Heavyweight Championship in 45 seconds to then-Money in the Bank contract holder Daniel Bryan. Must suck to be Big Show.
These two continued their rivalry without touching each other, which is something I appreciate. Sheamus was in the midst of a solid match with Intercontinental Champion The Miz when Big Show came out and punched Miz, drawing the disqualification. The champ returned the favor when Big Show faced Tensai in a short, plodding match. Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick on Tensai, getting his Hell in a Cell opponent disqualified. I do like how they're keeping these two from getting physical with each other, but I wonder how long WWE can pull it off.
It was an occasion for imitations, as Alberto Del Rio did his best Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan mocked David Otunga in a tag match pitting Team Hell No against Del Rio and David Otunga. The tag champs won in a decent match. It's nice to see the champs winning, even in non-title action. It's a welcome change from champions losing non-title matches, especially when dealing with a dysfunctional team.
There's a lot of history between the teams of Kofi Kingston and R-Truth and the Prime Time Players, so that made for a good first-round match in the ongoing tag team tournament. They worked a good match that saw Prime Time Players advance. They'll face Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara in the semi-finals, which should be a good time when it happens.
Apparently WWE officials wanted to make sure Ryback had an opponent he could hit his finisher on. That man was Primo, who actually held his own for a while, taking Ryback off his feet. In the end, though, yet another tag team performer was jobbed out to a singles star. This trend seems counterproductive to rebuilding the tag team division.
Alicia Fox did a good job with ring psychology in her match with Layla, focusing her attack on her opponent's knee. These two had a decent little match, which saw Layla win and then said it will be sweet when Eve loses the Divas Championship.
Wade Barrett has gone from beating low-carders to local jobbers. Yeah, career regression!
Darren Young and Titus O'Neil d. Kofi Kingston and T-Truth Ryback d. Primo Layla d. Alicia Fox Wade Barrett d. local jobber The Miz d. Sheamus by disqualification Kane and Daniel Bryan d. Alberto Del Rio and David Otunga Tensai d. Big Show by disqualification CM Punk d. Dolph Ziggler
I watched this episode on a slight DVR delay, and as such, I was able to skip recaps, commercials and filler. Watching the show in a reduced format like that helped keep it enjoyable. There was some good action on the show, and a lot of positive storyline progression. It wasn't a home run episode of Smackdown, but it was a solid double. Sometimes that's good enough.
Ring Posts' Adam Testa has teamed up with My 1-2-3 Cents (www.my123cents.com) and All American Pro Wrestling (www.aapwrestling.com) to bring you From the Rafters Radio,(www.facebook.com/RaftersRadio) a weekly pro wrestling talk radio show airing from 8-10 EST every Thursday on Monster Radio 1150 AM in Southern Illinois and streaming worldwide on wggh.net (www.wggh.net).
CM Punk has been on a campaign for respect.