These two tweets (here and here) pretty much summarize the opinions expressed by many people in the WWE Universe in response to part of a segment involving CM Punk, Paul Heyman, Mick Foley and a returning Jerry "The King" Lawler.
After what was a thunderous reception for "The King", who returned to work after suffering a heart attack during a live RAW broadcast in Montreal on Sept. 10, CM Punk and Paul Heyman interrupted Lawler's "thank you" speech. CM Punk centered his promo largely on Lawler's heart attack, calling it a "stunt" and saying that had Lawler stayed in the ring he would have "beaten him to death." Heyman, in the ring with Punk, then began to fake a heart attack -- first coughing, then keeling over, then collapsing to the canvas, as CM Punk administered CPR. Heyman then counted to three and sat up, laughing at Lawler.
For some, this crossed a line that many feel shouldn't have been crossed. While, much like a movie, the suspension of disbelief for the benefit of entertainment is understandable and regularly done, some feel this crossed the line, creating both an uncomfortable and distasteful vibe. Some have expressed their disgust, stemming from the fact that either family members, friends or themselves have suffered heart attacks or severe heart issues in the past and that making a mockery of the situation is grounds for boycotting WWE as a fan.
Others feel the situation was not only warranted, but to be expected. This certainly isn't the first time that medical issues or death have been featured in a promo or storyline, with the purpose to elicit a negative response from fans and drum up interest and controversy. Some would argue the feelings above are exactly what was hoped for and that CM Punk and Heyman are now even bigger villains than before Raw began, which was the intended goal.
Many are questioning what Lawler may be thinking of all of this -- I would guess, if he didn't have a part in the decision, that he was at least accepting of the situation -- he is, after all, a successful professional wrestler, who knows very well that the best rivalries and moments are bred from real life situations (for example, slapping Andy Kaufman on set with David Letterman). That still might not make it right in the eyes of those who oppose the move.
My view -- I see both sides and I find myself struggling to choose a side in the matter. "Controversy creates cash," as someone once said, and this was certainly controversial. In the back of the minds of the avid WWE viewer, you had a feeling something like this would happen, and it did. I wasn't completely offended, and I do see the value in how it unfolded, despite the moment being uncomfortable to watch. To me, the scenes of Lawler being administered CPR in Montreal shown was equally as uncomfortable to watch, because that was seeing actual footage of a man on the brink of death.
Other RAW Quick Hits:
• Randy Orton pins Dolph Ziggler, which then became a tag-team match where Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio defeated Orton and Kofi Kingston.
• Vickie Guerrero showed even more evidence, this time against AJ, in the AJ/John Cena scandal. Sadly, every week I am becoming less and less interested in this scenario. I am still waiting for the moment footage is revealed of Cena and AJ in bed together and Cena replying with "I can explain. ... it was just a #BusinessCuddle."
• Big Show defeated William Regal. After the match, Sheamus made the save before Big Show could KO Regal. I enjoy Regal's role in this rivalry and the rematch has my interest. Later on Raw, Sheamus dismantled David Otunga, to the surprise of no one.
• Kaitlyn became the No. 1 contender to the Divas championship by pinning Layla. Both were wearing similar attire, complete with matching colors. This is a personal pet peeve of mine.
• Tyson Kidd, Justin Gabriel, Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara defeated the Prime Time Players and Epico and Primo in a high-flying affair. I'm just happy the WWE tag team division matters again!
• Another Fandango vignette was shown. I have a feeling his entrance in WWE will look something like this. Joking aside, I look forward to seeing how the former Johnny Curtis will turn this into a money character. I'm glad to see that he has another crack at bat, instead of just giving us cheesy puns.
• Brad Maddox gets destroyed by Ryback, who pins him and throws him into an ambulance. After such an emphatic victory, I'm surprised the ambulance didn't have a sign hanging on the window that said "ship to Full Sail University."
• R Truth pinned Tensai, gaining momentum for his U.S. title match with the satchel-wearing Antonio Cesaro on Sunday (nice touch, by the way).
• Kane and The Miz beat the Rhodes Scholars. More fun in the tag-team division. What do I think of the Miz possibly becoming a good guy? I don't mind it. Especially if he doesn't change all that much and just becomes funnier, I would accept that.
• Cena pinned CM Punk. I'm personally not happy this happened at this time, because I feel that this win is one of the biggest things Cena had on his "to-do list" and could have been seen on a bigger stage, though I understand how it fits into the hype surrounding the triple-threat match.