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CM Punk in the Attitude Era


Guest Keegan

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So, CM Punk is 'leading the revolution' of WWE13, which also contains scenarious of the much-loved Attitude Era.

 

Would CM Punk have been a player in those years? I'm undecided...

 

Yes: His attitude and the realism of his character, not being too distanced from himself in real-life, suggests Punk would've got over. He's great on the microphone and would've complemented Steve Austin and The Rock marvellously. Punk also possesses the ability to gain a reaction from a crowd, whether he be face or heel, and that's fundamental in any era, but I think he could've been a very effective heel, a la Kurt Angle, especially opposite Austin, as portrayed in the fantasy match on WWE All-Stars.

 

No: The top-line level was hotter than ever with Austin, Rock, Triple H, Michaels, Taker, Mick Foley and Angle all shining as well as a strong midcard in provoking crowd reactions. With The Radicals joining in 1999, Punk would have had Benoit and Eddie to contend with too. Heading into the 21st century, Punk's old friend, Jeff Hardy, and Jeff's buddy, RVD, also present strong competition. Oh, and with the Invasion happening, Booker T and Rey Mysterio made plays for the top and albeit briefly, Hogan, Nash, Hall and Goldberg all featured at one point or another towards the top of the card. Could CM Punk really have overcome all of them to shine at the top?

 

What do you think?

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Guest Jimmy Redman

I feel like his size would have been more of a problem a decade ago. He would physically look a lot more out of place contending with Austin, Rock, Hunter, Taker, etc. Foley was the exception but he was at least physically competitive.

 

It just depends if hypothetically his promo work overcomes that and he gets the same opportunities to shine. Remember even his current success is a result of a lot of good luck and timing - Heyman's ECW promoting him in '06, Survivor Series, Jeff's suspension in '08, the default winner in '09, and the pipebomb promo in '11 leading to now.

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Guest Edgehead
Yeah I think he would have been very dominant in the midcard level but his size would have probably held him back at a time when the main event scene was dominated by the likes of Austin/Rock/HHH/Taker
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Guest Jimmy Redman

I agree, I'm not saying it isnt possible at all, I'm just saying he'd have to overcome everything in order to do it.

 

Jericho had his career in WCW and built-in fanbase when he came to Vince. Are we assuming Punk has the same sort of background? I mean we can by all means. But even then Jericho had to get over being booked with Chyna, Steph's dog, etc. and all of the Vince things he does to a smaller guy who got over somewhere else. And Jericho STILL only had a nominal, proto-midcard title reign run on top during the Attitude Era itself. And he was bigger than Punk.

 

It depends on what we define as success. Could he have been at Jericho's level? Sure I think. But are we talking about that or are we talking about being on top like he is now with a year-long title reign and being as high as the #2 guy? If we're talking Attitude, would he ever get past Austin, Rock, Hunter, Taker, Foley, Angle, Jericho and the like to even be like in the top five?

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It'd also depend entirely on situation. Would he ever have the opportunity to do something as "important" (or deemed to be) as the Pipebomb promo? I don't doubt he has the potential in spades, and if given the right circumstances he could've done great things. I just think a hell of a lot of it would've been down to luck more than anything, since he's pretty much the anti-thesis of Vince's idea of what a "superstar" should be.
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Guest Jamster26
I think one of the reasons Punk is as over as he is today, is because he's the anti - pg guy, says what he wants etc, and I don't think fans would buy in to him as much in the attitude era.
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Guest Canned Heat
He would have been a fantastic mid carder to go along with The Radicals, Jericho, and Regal. He would have been very popular but not a star.
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Guest Ciaran The King
He would have been a fantastic mid carder to go along with The Radicals' date=' Jericho, and Regal. He would have been very popular but not a star.[/quote']

 

Agreed

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Guest Jimmy Redman
He definitely wouldn't have had a year long title reign because lengthy title reigns simply didn't happen in the attitude era

 

Yeah I was going to put in an asterisk when I said that. My point wasnt about length so much as about his position in the company though.

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Position in the company wise, just no ****ing way. Not even high on the best, strongest wacky tobaccy in the world can anybody legit think that Punk would have been in the same or a similar position to what he is now, in the Attitude Era.

 

Or, they can, because they've got a crater where their brain should be.

 

Austin

Rock

Foley

HHH

Michaels

 

Those are just some of the people who would have been ahead of him in the Attitude Era. Plus, with DX and Austin working the anti-establishment gimmick, his "pipebombs" would have been damp squibs....

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If he was given the chance, Punk would have been excellent because the straight edge gimmick would be perfect for the WWF at the time and the fans would have loathed him. He'd have been one of the most bankable heels at that time, I think. I can't see him getting over as much as a face but as a heel? No question about it. Some of Punk's promos over the years have been unbelievably high quality and of all the guys before and after the Attitude Era, it's a struggle to think of many who would have been as hated as Punk would have been if he did his straight edge shtick to fans in 1998.

 

Punk's character in the WWE right now lacks the edge it would have in 1998. Look at his promos from his pre-WWE days and you'll see a lot more hatred and vitriol in his words. He briefly mentions that he's straight edge these days but watch him from back in 2003/4 and you'll hear things like "keep drinking, I want your liver to fail, I want you to die". Those sort of comments would have got him over massively to the WWF audience in 1998. He's always been a brilliant heel and when he's not on a leash, he can get the smarkiest crowd buying into every little comment he makes.

 

I have no doubts whatsoever that Punk would be good enough to get over in the WWF at that time. His promo ability and the content would be too good for that not to happen.

 

Is his look a problem? He's small but it's not like he'd be dwarfed. It's not like he looks ridiculous when he's wrestling guys like Cena, who is bigger than Bret, Austin and Michaels. Punk's overall look would be different and that's beneficial.

 

There's always the question of whether any wrestler would be given a chance, but if Punk was simply put into the midcard, he'd elevate himself to one of the most over wrestlers on the roster. The talent back then was much higher than it is today but I don't doubt Punk's ability to get himself over.

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Guest Edgehead
Yeah I was going to put in an asterisk when I said that. My point wasnt about length so much as about his position in the company though.

 

Yeah I know, I was just making the general point that during the attitude era even the very top guys like Rock & Austin never held the title for more than 3 or 4 months at a time :)

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Again if Michaels and Jericho can make it then Punk can as well and that is all I really need to convince myself of that fact. Punk is better on the mic than Shawn and I think his in ring style would really have appealed to an attitude era audience because it's pretty impactfull with things like the running knee and kicks.

 

Can you imagine Punk V Austin during the attitude era? The beer swilling redneck crowd favourite V the straight edge asshole but with no restrictions on what they said? Gives me chills....

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