Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk

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If there’s anyone who wants a little payback in the WWE locker room, it’s got to be Chris Jericho. Only months after his cryptic return in January 2012, The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla mounted two monstrous challenges against then-WWE Champion CM Punk, the first and most epic unfolding under the hot Miami night at WrestleMania XXVIII. And despite an all-time effort on behalf of the original Undisputed Champion, Jericho walked away empty-handed when The Show of Shows folded up its tents.

Jericho brings “the end of the world” | Photos of their WrestleMania clash

But given that Jericho was unable to reclaim the WWE Title on The Grandest Stage of Them All, it makes sense that Y2J threw the gauntlet one more time at the feet of The Straight Edge Superstar, laying down a challenge for his recent rival on the May 27 edition of Monday Night Raw. On paper, the plan is perfect: A tailor-made rematch for two of the ring’s premier competitors, staged under the banner of a pay-per-view whose very name promises Payback.

There is, of course, only one problem with this strategy: CM Punk is not here.

Nor has he been for some time, since walking off into the sunset after suffering his own WrestleMania defeat to The Undertaker at WrestleMania 29. Punk’s whereabouts have been one of the hot topics of conversation; WWE.com even took a stab at figuring it out. But despite The Second City Saint’s absence from the squared circle, Jericho still found a way to make his challenge to the absentee Punk stick by manipulating Paul Heyman into accepting on his client’s behalf during an intense session of “The Highlight Reel.”

Full match: Jericho & Punk get “Extreme” | Punk’s 15 greatest moments

So now, for the first time in a long time, CM Punk – wherever he is – finds himself backed into a corner. With Jericho competing (and winning) on a weekly basis, the MIA “Best in the World” finds himself facing a Hall of Fame-caliber Superstar who’s riding high off his second win. And with that rhythmically-gifted, figurative monkey finally off his back, Jericho’s confidence is about as high as it’s ever going to be (it doesn’t bode well for Punk that their last, one-off encounter nearly ended with Y2J victorious as well).

As for Punk … who knows? Maybe he’ll show up at Payback. Maybe he’ll show up before then. And, of course, maybe he won’t. Maybe Jericho’s counting on that, of exposing the man who humbled him on the highest pedestal of their shared profession as a broken man; of being able to defeat him simply by way of his absence.

Imagine that, if Chris Jericho could beat CM Punk without throwing a single punch. Now that would really be payback.

3 Comments on “Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk”

  1. NO WAY!!!! Punk will be back and destroy all who appose the Straight Edge King of wrestling

  2. Wow…what a compelling storyline. It really advances character development and shows that WWE and all involved finally understand that wrestling has to feature more complex story-telling and to heighten narrative elements in order to evolve in the 21st century and achieve a parity with other modes of story-based entertainment.
    Also good to see that Punk, Cena and McMahon are voicing a direct to DVD Flintstones feature. The Flintstones are currently enjoying previously unheard of heights of cultural relevancy, and if the lull in WWE’s business and creative direction in the late 80’s and early 90’s taught us anything, it’s that associating the “product” with cartoon characters which appeal to the youngest demographic of the lowest common denominator is the way to go. Kudos. Getting chills here when I realize that Mantaur and Max Moon may enjoy a resurgence. Although, they’ll probably get regular guy names like Dirk Rigel or Curtis Axel, because it’s important to copy MMA-type names and to not rock the boat too much, and also to make sure that the audience can’t differentiate any character elements because the Raw roster reads like a copy of the pitching bullpen from the 1978 Milwaukee Brewers.
    Also, great move by Punk to achieve the heights of legendry that he’s capable of by doing this feature.
    I remember when Jim Morrison demanded that the Doors sell “Light My Fire” for a car commercial in order to uphold the integrity of his art. Warren Zevon did the same thing when he became a spokesman for the Pocket Fisherman on QVC. That’s why people remember Zevon as such an important musician. And who can forget that China Mieville totally changed the entire text of “Perdido Street Station” when he realized that the lowest common denominator might not understand or appreciate the previously complex and disturbing story he’d told?
    Oh wait—none of these things are true, are they?
    Well except the Flintstones thing. Yabba dabba f##kin’ doo. Oh wait! That’s right, WWE and Cena have that deal with Fruity Pebbles, where Cena was(is?) on the box. It’s not only awesome that young kids can eventually realize that they were sold a strongly implied gay joke in their breakfast cereal, once the Age of Reason brings them to wonder why Cena was on there and what the origin of the association was in the first place—and that isn’t a hot button political issue by any means, so it’s good to start them early by teaching them the derogatory meaning of “fruit”—it’s doubly awesome that WWE is putting more of its energy behind what will no doubt prove to be an unstoppable corporate alliance. The Flintstones are hot, yo. Ask ANY six-year old these days who Barney Rubble is, and at LEAST two or three out of ten will know.
    Glad to see everything is on track. I hear that Hatebreed is coming out with their long-awaited pop record soon, and it will be good to see them finally break the ceiling that has held them back for so long. Success, as we all know, is measured by how much money you make, not how relevant and integral your art is or what kind of ground you’ve broken. Bling, bling. Look how far that philosophy has brought us so far! Like in Arkansas, yo, pump that oil down the storm drains and into the swamps. it’s all about the Benjamins.

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