CM Punk has that maniacal glint in his eye. He’s gotten really good at the maniacal glint thing lately. He’s taunting the beloved masked luchadore Rey Mysterio, Jr. at the Staples Center in Los Angeles during the taping of the Friday March 19th installment of “WWE Smackdown.” The week before, Punk ruined an in-ring celebration for Mysterio’s daughter Aaliyah’s ninth birthday. In case we missed all the high drama, the WWE showed a tightly edited clip of Punk wrecking the festivities on the high def big screen over the ring entrance.
But Punk’s taunts aren’t the usual kind of pro wrestling bluster bordering on histrionics. He’s not yelling, “I’ll assassinate the bum.” No, punk sounds more like someone playing a cult leader in a David Lynch movie. With his Manson-like full beard, he looks the part too. “I could save you if you could just accept me as your savior,” Punk says, urging Mysterio to join his little wrestling cult called the Straight Edge Society. Currently, this society only consists of two members: the thuggish wrestler Luke Gallows and Sirena, a plant from the audience that Punk converted during a previous episode of this macho soap opera. The line between pro wrestling and tent house revivals has always been a thin one, but Punk’s disciples still perform the task of the traditional bad guy wrestler’s entourage by interfering with matches when the ref’s back is turned.