On paper, it would seem that CM Punk is the logical stopgap between “Stone Cold’s” Attitude Era disobedience and Daniel Bryan’s growing campaign against the corporate culture, but to merely call him thus would be a tremendous disservice. Punk’s sudden rise in sports-entertainment by now is legend; the 2011 “pipe bomb” that managed to expose the flaws in WWE’s corporate structure (something Austin never did) and elevate The Straight Edge Superstar’s status in one fell swoop (Bryan had already reached the top when his own crusade began) instantly made him public enemy No. 1 to The Chairman.
Punk’s infamous WWE Title victory at Money in the Bank 2011 briefly left McMahon bereft of his company’s crown jewel when Punk absconded with the title in hand. Though The Second City Saint has settled for more personal rivalries of late, he has become a name synonymous with fight-the-power revolution, and the kind of Superstar who needs fewer weapons than a fully-charged microphone and a couple of things on his mind. Granted, he never did get those ice cream bars, but even Washington lost a skirmish or two.