By Nick Perkins, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@WesternRebel)
Hello friends, neighbors, readers and, most importantly, “Hey, Colt Cabana, how ya doin?” My name is Nick Perkins and I am your flag-bearer, your Paul Bearer, your Ring Bearer in the world of professional wrestling. Take my hand and follow me as I lead you through the week that was. We’re delving into the highs, lows, mediums and ‘mehs’ of pro wrestling and there is nowhere I would rather be than right here, right now, with you. Whether you’re an old fan, a new fan, or you land somewhere in the middle and just hate-watch these shows out of habit, I am proud to be the bearer of good news, bad news and the downright ugly news from WWE, AEW, ROH, Impact and more. With that being said, let’s step through the ropes and into the proverbial ring, as Pro Wrestling Dot Net presents Ring Bearer: Exploring the Week that Was in Professional Wrestling.
And what a week it was! There were pay-per-views, ladder matches, heel turns, expletive-filled public departures death matches, threats to the insufferably annoying Daniel Tosh, and the shocking (unless you’ve been paying attention) return of one Cookie Monster Punk to WWE television.
Yes, in one of the most entertaining 30 seconds of WWE television ever, CM Punk made his long-awaited return to the company, albeit in an ‘analyst/guest contributor role’ for WWE Backstage. Still, his return was surprising, thrilling and absolutely the shot of adrenaline that WWE has so desperately needed for the past, oh I don’t know, five years?
Yes, it’s important to reiterate that Punk does, in fact, work for Fox and not WWE. Vince McMahon didn’t get Punk the ‘big bag’ he sought after; Charlie Collier did (Google him, baby). Still, it’s the first step towards a full-fledged return that, in all honesty, was always going to happen. Punk was going to come back. They all come back. McMahon ‘screwed’ Bret Hart, betraying him in front of his country, his family and millions of viewers across the world. Plus, dude’s brother died on his watch, but Bret still came back. And we don’t fault him for it either. Nor do we (well, the majority of us who actually have some semblance of intelligence) fault Punk for returning because, personally, I think his reasons for doing so go beyond the aforementioned “bag.”
In my opinion, Punk isn’t returning solely for the money (though, let’s be honest- it’s a big deciding factor). He’s returning because he has some proverbial “unfinished business.” In a more normal way of saying things, the dude wants closure.
Finding closure is important aspect in most of our lives’. It’s why you still keep texting your ex girlfriend despite numerous pleas to stop (you really should stop). Closure in relationships is vital and, just like you and your high school sweetheart, once the anger has faded and the tears have dried and only the good memories remain, it becomes easier and easier to find peace in reconciliation. Punk, for the majority of his life, has had a love affair with professional wrestling and though he spent a few years seeing other people, in the end, we all return to our first love, in some way, shape or form.
(Also, I just read the above paragraph to my current girlfriend because I was extra proud of the prose and now she’s not speaking to me).
Punk may or may not actually step foot in a WWE ring again. He probably will. As a fan, I’m happy to see one of my favorite guys come back to mix it up with a new crop of talent; talent that, in all actuality, might not even be in WWE if it weren’t for Punk ‘changing the culture,’ as he so aptly put. I’m excited for the potential but, more than that, I’m happy for the man who hopefully, at the end of this story, will be able to walk away with more peace than anger.
Don’t expect any peace between Cody and MJF, though – at least storyline-wise. At AEW Full Gear, Cody and Chris Jericho had a barnburner of a match that ended, some would say prematurely, after Cody passed out in the Walls of Jericho and MJF threw in the towel. MJF would then proceed to add insult to injury by kicking Cody in the balls whilst stabbing him in the back. It was a move all of us expected but, ya know what? It still hurt a little bit.
It probably didn’t hurt as much as the match between Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley, however (killing it on the segues this week, btw). I’ve been a fan of this business for 22 years but I had never before seen a legitimate ‘death match.’ I never watched CZW or IWA, or even some of the Terry Funk or Cactus Jack matches from Japan. Those styles of matches have never much interested me, and Full Gear was no exception. I like Kenny Omega. I like Jon Moxley. I do not like watching Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley throwing themselves on barbed wire and glass shards (though, to be fair, Moxley having to crawl through the glass to break Omega’s submission was actually pretty inventive and creative). I hope this doesn’t become a regular thing but, much like with the Punk scenario, if it acted as a form of catharsis for Mox and brought him some sort of perverse peace, who are we to wag our fingers?
There was a lot of finger pointing, however, on Dynamite (okay, now it’s getting ridiculous. I’m done. Probably). MJF delivered, easily, the best promo of his career. He matched the intensity of Cody’s promo from the week before and had just as much passion. For me, that was the highlight of this week. MJF has been one of my favorite breakout stars of the Wednesday Night War and something tells me there is a rocket waiting in the wings, ready to be strapped to the kid’s back.
In other news, Dominick Dimmydingdong has joined Tommaso Ciampa and Keith Lee in their War Games match against Undisputed Era. He’ll be tagging in for Matt Riddle, who is tagging in for Johnny Gargano in his war against Finn Balor. In more important news, Arn Anderson is rekindling his feud with Anthony Jeselnik’s less-funny cousin, Daniel Tosh. Anderson actually filmed a hell of a promo for Tosh’s show, reminding everybody just how good he actually was.
Also, things happened on Raw and Smackdown but, honestly, do any of us even care anymore? Raw and Smackdown are the least exciting wrestling shows on television right now and no amount of British invasions are going to change that.
And with that, I leave you with my now second-favorite MJF promo ever. Peace out, boobs.
Jason Powell and Jake Barnett co-host the Dot Net Weekly and Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast combo show and discuss Raw Underground and other WWE concepts, The Rock's group buying the XFL, the Marty Jannetty story, AEW Dynamite and NXT TV, and more...