Unpopular Opinion – The Problem with CM Punk

Charles Barangan / September 12, 2016 - 6:51pm

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So it turns out CM Punk lost his first fight. Oh the humanity! Oh the madness! Oh the mfmba-mfph-mhm. Excuse me, I need to remove the foot from my mouth.

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Phil Brooks takes his bumps along with the rest of the herd at welterweight, seemingly thrown to the winds of ‘Fad’ fighters turned into paste at the hands of the mighty PPV machine. Cough James Toney Cough. What did we learn? As it turns out, being CM Punk is a lot harder than anyone might give him credit for.

Now I know what you’re thinking. This sounds a LOT like your previous article on MMA fighter and noted Ken doll Sage Northcutt. Bare with me for sec. We’ll get back to that one later. For now let’s take a quick peek at the good and the bad from Punk’s first foray into the wacky wide world of MMA.

The Good:

He didn’t slip on any banana peels, for one thing. He made it all the way into the cage and lasted past the opening bell. As far as a test of character goes, it’s huge. In combat sports, there are those who talk the talk, and those who walk the walk; then get spanked around in front of millions of viewers. The man brings a dedicated fan base (a veritable Cult of Personality, if you will) from another, well established prime-time sport into the octagon, which far more than the majority of fighters bring with them at the highest points of their career.

Why does this appearance actually matter? Aside from the whole ‘If I can do it, you can do it’ message, not since the days of Ramsey Nijem on the 13th season of The Ultimate Fighter have we seen a combatant stepping into the octagon with the equivalent amateur fighting experience of a baguette. Most fans would love to think they have the mental fortitude to do what the UFC demands, but in reality would crumble under the weight of the sheer promotional demands of being a competitor, let alone the actual training.

The Bad:

Yes, he brings eyes, many of whom are admittedly watching only to see Mickey Gall put the former WWE Superstar on the rear end of an ass-kicking. How long can that sort of viewership last? Eventually, if fed to the right wolves, we’d have another one of those awkward fights in the same vein of Stipe Miocic vs Mark Hunt, where everyone feels just slightly dirtier than they were willing to get after seeing the ‘day after’ photos.

His entry into the walled garden of the world’s largest mma promotion irks many of its personalities, and rightfully so. What of the fighters winning championship belts in smaller promotions, grinding their way into the sights of UFC talent scouts? Does the blood spilled in the auditoriums and casinos of small time events mean nothing by comparison to the all-powerful draw power of 38 year old sports entertainment personality who hasn’t been seen performing in years?

It’s difficult to say.

What now?

The real problem with Punk is simple. Had he won, we’d all have cried wolf at the ‘Fixed fight’ conspiracy, with pitchforks and torches in hand and ready to undo the ‘damage’ done to our precious Mickey Gall at the hands of an outsider. “FLUKE!” We’d chant, grievously wounded by the idea that someone could succeed without years of injury and litres of bodily fluid spilled.

There were never any real victories available for Phil Brooks here.

Now that he’s officially eaten his slice of humble pie, we can all rest easy while yelling ‘I told you so’ to any remaining CM Punk wrestling fans who have yet to crawl back into hiding.

It’s not like the discussion over his inclusion into the sport will die down at any time soon. In fact, I think it’s something to be embraced. Should he choose to fight again, my vote goes into a opponent we can all get behind.

You know who else plays the nerves of many of MMA’s fan base? Someone else who is often criticized for a lack of experience, a draw based on his ‘Let us watch him kiss the canvas’ appeal? Someone whose promotion is mostly reliant on his action-figure looks, youth and naiveté?

You guessed it.

I’m going to go ahead and join the flock of people who are turning into the skid of spectacle matchmaking and say should CM Punk decide to come on back, his opponent should be none other than everyone’s favourite hair-frosting enthusiast, Sage ‘What’s an arm triangle?’ Northcutt.

I know that Gall called him out, but let’s keep his trend of fighting elder statesmen going, shall we? Anyone know what Mike Pyle gets up to these days?

Okay, foot squarely inserted back into mouth.

Charles Barangan is an award-winning writer, producer and ice-cream enthusiast. Visit his Facebook page and Twitter (@Charlietron3000) for more content.