The Rock is considered one of the top promo guys in pro wrestling industry. His God-given charisma and undeniable talent behind the microphone has helped him make him one of the most popular pro wrestlers ever. And after being away from WWE and pro wrestling in general for the past seven years, he made his much-heralded comeback in 2011 and has set the world on fire once again with his interviews and promo skills. He wrestled his first in-ring bout in over seven years recently at the Survivor Series. Now all eyes look towards his epic one-on-one showdown with John Cena at WrestleMania XXVIII. Therefore in honor of The Rock’s return and continue to build hype on the Road to WrestleMania, over the next eighteen weeks I will release a Promo of the Week. Promos and interviews are an integral way to sell an upcoming match or event or make a character more interesting or relevant to the fans. They are part of the lifeblood of pro wrestling and are often times more entertaining than the match that follows it or builds to. These promos are not included in any sort of countdown or timeline order, but rather just random. They feature some of my personal favorites of all time and some of the industry’s most memorable. Some are funny, some are intense and some are heartwarming. But they are all entertaining. Enjoy.
Well judging by the time for this Promo of the Week I am clearly a few days behind where I should be. However thanks to ending one job, starting a new job and enjoying some Christmas festivities my writing for Examiner was put to the wayside. But nonetheless I’m back on some sort of schedule, ready to end 2011 with a bang and kick off 2012 with even more.
Therefore here is last week’s Promo of the Week. Think of it as sort of a belated Christmas present.
WWE Monday Night RAW
June 27, 2011
Las Vegas, Nevada
This is the most recent promo that will be featured during this feature, but it is one of my personal favorites.
At the end of the RAW Roulette episode of Monday Night RAW on June 27, 2011, CM Punk cut a promo that literally made the wrestling world stand up and take notice.
At the end of a John Cena versus R-Truth Tables Match, in which Punk helped Truth win the match, The Straight Edge Superstar took the live microphone and delivered an address full of “fourth wall” breaking references not seen since Joey Styles cut a hated filled resignation on Monday Night RAW back in the spring of 2006 (coming later in the feature). Punk once again made the claim that he would win the WWE Title from John Cena at the Money in the Bank pay per view on July 17 in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois, and walk out of the company that night as Champion.
But from there the promo got real good. He then referenced taking the Title to New Japan Pro Wrestling or Ring of Honor. He namedropped his best friend Colt Cabana, referenced really released wrestlers like Luke Gallows and Harry Smith and called out WWE management, including Vince McMahon himself, John Laurinitis, Stephanie McMahon and her husband Triple H. He also namedropped Paul Heyman (“I’m a Paul Heyman guy”) and Brock Lesnar and blasted both John Cena and The Rock. And he did it all while wearing a Stone Cold Steve Austin t-shirt.
Eventually his microphone was cut off and RAW faded to black quietly.
Immediately Twitter blew up with wrestling fans losing their mind over Punk and his promo. Questions arose whether it was real (“a shoot”) or fake (“a work”). It was obviously a work as there is no way the company would keep the cameras on him that long or keep his mic running that long if it wasn’t planned, but there was certainly twinges of truth and reality in Punk’s words and feelings.
This kicked off the third “Summer of Punk” in the controversial star’s career that led to him winning the WWE Championship three times by the end of 2011 and will most certainly enter 2012 as reigning 2012.
The second “Summer of Punk” happened back in 2009. Punk took WWE by storm by cashing in his Money in the Bank contract on Jeff Hardy at Extreme Rules ’09 which led to an incredible run against Hardy and others (including Chris Jericho, John Morrison, Rey Mysterio and Edge) on the SmackDown brand that led to Hardy’s departure from the company.
And the original “Summer of Punk” actually occurred back in the summer of 2005 when Punk was set to leave Ring of Honor and come to WWE. On his supposed last night in ROH, he won the company’s World Championship. This led to a summer of shows as ROH faithful chased Punk and the Championship that ended in August when James Gibson of all people defeated Punk to win the ROH Championship and bring it back home and send Punk off to WWE.
What Punk did that night back in June was make wrestling fun again for long time fans like yours truly who have seen it all come and go as twenty-year fan of pro wrestling. It is promos like this that keeps a wrestling fan like yours truly coming back for more each week and make doing a feature such as this so much fun.
Past promos of the week:
“With a tear in my eye…”
The Rock hypes Armageddon