My Two Centsss - Punk or Lesnar: Who Needs The Win At SummerSlam More?
By Super Chrisss
Jul 26, 2013 - 9:40:51 AM
(Credit: Tom Jenner @ImageBlownOut)
The Best vs. The Beast
In less than a month, the WWE Universe (God, I hate that term - can't they just address us as "fans"?) will witness a clash between two of the most popular superstars of the 21st Century - CM Punk and Brock Lesnar. Some people are Punk fans; others are pro-Lesnar. If you're like me, then you like both guys. But no matter where you stand, it's pretty hard not to get excited about their now-official match at this year's SummerSlam.
And we have every reason to be excited. In just two short weeks, the CM Punk/Brock Lesnar rivalry (featuring Paul Heyman) has already eclipsed the entire Lesnar/Triple H feud in terms of anticipation. While WWE has wasted no time recapping Lesnar's attack on Punk last week multiple times on RAW - just like they did with Lesnar's assault on Vince McMahon and The Game - this year, they have a full-time wrestler feuding with The Beast to keep things interesting. Punk is one of the best promo men in the company today, and his interactions with another master of the mic (Heyman) the past few weeks have been nothing short of phenomenal. Even if Lesnar doesn't make a single TV appearance prior to the Pay-Per-View, Punk would be able to carry the feud by himself, something which HHH was unable to do last year, mainly because Hunter has always excelled at playing the dastardly heel, not the lovable hero.
But I digress, as this column is not about comparing Triple H/Lesnar to the current Punk/Lesnar program. Rather, I want to share my thoughts on who I feel should have his arm raised in victory next month - Punk or Lesnar. Maybe it's a bit early to preview their match, as plenty of things could happen between now and the SmackDown tapings before SummerSlam to change my mind on who the favourite will be, but as it stands, I can see the company going with one outcome and one outcome only:
Brock Lesnar wins.
When you think about it, Brock Lesnar - a former UFC and WWE Champion who is supposed to be one of the most drawing stars on the roster - needs a SummerSlam victory more than his opponent does - a former WWE Champion as well who many people felt couldn't draw at all. That's because since returning to the WWE in April 2012, Lesnar's win/loss record has been less than impressive. He's had a grand total of four matches since then, and he's only won two of them. If Lesnar loses to Punk next month, he'll have lost more matches than he's won. That's not exactly intimidating for someone who's billed as "The Beast Incarnate" nor someone who his opponents are supposed to be terrified to get in the ring with.
On the other side of the coin, CM Punk has not had a very good 2013 on paper. He's only won one PPV match this year, as he's suffered defeats at Royal Rumble, Elimination Chamber, Wrestlemania, and Money in the Bank. If he does the job to Lesnar at SummerSlam, Punk's PPV record this year will look even worse. For the former longest reigning WWE Champion in 25 years, that doesn't make Punk look very strong, does it? At the same time, consider the quality of his opponents - The Rock, Undertaker, Chris Jericho, and Brock Lesnar. Punk might have lost most of those match-ups, but he's been headlining PPVs with nothing but future Hall of Famers and taking each one of them to their limit. Even in defeat, simply being in the same ring with those kinds of names has boosted Punk's profile and he has solidified himself as a main-eventer.
I also feel Lesnar should/will get the win at SummerSlam because there's a good chance we may not see Brock wrestle another match until Wrestlemania 30, where his two rumoured opponents are Rock or The Undertaker. Should that indeed be the case, then Lesnar absolutely needs a victory over Punk at SummerSlam. The Rock has beat John Cena and CM Punk in recent years; The Undertaker has defeated Triple H and CM Punk at the last few Wrestlemanias. Why would anyone think Lesnar poses a threat to The Rock at Wrestlemania if Lesnar has lost to two men Rock has proven he can beat? How could Lesnar be presented as a threat to 'Taker's undefeated Streak considering Lesnar suffered losses to The Deadman's previous Wrestlemania victims? Lesnar needs to regain some of his lost credibility, and losing to Punk at SummerSlam won't cut it.
Going back to the Punk side of the argument, I realize that a victory over Lesnar could help turn Punk into even bigger of a star. In fact, I've seen people compare Lesnar vs. Punk to Lesnar vs. Rock for the WWE title from eleven years earlier. Basically, they view it as a chance for Lesnar to cleanly put over Punk as a "passing of the torch" like Rock did for Lesnar. Personally, I don't see it that way. If any match at this year's SummerSlam could mirror the significance of Lesnar vs. Rock, it would be Cena vs. Bryan, not Brock vs. Punk. That match feels more like a shifting of generations, although I'm not convinced it will happen there either (but that's a story for another day). Like I said, a Punk victory would definitely boost his resume, but Punk could lose to Brock after a great match, and walk out on RAW the very next night to begin a feud with someone else and he would be perfectly fine. Not physically, of course, but in terms of character strength. Punk isn't quite on Cena's level where he could job to everyone and their mother and still recover, but losing to Brock Lesnar won't hurt Punk's credibility won't help.
So when you take everything into consideration, come SummerSlam, I feel Lesnar has a lot to gain, but a lot to lose as well. Punk, on the other hand, is probably looking to give the fans a unique, exciting match that will hopefully become a future classic. As a fan of both men, I cannot wait to see them go at it, and I hope they deliver. If Lesnar wins, I'll be happy. If Punk wins, I'll still be happy. As a fan, Lesnar vs. Punk is win/win for everyone. But when you stop and think about it, The Beast might need the win a lot more than you might have thought.
What do you think? Does Brock really need to defeat Punk at SummerSlam? Or am I wrong, that a Punk victory could actually push The Best in the World to levels of superstardom he's never seen before?
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