Because we haven’t quite covered Bill Simmons exhaustively enough over the last couple days, I’m gonna aggregate this photo he shared from last night’s Kings game (where he’s a season ticketholder). For reasons unbeknownst, former WWE champion CM Punk was also in attendance for the match-up against the Islanders. Punk, an avowed Blackhawks fan, was presumably in Los Angeles for purposes beyond attending an NHL game that didn’t involve his favorite team.
Simmons hosted CM Punk on the BS Report in 2011, and there are some easy similarities to point out in their comparative narrative arcs. Punk left WWE earlier this year. Enough time has passed, and resentment spilled out from both sides, that it really doesn’t feel like a work anymore. Punk’s promos in the years before he left were the ultimate form of wrestling surreality. He seemingly revealed true disdain for the powers-that-be (i.e. Vince McMahon, who remains a maniacal micro-manager) in his promos, which were allowed to continue because the controversy and intrigue about whether they were real or not were great for business.
It’s commonplace for wrestling fans to complain incessantly about WWE, but the fact of the matter is that the organization has not been adequately equipped to deal with Punk’s departure and Daniel Bryan’s neck injury a few months later. There are some big rising stars on the roster, but that would still be the case if Punk were there — perhaps there would be less aggressively boring or disjointed hour-long stretches on Raw and some more variety at the top of the card.
Nearly a year after leaving, Punk can still make headlines on every wrestling blog with a single tweet or two-sentence soundbite. Sound familiar?
Related: Bill Simmons Fires Back at Mike & Mike on Twitter: “I would say I lost respect for that show, but I never had it.”
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