Is Mick Foley right about CM Punk?
Many members of the WWE Universe already asked themselves this question, but only when Mick Foley pressed the issue on Raw did it really cut right to the WWE Champion's core:
What happened to CM Punk?
The Hardcore Legend unleashed the most scathing critique of Punk yet, exposing what — in Foley's mind — has been a disturbing transformation for the WWE Champion ( VIDEO). Just more than a year ago, the self-proclaimed “Voice of the Voiceless” kept millions of WWE fans hanging on his every word as he railed against what he perceived to be injustices in WWE. As Foley proclaimed on Raw, Punk's movement stood out as something special.
Yet Foley pointed out that the Punk of today feels like a vastly different individual, someone who bullies WWE referees, accepts victories regardless of whether they feel cheap, and all the while demands respect from anyone and everybody that crosses his path. With Paul Heyman firmly in his ear, The Straight Edge Superstar has shown no reverence for his greatest opponents or the WWE icons who have paved the way for him, such as Foley and Bret "Hit Man" Hart ( VIDEO). The Punk that cares about the silent majority has appeared to become the Punk who only cares about himself.
Foley urged The Second City Savior to reverse his course, to stop listening to Heyman and to go back to the bastion of change reminiscent of the "Summer of Punk." But it isn't as simple as The Hardcore Legend makes it seem. It's quite possible that this is the real CM Punk we're seeing now, and before he was just putting on a façade in order to get what he desperately wanted: the fame, the attention and the spotlight that instead went to Superstars like Cena and The Rock. Now that he's on top of the world as WWE Champion, perhaps Punk has a different perspective on matters.
Then again, maybe this is all just part of Heyman's devious bidding as he tries to assert complete control over The Straight Edge Superstar. The 2011 version of Punk surely wouldn't have called members of the WWE Universe "jerks" and then later attacked Foley like he did on Monday night ( VIDEO). Is Punk's recent string of controversial actions just an extension of the original ECW founder's influence?
Despite Foley's pleading, Punk chose not to accept Cena's challenge to a match at Hell in a Cell, and wound up with a lead pipe to his stomach from the injured Cenation leader. The old CM Punk never backed down from a battle, but this Punk is seemingly more concerned with counting the days of his WWE Championship reign than he is about actually defending his title.