So this "punkout" of CM Punk last night at Unforgiven--it's about fucking time! I have been waiting for two years now for the WWE to re-recognize the value of storylines sparked off bad character name wordplays: Punk got 'punk'd; said punking consisted of a punch-out; Punk is now "out" with an injury. I wish Freddie Prinze et al figured out a way to work in the CM angle here: Maybe this is when you introduce an I.R.S.-type scientist wrestler gimmick who's heavy into the metric system, or a Dink-type mini CM Punk character named CM Punk, CM. Holler!

Anyway Punk was attacked by Ted DiBiase's kid, Dusty Rhodes' kid, and a Wild Samoan's kid, all of this keeping Punk from defending his championship belt. I sense that McMahon might explore a more explicit politicking slash nepotism in these storylines: backdoor deals between Million Dollar Man and McMahon, kayfabe kickbacks in the unremembered 80s, father-son tag team matches between Million Dollar Junior/Million Dollar Man and Cody Rhodes/Dusty Rhodes' Ghost. In my mind this is a dream match, a little gimmicky, a little supernatural, and the fact that Dusty Rhodes is still living should not keep the WWE from murdering him and making this happen.

We're also talking about the sons of three of the most ridiculous characters in WWF history, sonning the Regular Guy (CM Punk) who is Extremely Regular in the worst way, so incapable of What Is vs What Seems that he couldn't handle how his body failed his soul. Thank Jesus for tattoos, among them references to: Pepsi (CM Punk likes Pepsi; is straight-edge); Minor Threat (the Pepsi tattoo is an homage to Minor Threat's Brian Baker's Coke tattoo); Cobra from G.I. Joe; strong women (Punk is a feminist); DRUG-FREE (Jake and Elwood style on the knuckles, a reference to Chicago); STRAIGHT-EDGE on the tummy (self-explanatory), Bouncing Souls and Op Ivy symbols (dits); and an anchor tattoo that, in Punk's words, "represents someone in my life who's always there."

Did I mention that our hero Punk was crucified on a show called Unforgiven?

Listen it's not my place to give it to sXc crowd--everybody has his reasons for staying off the junk or out the bottle or "in the smegma" (i.e. being vegan). Plus I liked plenty of the cleaner-cut wrestlers back in the steroid-enhanced golden age: Texas Tornado ran on windpower; Red Rooster kept himself pretty together; Bossman was a clean fighter, threw back a few after the match I'm sure but the man had no time for gluttony; even Hulk Hogan had me thinking it was the vitamins making those veins pop. Granted I'm not that naive anymore, and now know that vitamins alone didn't get Hogan all those muscles--he cut back on the cardio and just did the weights really fast. Anybody who doesn't understand this concept should email my friend Shawn, who has a lot of advice about this stuff, including what kinds of recovery shakes to drink and so on.

But what I dislike about the Intercontinental Blackhole that is WWE's CM Punk is that his shtick is a complete disavowal of everything that was great about the WWF in the Golden Age 90s. Punk is evidence that the WWE has left all that behind: no steroids, no costumes, a collapse of person and persona, anti-intellectualism normalized, however accidentally. Company men to the max, CM Punk has been largely complicit in letting his own rather whatever life become the stuff of storyline: Philip Jack Brooks, a straight-edge kid from Chicago, plays CM Punk the straight-edge wrestler. Same thing with JBL, a successful stock analyst rich dude type who plays exactly that in the ring--a target for working-class angst that invites anger rather than provides escapism.

My feeling is: Your son or daughter will discover the vapid self-impressed asshole that is the New York businessman soon enough--will realize he watched American Psycho and read the wiki page for Bright Lights, Big City and now thinks what he's doing is totally bad-ass and entirely sophisticated, even though he spends his entire fucking day eating rice noodles out of takeout plastic and carrying around his copy of The Economist, of which he only reads the shorter articles but "gets the gist" of the ones that run a K or two. Similarly, your son or daughter will very likely encounter the self-satisfied Christian quote family man who wears his close-mindedness like a badge of fucking honor, scornful of youth and fantasy, distrusting of the hopeful, obedient to the proper channels and arrogant in his devotion to humble causes and common sense. As far as civilians go, this brand of righteous is a dominant mode, and the worst thing our country has produced by far. Your son or daughter has a good shot of either being one or being sympathetic to the cause or at worst being completely oblivious to it. So why not, in that sliver of time before pee-pees become dicks and wee-wees become bearded clams, let them believe the unbelievable?

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