Thought Of The Day: Austin Vs. Punk

This is another one of those things I don’t get.What is this obsession people have with seeing these two fight?  It seems like it would be a match where the outcome is never in doubt and the promos would likely be centered around “I’m straightedge” vs. “I love beer”.  They were both anti-heroes so they don’t have character issues to argue over.  Yet despite all this, fans seem to be begging to see this match.  Why?  At the end of the day, the money match would seem to be Cena vs. Austin, not Austin vs. Punk.


Think about it.  If there is ANYONE who is the polar opposite of Austin’s entire character, it’s John Cena.  You have the ultimate corporate guy vs. the guy who would regularly beat up his boss.  The promos would be great, the characters contrasts would be great, and it would be the ultimate battle of Attitude Era (the company’s new favorite marketing campaign since they finally realized people are nostalgic for it) vs. PG.


Why do so many people want Punk when Cena would be a better opponent all the way around?  Also Austin vs. Punk is not happening at Mania 29.  Austin’s knee isn’t going to be ready.  Drop the speculation already.


  1. Daryl Anderson says:

    Because it’s one of the best of this era vs one of the best of the old attitude era. How can you as a wrestling fan not want this match.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Why have one of the best when you can have THE best?

  2. Daryl Anderson says:

    Because if I said the best then people would bitch about there being better. then again you complained about my wording so it’s a lose lose.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    John Cena is the best of this generation. Any other argument is incorrect.

  3. chris says:

    Why are so against the idea of someone other than Cena being given the main event? Also in a way it’s perfect a beer swelling, anti authority, anti hero vs a straight edge, best in the world, anti hero. the build up would be amazing, Since that is the most important part. The promos would be off the scale, It’s the battle of the new attitude era superstar vs the one who started attitude in the first place.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Because Punk hasn’t earned the main event. Cena has been the top guy in the company for years now. Punk in the main event has done nothing at all and he’s floundered when put on top. If Punk hasn’t gotten over at this point, wasting Austin’s last match on him isn’t going to do it. Cena has earned the right to have this match and he should. Not that it matters though as the main event for Wrestlemania 30 shouldn’t be either of these matches, but that’s another point for later. In short, Cena is better than Punk and that’s about all there is to it.

    Also if you believe Punk is an attitude era style guy, you make me laugh. Punk is about as PG as he can get.

  4. Martin Gabriel says:

    KB, how’s Punk “as PG as he can get”?

    Also, how has Punk floundered when put on top? Assuming you mean in ratings or just performance, he’s put on some extraordinary matches from the main event spot (such as against Cena, whereas all his title defenses that weren’t the main events of their respective pay-per-views certainly could have been just as good as main events) and considering the last couple RAWs for which I looked at the segment-by-segment ratings, his segments drew rather than lost (even when the show was at a general decline thanks to Cena’s absence and football), including in main event segments. Bear in mind, I’ve only looked up a couple episodes’ ratings recently, specifically the one that was RAW’s worst rating in 15 years, so I can’t say the same for every single RAW.

    However, I don’t think he necessarily should get a WrestleMania main event over Cena either. You can’t even make the argument WWE needs to make long-term investments in younger talent, since Punk’s constantly hinting he might soon retire, for which you can’t blame him considering the sort of abuse he’s endured. Fairly speaking, Cena’s the better draw and has just as much time left, if not more, with the WWE. Could Punk become an even bigger star if he’s given the top spot and succeeds with it? Maybe, but if he’s bent on retiring soon, would that be worth it? On the other hand, perhaps giving him a WrestleMania main event could elevate his draw rate and then RAW would have two powerhouses, even if only for a few years. Thinking more on that possibility, as I reflect back on Punk’s reign, I feel even more confidence in his ability to put on a WrestleMania main event that would have those casual fans who only tune in once a year for WrestleMania want to keep up with RAW from the next night onward just to see CM Punk, the man who delighted them at WrestleMania. It’d be taking a risk on WWE’s part, but I believe Punk’s body of work demonstrates he could be trusted to succeed in such a high stakes performance.

    I do think a match with Austin would be stellar and I think, KB, your idea of how it’d develop is unimaginative. They conducted a sit-down interview just to promote WWE ’13, but managed to make such a mundane spot compelling. There’s more to it than Punk being straightedge and Austin not. It could be a story of Punk proving himself to Austin, an icon of the era to whose fans Punk attempts to appeal his character. Then there’s the whole “Best in the World” thing, which Austin might resent, especially as Punk’s begun defaming legends and proclaiming himself their superior. Those are just a couple ideas I came up with in a few seconds. I delight in imagining what Punk and Austin, the two people who know their own characters and themselves better than anyone, could come up with.

    I can’t really say much about how he’d hold up in a 20+ minute match. He seemed pretty spry when he’d demonstrate bumps and sequences on Tough Enough. If he took the time to prepare himself for a match with some rejuvenating exercise (GET ON DDP YOGA, AUSTIN), his body might be able to hold up.

    Do I think the match will happen? Maybe. When they hint that it might, they could be working us; when Austin himself says he won’t wrestle, he could also be working us. None of us have a right to say we know better than others, as we’re all basing our expectations off second-hand knowledge, all of which could just be the participants’ way of keeping us on edge. When either outcome finally occurs, anyone who would be so arrogant as to say, “Aha, I was right along!” would speak hollowly, ignorant of how uncritical and cheap their assessments were. That’s not to say we shouldn’t discuss it. Part of the fun is playing into their games, suspending disbelief and immersing yourself in a world of subjectivity. It’s what wrestling’s about, both in and out of the ring.

  5. chris says:

    klunderbunker Reply
    John Cena is the best of this generation. Any other argument is incorrect.

    Yes because it’s not like “the best” in terms of wrestling is based upon opinion. Look if you think Cena is the best then hey that’s your opinion and your entitled to it. However to suggest that anyone who doesn’t follow this opinion is incorrect is just arrogant.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    No it’s not. The argument of “it’s my opinion so it can’t be wrong” doesn’t work and never has. If you believe Punk is better than Cena, you’re incorrect and that’s really all there is to it.

    At the end of the day, wrestling is about making money. Not how many moves you know, not how well you can make fun of someone, not how many matches you can reference in one match. Cena’s time on top drew more money, higher ratings, and had better overall results. Therefore, Cena is better than Punk. It’s really not that hard.

  6. Martin Gabriel says:

    Just like any art, you can approach wrestling with different perspectives. There is the wholly commercial perspective, where the best money-maker is therefore the best product. From that perspective, we could say Cena is the best. However, with film, for instance, do we necessarily say, “Oh yeah, Generic Action Flick X is better than Moving Cinematic Masterpiece Y because X sold better at the box office?” That’s why we have the Academy Awards, so those movies that are technically excellent are recognized for such, even if they weren’t quite pop culture phenomenons. From that same perspective of technical mastery, we can recognize Punk as Cena’s superior.

    Our approach to wrestling doesn’t have to be so black-and-white. There are different schools of thought we can assess it with, each with its own criteria. It’s useless to just bash our analyses against each other when sometimes the difference isn’t in facts or statistics, but in the critical lens with which each person is assessing the matter.

  7. chris says:

    YOUR A FAN! You shouldn’t care about who draws the most money or what the buy rate for the ppv’s are. Unless you work for the WWE, you should only care about who entertains you the most. I’m not saying that wrestling is any kind of athletic contest or the matches aren’t predetermined. I’m saying your supposed to suspend your disbelief and like whomever you want. If you think Cena is the best more power to you. Like him because his matches, promos, and personality entertain you. Not because he draws the most money. I find Punk more entertaining therefore to me he’s better.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Yes I am a fan, and because of that I want what’s best for WWE. What is best for WWE is Austin vs. Cena, not Austin vs. Punk. Also the “I like them more so they’re better” is incorrect thinking. I like the Cleveland Indians better than any other team but by no means are they better than most.

  8. chris says:

    Actually to you the Cleveland Indians should be better than most otherwise why would you like them more? I just don’t agree with the assertion that the most money wins that’s very dangerous thinking. My Favourite wrestler of all time is Macho Man Randy Savage. I know he didn’t draw as much money as Hulk Hogan. That still doesn’t mean that Hogan is better to me at least.

    I’m not Saying that klunderbunker opinion is any more right or wrong than mine. Our opinions just differ, and that’s what makes free speech so great. I don’t even Hate Cena I just think much like Hogan, Austin and even Rocky he’s gone as far as he can go and needs to reinvent himself. Or take some time off to allow people to actually miss him.