CM Punk’s loss at UFC 203 was an ugly one. The former WWE wrestler had absolutely nothing to offer Mickey Gall, a younger, stronger, more experienced and just generally better fighter and it showed in the cage. Punk was taken down with absolutely no effort, gave up position with absolutely no resistance, got punched in the face a bunch of times, and then gave up a rear-naked choke.
In a lot of ways, it was surprising that he spent that much time preparing for this fight, only for it to end so unceremoniously. In a lot of ways it was surprising because he did spend that much time training for this fight, and was still completely punked.
For the WWE, though…it was pretty darn funny.
The WWE, much like the UFC, is an incredibly petty company, and has never been above kicking somebody while they were down. That shined through on Sunday night at WWE Backlash, a pay-per-view event, when the company drew inspiration from the fight for one of the spots in the Intercontinental Title match between Dolph Ziggler and The Miz. Here’s the clip:
Rush in, double leg takedown, rear naked choke. Was this a subtle nod to the Punk fight last night? #WWEBacklash pic.twitter.com/jGy9i65hto
— Ryan Satin (@ryansatin) September 12, 2016
Miz, the self-important cowardly heel, charges in for a punch but is taken down, roughed up on the ground, and choked with an RNC. Sound familiar?
It’s worth remembering that Punk and the WWE went out on very, very bad terms. Punk suddenly left the WWE after the 2014 Royal Rumble and left the company with a big void in its programming as a result. He went into hiding from there and would eventually reemerge with a tell-all podcast where he made a number of startling claims about how the company forced him to work while suffering from concussions and other injuries, all while they were amid another lawsuit over their handling of concussed wrestlers.
While most wrestlers kept silent on Punk and his fallout with the company, some (including Ziggler) fired back at him.
Not all WWE types jeered Punk for his loss, though. Noelle Foley, daughter to WWE legend Mick Foley and star of mediocre reality series Holy Foley, was actually in the front row for the fight, rocking a CM Punk shirt. Many more gave their support on Twitter, including Chavo Guerrero who said “In my opinion, CM Punk has already won by just stepping foot into the Octagon,” Alberto Del Rio, who said, “Don’t worry amigo CM Punk it’s all good, you’ll be back stronger,” and Hulk Hogan who said “Glad to see CM PUNK tell his fans he’s going to continue his UFC journey, he will learn and come back strong!! Time to fix that ear!”
Punk said he’s not done and, honestly, I hope that’s a lie. I want to see him back in the WWE and, even though the company isn’t treating him well right now, probably would love to have him back.
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