To the casual observer, it was just another night in the world of pro wrestling. John Cena and R-Truth faced off in the main event that night and it looked like the company's top guy would easily defeat his challenger. Unfortunately for Cena, however, a surprise run-in by CM Punk distracted Cena long enough for R-Truth to get him through a table.
What would happen next though, was anything but normal. In fact, from the moment CM Punk grabbed the microphone, walked his way up the ramp, and sat down at the entrance to the ring, you could tell he had something to say. And it wasn't just some cleverly concocted storyline.
And then again, maybe it was all a cleverly concocted storyline between WWE and CM Punk to make fans believe that The Second city saint hated WWE. With that being said and Punk admitting in a documentary that his gripes with the company were legitimate, it seems like a lot of what he said came from the heart.
"I hate this idea that you're the best. Because you're not. I'm the best. I'm the best in the world. There's one thing you're better at than i am and that's kissing Vince McMahon's ass. You're as good as kissing Vince's ass as Hulk Hogan was. I don't know if you're as good as Dwayne though. He's a pretty good ass kisser. Always was and still is."
This was a man pouring his raw heart out to the Las Vegas crowd.
" I'm not on the cover of the program. I'm barely promoted. I don't get to be in movies. I'm certainly not on any crappy show on the USA Network. I'm not on the poster of WrestleMania."
It was bitterness in its most raw form, and it spoke to a portion of the WWE Universe that had barely been acknowledged over the past decade- the diehard fans that made up the internet wrestling community. They were also some of WWE's biggest critics when it came to the family-friendly product.
It wasn't just that Punk hated WWE at that point in his career, it was that everyone backstage that doubted he was top guy material. The diatribe was also aimed at The Rock and John Cena, who took up main event spots that could have been used to establish a new crop of Superstars.
"The reason I'm leaving is you people. Because after I'm gone, you're still going to pour money into this company. I'm just a spoke on the wheel."
He then promised to tell a personal story about Vince McMahon, which finally resulted in the company turning off his microphone.
Punk gave WWE the shot in the arm it needed that night in Vegas. It was the start of WWE taking older fans seriously again and brought back the reality versus fiction storytelling trope. Whether this was for the better or not depends on which fans you ask.