When CM Punk dropped a 'pipebomb' on the Las Vegas audience and John Cena in one of Monday Night Raw's most memorable moments, he similarly smoke-bombed WWE's closed club of entitled headliners and small-minded sycophants.
Fogged out of their foxhole, Vince and Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, John Laurinaitis and others on WWE's upper deck were left uneasy by the home truths issued out by the 'Voice Of The Voiceless' in his earth-shattering and unscripted address. The angle in which his threatened walkout culminated in a WWE Title win remains as spine-tingling today as it was in 2011. His star was finally on the rise.
Unfortunately, those same overlords carefully curated its managed decline. Punk was lost to a pitiful storyline involving Kevin Nash as a mystery attacker, Laurinaitis as a manipulative toadie, and Triple H as both his irritated new boss and unconvincing ally.
The second coming of Steve Austin, this sadly wasn't.