In one of the truest cases of bittersweet poetic justice in pro wrestling history, as World Wrestling Entertainment undergoes a talent overhaul and the company becomes fresher and more intriguing by the second, both CM Punk and AJ Lee - two wrestlers who could have benefited from this occurrence - are no longer employed by the company. From 2005-2015, WWE was in a period of flux, attempting to navigate a shift in both commercial and industrial needs for the WWE Universe as well as a shift in the type of talents available to perpetuate the future of pro wrestling as an in-ring product. In being the first two talents to reach mainstream acclaim that represented the best of this "new" style of wrestling and excelling at doing the type of business that would aid this progressive business model, they were sadly before their time. CM Punk and AJ Lee were both huge wrestling fans heading into the WWE. However, a series of incidents including The Miz main eventing Wrestlemania, Triple H's ascension to power, Total Divas as a marketing scheme for WWE's women's division, and more left them completely disillusioned. Here are the 20 moments that truly define why Punk and AJ are dispassionate about wrestling at a time where wrestling should inspire more passion than ever before.
Besides having been an independent professional wrestling manager for a decade, Marcus Dowling is a Washington, DC-based writer who has contributed to a plethora of online and print magazines and newspapers writing about music and popular culture over the past 15 years.