First of all, here’s a transcript, courtesy of smashpro:
“John Cena, while you lay there, preferably, as uncomfortably as you can be, I want you to listen to me. I want you to digest this, because, before I leave in three weeks with your WWE Championship, I have a LOT of things I want to get off my chest. I don’t hate you, John. I don’t even dislike you. I do like you. I like you a hell of a lot more than I like most of the people in the back. 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 that you’re better at than I am, and that’s kissing Vince McMahon’s ass. You’re as good at 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. Oops, I’m breaking the Fourth Wall.
I am the best WRESTLER in the world. I’ve been the best since day one, when I walked into this company, and I’ve been hated and vilified since that day, because Paul Heyman saw something in me that no one else wanted to admit. That’s right, I’m a Paul Heyman Guy. You know who else was a Paul Heyman Guy? Brock Lesnar, and he split, like I’m splitting, but the biggest difference between me and Brock, is that I’m going to leave with the WWE Championship. I’ve grabbed so many of Vincent K. McMahon’s imaginary brass rings, that it’s finally dawned on me that they’re just that; they’re completely imaginary. The only thing that’s real is me, and the fact that day-in and day-out, for almost six years, I have proved to everyone that I am the best in the world on this microphone, in that ring, even at commentary, nobody can touch me!
And yet, no matter how many times I prove it, I’m not on your lovely little collector cups, 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 some crappy show on the USA network, I’m not on the poster of Wrestlemania, I’m not in the signature that’s produced at the start of the show, I’m not on Conan O’Brien, I’m not on Jimmy Fallon, but, the fact of the matter is that I should be! This isn’t sour grapes, but the fact that Dwayne is in the main event of Wrestlemania next year, and I’m not, makes me sick! And, hey, people who are cheering right now? YOU’RE part of the reason I’m leaving as much as anybody else, because YOU’RE the ones who are sipping out of those collector cups right now, YOU’RE the ones who buy the programs that my face isn’t on the cover of, and then, at five in the morning at the airport, you shove it in MY face, trying to get an autograph, and try to sell on eBay, because you’re too lazy to get a real job! I’m leaving with the WWE Championship on July 17th, and hey, maybe I’ll go defend it in New Japan Pro Wrestling, MAYBE I’ll go back to Ring of Honor! Hey, Colt Cabana, How ya doing?
The reason I’m leaving is because of you people. After I’m gone, you’re still going to be pouring money into this company. I’m just a spoke on the wheel, the wheel is gonna keep turning, and I understand that. But, Vince McMahon is gonna make money despite himself. He’s a millionaire who should be a billionaire. You know why he’s not a billionaire? Because he surrounds himself with glad-handing, nonsensical, yes-men, like John Laurinitas, who is going to tell him everything he want to hear. And, I like to think that this company will be better once Vince McMahon is dead, but the fact is that it’s gonna get taken over by his idiotic daughter, and his doofus son-in-law, and the rest of his stupid family. Let me tell you a personal story about Vince McMahon. Alright, you know we do this whole bullying campaign?”
…and then his mic got cut. Why is this the greatest promo of the century?
Punk came out and named every single solitary thing wrong with the the WWE in one 6 or 8 minute shoot. Every single complaint from every single smark was laid out in order, held up to the light for scrutiny for people who probably never think about the business beyond the product on TV; naming names that most people have never heard. That they let him rag on everyone all the way up to Vince in such a manner is absolutely unprecedented- though they did show historical precedent when Vince agreed to do business with Bret Hart again, and vice versa.
It’s rumored in the industry that Vince prides himself on doing business with people he doesn’t like personally if it makes him money, and I think that allowing Punk to cut a promo like that is Vince finally realizing that half the crowd seriously doesn’t like Cena. He’s also known for hating smarks and the Internet but hey, he’s doing business with all of those people he hates too. They are driving business to him because the links and signals don’t have to be positive. Colt Cabana, a wrestler in minor promotions who had a very brief stint in the WWE, is trending worldwide on Twitter right this very minute with an off-hand mention during the RAW overrun. Forums full of seasoned fans are marking out and posting about what if it’s a shoot! what if it’s real! what if it’s a worked shoot but he went too far? There’s a buzz.
I want to know what agency got hold of Vince, Stephanie, and Paul. This is the smartest thing and the best promo in a long, long time. Time will tell if it’s era-defining, or if it’s just a blip, but it feels big. And for the first time in a long time, I’m excited about the ‘E again.