Sentinel-Echo.com

March 5, 2014

Direct Kick: Where is CM Punk and UK continues to fall

By Denis House
Sports Editor

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — As the opening strains of Living Colour’s “Cult of Personality” blared over the speakers at the beginning of Monday Night Raw, the crowd of over 13,000 in Chicago exploded with anticipation of the arrival of Chicago’s own CM Punk.

Seconds passed and still no Punk. Instead Paul Heyman walked to and the thunderous applause turned to thundering boos as the Walrus made his way to the ring.

You see, a few weeks ago it was reported that Punk walked away from the WWE and was no longer an active member of the roster. Speculation ran wild as to why Punk walked with no real explanation.

Heyman went on to ramble about Punk being a “Paul Heyman Guy” and that the WWE never wanted Punk and informed the crowd that Punk was not there. This brought boos from the crowd as they started to chant Punk’s name.

I still can’t figure out if this is a work or a shoot, or in laymen’s terms, fake or real. You can never tell in the world of professional wrestling. In the end everything seems to end up being a work.

Heyman goes on to blame the crowd for Punk not being there as he sat cross-legged in the middle of the ring. I have to give it to the former Paul E. Dangerously; the guy knows how to cut a promo.

Then Heyman went on to blame the Undertaker since Punk couldn’t beat the Dead Man at last year’s Wrestlemania. Heyman said he wants revenge against ‘Taker that he wants to see the streak taken away by his best friend in the world, Brock Lesnar. Of course these two will hook up at Wrestlemania with the “streak” of 21-0 on the line.

Now back to the issue at hand, CM Punk. The crowd continues to chant his name as they do throughout the entire show. Lesnar claims that the Undertaker is scared of him. Lesnar brawls with Mark Henry; the crowd chants CM Punk.

Lesnar F-5’s Henry through the announce table and the crowd chants CM Punk. And this has been happening for the past few weeks, ever since it leaked out that Punk walked. It would be hard to tell who was over with the fans more, Punk or Daniel Bryan. Instead of pushing them, we are saddled with a main event (as of right now) of Randy Orton taking on Batista, a match no one really wants to see. Something tells me there will be a change to that match before Wrestlemania.

So three hours came and went and Punk was nowhere to be seen, despite every wrestler being met with CM Punk chants.

If Punk wants to take a break from wrestling he’s entitled to that. His WWE contract is up in a couple of months anyway. But I think the crowd Monday night let everyone (I’m looking at you, Triple H and Stephanie) know how they felt about Punk being gone. If you want to do what is “best for business” then you will get him back on TV ASAP.

• And the free fall continues. After starting the season the preseason No. 1 ranked team in the nation, Kentucky finds itself ranked No. 25 in the latest Associated Press poll after an embarrassing performance in a loss to South Carolina.

Yup, you read that right. South Carolina.

So what has happened to the team that many boldly predicted would go 40-0 and win the national championship? Well, they suited up and actually had to play games.

I for one have never been that big on ranking incoming classes because, well, they are still high school players until the step on a college court. Sure there are some players fresh out of high school that transition to the college game without any problems, but not many.

I think it is time for Kentucky fans to let their voice be heard and proclaim that they are tired of recruiting these so called “one and done” players, just getting them ready for the pros and not building a program that contends for an NCAA title year-in and year-out.

Look at Florida, the No. 1 team in the land. Look at the experienced players that Billy Donovan has on that team. That’s why they are No. 1 and among the favorites to win the NCAA title.

And it is time for John Calipari to quit blaming the players and start taking some of the blame himself. Quit throwing these youngsters under the bus after every loss. Hey, here is an idea: If they aren’t playing the way you want them to, why not bench them and put in some other players? That’s what good coaches do. They put the best team on the floor that will give them the chance to win. Right now the team that UK puts on the floor isn’t doing that.

Now I don’t know everything. Far from it. But I do know that I am getting tired of these so-called McDonald’s All Americans expected to be the next big thing.



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