CM Punk walked away from WWE back in 2014 as one of the biggest stars in the company at that time, but recent reports suggest that WWE played a big role in helping the former World Champion to become as popular as he did.
When Punk first started out in WWE in 2006 he had made the transition from Ring of Honor and wasn't as well known to the WWE Universe as he was on the independent circuit so WWE had to ensure that their future star received the crowd reaction he needed.
According to former WWE Superstar Renee Dupree, WWE planted people in the crowd to cheer for Punk as a way to ensure that the crowd was reacting in a positive way.
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WWE MANIPULATING CROWD REACTIONS?
Renee recently spoke to Hannibal TV about WWE falsifying the crowd reaction in order to ensure the response was the one that they wanted.
He said: "Yeah. They would do chants, and then it’s like a ripple effect. They hear chants, chants, chants and then try and get the people up. CM Punk or ECW shirts, I’d see like three or four guys scattered around the arena. And I was like ‘wow’, but I guess if you really want to get somebody over.”
Dupree was on his way out of WWE as CM Punk was just coming through so he would have spent a lot of time watching the way WWE set up if he wasn't being used for a certain WWE event, but this is the first time a WWE superstar has made claims of this kind.
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NOT THE FIRST TIME?
WWE have been known to doctor crowd reactions before, but this was just to eliminate any boos from the SmackDown and Raw crowd when Roman Reigns made an appearance. It was never taken as far as planting people in the crowd to cheer for him.
It is shocking that WWE would take it to this kind of level to ensure that CM Punk got over with the WWE Universe when he first came to WWE, but it isn't completely out of the question. CM Punk went on to be one of the biggest stars of the last generation and that wasn't completely WWE's doing.
Perhaps CM Punk needed some help with the WWE crowd during his early months with the WWE, but Punk has mostly managed to get over on his own, he was slowly built up by WWE and was even able to write a lot of his own storylines in his last few years.
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