Punk losing viewers gets brushed under the rug? What alternate universe do you live in, Starbuck?
I don't disagree with your post. This doesn't prove Punk is a "draw", but certainly it proves that he's not an anti-draw which so many spout ridiculously. Punk's incredibly inconsistent, but he can draw big, arguably bigger than anyone else on the roster when put with a big draw (besides another big draw). When he's not with a big draw though, it's split with whether he draws well or not.
Actually, that intrigues me a bit. A few weeks ago I got together all the breakdowns up to that point from this year and saved them. What I'm gonna do for the fuck of it, is gather all the Punk segments where he wasn't with a proven draw (which at this point in WWE I'm only considering Cena, HHH, Rock, Undertaker, Lesnar and maybe Foley... though he's a legend I'm not sure how big of a draw he actually is in this day and age. I'd need to check his segments in breakdowns to see that for myself). I'll have to wait until Friday or Saturday to do it since that's where my laptop is, so if anyone else wants to beat me to it, feel free. I'm interested myself in seeing if he really has never drawn well with a proven draw. The one I was thinking of at first was the Punk "shoot" on Laurinaitis in January a couple of weeks before the Rumble, but then I remembered Foley was there at the end of it and was there for a good enough time where he'd have brought in viewers if he was going to.
But hell, Laurinaitis could be considered a proven draw as well when he was an authority figure because of just that... he was an authority figure.
Then again, today in WWE what really draws exceptionally isn't an individual wrestler, but a great storyline.
Your experiment sounds fascinating, but I think you may be missing Starbuck
's point, which is, point of fact, Punk by himself is not a draw. Even at his hottest like in the summertime of 2011, he was paired with John Cena, Vince McMahon and Triple H. Although he has drawn well otherwise against guys like Daniel Bryan, Chris Jericho and if memory serves even Alberto Del Rio in one or two segments in the past, he's wildly inconsistent. He'll never get an ounce of credit for, say, the overrun to Raw 1,000 even though he was the central focus, because Cena and Rock were out there with him. So until he can hold his own by himself on a consistent basis in segments that are focused either solely or at least dominantly around him, and draw and make programs against lesser names bigger by simply being present in them, it's questionable how much of a "draw" he really is.
Of course, I think WWE's entire approach to this has been wrongheaded in the extreme. They had John Cena tell the world and CM Punk to his face that his 300+ day WWE Championship reign was completely irrelevant. WWE is determined to have Punk be the heel. But the problem is, to ensure that he draws heat, they have to strip anything that is even remotely noble or even arguably "cool" about him away from him, reducing him to a whiny, sniveling bitch who's upset because nobody gives a damn about his irrelevant ass. I mean... let's face it, that is not the best way to make someone out to be a star that people should flock to see and wait to watch any time they show up on television. The whole way they've gone about this angle has actually damaged both Cena and Punk, because Punk is an irrelevant WWE Champion only relevant now because Cena has him in his crosshairs, but the audience has been so thoroughly conditioned into not only accepting but anticipating Cena's inevitable victory over all, that how dramatic can a face-off be between the all-powerful Superman and Mr. Irrelevancy?
How any of this is a basis for a feud that culminates inside Hell in a Cell is beyond me. At this point, I think I'd rather see Punk feud with Mick Foley than anything else, based on this past week's Raw. That's sad.