C.M. Punk has risen to become one of WWE's most prized assets by leveraging decent athleticism, quality mic skills, and an especially strong ability to work shoots. We're assuming that's what happened tonight, as Punk sledged a fan in the face during the closing seconds of tonight's episode of Raw, though this might be an instance of the boy crying wolf so many times we're assuming everything is a work.

Of course, legit shoots have been common of late on Raw, from idiots in the ring to Jerry Lawler's very unfortunate on-air heart attack. Too, you see a security guard immediately come up to the guy decked by Punk to see if he's still a threat—but he never appeared to be one in the first place. (His story would make for a hell of a Virgilbag entry.)

If the whole thing's legit, it's possible Punk thought the guy behind him was grabbing his arm (that would actually be the dude to Punk's right)—but if that's the case, it's on the booker for not taking the right precautions to send Punk to a secured part of the crowd. Admittedly, we don't really watch Raw because there's Monday Night Football and, now, MLB playoff baseball on TV. If you know more about this, chime in below. [USA]

h/t to Chris

Update (8:30 a.m.): Lots of signs this wasn't a work, from a Sacramento TV reporter tracking the guy down...



...to this fan video—we edited it into something viewable—that shows exactly how much abuse Punk was taking from idiot fans:

Looks like they didn't bother to secure Punk's exit area (or Punk went to the wrong one).

Thanks to Kotaku's Stephen Totilo for the head's up.