The main course of this Sunday’s Royal Rumble will be the WWE championship match between CM Punk and The Rock. While the rumble match is still the apple of many eyes, this is a one match show that has everyone talking for a variety of reasons. Who do you want to win? Who do you think should win? What do you think is the likely going to happen? Let’s talk.
Cesaro will beat the cotton candy out of the Miz’s babyface routine while Rhodes Scholars will be elevated with their win over Team Hell No and then Alberto Del Rio will go over on Big Show in what will be an entertaining last man standing match to retain the world heavyweight title.
John Cena is going all the way to the main event of WrestleMania 29. There are other wrestlers on the roster who would gain a lot more from winning the rumble, but the company has the most to gain with a Cena victory.
Does the WWE need to create new stars? Hell yeah they do, but that is not the company’s goal at this time. Those who were the flagship stars at one time such as Hogan, Michaels, and Austin have multiple rumble wins. Cena will too on Sunday.
All roads lead to Rock vs. Cena II and while everyone thinks Cena will get his heat back, I don’t think he will. Why? Because I believe Cena is turning heel this year. He will lose, for the second time, to the Rock, which will derail his title aspirations and make him snap and become the asshole we’ve been waiting to see. Conventional wisdom says Cena wins the second time around but just like last time, people will be paying to see him lose. There is no money in having John Cena win to simply get his heat back.
Other Rumble items will see Dolph Ziggler break the record for the longest lasting entrant and Ryback will break the record for most eliminations in a single rumble. The Shield will not be official entrants in the rumble but they will eliminate Ryback and the final four will be John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton.
What I would like to see happen is for Ryback to clean house and win the Royal Rumble. The former Nexus member is a millimeter away from being just another face on the roster. Having him eliminate a boat load of people enroute to victory would rejuvenate Ryback’s stock. Of course, this means the company would have to keep him strong until WrestleMania where he wins the title. He is limited in the ring, but casual fans don’t care about his “work rate” and they pay the bulk of the bills.
What I think should happen: Dolph Ziggler wins the Royal Rumble and becomes it’s most captivating winner in years. Overall interest in the rumble winner decreases once the championship match is chosen. Speculation would be at an all-time high, all the way to WrestleMania, as people wonder if he will attempt to win both titles, or takes two cracks at one.
-WWE Championship: CM Punk vs. The Rock
In an era where title changes happen too frequently, CM Punk’s reign as WWE Champion has brought the title back to prominence. 420+ days, uninterrupted, is something we may never see again, for a long time. It is only fitting that the best heel in the business should finally be dethroned at the showcase of the immortals. However, it is highly probable that Punk has only held the title this long because the match with the Rock was made so far in advance. I even dare say that if it wasn’t for this match with The Rock, Punk would have dropped the title to Ryback at “Hell in the Cell.”
Punk’s term as champion is a cool statistic and will be one of those great “Remember when” talking points among longtime fans. However, is holding off on Punk’s title loss until Mania going to make the WWE any more money than they already have on this journey? The answer is no.
The Rock is a difference maker in every sense of the phrase. Ratings are up, the current audience is energized and old school fans, little by little, are coming back. People will watch whether the great one is champion or not. This is WrestleMania season and Rock with the title will maximize the company’s portfolio.
The Shield will interfere at some point while wearing masks and different attire so you “can’t tell who it is” thus preventing Punk from being stripped of the title. In the end, it will do no good as the brahma bull’s quest for the gold will be realized.