This Sunday at the Royal Rumble live on Pay Per View, a match that has been in the works since July will finally be a reality as the longest reigning WWE Champion of the last 25 years, CM Punk will lock horns with the biggest star to ever come out of WWE, Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson. The match has a true clash of larger-than-life personalities each vying for the greatest prize in Pro Wrestling, the WWE Championship.
Only one man will leave Phoenix this Sunday with that title. In this two part series of preview articles, we will break down 5 reasons why each man has the momentum and guts to win it all. So first let’s look at the man to beat in the Rumble main event, WWE Champ CM Punk and why he may win at the Rumble.
The chance of ending his record-breaking streak at WM29: TITLE vs. THE STREAK
This is an ideal scenario of lifelong WWE fans who have grown up watching the legendary Undertaker returning from the shadows once again, to take on Punk at Wrestlemania. Taker defending his undefeated Wrestlemania streak with CM Punk defending his WWE title with almost a year and half as champion behind him. Each men with something to lose, and outcome that is very unpredictable. This match-up would lure a lot of frustrated wrestling fans off the fans who have been calling WWE predictable for the last year, off the fence and ready for something big to happen in April at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
Now none of that can happen, the “everyone has something to lose” factor is gone when Punk loses the WWE title to the Rock. The momentum to make Punk seem unstoppable or able to beat any odds set against him are the needed characteristics to take on the Deadman at ‘Mania 29. Add to this speculative argument is the recent reports of possible behind-the-scenes plans for Mania 29 that are pitting Punk against the Undertaker. Now whether or not the WWE title is involved is the part to figure out.
There are other influences working against the Rock besides Punk
The Rock has been back on WWE TV for three weeks now, and besides getting under Punk’s tattooed skin, he has been spouting off jokes on RAW supervisor Vickie Guerrero. He angered her enough that she called in the San Jose Police to bar Rock from the HP Pavillion this past Monday, that did not last long but it shows she does like the ‘Great One’. Guerrero could continue to wield her power on the Rock in other ways by making this Sunday’s WWE Championship match. She can apply influence over this match in various ways from giving the title match a special referee or adding a stipulation to swing the match in one superstar’s favor.
Don’t expect the Shield who laid out the Rock this past Monday to interfere, as WWE Chairman Vince McMahon has ruled that if they do interfere in the match on Punk’s behalf that he would be stripped of the title. That does give Rock vs. Punk a sense of clean outcome, just both men fighting it out but always expect the unexpected in WWE.
The Rock has yet to lose a match since his return in 2011
In last year and half, Rock has wrestled twice. He has won each time. He’s been beat up by Shield's three-man power bomb this week, and heads into the match with a champion who has been at the top of the WWE mountain, CM Punk. Outsiders may think the odds are in Rock’s favor with his movie star charisma and his past as a WWE Champion, but Punk has come out other WWE title matches where it seemed like there was no way he could leave the victor. If the Rock was to stumble before he makes it to Wrestlemania, this Sunday could be that spot. There is nothing to stop the Rock from capturing the WWE title next month against 4 other superstars in the Elimination Chamber.
Dolph Zigger cashes in Money in the Bank
This may the biggest longshot of all the suggest scenarios presented here. Ziggler has the blue Money in the Bank briefcase which has set him in line to cash in for the World Heavyweight Championship, but this should not WWE for changing circumstantial logic into what they want to do in the right moment. Ziggler will be in the Royal Rumble and is cursed with either first or second spot in the 30 man over-the-top rope match. His chances of winning that mayhem are now slimmer than before. So maybe the Show Off gets tired the cards stacked against him, and plays his proverbial Ace, the Money in the Bank in a big time main event with Punk and the Rock.
This scenario could also allow Rock to get a big win and also something to chase on the road to Wrestlemania.
CM Punk is capable of beating the Rock based on his history
Yes, how can you even think this is going to happen? How can the blockbuster marquee Dwayne Johnson loses to some over-zealous arrogant jerk like CM Punk ? It does not make sense but Punk has been able to defeat John Cena, Kane, Daniel Bryan, Brodus Clay, Ryback and many other superstars. Punk may not convincingly win all of his matches, but his ability to be able to win matches he is not supposed to win is proven.The Straight Edge Superstars walked into title matches on Pay Per View in the last few months, and each time he was supposed to lose only to scraped by with the WWE title in the end.
It could really shock the world to see Rock with the same face that John Cena had on when he was sitting in disbelief at Wrestlemania 28 in Miami with Punk gloating ‘n showboating with the WWE Championship. This epic loss could inspire Rocky to get even more intense as he heads into Wrestlemania 29. It would be Rock with his back against the wall after building up anticipation for a big win, only to come out of it the loser. That story sounds more intriguing than Rock strolling into the Rumble with one match under his belt in the last year, and strolling out the WWE Champion.
Who do YOU think is going to win the WWE title match this Sunday at Royal Rumble? Post in the comments below, or join the discussion on the Pro Wrestling Examiner Facebook page or tweet your pic to Pro Wrestling Examiner @KevKellam