WWE RAW last night in Tampa was a world beyond the lame-duck episodes that fans had tuned in for on New Year's Eve and Christmas Eve, as the road to Wrestlemania and the hype this month's Royal Rumble shot through the roof with the show-closing confrontation between WWE Champion CM Punk and his upcoming challenger, The Rock. If you missed it, you can watch this must-see RAW war of words in the video posted above.
The segment which aired after Punk outlasted Ryback in a violent Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match with help from the Shield faction which attacked Ryback, costing him the title. Punk then promised "another pipebomb" for the WWE Universe in a backstage interview after the definitive victory.
Punk was once again in his element, as he clashed with WWE "system" for supressing true talents that he pointed specifically like Daniel Bryan, Tyson Kidd, and others while pushing popular "circus" acts like the invisible "Little Jimmy" to entertain the masses. He was very controversial yet clever as he was definitely peeling back the curtain a bit on the WWE's creative process and how it hurts some performers and helps others. This tone stuck the same intensity that Punk hit on the special RAW in Las Vegas in 2011 as he held the WWE hostage in his run towards the WWE title at Money in the Bank.
Punk then psycho-deconstructed the WWE fans who have followed him through his tumultuous WWE career and doubted his ability to retain the WWE title for 414 days. After establishing one scathing point after another to decry the fans who cheer for or against him, Punk struck a deep cord with the following line:
"There two type of people in this world: Winners and Losers. Guess which one you are?"
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson hit the ring to a large ovation to the Florida crowd who loves their own. The former WWE Champion bit right into Punk making fun of everything from his straight edge lifestyle, his "cookie puss", and his delusional sense of grandeur that has set him astray sine winning the WWE Championship. Rocky was funny here, as fans at the arena and watching around the world expect him to be. The Rock retaining his poise and bravado while making sure to establish Punk as the man to beat in the match and the man whose "time is up". Johnson once again professed his love for the fans, his desire to entertain them, and his vow to win the WWE Championship. The mos digging argument the Rock made against the reigning champ, was his failure to create 'change' in the WWE.
The Rock brought the humor and charisma he is known for, in this first appearance back for this feud that will develop over the next three weeks leading into the Royal Rumble in Phoenix,AZ where the two mega-stars will collide for WWE's greatest prize. Yet at the end of the night even with the Rock laying out Punk with a Rock Bottom, the Champion retained another title: the toughest talker in the WWE.
Punk won the verbal spat with a tremendous put-down on Rocky when he shouted in the movie star's face the following:
"Your arms are not long enough to box with God!"
This line vibrated through the arena, and it appeared to even startled the Rock a bit before he regained composure and eventually ended the segment by slamming the Chicago-born wrestler to mat. That line felt like the 'pipebomb' that Punk had promised, and it was delivered even in the starshine and glitz of Dwayne Johnson entertaining 'the millions'.
Who do YOU think won the war of words between CM Punk and the Rock on RAW this week? Tweet your pick to Pro Wrestling Examiner @KevKellam or post in the Faebook comment box below.