CM Punk has been facing off against Dolph Ziggler recently, and at first glance it looks like the two are mismatched.
Ziggler, until recently, was a mid-card heel, and Punk is a certified main eventer.
The two of them are night and day to each other in that respect. Ziggler just lost to fan-favorite underdog Zack Ryder as well. Having him square off against CM Punk for the most important title in the WWE doesn't work.
Especially when that match takes place at the Royal Rumble.
But on closer inspection the feud not only works, it makes an important distinction.
Ziggler may state that he is perfection, and while that is debatable, he does seem to have the look that the WWE goes for.
He is chiseled, good-looking, easily over six foot tall and has a full head of hair. If it weren't bleached blonde, there would be almost no way to differentiate him from all the rest of the other WWE developmental wrestlers.
On the other side of the ring is Punk. He is heavily tattooed, with a piercing, not cut like a fitness model and with thin, stringy hair. He is the complete opposite of Ziggler and what the WWE sells to its audiences.
A feud between the two works on many levels, most of which will elevate Ziggler as a heel, but the biggest thing it does is outline how different Punk is.
CM Punk already stands out among the wrestlers on the WWE roster, but he has never been in a position where he was pushed as the best in the world. He was always the villain or the babyface that was good, but only in comparison to other, better guys like John Cena.
Is Dolph Ziggler a good opponent for Punk at this time?
Now he is being pushed as a guy who can legitimately beat all comers no matter how big they come or how good they look. The WWE is making a statement when they put him over a guy like Ziggler.
Most fans who frequent Internet wrestling sites won't need any convincing. Many will have been behind Punk for years and are pulling for him to succeed in his latest run.
Still, a significant segment of the public might need convincing. They need to have Punk sold as a strong champion while facing a heel who looks like he is stronger but needs to cheat.
It's easy to forget that plenty of fans aren't sold on Punk—they need to be convinced that he can be "the man" in the company—but they are out there.
As much as Ziggler is getting over as a bad guy, it is Punk who is going to get the rub from all of this. He is finally going to be booked as a strong champion, someone who can take out a heel without any help.
It wasn't that long ago that he was losing pay-per-view match after match. Even with the wins over Cena and a win over both Del Rio and the Miz at TLC, he isn't a year removed from his losing streak.
That, combined with the fact that some fans walk away from wrestling after WrestleMania and return for the Rumble, might add up to him needing to reintroduce himself to these fans.
As the buildup for WrestleMania begins, it will be interesting to see if Punk's numbers on RAW and pay-per-views do well, as that is usually the best time for the WWE. Having a feud with Ziggler at the same time won't hurt either.