WWE Royal Rumble 2012: 5 Possible Endings to Punk vs. Ziggler
When CM Punk won the WWE Championship at Survivor Series, the IWC seemed unanimous in the idea that he would keep it until at least WrestleMania. Until recently, I believed that this was the only possible future for the Second City Savior.
Now, however, I'm not so sure. After witnessing Dolph Ziggler's incredible rise over the last year (and especially over the last couple months), I think he may actually have the credibility to be the WWE Champion. He just might have to drop the strap before WrestleMania...
The following are all possible outcomes for the WWE Championship match at the Royal Rumble next Sunday. I started with the most likely scenario and got a little crazier as the list went on.
John Laurinaitis Screws CM Punk
At the end of Monday Night Raw, John Laurinaitis (the Executive Vice President of Talent blah blah seriously could this title have been any longer without making the show three hours each week and interim general manager of Raw) admitted that he planned on screwing CM Punk out of the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble.
Honestly, I can't say I blame the guy. From his perspective, CM Punk has made a constant mockery of his authority, and he needs to have someone holding the strap that he can control.
That being said, this would certainly be the most boring outcome for the biggest title match on one of the most important pay-per-views of the year. Johnny Ace might seem boring on the outside, but I think he could be a little bit more unpredictable than this.
Overall Likelihood: Probable
Laurinaitis Calls It Down the Middle
Ever since Johnny Ace extended his title to ridiculous lengths, he has been a little hard to follow. Sometimes he doesn't care what the crowd thinks, and sometimes he panders to us like a monkey.
While it is much more likely that he will be in Ziggler's corner for the match, he could actually do the one thing that nearly no guest referee has ever attempted—remain impartial.
This scenario could actually end with either man holding the title. If CM Punk wins, his rivalry with Laurinaitis pretty much comes to an end, and we're left to wonder what to think of the former Dynamic Dude.
Of course, it could also end with CM Punk on the wrong end of a Zig-Zag and both Punk's feud with Laurinaitis and Ziggler go on to Elimination Chamber.
Overall Likelihood: Possible
Chris Jericho Gets Involved
Even well before Chris Jericho came back to action in a WWE ring, speculation abounded about his possible clash with CM Punk at WrestleMania.
Jericho has berated Punk on several occasions via Twitter about the use of his moves, not to mention his blatant thievery of the phrase "the Best in the World."
While he has been relatively inactive since his return (not speaking, walking out on his match last week, etc.), this could be a huge opportunity to reveal his intentions with the WWE Champion.
Could Y2J come out and cost Punk the title? Could he help him retain so they can fight for it at WrestleMania? Does he even care?
Overall Likelihood: Unlikely
Triple H Joins in the Fun
It has been a while since we last saw our COO. Where has he been hiding?
This match could be a great time for us to see The Game come back to work on-screen.
He has got to be bitter about Johnny Ace taking his day-to-day duties on Raw, and, as COO, he could come out and make a huge impact.
Picture Dolph Ziggler accidentally hitting Laurinaitis with a super kick and dropping him like a rock. Punk takes advantage of the situation and hits a solid GTS, leaving him the only one standing in the ring. Out comes Triple H in a referee shirt to count the 1-2-3.
Wouldn't that be a great way to end the match without making anyone (except maybe our interim GM) look like a goon?
Overall Likelihood: Very Unlikely
Mick Foley Comes Back as the New GM
I'll admit it: this one is a long shot. Even so, tell me it wouldn't be awesome.
We are pretty sure at this point that we will be seeing some iteration of Mick Foley at the Royal Rumble. He may not actually compete in the actual rumble match, but I'm sure he is going to have a profound effect on at least one outcome.
It would be the same scenario as before—only this time Triple H comes out to introduce the new permanent General Manager of Monday Night Raw: Mick Foley.
At this point, Cactus-Love-Kind could come down and finish the match as a secondary referee. (I'm thinking a black and white striped Mr. Socko could make a grand reappearance.)
The crowd would pop huge, and Monday Night Raw could start being really fun again.
Overall Likelihood: Snowball's Chance in Hell