The end of Raw told us two things last night: The match between CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler will be just as great as their last ones if not better, and there is no way John Laurinaitis will let Punk walk out as champion at the Royal Rumble.
It wouldn't make sense to Laurinaitis' character and it wouldn't give pro wrestling fans the one thing that fuels many of its members.
Ziggler as champion would be a disgrace for the company and Punk would be able to get on his soapbox again about how he is being held back by the company and how they aren't willing to use him to his full potential.
As much as people love to see heroes like Punk on top, they love to see them fight the struggle against a higher power even more.
Laurinaitis is perfect as the man to screw Punk and make no mistake, he will.
The way that he has been treated on the show will get worse after he has to get through his evaluation next week. Punk will use the evaluation to humiliate Laurinaitis and get him back for the weeks of tricks and losses he has had to endure.
And Laurinaitis will take it because he is a suit and his boss is there. He will take every abuse and ridicule and he will smile.
And on the inside he will be boiling.
It is the perfect way to set up his character to make it seem like he won't have the spine to stab Punk in the back during the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. He'll wait and choose his spot carefully and he will try to make it look like an accident because for all of Laurinaitis' lack of charisma and talent, he is clever.
He knows when to speak and when to let his actions do the talking. And he remembers things about the wrestlers.
He'll remember getting hit with the GTS. He'll remember all of Punk's words.
And he'll remember that to Punk it is important to be called the best in the world. If he doesn't have the title it will throw a wrench into that claim and make Punk consumed with winning the title again.
Anything else will disappoint.
Punk has been on top of the mountain long enough that he is starting to become top dog. If he is screwed out of the title he can reclaim the mantle of the rebel against the establishment.
So it's not just that Punk won't win, but that he shouldn't win for the good of not just the WWE, but himself.
It will help his character, his company and the Royal Rumble get over with the fans and make what should be the most predictable part of the night become the thing no one saw coming.
Matthew Hemphill writes for the MMA and professional wrestling portion of Bleacher Report. He also hosts a blog elbaexiled.blogspot.com which focuses on books, music, comic books, video games, film, and generally anything that could be related to the realms of nerdom.
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