Royal Rumble 2012 Matches: CM Punk Won't Escape with WWE Championship

Tom KinslowFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2012

CM Punk may proudly wear the WWE Championship now, but by the end of the night, he will have it stolen from him by the powers that be.

In recent months, the Chicago-made superstar has turned into a modern-day Stone Cold Steve Austin, rebelling against authority figures and doing whatever he can to get under John Laurenitis' skin each and every week. Now, he has been backed into a corner, facing Dolph Ziggler in a match for the WWE Championship, with Laurenitis as the referee.

While Punk has escaped much more difficult situations in the past, there is no squirming out of this one, and come Monday night, the WWE Champion will be out for revenge, except he'll have a trump card in his pocket—a title shot at WrestleMania.

Ziggler has had a run of success against Punk, and despite the threat from the WWE Board of Directors and COO Triple H, Laurenitis is going to do everything he can to ensure that the challenger leaves with the company's richest prize around his waist.

One fact to remember is that Punk and Triple H each have their own history, and somehow I doubt Triple H would be too shaken up if the champion happened to lose his crown at the hands of some outside influence. After all, The Game made his living off of breaking the rules and doing anything to remain at the top of the company.

The deck is stacked against Punk, and his lack of tact has backed him into a corner he can't squirm out of. While the champion may lose his title, the good news is that he can turn right around and enter the Royal Rumble. And while it isn't the safest pick, I see Punk entering and winning the battle royale and heading to WrestleMania looking to get his title back around his waist.

It makes a lot of sense to create some drama instead of having Ziggler pursuing Punk all the way to the biggest stage in sports entertainment. Losing the title, only to win the Royal Rumble, would have a huge pop with the live crowd, but energize the fans at home.

Recently, the creative team has been taking chances, and hopefully they continue to follow that inspiration, as it would allow for a thrilling conclusion to tonight's event.