If the WWE allows both of its champions to retain their belts in the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view this Sunday, it will lead to the same stagnant energy that ruled the first half of 2011. They need to shake things up, and the best way to do that is to have one of the two champions lose their title while the other successfully defends his.
Based on the story lines each champion is in right now the choice is obvious.
CM Punk needs to lose his championship to Chris Jericho.
The setup is there. Jericho won the six-pack challenge which allows him to be the last contestant released into the chamber. Unless Punk is released near the end as well it would make the perfect twist for Jericho to beat him for the title and then have the rematch at WrestleMania.
It's no secret that Punk is at his best when he is being persecuted and chasing after the villain. As much as he may want to be the bad guy he is an anti-hero and loved by millions. He can't change that unless he sells out.
It would also feed the Jericho character who claims that Punk is just ripping him off. His ego would get even farther out of control and fans would react badly to it.
As long as they have a rematch at WrestleMania, fans will tune in to see Punk destroy the wrestling legend.
The only other option would be for Daniel Bryan to lose his title and that isn't the best option. He needs the Big Show to try and get a final match at WrestleMania so he can redeem himself.
It also would undermine the new opportunist personality that Bryan is showing if he loses in the Elimination Chamber. It would also give fans the satisfaction of seeing him lose after all the cheap tricks he has used to keep his title.
The payoff is the same no matter when it happens, but it should be saved for a major pay-per-view like WrestleMania when fans are watching.
For major stars like Punk or Jericho who have serious sway on the card there is a bit of difference. The story line can't progress unless Punk loses the title and then has to prove yet again that he is the best in the world.
Having a gloating Jericho on Raw for the next few weeks will send hardcore fans over the edge who want to see Punk beat him. It will give other fans who don't care for Cena or the Rock a reason other then the Undertaker to buy the biggest wrestling pay-per-view of the year.
So it isn't just a good idea to switch one of the titles at Elimination Chamber, it's necessary to progress the story.
Matthew Hemphill writes for the MMA and professional wrestling portion of Bleacher Report. He also hosts a blog (elbaexiled.blogspot.com) that 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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