This year’s SummerSlam will give WWE fans a feeling of deja vu. According to several media outlets, including Wrestlezone.com, the current plan is for CM Punk to square off against John Cena at the company's August pay-per-view.
WWE fans will remember that Cena and Punk went toe-to-toe at last year's SummerSlam.
For the company, this move makes total sense. CM Punk and John Cena are easily the two biggest full-time stars on the active roster. For WWE as a company, it’s important to push this pay-per-view as big as it can get. With four big pay-per-views a year, the WWE pulls out all the stops in terms of bringing in talent.
The plan, according to the report by Wrestlezone.com is to "build the show around the Punk vs. Cena match as well as the already announced Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H match."
Again, it’s important to remember that this is a rumor, and as with all things WWE, this is subject to change.
If this is, in fact, the route they go, then it’s unlikely that fans would see CM Punk drop the belt prior to the August event. Punk has been feuding with Kane and Daniel Bryan over the last month, but it wouldn’t make business sense to see him come into a main event match at a marquee event without the belt.
The worry here, as has often been the case with WWE, is that they won’t commit the time to give this match a proper build.
With both wrestlers being faces at the moment, there doesn’t seem to be much sense in them squaring off in the ring. While the belt is always an enticing reason to get a performer into a match, Cena has been so far removed from the title picture that a sudden shift towards grabbing the gold might seem forced and put on.
CM Punk, who is one of the most effective heels in the company when directed that way, has no reason to feud with Cena. Last year much of his momentum was tied to his perceived lower status within the corporate structure. However, with a lengthy title run and a spot on the WWE’s upcoming video game cover, it’s hard to assume that Punk can harbor the same type of resentment.
Even if they make this feud purely about winning the belt, you’d still be hard-pressed to do a storyline shift in so little time that it would make sense.
The WWE does a good job of lining up big stars for big matches but often fails at promoting them in a way the audience cares about. CM Punk and Triple H last year was a perfect example of loving the matchup and never finding a way to make fans love the road to the ring.
Here’s hoping they have better plans for this A-List pairing.