The Rock: 5 Questions About Rocky's WWE Championship Match at Royal Rumble 2013
The Rock shocked the WWE Universe on the 1,000th episode of Raw when he announced that he would not only be competing at next year's Royal Rumble, but he would be competing for the WWE Championship.
CM Punk obviously took offense to this, as he proceeded to lay Rocky out with a clothesline later in the evening following Rocky saving Cena from an attack by Big Show.
With Rocky seemingly coming in and getting a title shot out of nowhere, this situation raises some questions.
In this slideshow, I will ask five questions. Some of them will be unanswerable, while others may seem like they will have clear answers.
Should He Have Had to Earn His Shot?
When I first heard the announcement made by Dwayne Johnson, the first thing that popped into my head was: "How did he earn a title shot?"
Understanding that WWE is all pre-planned does not seem to help the situation. All year we see guys having matches to determine who will get the next title shot, and Rocky comes out and just gets one?
Seems a bit unfair to me.
While it is clear that Rocky will bring in the viewers and PPV buys, what is unclear is why WWE chose to just hand him something all the full-timers work their butts off for.
The least they could have done was have him wrestle one match to earn the title shot. At least then it would not seem so unfair to the rest of the roster.
I like The Rock, but WWE needs to make it seem like they are not going to just treat him like he owns the place in order for some fans to care about the match at Royal Rumble.
Whom Should He Face?
CM Punk is the current WWE Champion, and if he holds the title through Royal Rumble, he will become one of the longest-reigning champions in history.
But is he the right person to face The Rock?
While it may seem like a dream match on paper, it might not be the right thing for WWE.
CM Punk fights a very different style from Rocky, and that could make for less chemistry than The Rock and Cena had due to their similar styles.
When I say style, what I mean is how they carry a match. Punk is more focused during his matches on his opponent, while Rocky and Cena play to the crowds more than anything else.
While Cena/Rock II would not necessarily be better, I would get the logic behind it if WWE decided to go that way.
Maybe I am wrong, and Rocky and Punk will gel better than peanut butter and chocolate. We all saw how good Cena and Punk could go at it in the ring, so maybe Punk vs. The Rock is the right choice.
Whom do you think he should face at Royal Rumble?
Will He Steal the Rumble's Spotlight?
For two years we have seen The Rock involved with WrestleMania, and for two years he has ended the show with his hand held high in the air.
Some say he stole the spotlight. Others say he deserved the treatment he got.
Nobody can really say one way or the other, but there is another question that comes up when you look at this information.
Will The Rock steal the spotlight at The Rumble?
The Royal Rumble match always closes the show. That is how it is. Will they change that so The Rock can close the show?
Will he lose his WWE title match, become a surprise entrant into the Rumble and then win at WrestleMania?
Nobody knows what WWE will do yet, even those writing WWE, because plans always change.
If The Rock competes before the Rumble match takes place then we can rest assured that the rest of the night will not be all about Rocky, but if they change the lineup so he goes on last, it will make all those assumptions about his ego seem more valid.
For the record, the final decision comes down to Vince McMahon on this stuff, so Rocky might not even get a say in when he gets scheduled on the card.
Is It Too Obvious That He Is Going to Win?
Would WWE bring him in for such a big angle if Rocky was not going to win?
It would not make much sense to have him lay out this match months ahead of time only to come up short, but then again it could give a much-needed boost to whoever is WWE champion at the time.
To be able to say "I shut down the Rock when he came in and challenged me for the title" would be almost as valuable to a wrestler as the title itself.
WWE is often very predictable, but they throw us a few knuckleballs every so often that nobody sees coming, and they are always better in the end for it.
Having Rocky come out and actually lose this match would really do nothing bad to his reputation, but it would help his opponent in a way that cannot be measured in dollars and cents.
If He Wins the Belt, Will He Be Around Every Week?
The biggest question I have about this whole situation is: How would WWE handle The Rock winning the belt?
By that I mean, how would they explain his absence week to week if he is not there to represent the company?
If WWE has pinned Rocky down for weekly appearances after The Rumble until he is scheduled to win the title, then it will be great for business, but if he disappears with the belt after winning it, then it will do nothing good for them.
Having the champion there every week is important. It would be like playing football without a quarterback if Raw happened each week without the WWE Champion.
If Rocky is committed to a short-term run, then I can see this being one of the best things WWE could have hoped for, but if he comes and goes as he pleases then it could create some backlash.
The championships of WWE are already considered irrelevant by some due to WWE's "hot potato" treatment of them in the past, but that has changed with longer title reigns being more common over the past couple of years.
If Rocky wins the belt, then it seems logical to assume he will lose it at WrestleMania so someone can get a huge boost from a win over The Great One.