When the end of the Sept. 24, 2012 edition of WWE Raw hit millions of television screen's across the nation, a collective gasp was heard coming from members of the Internet Wrestling Community that were appalled by the thought that Ryback should be involved with CM Punk.
Many people, including myself, predicted that The Undertaker would be the one that was staring at CM Punk while he stood there terrified.
Frankly, it would make perfect sense if The Undertaker was standing there. He has a longstanding history with all members involved with this angle and hasn't been seen in months.
With Hell in a Cell in October and Survivor Series in November, the stage would have been set to start a push with The Undertaker toward WrestleMania 29 in New Jersey. However, WWE knows what they are doing. They know when to take a cold, calculated risk and push someone that will generate money for the company.
Big deal if this wasn't a traditional push to the top. There was never a written rule that says, "A wrestler must win a secondary title in order to be in consideration for the main title in the wrestling company."
Did Hulk Hogan ever need to defeat Greg Valentine to become the Intercontinental Champion before becoming WWE Champion in 1984? Did Sting need to defeat a bunch of midcard guys before challenging Ric Flair for the championship in 1988?
I know what you're going to say already. Yes, I realize that Hulk came from the AWA and Sting came from the UWF and both were established in their "territories."
But that is the key word: territories.
Ryback is a worldwide star in the WWE. Whether people like it or not, the guy has shown great promise in getting over with the live crowd on his rise to the top. He was already a familiar face to the crowd when he debuted as Ryback because of his early days in Nexus as Skip Sheffield.
Raw last week set the table for his push. The unbelievable show of strength by throwing a couch over the top rope to the floor brought the crowd to their feet. This week, the uninhibited destruction of The Miz (who happens to be the current Intercontinental Champion) gave Ryback a huge, credible victory.
WWE gets it.
What I see with Ryback is the same thing WWE sees: Giant dollar signs all over the place. It is blatantly obvious that WWE sees him as a marketable, believable, future WWE Champion.
The world of social networking has completely jumped the gun on exactly what that staredown at the end of Raw meant. While most will argue that it is just too soon to involve CM Punk with Ryback, I can tell you that there is no such thing.
If a guy is talented, believable and completely over with the live crowd, it is never too soon to push him as hard and as far as you can.
Pushing new talent is something that always needs to be done. With wrestling on television just about every day of the week, it is imperative that they do something with their young guns and do something fast.
Furthermore, one of the best qualities that CM Punk has is getting others over. While a match between the two may not be the prettiest thing we will ever see, you can bet that it will be entertaining.
If AJ books a Ryback vs. CM Punk WWE Championship match on Raw with a couple of weeks' notice, the wrestling world will tune in. It would be a big fight atmosphere with the feeling that "anything can happen in WWE."
There are a million different routes that this feud can take. Will it involve the eventual return of Brock Lesnar? What if CM Punk is the first guy to defeat Ryback? Would you be mad then?
All I know is that I am intrigued and that is exactly the feeling you want when Raw goes off the air each and every Monday night.
Let's get this trending on Twitter
What did you think of the latest edition of Monday Night Raw and the ending involving Ryback and CM Punk? Please comment below and join in on the conversation.
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