CM Punk vs Ryback: Does Certainty Inevitably Lead to Uncertainty?

Jamie WestAnalyst IIIOctober 18, 2012

FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 07:  A replica of the WWE world championship belt rests on top of Kyle Busch's #18 Z-Line Designs/WWE Smackdown Toyota prior to the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series O'Reilly Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on November 7, 2009 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

WWE television has its fair share of ups and downs. As fans, we can become absolutely enthralled by the performances of the talent one minute, only to turn around and become fierce critics of the product the next. Despite not always seeing eye-to-eye with the writing or booking of storylines or superstars, it is the associated unpredictability that comes uniquely to sports entertainment that often keeps fans hooked on the weekly programming, even in its weakest times. 

Take away the uncertainty, that unpredictable nature, and the WWE would become a very dull place to be. CM Punk vs Ryback for the WWE Championship, which was booked for the upcoming Hell In A Cell pay per view on Monday's episode of RAW, has made me realise that there simply is never any certainty in the booking of the WWE, irrespective of fans often making calls of the product being "predictable."

Initially however, my reaction to Ryback being selected ahead of John Cena to face CM Punk was negative. I thought there is absolutely no way that Punk will drop the title to the rookie Ryback; thus my enthusiasm for watching the match waned. I felt absolutely certain that this was merely a transitional feud, a way to get CM Punk and the WWE title picture through to Survivor Series, where perhaps bigger fish are ready to fry. Moreover, I thought what sense does it make to hurriedly throw the belt to Ryback when The Rock awaits Punk at the Royal Rumble, a feud that already has foundations. 

I am sure I am not alone in having felt these intrinsic certainties, and to those of you who are like minded let's draw upon some history: WWE TLC 2009.

  •   Sheamus defeated John Cena (c) in 16:19 in a Tables Match.

This was very similar in that very few people actually believed Sheamus could win a title match that would see him walk into the Royal Rumble as WWE Champion. Many people were certain that the winner of Jesse Ventura's "Breakthrough Battle Royal" would be bested by the then five-time WWE Champion, John Cena. The Celtic Warrior had barely been in the WWE for six months when his first world title reign was thrust upon him. Running almost in parallel to this, three years later, we see Ryback being trusted in a pay per view WWE Championship match, just six months after his April 6 re-debut.

Although I am not advocating or indeed expecting Creative to put the belt on "The Big Hungry," looking back on Sheamus's unexpected title victory three short years ago has made it apparent that WWE never truly is "predictable," in the truest sense of the word. While people who study the industry may frequently be able to predict match outcomes or storyline developments, they cannot call everything all of the time: Almost paradoxically, when WWE is seemingly at it's most predictable, the nature of the business allows for bombshells to be dropped and the landscape torn and reshaped.

Anything can happen and will happen on October 28 inside Hell In A Cell, and the outcome, ultimately, most certainly is uncertain.