As the WWE Universe collectively held it’s breath on Monday’s RAW, the announcement was made that WWE Champion CM Punk would square off against rapid up-and-comer Ryback in nine days at the Hell in a Cell pay per-view.
This is excellent news for the brawny newcomer, as he receives a shot at Punk’s title, especially so quickly.
It is good news for Punk’s naysayers, who will now get to see Punk locked in a cage with a wild animal.
It’s good news for John Cena, who now has a bit more time to allow his surgically repaired elbow to heal.
It’s even good news for Punk, as he can break out of the “Punk/Cena” rivalry that has trailed him around for far longer than necessary.
However, the main issue with this is that Ryback is nowhere near ready for a match of this caliber.
Looking back, who has Ryback beaten to deserve this opportunity? He holds countless victories over various enhancement talents and lower-level WWE superstars and one win over then-intercontinental champion, the Miz.
No offense to the Awesome One, but that victory alone does not validate a track record with enough length or prestige to be garnering a world championship match.
Yes, Ryback might have a very bright future. Vince McMahon himself is rumored to be a huge supporter of his character. But the key word there is “future.”
There is no doubt that the man does possess the basic physical tools that give him the look of a bonafide superstar.
He is big, incredibly powerful and commands attention with every move that he makes.
But, the constant thing working against him is that he is also incredibly rough in terms of his ringwork. He often gets overzealous in the ring to the point of looking reckless.
Now it goes without saying that Punk is very good at making others look good in the ring. His work with Cena, one of the stiffest in the business, is proof of that.
But does Punk have a subtle enough touch to make Ryback look good without making it too obvious that he is trying?
It is highly unlikely that Ryback will walk away from Hell in A Cell with the world title in hand. The match will likely end in some convoluted finish that allows him to continue to look dominant, while allowing Punk to hold on to his title before resuming yet another feud with Cena.
The bottom line is, Ryback will not leave the event as the new WWE champion.
But if his progression continues and he continues to improve his ringwork, he can go very far. Who knows, one day he could become a world champion.
But that day will not be Oct. 28.