CM Punk and Ryback are going to clash in a Hell in a Cell match this upcoming Sunday. As we all know now, Ryback is a replacement for John Cena.
With Ryback riding such a big wave of momentum, does he have a chance to win the title?
If CM Punk ends up losing this match, it will cut off all the momentum that he has been building for over a year.
The WWE has invested a lot into Punk and his current title reign, so would it really risk everything and have him drop the title to Ryback?
It would be a horrible idea to say the least. To lose to an up and comer like Ryback would only hurt Punk and the WWE in the end. Hopefully after Hell in a Cell, CM Punk will still be the champion and keep all the momentum behind him going.
The Championship Reign
One of the biggest things going for Punk now is his title reign. He has been champion for over 300 days, and has had one of the longest title runs seen in the WWE in years. There is always the chance that Punk was going to lose to John Cena at Hell in a Cell. With Cena out now, though, and being replaced by Ryback, should we expect Ryback to potentially win the title?
Would the WWE push Ryback over Punk?
Punk dropping the belt to Ryback would be a horrible decision. Not only would it ruin Punk's title reign, but Ryback seems more concerned with beating people up, instead of winning the title. Why waste a title run on him then, at the expense of ruining Punk's?
Then there is the possibility of CM Punk vs. The Rock at the Royal Rumble. The momentum for the potential of their match began back during the 1,000th episode of RAW. CM Punk attacking the Rock not only started Punk's heel turn, but also added to the anticipation of hopefully, one day, seeing the Rock vs. CM Punk.
This will only happen, though, if Punk remains champion.
With so much of Punk's dominant year riding around the WWE title, if Punk loses at Hell in a Cell, it would cut off a huge piece of his momentum.
For the last several weeks the buildup to Hell in a Cell has been all about CM Punk trying to make some type of legendary moment by taking on John Cena. Mick Foley and Jim Ross were used in trying to push CM Punk to take on Cena.
Yet, as Hell in a Cell is slowly approaching, and with Ryback taking Cena's place, there has not been enough time to build up Ryback as a serious competitor for Punk. Everything on RAW has been focusing on Punk and Cena, just in case Cena would be cleared to wrestle.
Now, with no buildup, if Punk were to lose, what would it say about him as a champion? Ryback has done nothing but squash low-card wrestlers, except for his matches with Miz and Tensai.
With a lack of buildup, if Punk were to lose, of course it would ruin his momentum. While being WWE champion, losing to someone who has yet to prove himself would kill any momentum Punk has built up from his title run, and any momentum he could gain moving forward.
Sure, fans like Ryback, but what has he really done besides squash matches?
CM Punk on the other hand has been in some of the best matches of the year, and is also ranked the top wrestler by PWI. With so much momentum behind him, losing to Ryback would be devastating.
Where Do We Go From Here?
The biggest issue with the possibility that Punk might lose this match is where Punk would go from here. After almost a full year as champion, if Punk lost, his momentum would clearly go with it.
Where, though, would Punk go after his loss?
How could he continue a feud with a proven champion like John Cena, if he ends up losing the title to a wrestling who hasn’t established himself yet?
Even with Paul Heyman now enhancing Punk's heel run, losing to a still green Ryback would make Punk's reign meaningless. It's great that he's held the title for so long, but if he loses on Sunday, his talk of respect and his bragging about his title reign is lost.
Punk needs to come out of Hell in a Cell as the winner, and needs to finish his feud with Cena.
Hopefully his momentum will continue, and he will face the Rock at some point in the future.
A loss to Ryback could change all of that.