Hell in a Cell: Who Will Win the WWE Championship Match, Ryback or CM Punk?
Ever since Ryback was designated the number one contender for CM Punk's WWE Championship and granted the title match at Hell in a Cell, there's been speculation as to how WWE will go about the finish of the match. Will they end the undefeated streak of Ryback? Can they really have an untested Ryback win the WWE Championship from CM Punk? Where does John Cena factor into all of this?
It's time to take a look at some of the possible outcomes WWE may decide to go with and weigh the pros and cons of each decision.
Outcome No. 1: Ryback Wins the WWE Championship
Ryback supposedly has the full support of not only the powers that be in WWE but also the boys in the locker room. When you couple that with the positive reaction he's been receiving from the crowd as well as the undefeated streak they've given him, there's definitely a possibility that Ryback will walk out of Hell in a Cell with the WWE title around his waist.
Fans frequently clamor for something fresh, and Ryback has yet to become a singles champion, let alone reach the top of the mountain (or rather, food chain, as his gimmick suggests).
The undefeated streak continues, building up the character even more and making it that much more important when someone finally defeats him, as the victor will also become WWE Champion when he does.
Ryback is rather one-dimensional. If WWE give him the title, they run the risk of having little flexibility for promoting their future events, considering how their champion would not be able to sell it on the microphone.
CM Punk's title reign will have ended before the one-year mark, letting down lots of fans and disrupting what could go down as one of the best runs with the WWE Championship in history.
Outcome No. 2: CM Punk Retains the WWE Championship
CM Punk has held the WWE Championship for almost an entire year, something which few have been able to do in the past. Should he be rewarded for his success and allowed to continue with this storyline, or should it end here by passing the ball to the new shining star?
The streak continues, further cementing CM Punk's spot in WWE history. Seeing as how the streak is doing so well, there's no harm done in keeping it going strong.
By keeping the streak going, this gives us the option down the line of having CM Punk face The Rock at the 2013 Royal Rumble—a match many are craving to see happen as soon as possible.
Hell in a Cell is a no-disqualification bout, meaning CM Punk would have to retain by either pinning Ryback or making him submit. How can you accomplish this without derailing the momentum that Ryback has going for him?
If Ryback is to lose via clean pinfall, where can you go from there? Survivor Series will have lost its charm if Ryback receives a rematch without a stipulation attached, since going from Hell in a Cell to a standard bout will seem boring in comparison.
If Ryback is to lose via some sort of screw job or interference, who becomes responsible, and how do you build upon that feud without further complicating things?
Outcome No. 3: John Cena Takes the Fall
I would rule out the idea of John Cena winning the WWE Championship right off the bat. There doesn't seem to be much evidence that the plan is heading in that direction, particularly when his health was in question. There have been rumors that John Cena will be inserted into the match as the special-guest referee or possibly as a contender now that he's been medically cleared; if the latter happens, he could very well be the scapegoat.
With John Cena being thrown into the mix, the organizers have the ability to keep Ryback looking strong while CM Punk also retains his championship.
Cena's involvement also helps build upon and possibly end his feud with CM Punk, considering the buildup that was initially developed in regards to Punk needing to beat Cena at Hell in a Cell to prove his worth.
If John Cena gets thrown into the match, some fans may feel cheated that they didn't get the advertised title defense they had promoted ahead of time. Even though the card is always subject to change, that doesn't mean people still can't get disappointed.
It also becomes painfully obvious that John Cena had replaced Ryback or was added into the match to make it a triple threat simply to give the organizers an out for a situation they hadn't come up with an answer to.
What Is Going to Happen?
Out of all the possible outcomes that I can see happening, the one that I'm personally hoping that WWE will decide upon is CM Punk retaining via interference.
With the next pay-per-view being Survivor Series, I would love to see Paul Heyman have Brock Lesnar return to cost the match for Ryback, allowing CM Punk to keep the WWE Championship, but under cloudy circumstances. I highly doubt the sight of Brock Lesnar helping to hold down Ryback for CM Punk will make people think less of Ryback's undefeated streak.
This could lead to a WWE Championship match between John Cena and CM Punk at the pay-per-view under the premise that Cena has been medically cleared and still deserves his shot at the title.
Meanwhile, the major draw of the Survivor Series Elimination Match could consist of Team Lesnar (along with some other "Paul Heyman guys") vs. Team Ryback, who could be joined by Triple H amongst others. That match would give the former Next Big Thing Brock Lesnar a chance to work with the newly foreshadowed Next Big Thing Ryback as well as rekindle Lesnar's feud with Triple H on one of the biggest pay-per-views that doesn't already have a built-in attraction similar to The Rock's title match along with the Royal Rumble next year.
That being said, I'm expecting something less complex. If I had to venture a guess as to what WWE will actually end up doing, I would say that more than likely, John Cena will lose the match to CM Punk. It may be a letdown and it may be cheap, but it's not beyond the realm of possibility considering WWE's tendency to play it safe in the past.
What do you think is going to happen, and who would you like to see walk out of the pay-per-view with the WWE Championship? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.