As CM Punk's WWE title reign grows longer, it's hard not to wonder when someone will eventually defeat him for the title. The question is whether he'll still be champ after Survivor Series.
For some, the dream scenario is for him to win out vs. Ryback and John Cena and go on to face The Rock at the Royal Rumble.
Not every fan's dreams can come true, though.
Analyzing the history of Triple Threat matches, WWE title reigns and Cena's title-winning patterns gives us some insight into how likely it is that Punk will retain his championship, setting up the dream Rock vs. Punk showdown.
Some of the numbers don't favor Paul Heyman's newest associate, others like the latest Triple Threat stats point to him remaining champ.
Triple Threat Statistics
Despite the champion's disadvantage in a Triple Threat match, recent history shows a trend of the champ staying the champ in those clashes.
Going back as far as WrestleMania XXIV, the defending champion has retained his title in Triple Threat matches five out of seven times. That's a 71 percent success rate.
WWE may not be doing it consciously, but over the past four years, there has certainly been a pattern of the champion keeping his gold.
The last three three-man matches for the WWE title have involved Punk. He beat out Big Show and John Cena at SummerSlam 2012, Kane and Daniel Bryan at No Way Out 2012 and The Miz and Alberto Del Rio at TLC 2011.
One way to look at those numbers is to say that since Punk's been perfect so far, it stands to reason the trend will continue. Another way is that it's unlikely that Punk will win four in a row in these imbalanced championship matches.
Winning four straight Triple Threat matches in an era with so many title changes isn't likely. The thing is, though, Punk's title reign has veered off the script in a few ways, including how long it has gone on.
Perhaps WWE is willing to have Punk break records and forge new ground.
Punk's reign, as Michael Cole reminds us quite often, is becoming historic in length. It is the first year-plus WWE title run since Cena did it in 2006-2007.
Having him hold onto the title this long is already a departure from the norm.
For Punk to keep the belt past Survivor Series and TLC in order to keep The Rock vs. Punk meeting intact, he'd have to surpass Cena's 380-day reign.
He would then hold the distinction of carrying the WWE Championship longer than anyone since Hulk Hogan's nearly 1,500-day stay atop the company from 1984-1988.
WWE clearly believes in Punk as a top star, but are they willing to have him surpass Cena's mark?
Seeing the WWE has gone nearly 25 years with just one man holding the gold for 380 days or more, it's not the safest best to think it'll happen again. Not surprisingly, it may be Cena himself that ends Punk's march toward history.
John Cena Title Droughts
Since winning his first WWE title in 2005, Cena hasn't gone long without holding that championship.
Other than 2008, when Triple H monopolized the gold, Cena has spent the majority of the last few years winning and losing the WWE title.
In 2009, he won it three times. The next year, he won it twice. 2011 saw him win it three times again.
2012 is nearly over, and Cena hasn't touched the belt. That may mean another title switch in the near future.
It may not make the anti-Cena fans happy, but the WWE likes the gold around Cena's waist. At only 35 years old, he's already won that title more times than anyone else.
Any time he's involved in a championship match, one has to expect the possibility that he walks out of the building with the title. Betting against Cena capturing the WWE Championship is like betting against traffic at rush hour.
It continues to happen and will certainly happen again.
As fans tune into Survivor Series, to the match of beast vs. warrior vs. the best in the world, they have to come to terms with the fact that it's a legitimate possibility that WWE's golden boy is celebrating an 11th WWE title win by night's end.
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