Monday marks the one-year anniversary of CM Punk’s world championship reign, the fourth longest in WWE history.
As a result, his Survivor Series victory over John Cena and Ryback signals a step-up for Punk into the highest platforms that WWE has to offer, as well as the respect for his brand moving forward.
With Royal Rumble and WrestleMania on the horizon, Punk figures to be towards the top of the card in both events.
At Royal Rumble, it’s likely that the much-anticipated Punk-The Rock matchup will headline the event.
A matchup with one of the WWE’s immortals and most globally recognized superstar will do wonders for Punk’s brand and will increase awareness of the champion for the casual fan.
TLC, as a result, becomes a buffer event between Survivor Series and WrestleMania that will serve as a sage to increase the Punk-Rock feud over anything else. Expect a disqualification in the championship match due to a movie star’s presence.
That will result in a three-month build up to WrestleMania with Punk that could involve The Rock, Cena, Ryback or Mick Foley. There are many possibilities for where Punk will end up on the card, but a rematch with Rock (who will likely be the champion, as other B/R columnists have attested) is in play.
And how can we overlook the involvement of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns at Survivor Series?
This could bring on a new young WWE staple and involve Punk in a staple war instead of a championship match.
Regardless, if he is no longer champion, Punk’s long title reign will make a staple match toward the top of the PPV card, even if it’s at WrestleMania. That would be the worst case scenario for the current champion, but he’d likely be on the winning side of a group tag match.
Speculation aside, Punk will always be a 365-day champion. Couple that with his elite status in the company and 2013 looks like a pretty good year.