CM Punk is going into the Royal Rumble as the WWE champion. I think most fans, like me, will be thrilled with the Punk-Rock showdown that will take place in January.
The only problem is that it's not January yet. Hell, it's not even December, meaning that the Royal Rumble is decades away in WWE time. We have to get through TLC first, a potentially exciting (yet usually disappointing) bullet in the chamber. It's the WWE's last yawn after entertaining you all year.
After Raw, I think passing on TLC and putting my 50 bucks towards Wrestlemania is the smartest option. It's clear that the WWE is now in cruise control going into 2013, and that doesn't bode well for the last PPV event of the year.
It's clear now that Ryback will face CM Punk yet again, probably in a tables match thanks to that little trick of foreshadowing that the WWE always likes to drop on us. Roman Reigns didn't just powerbomb Ryback through the announcers' table because of convenience.
They could have beaten the hell out of Ryback with chairs or bashed him a few times with some ladders. They chose the table.
So be it.
Putting that aside though, what exactly makes this main event anything but another throwaway match with almost no sign of excitement in sight? I do like what the WWE is doing with this mini-developmental invasion, and it should be a really intriguing element...heading into the Royal Rumble.
But as for TLC? Who cares. Ryback will once again be cheated out of the strap, in one way or another, preserving his monster status, while breeding him for an inevitable worthwhile main event run. He'll fall back, wait in the shadows and then do it all over again in the next few months.
It's a shame that this WWE year will end on such a low note, especially after everything this year has stood for. We've seen nostalgic reverence sweep wrestling like almost never before; the resurrection of legitimacy for the WWE title is making everything on these three-hour Raws just a little bit more tolerable; and we are continuing to shift into some sort of new era that no wrestling connoisseur can truly dissect just yet.
But it sure is exciting to watch.
So, is there really anything that the WWE can do to make this specific main event more exciting? Thankfully, Punk knows how to entertain the fans, no matter the circumstance, and Ryback is always fun to watch when he's stomping around the ring. In a few months, the whole thing may get old, but not quite yet.
Expect a good match, a fun match and a Punk victory. That's about it.
But if that's all we should expect from TLC, then I sincerely doubt that any WWE fan will go home satisfied; it'll just be another day closer to getting The Rock back. It's a shame, really, and the only thing we can hope for is that these attacks by Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose turn into something more concrete than just a few forgettable Ryback beatdowns.
Maybe, just maybe, Punk is building something big. Really big. But that's only speculation. For now, he'll just have to keep battling The Rock on Twitter, even though he already knows it'll end at the Rumble. And we'll have to keep watching Raw every week, even though we already know the ending to TLC.
Just like last year's TLC, this whole feud is just too predictable and overcooked to care about, and hopefully they can make up for it in 2013.
Sorry, WWE, but unlike our tables, we don't like our PPVs crashing and burning.