WWE TLC 2012: Is CM Punk vs Ryback the Right Choice for the TLC Match?

Alex MussoFeatured ColumnistDecember 4, 2012

Photo Courtesy WWE
Photo Courtesy WWE

As WWE TLC approaches, there is no mystery about the WWE Championship match.  CM Punk will face Ryback in the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match.  The WWE Title will likely be suspended above the ring, meaning that someone will have to climb a ladder to retrieve it in order to win the match, and it begs the question: Is CM Punk vs. Ryback the right choice for this match?  

CM Punk has competed in ladder matches before, excelling in the Money in the Bank matches and winning two years in a row.  So there is no questioning his pedigree in a ladder match (or the TLC variant).

But can Ryback excel in this match?  

Ryback is, for lack of a better term, is a ground-and-pound-oriented wrestler.  He isn't terribly agile or athletic.  His strength is his power.  He does not fit the bill for a ladder match, which is really all that a TLC match is, except with greater emphasis on the tables and chairs.  But after Ryback's performance the Hell in a Cell match, which many believe to have been poor, is this match a good fit for him?

In a word, no.  Ryback, like all other wrestlers, has strengths and weaknesses.  So far, he has shown an ability to hit power moves frequently.  These moves are always exciting to the live crowds and TV audiences, but they tend to wear him out quickly.  As such, he has had very few matches of length.  TLC matches are usually lengthy affairs, which leads me to question why WWE would choose this match over a Tables match, for example.  

A Tables match would better play to Ryback's abilities while not hurting CM Punk at all.  In fact, having CM Punk win a match that is better suited for Ryback would look good heading into his Royal Rumble match against The Rock.  Ryback, a powerhouse not adept at long matches and not particularly athletic, looks to just be filling a slot—as well as time—until the Royal Rumble.  

In an age of "smart marks," does WWE really think that fans won't see the impending CM Punk victory from a mile away?  On December 5, CM Punk will officially pass John Cena's record of 380 consecutive days as WWE Champion.  Will WWE seriously consider taking the WWE Championship off of CM Punk a week and a half after that monumental milestone?

No, it won't.  The fact that WWE has this match as a TLC match (a match in which Ryback likely won't excel) screams of a Ryback loss.  

WWE would have been smart to make this match a Tables match or a Chairs match, something that could have the appearance of a possible Ryback win.  Despite Ryback climbing the cell at Hell in a Cell, I just don't see Ryback climbing the ladder and pulling down the title.  

Like it or not, CM Punk now seems destined to face The Rock at the Royal Rumble.   

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