As many of us know by now, CM Punk was forced to have emergency surgery due to what was later determined to be a torn meniscus in his knee. He was carried out of Raw, and flown to see Dr. James Andrews for the surgery.
As of this article, it is yet to be determined whether CM Punk will be able to compete at the upcoming TLC pay-per-view in his assigned Tables, Ladder and Chairs Match against Ryback (h/t Wrestling Inc).
This may very well be a proverbial "blessing in disguise."
Regardless of who was in the challenger's position for the PPV, it was a relative throw-away match for the WWE champion, as the primary focus is laying the foundation for his match against the Rock, who reportedly has been one of the biggest contributors to CM Punk's near 400-day title reign (h/t Wrestling Inc).
While it is preferred that both titles be defended at every PPV, this one could spare a WWE Championship match. CM Punk's match against the Rock at the Royal Rumble is more important than Punk re-aggravating his knee with only two weeks to fully recover.
Because of this, the best option right now would be pitting Ryback and Team Hell No against the Shield in a six-man Tables Match. Since the Shield debuted by putting Ryback through a table, and have been constantly attacking Kane and Daniel Bryan since after Survivor Series, it would only be apropos to have this match.
Not only does it give CM Punk a way out of defending the WWE Championship in a match that he is virtually guaranteed to win, it also gives Ryback an opportunity to regain some steam from his back-to-back PPV loses (even though he did not get pinned at Survivor Series, it is still a loss).
Whether the Shield takes a clean loss, or loses by disqualification, they still can be booked as a dominant group after the PPV.
This can culminate the rivalry between Ryback and CM Punk, as well as take him away from the Shield, subsequently winning the Royal Rumble and going against the World Heavyweight Champion (presumably the Big Show or Dolph Ziggler) at WrestleMania 29.
What do you think a suitable replacement match should be if CM Punk is unable to compete? Comment civilly below.
Update (Spoiler Alert):
There has officially been a replacement match for the TLC PPV. If you would like to view it, click here.
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