CM Punk not taking on Ryback at WWE TLC is a blessing in disguise.
There is no threat of Punk losing the title until he takes on The Rock at the Royal Rumble. Ryback losing again to Punk only wastes time and potential star power that WWE is trying to build around him.
If Ryback took on Punk like originally planned, he likely would lose to Punk, courtesy of The Shield interfering. We then see on the episodes of Raw and possibly the next pay-per-view of Royal Rumble―the focus is Ryback getting his hands on and having a match with The Shield.
With Ryback in a six-man tag match going up against The Shield, we've cutout having to watch WWE book another Ryback main event loss to Punk.
Ryback has lost his first two main event pay-per-view title matches in the last two months. The best thing I can say about WWE's booking of this, at least the outside factors which cost him the match were unexpected and done by parties who basically weren't options in the mind of fans. They weren't even on the “roster.”
Going into the Hell in a Cell match, nobody could predict Brad Maddox blatantly low blowing Ryback. Going into Survivor Series, nobody could predict three guys from developmental coming in and taking out Ryback.
WWE now has the task of keeping Ryback looking strong while still holding the credibility and intrigue around The Shield.
On the CM Punk side of things, as long as his knee makes a full recovery―this injury time out is the perfect chapter to have at the perfect time of his historic title run. If Punk was a face, this last minute having to pull out from a pay-per-view main event and not performing for weeks, as he's in the middle of an historic title reign, would be costly.
Luckily, Punk's not a face, so this can play right in to heel/coward like antics. He can pull a Bret Hart of 1997. He can wheel around in a wheel chair while still screaming how great he is.
Punk preaches every week about the number of days on his title run, meanwhile as the days go on he isn't even competing. Good heat as long as it doesn't go on too long—and it won't. It will go on and he will pander and power.
Finally, The Rock will show up and begin his smack talk for Royal Rumble. Punk remains in the wheel chair, its to the point the audience knows he's healthy, but the wheel chair is there to help continue milking every day of rest as his title reign grows each day.
Eventually, The Rock helps reveal Punk's knee has healed and he can stand on his own. The stage has been set for the epic encounter between the two.
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