WWE has already planned a replacement match for Ryback that will be announced on Friday Night SmackDown. Click here for the new TLC card.
Punk could return in time for the Royal Rumble, but it's still up in the air. The stars were aligned for Punk to defend his WWE Championship against The Rock in January.
However, the WWE does have another option if Punk can’t wrestle at the Royal Rumble.
The Rock vs. John Cena II could headline.
Cena is currently involved in a feud with Dolph Ziggler and will challenge for his Money in the Bank briefcase at TLC. That feud seems to be winding down and can come to a halt when Ziggler defeats Cena and retains his briefcase.
Cena would then turn his attention to The Rock. If Punk is ruled out, he can reference that Rock doesn’t have an opponent. He would then suggest a rematch from WrestleMania. Cena would be desperate to avenge his loss.
Rock would have no choice but to accept the challenge and get the opportunity to defeat John Cena again. Rock and Cena had an excellent exchange of words leading up to WrestleMania. There’s no doubt they could do it again.
The WWE Universe could get the rematch they want, but not at the biggest pay-per-view of the year.
This has happened once before with The Rock and Hulk Hogan.
The two icons faced off at WrestleMania X8. They had a rematch the following year at No Way Out.
Although the match at Royal Rumble won’t be the title match Rock guaranteed, it will still be a match that many fans want to see again.
The Rock should be booked to win against Cena at the Royal Rumble. He would then go on to challenge Punk for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 29. It will be Punk’s biggest match of his career and would be the main event, something every Superstar wants.
WWE does not need to worry if Punk can’t make it to the Royal Rumble. They did a good job shuffling around the TLC card to accommodate Punk’s injury. They should have no problem doing it again in January.
Cena would be the perfect replacement for The Rock. This will also allow WWE to give Punk vs. Rock the proper build it needs for a match of this caliber.