Why the Rock Will Not Win the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble

Bryan HaasFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2013

courtesy of wwe.com
courtesy of wwe.com

The WWE Universe has begun to smell something. And it just might be something that a former world champion is cookin’.

With the Royal Rumble just weeks away, one of the most talked about contests will pit WWE Champion CM Punk against megastar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

But the question right now is whether or not the timing of this match is right, and what exactly the outcome could be.

Furthermore, there has been some rumored doubt in the company lately about having the match at all.

The Royal Rumble is one of the biggest yearly pay-per-views for the company, and generally would be able to sell itself. Bringing in a proven commodity like The Rock would up the buyrate, but it might be more prudent to do that at another event where the rate would be much lower.

But does that then spoil the anticipation of putting these two competitors into the ring sooner rather than later? Would a Punk/Rock match work at an event like Elimination Chamber or Extreme Rules even work?

It stands to reason that WrestleMania would be too grand of a stage, plus waiting another several months for this long-anticipated matchup might cool some interest in it.

It is also worth noting that Punk is still embroiled in his feud with Ryback, and unless it suddenly ends, it will be interesting to see how this affects where the Punk/Rock storyline will go.

This limits Punk, but The Rock is also not without his limits.

He is 40 years old, which, while that is not ancient in normal years, is bordering on over the hill in the wrestling world. Few performers are ever as good in their 40s as they were in their primes. Watching the slow but inevitable decline of wrestlers like Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Sting has been heartbreaking to see as a wrestling fan over the past decade or so.

Yes, those guys can still set an arena on fire when they make an entrance, but in terms of in-ring work, they are all shells of their former selves. It borders on sad when Flair steps into the ring now at age 63.

Age and event aside, there is one major reason that the Rock will not win the WWE championship.The company would not thrive with the Rock as the champion.

His commitments to his acting schedule would ultimately prevent him from making regular appearances on WWE programming, an absolute necessity in today’s wrestling landscape. If you don’t appear on a television screen for a couple of weeks, fans forget about you.

That’s a fact.

How would the company proceed if their champion competed four times a year?

Or only wrestled a handful of matches?

It goes without saying that Punk is a far superior competitor in terms of in-ring ability. The Rock has been using the same set of moves for more than 15 years. But that never limited Hogan or Flair.

And the Rock does possess a certain intangible that made him the proven commodity that he is today. He is engaging and edgy and that makes him a must-see talent.

But charisma and talent aside, nothing fixes absence.

And with the Rock, absence is assured.