Stop me if you've heard this before: WWE is struggling with low ratings and needs a superstar to bail them out fast.
Low ratings and the subsequent panicking happen like clockwork, especially during December. Let's try another one.
Stop me if you've heard this one before: WWE is hesitant about using Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. You haven't heard that one? Allow me to explain.
After setting the stage for a WWE Championship match between The Rock and CM Punk, in a match that will undoubtedly be referred to as Punk Rock, WWE is beginning to have cold feet about the situation.
The Rock’s star power, which will definitely overshadow the younger talent, is to blame for the hesitation.
Ideally, that sort of indecision should have gone by the wayside since they are investing so much time into the storyline; canceling a match made half a year ago would only deepen the ratings hole WWE has gotten in.
But nevertheless, having The Rock wrestle at the 2013 Royal Rumble against reigning WWE Champion CM Punk can only result in more hype (and possibly an exciting match).
The match puts CM Punk back on the fast track. For someone regarded as the best in the world, the Chicago-born superstar has not had many matches or hype surrounding him in the past few months.
Punk had two instances late in 2012 that arguably fizzled out his momentum of becoming a heel: One was the injury to John Cena where the two superstars were at their best, both in the ring and on the mic.
The other lackluster moment for Punk came when The Shield began attacking Ryback. The Shield is a refreshing entity for WWE, but the attack on Ryback shifted the focus to the up-and-coming trio of Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins.
CM Punk was left a sitting duck, albeit in crutches, waiting for his next opportunity.
He doesn't have to wait much longer as he's been cleared to wrestle against Ryback in a TLC match on the first 2013 edition of Raw, which will also feature an appearance from The Rock.
If you don’t believe that CM Punk’s year-long title reign will see him lose his belt in a free match, then The Rock appearance will be a reminder of the upcoming pay-per-view match.
WWE should be looking forward to this match because The Rock inherently garners more attention. He is one of the few marketable legends of the bygone era (along with The Undertaker, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Triple H).
CM Punk is at the top of the totem pole in WWE, but he has not branched out into the wider world of entertainment like The Rock and, to a lesser extent, John Cena.
This can be one of the few remaining obstacles for CM Punk, who has beaten most of the WWE superstars already. Having him compete with active legends begs fans to place Punk in that same category, much like John Cena.
John Cena, during the year-long buildup to their WrestleMania bout, repeatedly attacked The Rock’s holier-than-thou attitude about wrestling given that he is a part-time talent. But no matter what John Cena did, The Rock’s popularity drew more boos towards the former master of Thuganomics. CM Punk could do the same with a vastly greater effect since he is a heel.
Having Punk versus Rock at the Royal Rumble also leaves many wondering where they are taking these two heading to WrestleMania as well.
If CM Punk retains, what will his next goal be? If The Rock captures the gold, will he stick around to defend his title?
There are various ways that WWE can take this storyline after the Royal Rumble match.
Plus, the WWE Championship match is typically not the main event match; it’s the namesake match of the pay-per-view that has priority, the Royal Rumble.
So, in a way, the main attraction will still feature the younger talent. Fans will tune in to see CM Punk face The Rock but will stay for the 30-man match featuring legends and young talent seeking a title match.
The winner of the Royal Rumble might possibly be the next big WWE star. And having The Rock and CM Punk championship match prior to the marquee match will definitely bring more attention.
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