The Rock made a huge statement on Monday Night Raw, and everyone got jacked for Royal Rumble 2013 in the process.
He made his first return to the ring in months, and he made it count. How could he not? He was beefing with CM Punk—two of the greatest and most charismatic champions we have known.
Punk set the stage for the dramatic showdown with an excellent promo for the bout in which he promised to deliver another pipe bomb and also took the company to task. He let the fans have it and reasserted his self-professed greatness. It was Punk at his self-absorbed best.
Raw then cut to commercial. On the return, Punk continued with his monologue until the music for The Rock started blasting.
The Rock made his strut to the ring and promptly let everyone know that Punk was out of his mind. He commended Punk on his over-year-long reign as champ, but made it clear that he was going to take that title from him in 20 days at Royal Rumble 2013.
The two exchanged their share of verbal jabs...until The Rock hit Punk with this.
Now the stage is set for an epic championship match at Royal Rumble in what very well could end up being the best pay-per-view of the year. It is a hard feat to steal that thunder from WrestleMania, but with the tension and delivery we saw from Raw, it is difficult to imagine any match offering more bang for the buck than this one.
It is hard to see the company handing The Rock the championship. He is still a part-time player, and great care has been given to point out Punk's record-breaking run as champ.
Still, The Rock could get the win and set up an even more anticipated rematch.
While the outcome of their Royal Rumble championship match will be a highly debated topic, the notion that this is a must-see bout isn't going to find many, if any, detractors.