For several months now, we have been hearing that The Rock is gunning for the WWE title.
Not only does he want the strap around his waist, he has also guaranteed he will be going home with the prize at the Royal Rumble. Keep in mind that, up until this point, it was believed that The Rock would be walking away with WWE's top prize at the event.
Now, it appears that may be changing, as Wrestling Observer Newsletter (via WrestlingInc.com) reports: "Regarding The Rock winning the WWE Title from CM Punk, there is a lot of talk that the title change won't happen at the Royal Rumble. Instead, Rock would win the title at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view in the Chamber main event."
Ultimately, I don't see anything wrong with this move, as a win over The Rock at the Rumble would solidify Punk as one the greatest stars in the WWE. Not to mention that seeing The Rock win the title at his first Elimination Chamber match would be historic.
Don't get me wrong, I realize that The Rock is too big of a presence to have this happen—especially considering that he is back with the WWE on as close to a full-time basis as he can be until WrestleMania 29. Let's face it, The Rock does not need to be back in a WWE ring, as he is not a struggling actor, nor does he need the money.
So, it would appear that the "Brahma Bull" is back solely based on his loyalty to the company. That's great for the WWE, but they will probably need to make some concessions when it comes to their product—meaning, essentially, that The Rock needs to walk away as the WWE champion at the end of the Royal Rumble.
Ultimately, you can't have him lose to Punk after all of that buildup for his return. It would not only make The Rock look weak, but it would also destroy all his momentum in one night. The fact is that The Rock isn't back to help the future of the company; he is back to help its current product. And the best way he can do that is to become champ as soon as possible.
In the end, I am certain that the WWE has a master plan for The Rock and the WWE title. Unfortunately, we won't know what it is until it the story unfolds in front of our faces.