It would be a travesty for The Rock and CM Punk to end the 2013 Royal Rumble.
Whether it's The Rock's return or not, the Rumble match should always go on last. Should it happen, 2013 wouldn't be the first time a title match went on last.
On five occasions—1988, 1996-98 and 2006—the 30-man Battle Royal has not ended the show.
This pay-per-view is unlike any other during the year. It's centered on one singular match—the Royal Rumble. That can't be said about any other show.
Money in the Bank is named after the Money in the Bank ladder match. Now, with two MITB matches during the PPV, the novelty of it wears off a bit, so it's much easier to have a singles match go on last.
Although the Survivor Series-type elimination match has gone by the wayside, the Rumble remains a steady constant and has some of the deepest history of any show in WWE's history.
While The Rock's WWE Title match is one of the more anticipated matches of the last few years, it doesn't make sense to have it after the PPV's namesake on the card.
The crowd's energy will be through the roof no matter how the Rumble match ends, and likewise for Punk vs. The Rock.
With the Rumble, the match allows the crowd to slowly come down from the high of Punk/Rock. There will be plenty of action and elimination in the early going.
The first part of the Rumble is largely a throwaway, so WWE can afford to have a slow start to the match. Then, as the Rumble hits the 40-minute mark, the fans can start to get back into a mood to cheer.
By the time there's four or so guys in the ring, the reaction will be extremely hot for the finish.
If the roles were reversed, you would have the crowd coming down from the ending of the Rumble. Immediately after that would be Punk/Rock. The match would be dead in the early going as the fans begin to get into the match.
It would affect the story the two wrestlers would be trying to tell in the ring.
That's what happened during Punk's match with Chris Jericho at WrestleMania XXVIII. The crowd noise was pretty low until the match heated up near the end. Triple H and The Undertaker put on such a good match that it was difficult to follow.
Of course, WWE could have a buffer match in between the Rumble and Punk/Rock, but that would be horrible to have the Royal Rumble in the middle of the card. That was the case in 2006, and the whole PPV just felt weird.
The lasting image of the event was The Undertaker's return rather than Rey Mysterio going wire-to-wire to win the Rumble in one-plus hour.
The 2013 Royal Rumble could go down as one of the biggest in the company's history. WWE shouldn't go and mess it up by putting The Rock and CM Punk on last.
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