With the Royal Rumble less than five days away, many rumors and theories have circulated about what could and probably should happen between CM Punk and The Rock.
With the WWE Championship on the line, many believe that CM Punk's title reign of 434 days at the time of the Royal Rumble will come to an abrupt end.
One theory is that CM Punk will lose to the Rock, then enter the Royal Rumble, win it, and rematch The Rock at WrestleMania 29.
Another theory is that CM Punk will lose to the Rock, who in turn will drop the belt to John Cena at WrestleMania.
Cagesideseats.com recently reported that WWE had already booked four cards for WrestleMania, most notably John Cena vs. The Rock for the WWE Championship.
That matchup would supersede last year's "Once in a Lifetime" tag-line, this time with obviously much more at stake.
However, anything that favors CM Punk losing to the Rock at the Royal Rumble should be frowned upon for several reasons.
First, CM Punk's title reign is the longest since Hulk Hogan won the belt in January 1984. That title reign lasted 1,474 days. Punk losing the belt to a part-time wrestler who in turn without question would drop the belt to John Cena makes everything CM Punk did look minimized.
If WWE wanted to give the strap to Cena, they should have just done it at Night of Champions last year in Boston, which many expected would happen.
Secondly, CM Punk losing to The Rock at Royal Rumble leaves very little wiggle room for Punk with Elimination Chamber and WrestleMania coming up.
The only short-term out would be to rematch The Rock at Elimination Chamber, which in turn leaves two short options. Punk beats the Rock then loses to Cena at Wrestlemania, a matchup most fans have already seen way too much of to begin with.
Or Punk loses and is left out in the dark for WrestleMania, which makes zero sense.
Because we already know that the winner of the Royal Rumble gets a title shot, here is what I believe could and should happen between CM Punk and The Rock and how their paths are clean all the way through WrestleMania.
At the last Monday Night Raw episode before Royal Rumble, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon stated to CM Punk and Paul Heyman that if the Shield interfered with his match against the Rock, he would be stripped of the WWE title.
Being an attorney, Paul Heyman can use McMahon's own word against him by having CM Punk knock out whoever is refereeing his matchup that night. The knockout would be during the course of the match so as not to seem so obvious. Without a ref in the ring, enter Brad Maddox who does exactly what he did to AJ Lee when she wrestled Vickie Guerrero: turn a blind eye.
With Maddox in the ring, instantly two scenarios open up.
One, Punk gets a clean pinfall and wins (no Maddox holding down the Rock's legs). Two, Brock Lesnar enters the ring, F-5's The Rock and CM Punk covers for the win.
Meanwhile, John Cena wins the Royal Rumble, only to pull a stunner. Instead of going after CM Punk once again, Cena goes after Antonio Cesaro for the United States Championship belt. No you say? Hear me out.
At the next Raw after Royal Rumble, Punk enters the ring and immediately is stripped of his belt by Vince McMahon. Heyman uses McMahon's own carefully crafted words against him (you said if the Shield interfered, you never said anything about Brad Maddox or Brock Lesnar) leaving McMahon no choice but to leave Punk as the champion.
After Antonio Cesaro beats The Miz once again, this time at the Royal Rumble, he spouts off again about how America is in decline. Enter John Cena who is viewed as the most iconic wrestler today. This is the same man who not only salutes before he enters the ring, but also in many ways, portrays the good guy "Hulk Hogan-I am a real American" image. Cena challenges Cesaro finally giving him the push he deserves.
The Undertaker then enters and puts his 20-year winning streak at Wrestlemania on the line against CM Punk's 500+ day reign as champion.
This ends up with your WrestleMania card looking like this: The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar, CM Punk vs. The Undertaker for the WWE Championship and Cena vs. Cesaro for the United States Championship.
Finally, as an afterthought, the Undertaker beats CM Punk at WrestleMania which I don't think the WWE universe would mind, except the Undertaker doesn't take the belt, he vacates it immediately which opens up completely new storylines for everybody.
I know you would argue "but you just said you can't see Punk losing to a part time wrestler, but now it's okay to lose to another part-time wrestler in the Undertaker? Yes, and here's why. The Rock has nothing to put on the line vs. CM Punk, whereas the Undertaker is putting up 20 years of history.
The storyline is far more compelling and the buildup would be tremendous.
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