For the last few weeks, the internet wrestling community has talked about reports that WWE Champion CM Punk is going to drop the title to the Rock at the Royal Rumble this Sunday.
Leaked DVD previews (like one reported on WWEDVDNews.com) and backstage reports are supporting this, but I'm not convinced at all.
Sure, it would be considered good business if Rock won because he can do the media runs carrying the championship on television while promoting whatever movie is coming out next. And yes, we saw Vince McMahon announce that Punk would be stripped of the championship if the Shield gets involved.
So Punk cannot get the benefit of outside interference, right?
What about someone like Brad Maddox returning to the picture? Maybe a star in NXT? Or maybe someone unexpected in John Cena?
Have we forgotten that he did help Punk retain the championship against Ryback at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view back in October?
There was also the backstage segment last Monday on Raw where we saw Maddox walk up to Paul Heyman, who hinted at what could be a potential partnership. Consider if you will the situation where the Shield comes out but remains in the crowd, which causes a distraction leading to Maddox taking the Rock out to set up the win for Punk.
Now there was a WWE.com report that Maddox and his personal cameraman were attacked at the SmackDown tapings.
I haven't read the spoilers for Friday's show, so I don't know if it involved Heyman, Punk or the WWE Championship.
But maybe we'll see someone else get involved.
While the Shield members were banned from ringside, why couldn't we see a new member debut and officially join the group after the Royal Rumble?
This could be a great opportunity to help the newest heel faction grow and bring up another potential star out of the NXT roster. My top pick for that would be Kassius Ohno, the former Chris Hero of independent wrestling fame.
Ohno could be a good heel for the company and has great technical skills in the ring. He also has ties with current Shield members Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose in different independent promotions (i.e. CZW and Ring of Honor).
Outside of that, many fans are expecting Randy Orton to turn heel soon. But maybe we'll see the swerve from the creative team that makes John Cena a heel.
While thinking of people that would possible names that could get involved in the title match, it would make sense if Cena cost the Rock the WWE Championship. We remember Cena kind of took the heel role during the promos towards the Rock leading up to last year's WrestleMania.
So far, he's been focused on the Royal Rumble match and has not really been in any championship picture for a while now.
Maybe Cena makes the heel turn after what could be considered a year of frustration that all started with his loss to the Rock in Miami.
Now these are all ideas and I couldn't tell you what the creative staff at the Stamford, Conn. office is plotting.
But I try to expect the unexpected, especially around this time in the pro wrestling season.
I'll admit I'm in the camp that supports Punk holding the championship as he faces off with the Undertaker in a streak vs. streak match.
As for the Rock and Cena rumored for a second-in-a-lifetime main event, let them have it.
We've seen the Undertaker face Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania in back to back years, as well as Triple H the last two.
So WWE isn't afraid to repeat a main event. I just feel with all of this build for CM Punk's championship reign, it wouldn't feel right for it to end anywhere else than the grandest stage of them all.
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