The Rock vs. CM Punk: WWE Championship Match Will Save Royal Rumble PPV

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2013

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I hate the Royal Rumble. 

That might sound like an overstatement considering that it is one of the most popular and important matches WWE runs each year. However, with the company making a mockery of what the match is supposed to be about in recent years, it is hard to love the match. 

This is supposed to be the most important match of the year for WWE, with the winner getting a guaranteed championship match at WrestleMania.

The addition of the world heavyweight championship 11 years ago really hurt the importance of the Rumble, because it means another star who didn't win the Rumble gets a championship match without earning it. 

When you add to the fact that WWE uses people like Michael Cole, Mick Foley and Bob Backlund in the match for comedic purposes, you have given the fans no reason to take anything that happens seriously. 

Finally, this year you have John Cena cutting one of the worst promos of his career on the Raw go-home show by making jokes about playing video games, flirting with women in the crowd and a guy having a hangover. 

All of that is to say that it is a great thing for WWE that the championship match between CM Punk and The Rock is the true main event of the pay-per-view. 

It would be foolish to expect an all-time classic match, just because Rock is a part-time wrestler at almost 40 years old and he isn't conditioned to work the kind of style required to make it the most memorable match you will ever see. 

Punk is great in the ring and much better equipped to carry Rock to a great match than Cena was at WrestleMania last year, though you need two great performers to make a historic match. 

However, the anticipation for this match in the crowd, the reactions both superstars will get and the atmosphere in the building will make this the match of the show. 

The story around the match is as strong as anything WWE has done in a long time. You have CM Punk holding the championship for more than a year, entering  rarefied air the likes of which Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and Cena occupy. 

On the other side, you have Rock looking to make his comeback to the WWE complete by winning the WWE title. He first teased it after defeating Cena at WrestleMania last year, told the world he had a title shot on this pay-per-view at the 1,000th episode of Raw and wants to show Punk he still has what it takes. 

Sometimes the story around the match is more than enough to make it great. Punk vs. Rock has the story and drama needed to draw in the viewers. It is going to be the saving grace of the Royal Rumble pay-per-view.