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The Rock vs. CM Punk: Win for Brahma Bull Would Be Bad Long-Term Move for WWE

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - FEBRUARY 16: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson attends a press conference to announce that MetLife Stadium will host WWE Wrestlemania 29 in 2013 at MetLife Stadium on February 16, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images)
Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images
Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 25, 2013

The Rock getting the better of CM Punk at the Royal Rumble would keep the WWE in exactly the same, struggling situation it is right now.

Creating stars was once what the company did so well, with the likes of Mankind, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Undertaker—the list goes on. WCW was the company that relied on nostalgia acts to get fan attention.

Since WCW is gone, the WWE is assuming the mantle of company struggling to elevate new stars into the spotlight.

It's great The Rock is back. The Attitude Era was one of the best in the company in terms of storytelling and match quality. For a multitude of reasons, the product now is a far cry from that time.

Putting him right in the title picture and likely the main event of another WrestleMania only illustrates how much the company needs him right now. It shouldn't be that way.

Bringing back old stars is great for reliving memories, but they shouldn't be consistently used to help the company limp along. John Cena can only highlight so many pay-per-views before people start becoming tired of the product.

It would be much different if The Rock was to stay in the company and continue to show up on Raw every week. His movie schedule, though, doesn't allow him to make that kind of commitment.

After WrestleMania, The Rock will likely go right back to Hollywood. No one should begrudge The Rock for hitting it big in movies. He's found himself another way to make a ton of money without putting his body through hell for 300 days a year.

The issue is, once again, giving him so much television time and exposure and having him beat the best guys in the company, only to watch him walk right out the door.

Putting him over CM Punk or John Cena would be completely counter-intuitive to what the company needs right now. They need bankable stars who the fans take seriously.

Almost every wrestling fan knows what The Rock has done in his career. Beating John Cena at WrestleMania XXVIII last year didn't make him an even bigger star—neither would beating CM Punk.

The WWE needs to use him to elevate the wrestlers who are in the company full time. Last year, Cena should have gotten the kind of win that truly put him among the greatest of all time

It's like WrestleMania X8, when The Rock beat Hulk Hogan. Hogan was already the biggest star in the history of professional wrestling. Him losing to Rock was like a passing of the torch between the past and the present.

That's what should happen with The Rock's current run. It's not as if putting another wrestler over is some sort of downgrade to a career. The Rock is not going to turn into a jobber by losing to Punk or Cena.

Rather, it's The Rock putting the business ahead of himself and making the WWE a better product as a result of his return.

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