The Royal Rumble is nearly upon us, and the WWE brass has been working overtime in order to prepare for it. The storylines always seem to ramp up around Rumble time and things are no different this year—as there is a ton of focus on both CM Punk vs. The Rock, as well as the Royal Rumble match itself.
Things got interesting with regards to Punk and The Rock on Monday, as The Shield attacked The Great One. Not only did The Rock reportedly suffer some injuries—although they're likely storyline driven—but it was announced by Vince McMahon that Punk will be stripped of his WWE Championship if The Shield interferes at the Royal Rumble.
Also, the long and winding Brad Maddox angle took another turn with reports of him getting "attacked" prior to SmackDown. In addition to that, another inductee was announced for the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame, and the Rumble card appears to be near completion as well with the announcement of a pre-show match. On top of that, it wouldn't be Rumble season if there wasn't some speculation regarding potential surprise entrants.
Here are the biggest news stories and rumors regarding the WWE right now, complete with analysis and how they will affect the product moving forward.