CM Punk has held the WWE Championship for over 15 months, which is the longest continuous reign in nearly 25 years. So when Punk finally loses the championship, it needs to be special. That title change has to mean something. It has to be a special, once-in-an-era situation, and it must be a title change that signals a changing of the guard in WWE.
For these reasons, CM Punk must defeat The Rock at the Royal Rumble.
Punk’s title reign has largely been about respect. He’s done countless promos about how he’s still seen as the underdog who has no business being champion despite the length of his run and the quality of his opposition.
Yet here he is, 400-plus days later, defending the title against all comers. He may not always win cleanly, but he wins, and that’s the important thing. For Punk to turn that corner and get the respect that he deserves, he has to prove that no matter what WWE throws at him, he will always come out on top and remain WWE champion.
For these reasons also, CM Punk must defeat The Rock at the Royal Rumble.
Yes, CM Punk will eventually lose the WWE Championship, and when he does, it will be a moment remembered for months as the day that WWE’s focal point changed.
The person who defeats Punk must be someone who can carry the company’s banner as its top star. It should be someone fresh who can lead the charge, as the company goes in a new direction and moves into creating a new decade of superstars.
For these reasons, too, CM Punk must defeat The Rock at the Royal Rumble.
To put it simply, for Punk to get his title reign to the next level, he needs to defeat a legend. The Rock, coming off of his victory over John Cena at last year’s WrestleMania, is still seen as the standard by which current WWE superstars are judged. For Punk to defeat him at the company’s second-biggest pay-per-view event of the year would finally put him in the upper echelon of champions.
He will have defeated everyone placed in front of him. One by one, he will have proven himself as the absolute best in the world, culminating in a win in the proverbial “final boss battle” with The Rock. It will seem like there is nobody left to challenge his dominance, until one steps up later on and finally bests him.
That person will be vaulted into history as the man who did what Cena, The Rock, Sheamus, Del Rio or any other superstar couldn't do: take the WWE title from CM Punk. For that to take place, however, one thing is certain:
CM Punk must defeat The Rock at the Royal Rumble.