Title Defended at Rumble: 21 times
Successfully Defended: 16 times
During the 1,000th episode of WWE Monday Night Raw, The Rock made a shocking announcement. He declared that no matter who was the WWE champion come the 2013 Royal Rumble, he would be getting a match with the champion for the WWE Championship.
At the time, the holder of the title was CM Punk, and he decided to send a message to The Rock. At the end of the night, Punk signified that he would be champion come the event by putting The Rock to sleep with the GTS.
A couple of weeks ago, the People’s Champion made his return to WWE to confront Punk, who made good on his statement of remaining champion. The two have since traded words and blows, but this match is really anyone’s game.
Looking at the history of the event, the WWE Championship has been defended 21 times with 16 of the champions successfully defending it. That’s a 76-percent win rate, which isn’t too bad.
If The Rock wins, WWE will have a new WWE champion for Raw, but they won’t have a champion for house shows between episodes. I highly doubt The Rock would appear at any live events, so people who bought tickets will not be seeing a WWE champion.
At the same time, a title win for The Rock will bring huge publicity for WWE on the Road to WrestleMania.
If Punk retains, he continues his long title reign. Punk will also gain some major bragging rights for doing what John Cena couldn’t do.
I have no doubt that The Rock will be WWE champion, but it’s a matter of whether he will win it here or at the Elimination Chamber PPV. I think this match is going to come down to interference, just not necessarily from The Shield.
This past Monday on Raw, Vince McMahon declared that if they interfered, Punk would be stripped of the WWE Championship. McMahon forgot about Brad Maddox, though, who could be there in the referee stripes after the obligatory ref bump.
Then again, The Shield could get involved, but not in the form of Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose or Roman Reigns. Nobody said that somebody couldn’t interfere here and then join The Shield on Monday’s Raw.
No matter what happens, this match is going to have some kind of interference in the closing moments.
Who’s going to win? Well, with a wrestler who is also a big movie star as champion, people will be talking. So I think WWE is just going to bite the bullet in terms of no champion at house shows for the sake of publicity.
Winner and New Champion: The Rock