On February 17th, 2013—The Rock defeated CM Punk for the WWE Championship.
Without question, The Rock is worthy of holding the title.
I'm just not sure about Dwayne Johnson.
Johnson made his predictable, gloating-splattered appearance with the belt the night following Elimination Chamber before performing his regular "disappearing act" seven days later.
The 1,028th episode of Raw took place without the WWE champion.
Though Johnson may be over-qualifed to hold the title, he has absolutely no business representing the company as champion if he cannot make regular weekly appearances.
I'm sick of his cameos being plugged as big "events."
It soils the same championship CM Punk worked hard to restore legitimacy to.
I've been a bigger fan of The Rock than I have been of Punk, but at least Punk shows up for work every week.
I get it, Johnson is above it all, and I don't even disagree with that.
He has the right to fall back on his celebrity status as being too elite to appear regularly.
There's no argument there—Johnson is superior to almost everyone on the roster, and I can't blame him if he's too embarrassed to share television programing with the likes of Brodus Clay.
Should The Rock be required to appear every week so long as he holds the WWE title?
But the fact of the matter is that a true champion shows up.
Johnson is affiliated with forms of entertainment above WWE.
That's just not an excuse to award him a championship belt to get dusty on his nightstand as he wakes up at 4:00 a.m. to attend to more important matters.
Strip him of the championship.
I don't really care if that would seem over the top, or worse—unjustified.
Having Johnson proclaim himself January's No. 1 contender months in advance is unjustified—and quite frankly, ridiculous.
If an NFL player decided to take a Sunday off to attend to other matters, he'd be benched the following week and then some.
This is entertainment, and to be honest, I'm just not that entertained by a Dwayne Johnson who's absent from scheduled programing.
They can learn to legitimize the championship by having an actual champion hold the belt or they can continue to use the title as the "ultimate tool" to exploit for showmanship.
At least, that's my feelings on the subject.
Ryan Michael is a Senior Writer for Bleacher Report. Any questions, comments or professional inquiries can be directed to his email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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