5 Superstars for CM Punk to Feud with After Payback
It was announced earlier this week that CM Punk's return match will be against Chris Jericho at WWE's first-ever Payback pay-per-view.
Although it's hard to really buy Jericho as legitimate competition for Punk after barely being able to beat Fandango, don't be surprised if they steal the show on June 16.
But where does The Second City Saint go from there?
CM Punk is a key part of WWE's current product and it's important that he's given talented opposition.
Here are five superstars who Punk could work with to make magic.
There’s a good chance that Team Hell No will be broken up by the time CM Punk is ready to move on from Chris Jericho.
The Big Red Machine’s momentum has been steadily growing ever since he returned with his mask, and it’s time for him to be put in a meaningful feud.
However, there are reasons why this rivalry shouldn’t happen.
Despite being a legend, Kane’s level of stardom doesn’t match Punk’s.
Some could also argue that this would be a waste of Punk’s wrestling ability; a match between these two is unlikely to be a five-star performance.
Despite these issues, a program between these two could be highly entertaining and provide both men with something fresh to do.
Inside Randy Orton is a sinister beast just waiting to be unleashed. There’s no doubt about it; CM Punk could bring it out of him.
Yes, it would be great if Orton turned heel, but the WWE just doesn’t seem to be going for that.
Luckily, though, Randy doesn’t need to be a villain, he just needs to be more edgy. His punt kick to Big Show at Extreme Rules was a good start.
It seems like WWE is punishing Orton for his second strike, but this program could be big money and the Viper’s venom needs to be more lethal for it to work.
Heel or babyface, Randy Orton can do amazing things.
If the higher-ups are ready to actually utilize him, Orton vs. Punk could be one of 2013’s most memorable feuds.
How serious is WWE about making Dolph Ziggler a top star in the company?
Probably not overly so; Ziggler’s win/loss record has remained checkered in spite of his world title win.
However, if officials are legitimately interested in giving The Showoff a shot at the top, a feud with Punk would be a tremendous start.
This rivalry would have to begin a couple of months down the track as Ziggler needs to finish up his business with Del Rio, and either he or Punk would need to turn babyface.
Obviously, the match-quality potential here is huge—it could be to 2013 what Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk was to 2012.
Not only that, but it would elevate Ziggler and also bring some much-needed prestige to the World Heavyweight Championship.
This time last year, Sheamus was in the midst of a lengthy heavyweight championship reign.
During that reign it seemed like The Great White was Vince’s new man—he was booked to be Super Sheamus.
It’s hard to call that a successful investment; Sheamus hasn’t done much noteworthy since losing the title.
CM Punk vs. Sheamus could be a terrific feud.
For many, it would hold the same appeal as Punk vs. Cena—the indie king against a product of the machine.
Cena vs. Punk, while undoubtedly compelling, has been done to death. This would be an opportunity for Sheamus to prove himself as a top star in the company.
CM Punk vs. The Undertaker stole the show at WrestleMania XXIX.
They wrestled an outstanding match, but their feud was so fresh and exciting that it didn’t feel conclusive.
That's a compliment to their buildup and not a knock at their match; there is so much life in this feud that no one match could justifiably end it.
The Undertaker is currently written off TV after an attack by The Shield, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to write Punk into that.
Let’s hope The Deadman is open to wrestling again before next year’s ‘Mania, because Punk vs. Undertaker II would be a must-see.