WWE champion Randy Orton will be facing World champion John Cena at the company's TLC pay-per-view on Sunday, December 15. The match will be to unify both titles in what could go down as a historic night in WWE history. And while many fans are looking forward to this one, others are already looking ahead.
For me, that bit of prognostication involves the man I feel should get first crack at the title after TLC: CM Punk.
When this match was announced on Raw the night after Survivor Series, it immediately struck a chord with many of the WWE faithful. The notion of title unification has been very appealing to fans for a very long time.
Basically, the argument boils down to the fact that two major championships dilute the product. If you take one away, you increase the value of the one that's left. After all, the World Championship has been considered the secondary title for a while now, and unifying it with the WWE belt just solves the problem.
So when the match was made between John Cena and Randy Orton, many fans likely breathed a sigh of relief.
However, one main point of contention that cannot be denied is the fact that even though there will be more value in a unified WWE Championship, the list of challengers who could actually win it is diminished significantly.
The reason for that is because WWE would perhaps not be as willing to hand its newly created unified title to an untested main event star. However, the World title has been used in that way in the past; most recently with Dolph Ziggler.
Despite whether or not that view is valid, I do believe that the title should be defended among the veteran WWE stars in the beginning. The unified championship will be the most important title in the industry due to just the sheer size of WWE and the worldwide stage the company performs on.
And to envision Vince McMahon trying to make money off the belt by throwing Roman Reigns into the mix before he's ready just seems ludicrous. To me, the most logical move to sustain the level of importance that the new championship would have is to put an established star like CM Punk in the running when the time comes.
Punk is the perfect fit in many ways. The truth is that Punk has had feuds with Cena and Orton in the past, so it really would not matter who ends up going over at TLC. Punk could slide right into the No. 1 contender's spot and have immediate chemistry with the champ from the beginning.
And let's not forget Punk's gimmick as WWE's resident antihero.
From the moment that he dropped the pipebomb of 2011 and embarked on the Summer of Punk, CM Punk has been presented as the company's primary anti-authority figure. While the corporate machine of WWE hands down edicts in an attempt to control its stars, Punk is the guy in the back of the room raising his hand.
"Um excuse me; I'm not going to do that."
Should CM Punk get the first shot at the the WWE unified championship?
Of course, fans know that while there is some truth behind Punk's rebellious character, it is still just a character. Punk has a role to play, and he plays it very well.
However, his work in that role is second to none right now in WWE. He is very good at what he does, and even though his fans want to see him succeed, the same will not be said of The Authority if he does step up to challenge the winner of Cena versus Orton.
This is why he would be a great challenger for the unified championship. Imagine Triple H and Stephanie McMahon attempting to hold CM Punk down. They may have gotten the best of Daniel Bryan, and they may have had the last laugh on Big Show, but Punk would likely be a different story.
Punk's rebelliousness is matched only by his intensity and attitude. And while Triple H would try to stop Punk from even competing for the belt, nothing would work. Punk would still keep fighting and possibly even find a way to overcome the odds. He could walk away with the top prize in the business, and this would be a great new level of entertainment for fans.
The reason for that is because CM Punk as unified champion is the biggest nightmare for The Authority. In fact, I believe that this scenario is the last thing in the world that it wants.
And perhaps that is why The Shield recently attacked Punk and why it has all been booked in a three-on-one handicap match coming up at TLC. Could it be that Triple H's character is thinking ahead for the unified championship? Is he already anticipating the threat that lies in CM Punk and making the necessary moves to eliminate that threat?
I believe that the entertainment aspect of CM Punk possibly challenging for the unified championship is just too much for WWE to pass up. The anti-authority hero taking on the administration in a war that he cannot win could be one of the most entertaining angles we have seen in quite some time.
A defiantly smiling Punk would be cutting one great promo after another on Triple H, and Stephanie McMahon would just be icing on the cake.
Truth be told, Punk would not even have to win the belt. All he needs to do is entertain on the mic and be the workhorse in the ring that we are all accustomed to seeing. This would be more than enough to sustain the level of hype surrounding the unified title that WWE would certainly attempt to maintain after the match at TLC is in the books.
To me, CM Punk is the perfect man for this role, and I hope that the move does happen after Cena and Orton's rivalry cools off once again.