|Rock & Punk at Raw 1000|
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Chad Smart
@chadsmart & @my123cents on Twitter
Last July on the 1000th episode of RAW, The Rock announced he would challenge the WWE champion at the Royal Rumble. At the time, I doubt anyone expected CM Punk to still be champion when the Rumble rolled around. Everyone was probably anticipating a Wrestlemania 28 rematch between John Cena and the Rock. With CM Punk still the champion, most are speculating The Rock will win the title and go on to Wrestlemania 29 to have the rematch with John Cena. In my opinion, a Cena/Rock rematch is a bad idea but more importantly, The Rock winning the WWE title is one of the worst business decisions WWE could make at this point in time.
I can see the reasoning behind putting the title on The Rock leading up to Wrestlemania. Over the next four months, The Rock has four movies hitting theaters. Two of those are big budget franchise movies, GI Joe 2 and Fast and Furious 6. Presumably, The Rock will be hitting the media circuit to promote the films. Wouldn’t it be wise to have him win the WWE title so when he’s doing the interviews he can be questioned about being the champ and his match at Wrestlemania? As long as The Rock is going to be involved at Wrestlemania anyway, and judging by all the promotional material he will be there, when he’s being interviewed he could easily bring up Wrestlemania anyway. Plus, if The Rock walks into Wrestlemania with the belt, especially if he ends up facing John Cena, most fans will be expecting him to lose the match since after Wrestlemania he’ll be heading back to Hollywood.
Photo by My 1-2-3 Cents
CM Punk on the other hand will be around after Wrestlemania. CM Punk is the longest reigning WWE champion in the past 24 years. When Punk loses the title it should be a significant moment. Over the past 13 months, CM Punk has defended the title against Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, Chris Jericho, The Big Show, John Cena, and Ryback. That list contains five former WWE/World Champions, a potential beak out star and Ryback that CM Punk has defeated on his path to greatness.
Losing the title to a guy, who has wrestled two matches in nine years, even if it is just a ploy to grab headlines, sends a bad message to fans and other wrestlers. Basically it’ll tell fans a guy who from the past who isn’t even a part time wrestler now is better than “the best in the world.” It will tell the other wrestlers, your contribution and hard work for 300 days a year isn’t as important as someone who gets talked about on Entertainment Tonight and Extra.
Is it worth the potential extra publicity The Rock may bring being the champion to sabotage CM Punk’s title reign? Especially if The Rock is only going to hold the title for a couple of months? Wouldn’t it make more sense to either build up a credible challenger to unseat Punk or even have some underdog contender defeat Punk and hold the title for an extended period of time in order to build a new star? The Rock winning would be a throw back to the Attitude Era, from which Rocky emerged, when titles were used as props instead of being a valuable possession wrestlers strived to own.
|Rock's verbal smackdown|
Photo courtesy: WWE
One of the positive things I can say about the 2013 Royal Rumble is for the first time in several years the outcome of both the Rumble and the WWE title match are near impossible to predict a winner with any sense of confidence. The uncertainty will hopefully make for an entertaining show and provide excitement as the road to pointing at the Wrestlemania sign officially gets underway.
Do you think The Rock should win the title? Who do you want to see win the Royal Rumble and go on to “main event” Wrestlemania. Share your thoughts on our Facebook page or tweet us.