I can’t get used to seeing The Rock with CM Punk’s belt around his shoulder.
Yes, I know that Punk lost the belt to Rock at the Royal Rumble. I watched what happened live. Doesn’t mean I have to like it. I am a CM Punk guy after all.
But so far Rock’s run as Champ has been pretty…meh.
He won the belt at the Rumble, celebrated with the people the next night on Raw and gave Punk his rematch for Elimination Chamber. He then took a week off with no explanation given other than us assuming he was handling movie start business. He returned this Monday to tell a pretty hilarious story about buying a car from a crackhead when Punk confronted him. Rock told Punk to come into the ring, which subsequently lead to him getting a GTS and his belt taken.
I haven’t been a huge fan of Rock’s run this time. His first Raw back in January, he called Punk Cookie Puss. His promo game was off and it just seemed like he was losing against the best promo guy in the WWE (that would be Punk). Not that going up against someone who’s had no real time off other than legit injury would be easy for anyone but come on!1 This is The Rock we’re talking about! His picture is next to the word promo in the wrestling dictionary!
But no, it’s not happening. Rock has constantly lost any war of words with Punk. While he has gotten much better since that first January encounter, any face off either ends in fisticuffs or Rock cursing incessantly at the former Champ.
And none of those things make for a strong face Champion.
But we all know where this is leading: By the end of WrestleMania NY/NJ (WWE apparently thinks calling the thing XXIX is a bad idea), our boy John Cena will be the WWE Champion again.
But we’ll get to that in a minute.
What I’m really concerned about is how disappointing the Elimination Chamber PPV is going to be. I’ve watched faithfully for 3 years now and I love the Chamber matches. While last year’s SmackDown match was a bit boring other than creative teasing a Santino win, you really can’t go wrong with any six men you put inside the structure.
And I won’t lie, I’m excited for the SmackDown Elimination Chamber #1 Contender match. If WWE was planning a swerve anywhere, it would be here. Ziggler is not in the match but I think his current hard-on for Chris Jericho will somehow lead to him interfering in a Jericho victory2 or he’ll choose to finally cash in his Money In The Bank briefcase on Alberto Del Rio after he beats Big Show a third time this Sunday. If Ziggy cashes in, that would mean Jericho would have to win the Chamber. Right? Right? I’ve been wrong before though.
But not having a Raw Elimination Chamber match? Even with The Shield versus Team CenaBackMus3 in the Chamber?
It’s bad enough that Rock wouldn’t go in the Chamber4 but to avoid the match altogether because “John Cena has to do something this PPV and we don’t want him in a Chamber match with the Rock when we plan on having their rematch at WrestleMania NY/NJ” is annoying.
It just seems like a complete waste of time to even put the structure up for one match. They could have done a live SmackDown tonight with the Chamber Contender’s match and called the PPV We Don’t Want Your Money, Save It For WrestleMania. Because that’s exactly what I plan on doing.
- While Rock/Punk II is a great draw, there’s no way Rock doesn’t walk out of the match still Champ.
- ADR5 should retain against Show again but I really think Ziggler cashes in now. A Jericho/Ziggler feud for the World Heavyweight Title is okay in my book. And it’s possible Show wins and then gets cashed in on again?6
- SmackDown Chamber match: All signs point to crowning Jericho. Which probably means Swagger will end up winning. Dark horse: Randy.
- CenaBackMus vs. The Shield: Really? Really? Really? Do I have to put you in a weak figure four? CenaBackMus for the win.
- Kaitlyn vs. Tamina: I’m going with Kaitlyn just to leave hope that there might be a decent feud leading up to ‘Mania. But the Divas are so irrelevant anymore that I don’t know why I’m still typing about them.
Then you have Brock Lesnar hanging around. Apparently, Triple H isn’t ready to demand his ‘Mania rematch so until that time, Brock is chilling. And breaking hips.
And then you have this stipulation added to the WWE Title match that makes no sense: The Rock can lose the belt on a disqualification. So:
- Someone will come out and attack Punk i.e. Lesnar/The Shield/or someone we don’t expect and Rock will be disqualified. But then the match will be restarted AGAIN and Rock will win, AGAIN. Which gives him two wins over Punk that were handed to him with special assistance. And that makes him look weak going into ‘Mania against our boy John Cena.
- Rock will do something borderline legit that gets him disqualified, something that refs never call a match for. It would be the opposite of the no-call on the 49ers last drive in the Super Bowl basically.
- Or Lesnar comes out and is supposed to attack Punk, attacks Rock then Punk, then leaves with Heyman screaming his trademark “What did you do?!”7
Which brings us back to square one: our boy John Cena will be WWE Champion come April 8th. He’s either going to get there by beating The Rock or CM Punk or both at the same time or a mystery challenger we don’t expect. But it will come to pass.
After a year plus of CM Punk as Champ and then this interlude with The Rock, WWE is going to press the reset button. Our boy Cena as WWE Champ for the 11th time in his career. And I don’t hate our boy Cena, I just get a little tired of the same old stories.8 And it doesn’t help the future of the company to put the belt on our boy Cena AGAIN.
But it helps the bottom line now. And The Rock won’t be around as much after this round of WrestleMania. If anything, we should be celebrating the fact he can still compete at a high level at 40 years old.9
And I still have my fingers crossed Stone Cold will come out of retirement to face Punk at WrestleMania XXX. How wonderful would that be if Austin can still go like Rock can? Dreams are nice to have.
But what will the WrestleMania card even look like? I’ll take a stab at it:
- The Rock (c) v. John Cena v. CM Punk – WWE Title Match
- Dolph Ziggler (c) v. Chris Jericho – World Heavyweight Championship Match
- Antonio Cesaro (c) v. Ryback – United States Title Match
- Wade Barrett (c) v. Mark Henry or Jack Swagger or Sheamus – Intercontinental Title Match
- Triple H v. Brock Lesnar – Stipulation Match (Perhaps Career on the line?)
- Maybe an Undertaker match but I heard he’s out of shape…
- And a Divas Title match (Either pre-show or mid-card. Maybe Team Hell No drops the belts pre-show or mid-card as well if they haven’t by then.)
That’s a pretty boring lineup and that’s just off the top of my head without any research or consideration for current feuds. Not to mention the exclusion of Randy, Daniel Bryan, Kane, Big Show, ADR, and The Shield. But remember, if this comes to pass, you heard it here first.
I could go to WrestleMania NY/NJ but I’m passing just because I don’t want to see Cena beat Punk for the belt live and/or I don’t want to see Punk in some meaningless match earlier in the card. It’s just amazing to see the corner creative has backed themselves into with their booking since Rock’s return.
But at least we have Jericho back. And winning. Take that Radcliffe.
- 2010 with a hip injury and this past December for his knee. ↩
- Ala Shawn Michaels on Undertaker 3 years ago when he wanted a WrestleMania rematch or when Edge forced his way into the next Chamber match after losing one Championship belt, only to win the other one. ↩
- Our boy John Cena, Ryback, and Sheamus. Try to keep up. ↩
- And no, I don’t care that he’s The Rock and he’s in a quality feud with Punk. Give Punk his rematch in the Chamber. All I’m saying. Pussy. ↩
- Can I just say that I love ADR as a face? He’s a killer heel with a boring finisher but he’s fun as a face. Just saying. ↩
- Upon further review, I discovered that it was our boy John Cena who has been cashed on the most at 2. Plus a heel cashing in on a heel? Doubtful. ↩
- Anyone else get a Sloth from Goonies vibe from Lesnar since he’s been back? And yes, that would make Heyman Chunk. ↩
- This coming from a Hulk Hogan fan is asinine, I know. ↩
- Yes, I know there are a lot of old wrestlers. But how many come back bigger and stronger than they were in their prime and put on highly entertaining, dare I say electrifying matches? None. ↩