RAW 1000 is in the books. Everyone has had a few days to let the events that unfolded soak in. There were some cool moments that won’t do much going forward like the DX reunion or the Brothers of Destruction reunion. There were some immediate impacts like Brock Lesnar accepting HHH’s challenge for Summer Slam and AJ Lee being named the new RAW GM, which starts next week. Then there was a big bomb dropped that the first PPV of 2013 will be The Rock challenging whoever is holding the thirty pounds of gold known as the WWE title at the Royal Rumble.
This revelation got a lot of people excited as it looks that the WWE will be building to a CM Punk vs. Rock title match at one of the WWE’s premiere pay per views. Those of us eagerly awaiting this match up got to wet our appetites with an amazing ending to RAW 1000 when Punk attacked Rock leaving him laid out in the middle of the ring as the show closed. Now for the next few months the build will begin, and it will be epic. Yet there is one important question that I keep asking myself:
Will CM Punk vs. The Rock for the WWE title push the Royal Rumble from the main event slot?
As long as I can remember the Rumble has always closed the show, but this is The Rock challenging for the belt against what will be one of the longest reigning champions in WWE history. It has to be the main event. What if Rock loses? What if Rock wins? These are both big moments that will almost be impossible to follow. These moments are finales, not lead ins.
The same can be said for the Royal Rumble itself. It is the name of the show after all. It traditionally crowns the challenger for the WWE title at the WrestleMania. In this case the person who will face possibly The Rock for the title at WrestleMania. That’s another huge moment. That is a definite show closing event.
A case can be made for both, but I still believe the actual Rumble has to close the show. To bump it for a part time talent, even one as big as The Rock, would dwarf its importance. Plus knowing who the champ is going into the Rumble adds excitement, especially if that champ is The Rock.
Just imagine at the end of the PPV if Cena and The Undertaker are in the ring and The Rock is the champ. How hyped will that crowd be as Cena and Taker battle for a shot at the biggest WrestleMania main event in the past decade? Cena fans would want their hero to get a shot at redemption for last year’s Mania. And what would be bigger than Rock putting the title on the line against the Undertaker’s streak? Either would be a HUGE draw for an event that is always stacked. I’m getting goose bumps thinking about it.
If any match can follow CM Punk vs. The Rock, it is the Royal Rumble. The way the match is built is perfect to follow such a big time title match. The rumble is long with a variety of twists and turns. The rumble can take the first twenty minutes to let fans catch their breath and reset before kicking into high gear. The multiple entrances and mystery of each entrant adds suspense to keep a crowd locked in, something a normal match would struggle with following Punk/Rock.
This is why when January rolls around it should be the WWE title match kicking off the 9PM hour and the Rumble closing the show. This layout creates the perfect two hour rollercoaster of a huge high followed by a low, and finished with an even bigger high. It should make this year’s Royal Rumble one of the best pure wrestling events in recent memory because the 8PM hour will still have a good World title match, and some kind of placeholder match like a six Diva tag. All in all it should be a great ride, which is all you can ask for in a PPV.
The rumors have it that Punk will drop the title to The Rock, and then Rock will face Cena at Mania. That’s the rumors, and those rumors have to survive six more months. A lot can change between now and then, but one thing that shouldn’t change is the Royal Rumble lineup. It should be the WWE title match leading into the Rumble, and not the other way around. It just makes more sense. Then again this is the WWE, and making sense has never been at the top of the priority list.