At this point it seems inevitable that The Rock will face CM Punk for the WWE title at the Royal Rumble.
This match has been in the making ever since the 1000th Raw in July when Punk turned heel by attacking the Rock. It started a slow heel turn for Punk, and set up a future match between the two. Naturally everyone thought it would take place at the Royal Rumble where the Rock is set to take on the champion.
With Punk holding the belt for over a year now, there have been numerous times where I’ve read that creative was considering taking the title off of him. Vince McMahon himself has considered having Punk lose, but in the end they decided to keep his steak going.
There are many possible explanations as to why, but the main reason is said to be influence from the Rock.
I remember specifically reading an article a few months back by former announcer Kevin Kelly where he talked about this very thing. The Rock is going to want a good payoff from the investment he made over the summer with Punk. While he’s certainly not calling Vince on the phone and telling him to keep the belt on Punk, the influence is still there.
It would be silly to have all the friction between Rock and Punk, and not have it pay off in a title match. Months of a potential match looming between the two, and we get Rock vs. Ryback? I highly doubt it.
If Vince is indeed influenced by the Rock, he is smart to be. Bringing back old stars is about the only thing WWE has going outside of a few key superstars right now. WWE needs the Rock, and the best match for business is Rock vs. Punk for the title at the Rumble.