We’ve all heard the sad news that CM Punk needed emergency knee surgery and will not be able to compete at this month’s TLC PPV. Normally when a WWE Champion is injured, the company usually strips him of the title. This might be the first time an inactive wrestler will still be a champion.
Instead of making an announcement to strip Punk off of the WWE Title, Vince McMahon instead changed the main event for the TLC match into a six-man tag-team match. This match includes the team of Ryback, Kane and Daniel Bryan up against Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.
McMahon promised that Ryback will get a chance to face Punk for the WWE Title “in the near future.” With that being said, this means Punk is still keeping the title until he is able to come back and compete.
This differs from how injured champions were dealt with in the past. Batista gave up the World Heavyweight Championship when he got injured in 2006 as did John Cena in 2007 when he was WWE Champion.
It appears the main reason Punk is still champion is because the company does not want to disrupt its plans for the Royal Rumble main event. They have been building a match between Punk and The Rock since July and it looks like its staying that way for now, depending if Punk is healed in time.
As for the next few weeks, Raw shows will be without an active WWE Champion and it’s likely other storylines will be the main focus for now until Punk comes back.