Elliott Serrano, for Redeye
January 28, 2013
If you were a Chicagoan watching the WWE Royal Rumble last night you should have been left with a sense of outrage. Why? Because in addition to the signature 30-man over-the-top-rope battle royal, the pay-per-view was highlighted by a main event featuring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson versus Chicago’s favorite son CM Punk. And Punk got screwed.
Entering the RR, Punk was riding a history-making streak of 434 consecutive days as the WWE Champion and fans were divided on whether the Rock would break it. If you were a hard-core wrestling fan, you were rooting for Punk to hold on to the belt. You see, unlike the Rock versus John Cena match from last year’s Wrestlemania, championship reigns like this were truly “once in a lifetime” deals.
There were even rumors that Punk would carry his streak into Wrestlemania 29 and go up against the Undertaker (who is an undefeated 20-0 at WM) for a “streak versus streak” match. Alas, it was not to be as Punk ended up dropping the belt to the superstar-turned-movie star after getting hit with “The People’s Elbow”, a move only exceeded in ridiculousness by Dude Love’s “Sweet Shin Music.”
The disappointing part was that the PPV had so many high spots and appeared to be promising something fresh and new. Here were some of the highlights for me:
I would lose interest in the match once Sheamus eliminated Ziggler and the contestants were whittled down to Sheamus, Ryback and John Cena. And yeah, I was less than thrilled when Cena won. Again.
So now it looks like we have a set up for another match between The Rock versus John Cena, this time with the WWE Championship on the line at Wrestlemania. And I couldn’t be more underwhelmed.
This whole scenario smacked of Wrestlemania 9 to me, and the infamous Bret Hart versus Yokozuna match. With Hulk Hogan out of the picture at the time, the WWF (as it was called at the time) put all their effort into building “The Hitman” as their top good guy. It was supposedly a time when the talent that had been languishing under the likes of Hogan and all the muscled-monsters of the WWF would get their chance in the spotlight. The match would end when Yokozuna defeated Bret Hart after interference from Mr. Fuji. Once his protégé won the WWF title, Fuji would inexplicably challenge Hulk Hogan (who just happened to be at ring side at the time) to a title match at that very moment! In one of the most bizarre and head-scratching moments in Wrestlemania history, Hogan would win the belt back and the status quo in the WWF would be restored.
It makes me wonder if having Bret Hart appear at the beginning of the Royal Rumble wasn’t some sort of omen. When you consider that the booking of the Royal Rumble was done to restore the status quo of The Rock and John Cena as the top dogs in the promotion, I think it was.
And just like he did Bret Hart, Vince McMahon screwed CM Punk.
What do YOU think?
ELLIOTT SERRANO IS A REDEYE SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR AND CHICAGO’S TOP GEEK.
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