(Apologies from the editor… this article was originally supposed to go live yesterday but due to a technical fault, was not able to go live until today, after last night’s match)…
Tonight’s much anticipated Raw 1000 show is set to feature a WWE Championship match atop of a stacked episode with a mixture of talent old and new.
Many are wondering what outcome this match will have. Will WWE go with their poster boy of recent years John Cena winning the gold for the 11th time? Or will they pull the trigger one year after his main event rise and give the #1 spot to CM Punk?
If Punk did win the match tonight, there is a chance it will be in front of the biggest Raw audience WWE have had in a long time, given the amount of media promotion the company have done around the flagship episode. Accompanying this with the amount of perceived ‘big name’ talent on the show, having Punk finish the night standing tall would potentially paint him in the same light as all of the returning Legends and Main Event stars of yesteryear. It would be a victory that has a chance to be the true beginning of the CM Punk era.
And what if John Cena wins? It’s tough to doubt the company would have their biggest current star be the first man to lose their title opportunity gained through Money In The Bank, let alone on perhaps the most watched broadcast in recent memory. This would be a move that would again give the perception of John Cena’s dominance in the company, some of the status he may have lost losing to The Rock at this year’s record breaking Wrestlemania event.
A draw could also occur. With Summerslam upcoming, WWE could potentially tease viewers with tonight’s outcome, hoping to generate more interest in their August PPV event. A non-decisive or muddy finish to the match could allow WWE to continue having two top Superstars representing their main show, a distinct possibility as the product gains an extra hours TV slot each week.
The match certainly has a big fight feel. Considering it has only had a weeks build up, it can be seen as a testament to the talent involved that it has generated so much buzz in such a short space of time. Being the biggest billed match on such a momentous event certainly helps, which is also why the result could be potentially indicative of the direction WWE will take going into the new 3 hour generation of Raw.
Whatever the result, past matches between the two would suggest it will be an entertaining contest. Their matches this time in 2011 received lots of praise, and the limited amount of time the men have crossed paths since hasn’t watered down the magnitude of the event.
Will WWE choose to once again cement John Cena as the man to lead the company on the biggest night in the history of Raw thus far? Or will the 3rd coming of the ‘Summer of Punk’ usher in a new top guy? Tonight’s result on a milestone show may give us a defining answer.