They say that the Road to WrestleMania begins at the Royal Rumble. CM Punk, on the contrary, stated that it began at the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs pay-per-view. Both are true. The WWE championship was successfully defended at TLC in a triple-threat ladder match in CM Punk’s first title defense; and Daniel Bryan cashed his Money in the Bank opportunity to win the World Heavyweight championship. Then Sheamus went on to win the 2012 Royal Rumble, earning the pristine glory of contending for either the WWE or World Heavyweight title at WrestleMania. But the most important start to the Road of WrestleMania occurs the night after the Royal Rumble.
The Rock versus John Cena has been set in stone, but the fate of the World titles still loom over the WWE Universe’s minds. Which World title will Sheamus contend for? Who will be champion after the Elimination Chamber event in February? Then the brilliant blockbuster announcement was made from the “soon-to-be-future-endeavered” John Laurinaitis, WWE Champion CM Punk would go one-on-one with World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan.
The closest to a CM Punk versus Daniel Bryan face-off took place during last year’s Royal Rumble as Punk and Bryan drew the first two slots in the Rumble match. One full year later, Punk and Bryan are World Champions having an official match. Now for those that expected Daniel Bryan to weasel his way out of the match, or to not take it seriously, were in for a treat as for one night, Daniel Bryan wrestled with the technical prowess of his true-self Bryan Danielson.
The difference? Daniel Bryan is a submission’s specialist as far as two holds can take you in WWE. Bryan Danielson, on the other hand, was practically on the verge of separating Punk’s shoulder, and shattering his elbow. The match was a dream come true as both competitors got to showcase the reason why they are World champions in their own right.
Then out of nowhere, Chris Jericho dashed to ringside and threw Bryan against the barricade. This cost Punk the victory, which was awarded to Daniel Bryan on counts of disqualification. Then the greatest thing happened. CM Punk received a Code Breaker from Chris Jericho. The fabled rivalry that the Internet Wrestling Community have been peddling on the message boards, dirt sheets, YouTube channels, and the like has finally taken shape.
Chris Jericho, who many believed would win the Royal Rumble, acted as if he did because the assault made it clear who he wants to face at WrestleMania. Michael Cole, clue-less as usual, didn’t understand the motives behind Jericho’s actions. What does Jericho have against Punk, asked the dumbfounded Cole. Much like the other talked about WrestleMania encounter of Punk and Stone Cold Steve Austin, Punk’s gripe with Jericho started on-line.
Similar to John Cena pointing out The Rock’s ambitions to being an actor and a wrestler second, CM Punk considers himself the best wrestler in the world, while Jericho considers himself the best in the world at what he does. Punk took several jabs at Jericho in regards to what in fact he does do best–dance with celebrities. He has also mentioned that the moniker of Best in the World is actually from Bryan Danielson. And while Punk acknowledges where he got it from, Chris Jericho doesn’t.
If CM Punk survives the Elimination Chamber, or Chris Jericho wins the WWE championship forcing Punk to invoke his rematch at WrestleMania, this match needs to happen at WrestleMania.
This wasn’t the only WrestleMania match that developed, The Undertaker made his triumphant return to Monday Night Raw to stare down WWE’s C.O.O. Triple H. Taker motioned with his thumb slicing past his neck that he was challenging Triple H for WrestleMania. And as much as Triple H stated throughout the year that he wanted one more go-ahead at The Phenom’s unbeaten WrestleMania streak, he padded Taker on the shoulder and walked away. That meant Triple H was politely declining the offer.
Now, why would Triple H decide not to accept The Deadman’s challenge? How many people would kill for an opportunity to end The Streak? We all know of a retired Heartbreak Kid more than willing to lace up his boots one last time for a crack. Could it be that Triple H feels he has nothing else to prove since he did force Taker to be carted out of WrestleMania on a stretcher last year? Perhaps he has finally learned his limitations from last year’s epic battle?
Or the most likely of reasons, Triple H had mentioned, moments before he was set to fire John Laurinaitis, that the WWE Board of Directors will grant him control of Raw as General Manager because he is no longer acting on personal issues. And if Undertaker is anything, it’s a personal issue. Let’s not forget, it was Undertaker that forced Shawn Michaels to retire, and it was Undertaker that refused to die as Triple H put it during their match last year. Triple H may not want to jeopardize his good standings with the Board.
When Triple H accepts Taker’s challenge–because you cannot outrun The Deadman–he will be the only wrestler in WrestleMania history to face Undertaker for a third time. Though there are other prospects for Taker to place his Streak against, his vendetta is against Triple H crippling him so much that he couldn’t leave last year’s battle under his own power.
That’s it for this post, feel free to check us out on YouTube – WTX Video Podcast. My buddies and I perform a wrestling video podcast where we talk wrestling, which then leads into crazy comedy sketches. Support us on YouTube, like us on Facebook, and follow me on the twitter @WrestlingTimesX.