CM Punk is your WWE Champion. Only problem? CM Punk is no longer a WWE employee. That leaves the biggest wrestling promotion in the history of the industry without their top title. World titles have been vacated before, but never like this. Monday’s Raw left us with more questions than answers when the match to crown a new champ was postponed. That’s left us all wondering what now?
Miz and Rey Mysterio are set for a title match in which neither comes in wearing the strap. Cena has a rematch clause to invoke. Alberto Del Rio is the #1 contender and Mr. Money in the Bank. So where is your champion? At the Cubs game of course! The company says Punk is no longer under contract, the reality behind that is less clear. Punk is using Twitter to post photos of his victory lap with the title. Clearly there is a plan in place behind the scenes, but it’s anyone’s guess as to what that plan is. Fortunately, this weekly feature is all about guessing, so here’s a look at some options…after the jump…
The John Cena Factor
Cena and the rest of the WWE locker room have a new boss: Hunter Hearst Helmsley. What will Trips top priority be? I’d imagine it’s getting CM Punk and/or the WWE Title back. Cena, a man of great honor, will surely offer to go on recon for the belt. Seeing as how WWE is now acknowledging the existence of other wrestling promotions, it wouldn’t shock me to hear John mention WCW’s title vacancies in their later years. Those constant tournaments and battle royals to crown new champs after controversy where massive chinks in the armor of the now defunct promotion. That could develop into a ‘Save WWE’ type angle with Cena being the driving force as he pursues Punk.
Mr. Money in the Bank
One of the more bizarre titles in WWE history was the Hardcore title. With a 24/7/365 rule in effect, the belt changed hands countless times in all sorts of settings. Del Rio has a destiny and I don’t think geography can stand in his way. Perhaps Del Rio will find a way to locate Punk and cash in his MitB contract in a falls count anywhere style brawl. If ADR did go on the hunt for Punk, it’d be a great way to keep Punk’s name on the air without his actual presence because obviously CMP would narrowly escape just as ADR was closing in on him each week! That could be fun.
Miz and Mysterio believe they’ve got a match for the title next Monday. However, that match was created during the final hours of the incompetent Mr. McMahon era. Will HHH honor this? If he does, the company would have to officially vacate the WWE title and all of a sudden, the title lineage starts to look murky and contrived. Now that John Cena remains a WWE employee, his absence from the tournament hurts it’s credibility. Will we see a triple threat match made? Not sure, but dropping the tournament entirely would make last week’s Raw feel like a giant waste of time!
The HHH Era
Punk negotiated with and grew tired of Vince McMahon’s WWE. Now that Hunter is at the helm, despite being a doofus, maybe things will be different. You had to know HHH was on his way back when the Straight Edge superstar referenced him a month ago in his shoot. With another child on the way, the Game’s time on TV is probably limited but he’s going to have an impact somewhere along the line. Will he feud with Vince? Cena? Punk? Time will tell but no matter who he crosses paths with, expect it to have long term effects on the WWE title scene.