Like the commercial says: People are talking. They’re talking about the Royal Rumble Match, about Alberto Del Rio’s ascent to the World Heavyweight Title; about Team Hell No’s hugfest graduation ceremony; about this very young year that John Cena has vowed to dominate. But more than any of that, more than anything else going into Sunday’s hotly hyped pay-per-view, they’re talking about one match: CM Punk vs. The Rock.
And those people aren’t alone.
“You look at CM Punk, he’s held the title for more than 400 days,” The Miz told WWE.com of his feelings on the historic matchup. “Say what you want about [Punk], but he’s champion and he’s been champion and he does whatever he can possibly do to keep that title … [Punk] has something up his sleeve. He always does, he always will and he does what he can to do it, so hopefully Rock can be prepared for that, especially because he’s been out of the ring for so long. ”
Kofi Kingston also chimed in on the first-time bout, sounding, quite frankly, as thrilled as if he were a member of the WWE Universe instead of a Superstar who could potentially find himself winning the Royal Rumble Match and challenging one of these two Superstars at WrestleMania.
“It’s been a long time coming since Punk came out and clotheslined The Rock and made a huge statement,” Kofi said. “Now it won’t be very long, less than a week till the Royal Rumble. We finally get to see the guy who claims to be The Best in the World taking on the all-time Great One. It’s been great to see the build and I can’t wait just like everybody else to see how it’s gonna go down. We’re actually gonna find out exactly who the best is.”
Miz, who will challenge Antonio Cesaro for the United States Championship on the Royal Rumble Pre-Show, made the bold move of throwing his hat in a competitor’s corner, although that did come with a caveat.
“Am I rooting for The Rock? Absolutely,” The Awesome One said. “Do I want him to win? Absolutely. Do I want him to unseat the WWE Champion and become the champion? Absolutely, because you know what? At WrestleMania, when I win the Royal Rumble Match, I’ll be going up against The Rock, the person that made me want to become a WWE Superstar.”
With tensions reaching a fever pitch between champion and challenger, and only a handful of days left until The Brahma Bull returns to claim what he believes is his, the WWE Universe and locker room are equally abuzz with anticipation. And while the Superstars may be split — Miz is pulling for Rock, and while Kofi was too diplomatic to say so, we’d wager he’s got a soft spot for his old tag partner Punk — SmackDown General Manager Booker T summed up the whole thing as only he can.
“Everyone will remember where they were the night Punk and Rock met in the middle of the ring, face to face, eye to eye, one on one. Who’s gonna be the champion? Sunday, it will be determined.”
Couldn’t have said it better ourselves.