Nearly fourteen years ago, The Rock turned heel and joined Vince McMahon’s Corporation Stable, in what was a shocking turn at the 1998 Survivor Series. There are many similarities in the interaction between the Rock and Vince McMahon that you can point out in the feud between CM Punk and John Lauranitis.
In 1998, The Rock’s popularity propelled him to the WWF Championship. The Rock cut by far the best promos in the company, which quickly got over with the fans. The Rock’s increasing popularity and incredible fan reaction, effectively turned him into a baby face character, and he began to feud with Mr. McMahon.
A double turn occurred at Survivor Series, when The Rock defeated then-heel Mankind in the finals of the “Deadly Game” tournament for the vacant WWF Championship. At the end of the match, in a parody of the Montreal Screwjob, The Rock applied a Sharpshooter on Mankind.
With a Royal Rumble heel turn and alliance with John Laurinaitis, Punk can finally achieve some of the demands he was craving in his 2011 RAW promo. As a Corporate Champion he could become the face of the company. That means he can finally have his own brand of WWE Ice Cream Bars, his face on the 7-11 collector cups, posters and the intro RAW signature.
He would be in line to star in movies, late night talk shows, spokes model gigs, and he would have the stroke and political power to bring his buddies back into the company. That could lead to a storyline where Paul Heyman, Luke Gallows, Colt Cabana, and Brock Lesnar make their WWE returns as legitimate superstars or lackeys in yet another CM Punk-led heel stable.
Is this really too far-fetched? I don’t believe WWE is ready to elevate Dolph Ziggler to the main event status at WrestleMania, let alone the WWE title picture on the same card. You could capitalize on the rising popularity of Dolph Ziggler and turn him baby face at the Royal Rumble and start a long feud with U.S. Champion Jack Swagger and Vicki Guerrero, that could lead to a show stealing mid card match at WrestleMania.
Roberto Padilla is host of “The Full Nelson Radio Show” Mile High Sports Radio 1510 AM/93.7 FM Denver; Sundays 2-4 PM ET, www.milehighsports.com Internet Sports Station GoMileHigh.com; Wednesdays 9-11 PM ET, www.gomilehigh.com/fullnelson Twitter: Roberto Padilla @HeelTruth