As a result of the excitement of the biggest WWE WrestleMania event of the last three decades, I have decided to expand preview coverage to individual matchups. Today I preview and offer predictions on CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho for the WWE championship.
[adinserter block=”2″]This is one of the more intriguing matches that have come along the WrestleMania pike over the last few years. The match is something of a “Dream Match” to hardcore fans on the Internet who have been hoping to see Punk in a big match at WrestleMania 28, while other long time Jericho-holics who are happy to see the return of the Ayatollah of Rock and Roll-a.
The build up for the match has been hit and miss. Jericho called out Punk for being a Jericho ripoff several weeks ago. He wound up winning a 10-man Elimination Chamber losers Battle Royal to earn the title shot. Jericho was rumored to win the championship at the Elimination Chamber so the change in plans was something of a swerve to fans.
The story took a new twist once Jericho “exposed” Punk’s deep, dark, family secret. Jericho revealed on television that Punk is straight edged because of his father. Jericho revealed that Punk’s father was an alcoholic. Jericho later revealed that Punk’s sister has substance abuse problems as well. Some have called this controversial, although this was angle was done in the past when Punk wrestled in Ring of Honor.
Jericho has set some very high standards for himself when it comes to WrestleMania. He has had some very good matches, one classic, and a few duds. What I like about Jericho’s WrestleMania matches is that they rarely are ever one in the same. He tends to change it up on the big show which always makes for some fun surprises in his Mania matches.
The WrestleMania classic has eluded CM Punk. He hasn’t had any what I’d call stinkers but he hasn’t had what I’d call a great match on WrestleMania. I liked his match with Randy Orton a lot last year but I wouldn’t call it great. He has had his opportunities with some great workers but for whatever reason, sans Money in the Bank, he has come up short in my opinion.
I’d expect a good back and forth match. I would be surprised if it was anything that went under 30 minutes. I think for these guys to hit their stride, they need some time to set the plate. I wouldn’t bet on a WrestleMania classic. These guys have a better chance of putting that classic on in Chicago on the upcoming PPV than here. I presume that The Rock vs. John Cena goes on last, so this will give the fans expecting a lengthy headliner their money’s worth or at least I hope.
Did Jericho re-sign with the WWE to get a quick payoff at WrestleMania and put CM Punk over? Surprisingly, that may be the case. There are plenty of rumors that suggest that Jericho’s return may be extremely short-lived as opposed to his previous World Wrestling Entertainment engagements.
Has this monster push of CM Punk all been for nothing? When I say nothing, dropping the belt at WrestleMania is what I’d call nothing. It doesn’t elevate Punk, nor does it allow the WWE to reap the rewards of his long push. I have seen stranger things happen, but it would be pretty surprising to see Punk leave without the title.
One scenario that makes a lot of sense is some kind of finish involving CM Punk’s family. The WWE usually doesn’t bring family members into promos unless they are planning to get them involved physically involved in the feud. The only reason that I am hesitant to go here is that the WWE has an upcoming pay per view in Chicago so my hunch is that they will wait until Chicago to bring the family members into the match.
[adinserter block=”1″]Prediction: I think CM Punk drops the title in controversial fashion. The WWE need to change things up and putting the belt on a strong heel like Jericho opens up some opportunities that the babyfaces haven’t had in awhile on RAW. I do think that the match ends with some kind of crazy twist. Jericho is rumored to be leaving the WWE in the next few months. Most people expect Punk to retain due to that rumor. I expect the opposite with Jericho winning and dropping the title shortly thereafter.