See what I did there with the headline? I know, I found it to be clever too. I hope Madden notices!
The WWE has big plans for The Rock in the early parts of 2013 -- who didn't assume that already? We knew he was working Rumble and WrestleMania, and his tease at another title run gave plenty of reason to speculate it would have to happen in between those two events, IF it were to happen. Therefore, Rock as the WWE Champion would have to go down at the Rumble so he could then drop it at 'Mania.
Many experts are now claiming the aforementioned scenario playing out is already a foregone conclusion. Example: Read Justin LaBar's latest Bleacher Report article.
The Rock as the WWE Champion, with not one, but multiple movies coming out during that same timeframe is huge publicity. During a time when pro wrestling is struggling in the ratings, by their own standards, and nothing seems to be catching on, it certainly makes sense. And I wouldn't blame Vince if he went in that direction. But I'm not convinced he will.
Predictability is Vince's worst enemy. He hates spoilers and can't stand for fans to know the outcomes of his major storylines. He hid Kevin Nash from the wrestlers backstage even to prevent his jump from TNA and Royal Rumble return from leaking early. I'm convinced he paid Jericho extra just to have him go the extra mile in hiding his latest return (remember the pictures he tweeted of him in different places?).
Vince refuses to let fans -- especially the IWC -- spoil his major moments, and he'll turn them on a dime just to spite us if we do. Even if the original plan was the RIGHT one all along.
You can argue that Rock beating CM Punk for the WWE Championship at Royal Rumble is the right and/or smart move all day long; the fact that everyone and their mother is going to be predicting that exact result before the event even starts to take shape just might be the very reason it doesn't happen.
Even more than the Rumble losing the anything-can-happen effect if this plays out, it's WrestleMania 29 that would really suffer. If Rock-Cena II happens with a defending Rock and a challenging Cena, would there be any doubt in anyone's mind of who walks away with that one? Rock's not going 2-0 over Vince's number one, FULL-TIME guy. Won't happen.
Will predictability necessarily keep Vince from making that match again? I don't think so, but it certainly makes him consider all of his options before pulling the trigger. More specifically, he'll consider the less-predictable options.
And speaking of...let's throw a few scenarios out there!
It's been said and proven time and time again, Vince will change his mind literally in the final seconds leading up to a decision if it means proving the fans wrong. And if this past Raw proved anything, it's the fact that Vince has NO clue what he wants to do day to day.
If you think CM Punk holding on to the title until Royal Rumble is a given, think again. If you think Rock beating Punk at that same event is inevitable, think again. If you think Rock vs Cena II for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 29 next April is a definite, think again.
The fact fans are thinking those things to such an extreme, collective level is the exact reason I'll put my money elsewhere.