The Cashbox: Who’s Keeping Score? This Guy!

Chris Cash

CM PunkIf you don't want to play the game, fine, but don't ruin it for the rest of us. The actual match between CM Punk and The Rock at the Royal Rumble is just part of the appeal to this program; the verbal face-offs we get to experience leading up to it is just as important, if not more.

I gave CM Punk the slight edge this week, and from what I gather, that seems to be the general concensus. That being said, I certainly wasn't "yawning" during Rock's performance either.

The Rock knows who he is and how he got there, and fans have grown to love and support him for it. Why would he ever change that? The old "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" saying has never been truer than in Rock's case. I'm pretty sure it's not broken, so leave it alone.

I think there's another score worth noting and keeping track of, aside from who wins the weekly mic battles between Rock and Punk, and that's Punk's title reign and streak. The idea of Rock ending that at the Rumble is as important a decision WWE will face this year. It seems like Rock's schedule would allow a title run heading into WrestleMania, so does Vince want to capitalize on that while he has the chance? Is it even necessary? More importantly, is it best for business?

How valuable is The Rock once he loses? Considering the outrage over Brock Lesnar losing to John Cena in his first match back, I would imagine some would argue Rock's momentum slows down considerably if he were to lose to Punk. Especially clean. Then again, it's CM Punk and not John Cena, so internet fans might not bitch as much.

I think wins and losses do matter, in some cases, a lot more than some people claim to think. It was Ryback's streak that made him worthy of a main event title match with Punk at the time he received it, and I think the loss that followed is the reason he's no longer a credible threat now. He can recover, sure, but it will take longer to get him back to that level again now that he doesn't have an undefeated streak to rest on.

Punk's streak as the WWE Champion is historical. He loses value as soon as he loses the belt, simply due to the fact that a huge part of his gimmick right now is counting the number of consecutive days he wears it. The person that beats him for it gains a lot, just the same. Wins and losses don't matter? They do in that match, whenever it happens.

Personally, I don't see that match taking place at Rumble. I don't see Rock winning the title. I don't see Punk's streak coming to an end.

Rock has nothing to gain as WWE Champion for two months; CM Punk has plenty to gain with those same two months added to his streak. The finish might not be clean, but I'm fine with that.

I believe stars giving other stars "rubs" still exists. I believe in passing the proverbial torch. The Rock "should" lose to Punk, and eventually, Punk "should" lose to someone who gains something substantial as a result. That's not Rock. I don't think that's Cena either.

That clearly indicates that I see Punk holding the title past WrestleMania.

As for who I think should ultimately beat him? Pick your poison, but it should go to someone that WWE has serious vested interest in at the time. Superstars aren't born, they are made. WWE just isn't making very many of them right now.

I like keeping scores in a fake sport. Wins and losses still matter in a fake sport. Titles still matter in a fake sport. (It turns out this column could have been much shorter after all.)

Follow Chris Cash on Twitter @RealityofChris. Check out his new website on how to make money online in pro wrestling and sign up for the free newsletter. The annual Awards edition of the Voice of Wrestling also airs live this Monday, starting at 6:30 EST. Visit VOWLive.com for details and to vote on the "Wrestler of the Year".

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