At the 25th anniversary of the WWE Royal Rumble, CM Punk will defend his WWE Championship against Dolph Ziggler in a highly anticipated title bout. In addition to making the match, Interim Raw General Manager John Laurinaitis declared he would be the special referee. For Punk, the Royal Rumble provides the opportunity not only to put the loudmouth challenger in his place, but also to remain under the skin of Mr. Laurinaitis. For Dolph Ziggler, the Rumble allows the WWE’s resident showoff the chance to turn words into actions and walk out of St. Louis with the WWE Championship.
After weeks of back-and-forth between the two Superstars that included the showoff challenger stating his intent to beat Punk and become a “real” champion, Punk and Ziggler will finally settle their score at the Rumble, further ensuring that the pay-per-view’s 25th year will be a memorable one.
Perhaps the most egregious affront to The Straight Edge Superstar’s well-being during the course of the past month came during the final Monday Night Raw of 2011. With the cards stacked squarely against him by Interim Raw General Manager John Laurinaitis, The Second City Savior faced an uphill battle to make sure his hometown Chicago faithful left the arena happy. In the second of three title-free Gauntlet Matches scheduled by Laurinaitis, Punk faced Ziggler after defeating Jack Swagger just minutes earlier.
After an untimely distraction from Raw’s esteemed Interim General Manager, Ziggler hit a devastating Zig Zag, pinned Punk and momentarily silenced The Voice of the Voiceless. Furthermore, in typical Ziggler fashion, the braggart paraded around Chicago’s Allstate Arena with Punk’s WWE Championship in hand, leaving its true owner to watch intently from inside the ring.
On the first Monday Night Raw of 2012, the WWE Universe got another glimpse of Punk vs. Ziggler — this time for the WWE Championship. However, instead of a decisive end to this budding rivalry, tensions ramped up as a result of a Mr. Laurinaitis causing the WWE Champion to be counted out. Now these two outspoken Superstars will collide in St. Louis on January 29th at the Royal Rumble with the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and Raw’s Interim GM in the middle, elevating both rivalries to new heights.
Will Mr. Laurinaitis remain fair and imparitial? Can The Second City Savior put his Royal Rumble opponent to sleep and retain his title when it matters most? Or will the WWE Universe have to get used to hearing a whole lot more bragging by Ziggler (and, by proxy, his overly vocal and heavily involved manager, Vickie Guerrero) in 2012? Find out at the 25th anniversary of the Royal Rumble Sunday, January 29, live on pay-per-view.