Who is the “Best In The World?”
This Sunday at WrestleMania 28 we have a match-up of epic proportions between two of the top wrestling stars in the world today. Chris Jericho, a ring veteran who is now in his 40’s made his return to Raw on January 2nd without saying a word for the first couple weeks. CM Punk on the other hand has been running wild in the WWE since the summer of ultimatums where we almost saw him leave without singing another contract. Punk, the current WWE champion has been stating since the summer that he is the best in the world, and even put it on a shirt which has sold just as much as any Cena merchandise. This obviously didn’t sit well with Chris Jericho who has been stating that for years.
Chris Jericho decided to involve himself in a match between Punk and Daniel Bryan, both brands respective champions. Jericho claimed all the talent in the WWE were just trying to be clones of him and were cheap imitation rip-offs of everything Jericho’s done. Obviously CM Punk had the target on his back not only because he was WWE champion, but also because he was declaring himself the “best in the world”. We saw these two have a chance to lock arms first at Elimination Chamber, but Jericho was quickly escorted to the back after a kick to the head from Punk knocking him out of the Chamber. That didn’t sit well with Jericho who ended up becoming #1 contender for the WWE Title in a battle royal. The match was now officially set….who would be the “best in the world”?
CM Punk has been champion on and off since last summer and it seems he’s now the guy they want to have the title. They attempted to give it to Alberto Del Rio which didn’t last too long and quickly put it back on Punks waste. Punk has had huge momentum building with being involved with HHH and Laurinaitis feuds coming out on top. CM Punks fan base at live shows seems to be even larger than John Cena. All the time invested into Punk has now paid off, and in his mind he truly is getting what he deserves and I couldn’t agree with him more.
The feud started off being extremely intense and I was really excited to see this match being built. The two did a great job at showing anger and hatred towards each other and giving the fans a reason to invest in the feud. For some reason the great start started to wind down, and turned into a TitanTron feud more than anything. Obviously it seems for this year’s Mania all Vince cares about is pushing the movie star vs. the companies golden boy. The last 3 Raws or so we’ve seen Jericho appearing on the TitanTron and bringing up old dirt about CM Punks family issues. Jericho decided to leak the news that Punk grew up with an alcoholic dad. This infuriated Punk but he told the fans that his dad is in a better place now and that was in the past. Punk didn’t like the fact that Jericho was getting personal (and either did I, as Punk basically did this exact feud in ROH I believe). The following week Chris Jericho once again appeared on the TitanTron instead of showing up face to face. This time Jericho brought up Punk’s sisters issues with substance abuse. Once again this struck a nerve with Punk, but a big nerve. Punk absolutely freaked out on Jericho telling him his family business was personal and didn’t belong in the ring. Fast forward to this last week on Raw, the last one before WrestleMania. That’s right…the last one before the biggest event of the year. What happens? Instead of a face-to-face confrontation, once again we have Jericho on the TitanTron giving dirt on Punk’s mother. This was it really.
It absolutely blows my mind as to why these two didn’t have more face-to-face interactions. I’m not sure if WWE squashed the whole “best in the world” battle that is started out to be because they want people to think The Rock/Cena match is to determine the best in the world. Either way it turned into Jericho simply insulting Punk on his family’s substance abuse issues, and IMO killed any build this match had. Don’t get me wrong as this match is the one I look forward to the most at Mania and I can’t wait to see the technical clinic these two put on. I could easily see it going 45 minutes if given the opportunity to shine. I’m not sure of WWE will let this happen, as the only match they care about can’t be out-shined (Rock/Cena).
With the strange twist in the build of this match I’m still very positive about the confrontation. I think WWE was just trying show the ‘universe’ that there was a lot of hatred between the two and the best way was personal attacks instead of being creative and continuing to build the ‘best in the world’ feud. These two have proven they can just about work with anybody and I think their match up at Mania will only be the beginning for these two. I can honestly see Jericho winning in order for Punk to win it back at a summer PPV to bring in some buys. I can also see CM Punk winning in order to continue his title reign and actually make it a decent length of time. CM Punk has been one of the main people carrying the WWE for the last year, so perhaps a win at Mania is in the books as repayment. Jericho could also have something in his contract stating he gets a Mania win as well, so it really could go either way. That’s another reason I’m extremely excited about this match, as it truly can go either way. With only a few days left until WrestleMania 28, the anticipation carries on.