I would be extremely angry if we didn't get Punk/Rock since WWE basically opened the doors to the predictability factor for the WWE Title when they teased the match at RAW 1000. Because of that night it prevented Ryback from getting the WWE Title, it made the title scene predictable, and it hurt the ratings. The match NEEDS to happen at the Royal Rumble. They've invested too much into Punk's reign and the promotion of The Rock for this event. I believe they will, and all this second guessing-concern may just be a way of getting the fans re-energized about the match since it was pretty much teased back in July.At this time, there is reportedly growing concern within WWE as to whether or not CM Punk vs. The Rock at The Royal Rumble is a wise move. The Rumble is a pay-per-view that tends to sell itself and has traditionally always been one of the most purchased PPVs throughout the years. The concern is over whether or not having The Rock in a high profile match at the Rumble is the best use of WWE's time and focus.
There are some WWE officials who feel that with The Rock appearing at the pay-per-view, the attention paid to the Royal Rumble match will be less than what it should be from both an advertising and creative standpoint.
Currently there is no set plan or path on exactly what is going to happen regarding The Rock at the Royal Rumble and the road to WrestleMania. A few months ago, people would have stated that it was a sure thing The Rock wins the title at Rumble. But now there is less certainty as WWE is said to have not made final decisions on any of the high profile names, feuds and matches for WrestleMania 29. They will be working heavily on this over the next several weeks.
Rock winning the title from Punk is NOT a sure thing. If Rock fails to win the WWE Title there is absolutely no reason to do Rock/Cena II. The only reason that match would make sense would be if Rock was champion and Cena won the Rumble to challenge him. There are other challenges for Rock out there. Having another match with Cena with no title on the line is not reason enough for fans to get excited about the match. WWE could go the route of Cena wanting a rematch and putting his career on the line, but that's a ripoff of Taker/HBK II. The only two logical matches for Rock under this scenario would be against Brock Lesnar or The Undertaker, and that's even difficult because of the dates for Brock and Taker being limited in terms of appearances/storyline.
Of course there is the momentum factor. Failing to win the title from Punk would be damaging for The Rock's value at Wrestlemania. Furthermore, he's advertised for the Elimination Chamber PPV in New Orleans. Rock MUST win the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble. There's no point in him being back if he doesn't become WWE Champion. He made his intentions clear the night after WM 28 and at RAW 1000.
What about CM Punk? If CM Punk loses the title to The Rock the booking for him is quite simple: blame WWE doctors, blame his knee injury, and blame WWE for putting him in a TLC Match. He can then go on a crusade about getting no respect -- this would lead to a mini feud with Ric Flair, followed by a WM build up with Stone Cold Steve Austin.
What about Ryback? Another loss to CM Punk would be horrible, but how they book this match will go a long way for the success/shortcomings of Ryback. Interference by The Shield is too predictable. However The Shield should get involved in this TLC Match. I would like to see chaos during the final part of this match with The Shield getting involved and The Rock coming in to clean house only to accidentally cost Ryback the match. This could be Rock giving the Rock Bottom to Ryback thinking CM Punk was behind him. What would be the point of getting Rock some heat with the fans for costing Ryback? Down the road it would make sense because it would get the fans more behind John Cena in a potential title match against The Rock at WM 29, seeing how The Rock cost Ryback -- even though it was an accident. Ryback's WM match should be against Big Show. How they get to that match is a mystery. A good idea is to have Ryback/Show have a backstage run in at the January 14th edition of RAW in which Big Show laughs at Ryback for losing. Ryback can then lay Big Show out with a spear/meathook clothesline only for Dolph to come and cash in his MITB for the win. Big Show can return the favor by costing Ryback the Royal Rumble. This would start the build for their WM match and it would be further escalated at the chamber match.
Thoughts on the news posted and my idea.