With CM Punk retaining the WWE Championship against Ryback and John Cena at Survivor Series on Sunday, thereby likely solidifying an expected match with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson at Royal Rumble, the sports-entertainment organization’s creative team has discussed a scenario where The Straight Edge Superstar would defeat The Great One at the annual January pay-per-view event. This would subsequently lead to Punk defending the title against The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXIX, and Johnson facing Cena in a non-title re-match at the same event.
Original creative plans called for Johnson to defeat Punk at the Rumble, leading to a match against Cena for the title—which could still occur. Creative has given thought to how Johnson winning the WWE Championship would impact the product since there would be no titles defenses at houses shows for over two months, and also add a new issue of whether he would defend the title at the February pay-per-view event, Elimination Chamber. Not awarding Johnson would rectify this problem.
Though the importance of the WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship has diminished in recent years, one of the primary reasons that creative has yet to unify the belts is because they feel a title match should close out all house shows.