By Arda Ocal
4:46 AM PST, February 19, 2013
For those who watch WWE on a regular basis, this headline might be confusing.
After all, John Cena won the Royal Rumble and earned the right to face the top champion of his choice at WrestleMania. He chose the WWE champion, who is The Rock.
At TLC, it was Cena who benefitted from a one-sided stipulation match against Dolph Ziggler, but next week on Raw it will be Cena who will put up a one-sided stake. It will be Cena vs. CM Punk, and the winner goes to WrestleMania to face The Rock.
With six episodes of Raw to go before WrestleMania, this adds to the slow build to the biggest show of the year, and I'm perfectly fine with this added wrinkle.
What I don't like about it is that I've never been a fan of large one-sided stipulations.
Cena, in his promo, said (and I'm paraphrasing): "If I win, you (CM Punk) go away." Go away -- to another rivalry with someone else.
The match will be entertaining. It may even spike viewership by advertising it a week early (similar to their advertised match at Raw 1000 in July last year), but I just have trouble logically accepting Cena's reasons to offer this match from a story perspective, especially at this exact moment in time.
Speaking of the champion, he unveiled a new WWE title design tonight.
Rumors of this new design first popped up in June 2012, when pictures first surfaced.
The Rock jokingly said on Raw that the "WWE title should never look like a toy, and should never spin." I wonder if (when) John Cena wins the WWE title at WrestleMania, if he will bring back that title again?
Earlier on Monday, WWE officially announced that WrestleMania 30 (XXX) will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. The NOLA staff remarked that they had the deal in place for 14 months, but they had to keep quiet until WWE was ready to make the announcement.
Also from Raw...
* The Shield picked up another win against Ryback, Sheamus and Chris Jericho. A great 24 hours for Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns. Their timing, selling and work in the ring is terrific. Look at how Ambrose reacted to taking the Brogue Kick -- one of the best I've seen. They are stars in the making. Jericho has a Fozzy music tour in Australia coming up for two weeks, so expect him not to appear live in the arena on Raw for the next couple of weeks.
* Mark Henry beats Sin Cara, then Great Khali made the save. I'm not excited about a potential Henry/Khali rivalry, and a match on television on Smackdown or Raw next week would be enough for me.
* The Miz beats Antonio Cesaro in a nontitle, no disqualification match. This was fine because the good guy (Miz) ends this on a high note with a measure of revenge, while the bad guy (Cesaro) can keep his championship and move on.
* Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger continue to push the envelope, and personally I like it. I am perfectly fine with a villain pushing buttons to get under the skin of the audience. People are talking about it, and Swagger is in line for a World Heavyweight title shot at WrestleMania. In fact, if this "We The People" duo continue to generate great heat leading up to the big dance, Swagger might very well become your new World Heavyweight champion. Swagger beat Daniel Bryan on Raw.
* I'm curious why Dolph Ziggler didn't intentionally disqualify himself and cash in his briefcase during his match with Alberto Del Rio (which he lost), or provide an explanation why he didn't do this.
* Wade Barrett is in a movie.
* Tensai continues to be a comedic dance machine. I don't mind him and Brodus Clay as a team (Naomi is also very athletic). The trio beat Rosa/Epico/Primo. I just hope that an entire tag team division isn't centered around a comedic team.
* Brad Maddox is Vickie Guerrro's Assistant to the Managing Supervisor ... Assistant Managing Supervisor ... I just wonder if Maddox has a beet farm and suffers from "Count Choculitis."
* Next week, Vince McMahon says he and Paul Heyman will fight, which may very well introduce Triple H and Brock Lesnar together in the same ring.
* Randy Orton beat Kane, who before the match called the Big Red Monster no longer scary. Shades of three years ago. Will Kane get "scary" once more?
* WWE created a Harlem Shake video. This is the last one I will ever watch. Not because it's bad, because I'm sick of the "Harlem Shake."
Arda Ocal is an on air personality with theScore Television Network - www.thescoretv.ca. Follow him on Twitter @arda_ocal
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