WWE.com has posted an update informing us that due to a torn meniscus knee injury, CM Punk has been removed from the WWE Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay-per-view. As such, the scheduled WWE Championship TLC match against Ryback will be changed.
Instead of being a title defense, Ryback will get the opportunity for revenge as he teams up with Daniel Bryan and Kane to face the three members of The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns).
The match itself will still be a TLC match, though since they have nothing for these teams to climb the ladder and retrieve, it will revert to standard pinfall and submission rules.
There are both good things and bad things about this change that come to my mind.
The Good Things
When the match was going to be for the WWE Championship, there was a big problem in regards to the ending. How can you have CM Punk retain the title once more without Ryback looking bad in the process? A generic run-in by the Shield would have been easily predictable and boring.
Now that the match has changed, they no longer need to worry about the necessity of CM Punk keeping the WWE Championship on his waist.
Another positive of this change is that it gives the Shield some time to shine. We haven't seen them in a proper match yet and this stipulation could really lend to their brutal characters. Even if they do end up on the losing end of things, a loss in a match of this type doesn't hurt their momentum as much as it would be in a regular match.
Not having CM Punk participate means that he should be able to rest up more and give us not only a better match with The Rock at the Royal Rumble but also stay healthy for the Road to WrestleMania and subsequently, WrestleMania itself. For him to go down with an injury right at the tipping point of this title reign would be a shame.
The Bad Things
WWE panicked about not having the WWE Championship defended at the Survivor Series pay-per-view and now they've found themselves in the same situation. The loss comes from having to screw up that previous card to make up for their mistake.
They've missed out on some opportunities with this card as well that I feel are staring them right in the face. This is a pay-per-view dedicated to the three namesakes. We have a Chairs Match in Sheamus vs. Big Show and we have a ladder match in Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena. If this feud started with Ryback being put through a table, why is this not just a generic tables match?
That would also allow for the losing team to save even more of their credibility by just losing through one move as opposed to being pinned or submitting.
The inclusion of Team Hell No means that the Tag Team Championship will most likely not be defended. After Randy Orton and the Miz were both attacked by the Shield on Raw, I would think the better option would be to include those two as Ryback's partners instead. That would give us the open spot for the Tag Team Championship to be defended, whereas if Kane and Daniel Bryan are in this match, it's all but certain that they won't be pulling double duty.
No CM Punk means the person who the company has been revolving around for this past year won't be participating. Is that going to hurt the buy rate?
It will be interesting to see how WWE can spring back from this and reshape the card, but if the events of the last Survivor Series pay-per-view have shown us anything, it's that WWE as of late has been unable to plan ahead and very chaotic with their storylines.
Let's hope that they have a plan figured out by Monday Night Raw or else we'll be going into this event with only a few matches announced and a lot of skepticism in the air.
What are your thoughts on this change? Let us know in the comments below.