Update on The Rock's Status for Raw

Imaan Jalali@imaanjalaliFeatured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2013

Photo courtesy of WWE.com
Photo courtesy of WWE.com

The year 2012 was a mixed bag for WWE, as it was rife with both triumphs and tribulations.

Ultimately, the company peaked at WrestleMania 28, which broke all records to become the most successful event in WWE history (source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter via WrestlingInc.com).

Of course, the Miami extravaganza was headlined by The Rock's return to singles competition in a bout that saw the face of the company, John Cena, succumb fair and square in front of millions of paying customers.

As one of, if not WWE's biggest box-office draw, the "Great One" is now primed to get 2013 off to a rollicking start for WWE, as he's scheduled to go one-on-one again. This time, however, it will be against the WWE champion at the Royal Rumble.

For all intents and purposes, current champion CM Punk will likely have the honor of defending his crown against the "Brahma Bull" when January 27 rolls around.

Fans, though, won't have to wait until then to witness The Rock's return to WWE programming. Besides his scheduled involvement at the January 7 Raw (h/t WWE.com), he'll be a part of the festivities a week later as well, according to PWInsider.com:

Local advertising in Houston, Texas for the 1/14 20th Anniversary episode of Monday Night Raw now reflects that The Rock will be appearing on the show.

Undoubtedly, The Rock will play a big part in getting members of the WWE Universe excited about the product again.

But it will be his back-and-forth promo wars with his likely opponent at the Royal Rumble, CM Punk, that will demand the attention of even the most casual observers.

With the unpredictable element of Paul Heyman also added into the mix, The Rock will be motivated to raise his game to a stratospheric level beyond the reach of mere mortals.

Suffice it to say, if the interplay between Punk and Rock satisfies even a fraction of the anticipation, WWE will have managed to peak in 2013 before even the arrival of February.

Such a prediction rings doubly true if WWE intends to go with an uninspiring John Cena vs. Rock rematch at WrestleMania 29 (source: F4WOnline.com via WrestlingInc.com).

Follow me on Twitter @ImaanJK