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Is CM Punk the Favorite to Win the 2014 WWE Royal Rumble?

By Tom Clark
December 23, 2013

(image from vk.com)

The Royal Rumble is coming up on Sunday January 26 and is the first pay-per-view of 2014 for WWE. As we speak, many fans are likely already choosing their favorite to win the Rumble match itself and then go on to face the WWE World Champion at WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans.

And the name at the top of the list for many of those fans is CM Punk. Is the Best in the World the favorite to win the 2014 Royal Rumble?

For me, there are two reasons why Punk is likely the man favored to win the match. The first one has a lot to do with the fact that basically, he could very well be the best overall choice of the available Superstars ready to take that spot. And I believe there are only a few names that fit that description.

A potential candidate could be Sheamus, a Superstar that many fans are likely not thinking about right now. The Celtic Warrior has been on the shelf with an injury over the past several months and he could potentially return in the Royal Rumble. Could we see him as perhaps the surprise last entry and watch him go on to win the Rumble match?

Of course, the aforementioned last entry was used by John Cena back in 2008, when he returned from an injury of his own. On that night, Cena eliminated Triple H to win the match in a moment that has become a career highlight for him.

Indeed, if there is anyone other than CM Punk who could go over in the Royal Rumble and slide right into the WWE World title match at WrestleMania 30, it's obviously John. Cena is still the top guy in the company and considering the renewed rivalry that he has had with The Viper, it would only be sensible that he could be the last man standing once again in the Royal Rumble match.

But we cannot forget Daniel Bryan, the man who spent the better part of 2013 fighting WWE's ruling class for a shot at immortality. All Bryan wanted was a fair chance at the industry's top championship and he never got it. For many fans, there is no better Superstar to win the Rumble and then take his rightful place in Mania's main event.

However even with the ability that each man has and his proven track record of rising to the occasion in WWE's prime spotlight, the truth is that CM Punk is the one that so many fans want to see back on that main stage.

Punk's historic 434 day WWE title reign ended nearly one year ago at the last Royal Rumble against The Rock. Since that time, Punk has been embroiled in two very intense, very dramatic storylines that have resulted in a complete 180 for his character.

The first came with The Undertaker, who put his undefeated streak on the line against The Second City Saint at WrestleMania 29. The second came when Punk decided that he no longer needed the counsel of Paul Heyman in his corner, causing Paul to turn on him.

Each angle saw Punk at his absolute best and while the WWE title has been contested between other Superstars, the fact is that Punk consistently keeps stealing the show every time he's on the card. He proves night in and night out why he is a favorite of WWE fans all over the world.

And this leads to the second reason why CM Punk is the best man to win the Royal Rumble match; he's earned it.

From the pipe bomb that opened the door for 2011's Summer of Punk, to his WWE Championship reign that spanned well over a year, The Best in the World has been on the front burner of the business. In that time he has done it all, competed in every sort of match and entertained countless fans every step of the way.

He should have the spot against Randy Orton for the WWE World title at WrestleMania 30. Aside from working Undertaker, it's the highest profile bout of the night and it should be given to someone that can live up to the hype.

Punk is the right man for that match and it all begins on January 26. It would be CM Punk's first Royal Rumble win and on a resume that is already full of accomplishments, it would definitely be a highlight.

But for The Best in the World, it would be just another day at the office. 

Tom Clark is a WWE Featured Columnist & Consultant for Bleacher Report, a Contributor for Whatculture.com and a Contributor for the Camel Clutch Blog

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