The Rock has not held gold in the WWE since 2002. His return to WWE over the last two years has broken records and brought new and old fans to the product. His earlier returns have been sporadic and - criticized by some - mostly "via satellite." He came back earlier this month and all signs look to him being pretty much a full-time wrestler for the company through this year's WrestleMania, the company's biggest show of the year.
By virtue of winning the Royal Rumble match, John Cena has secured a shot at WrestleMania for the WWE Championship. This will be a rematch of last year's "Once in a Lifetime" match between Cena and The Rock. Why the rematch? Well, last year's WrestleMania was the most-purchased pay-per-vew in WWE history, as well as the highest-grossing event in company history. It makes dollars and cents. See what I did there?
Where does this leave CM Punk? He was, after all, WWE Champion for 435 days, the longest reign in well over 20 years - or longest reign in the "modern era" as Punk called it. We'll get to that later.
For now, just soak in the fact that The Rock is back on top of the WWE. These are interesting times for WWE in the coming months. The ratings have been up, but can Rock continue to bring people back to the product? If so, then his reign is a success. Let's see what happens.
I'll get more in depth with this subject over at Tricycle Offense later.