Excitement, intrigue surrounds WWE Championship heading into Raw 1,000

Excitement, intrigue surrounds WWE Championship heading into Raw 1,000

For nearly 250 days, WWE Champion CM Punk has seemingly done it all and beaten them all. From staving off five contenders in an Elimination Chamber Match to shining against Chris Jericho on The Grandest Stage of Them All, WrestleMania XXVIII, he has been the epitome of a fighting champion.

Now, Punk must prepare for the most unpredictable fight of his championship reign.

John Cena will cash in his Money in the Bank contract on the historic 1,000th episode of Raw on July 23. Punk knows this much is coming. And he knows the type of match to anticipate as well — one that's relentless and grueling with one of the fiercest rivals of his career. ( PLAYLIST: PUNK AND CENA'S RIVALRY)

What he doesn't know, however, is whether The Brahma Bull intends to charge right into the battle lines with nostrils flaring.

It's no secret that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has his sights set on capturing his eighth WWE Championship. He emphatically proclaimed his goal to the WWE Universe on Raw the day after he defeated Cena in a "Once in a Lifetime" Match at WrestleMania XXVIII ( WATCH). It's an objective that The Great One reiterated when he recently announced on Twitter that he would be at Raw 1,000, to which Punk replied, "I'm waiting."

History is clearly on Cena's side Monday, as no Superstar has ever unsuccessfully cashed in his Money in the Bank contract, but no contract holder has had to deal with The Most Electrifying Man in All of Entertainment awaiting the perfect chance to thrust himself into the WWE Championship picture. ( PLAYLIST: THE ROCK'S RAW MOMENTS)

Could we bear witness to not only the beginning of Cena’s 11th WWE Title reign but also Cena challenging The Rock to a WrestleMania rematch at MetLife Stadium in a clash that would be as big as a New York Giants vs. New York Jets Super Bowl in the same venue? Then again, if Cena cashes in unsuccessfully, will The Rock challenge the seemingly unbeatable Punk to a championship match on Raw 1,001? Or, could The Great One set the stage for an epic battle with Cena in the shadow of New York City?

The future possibilities are rife with win-win scenarios for the WWE Universe. Watching the king of the "pipe bomb," CM Punk, trade verbal barbs with an in-your-face, masterful trash-talker like The People's Champion would be sublime. And if we're embarking on another chapter in the Punk-Cena rivalry, it'll be captivating to see Raw's two top dogs duke it out back and forth again over the WWE Title, while The Rock waits in the wings to see who ultimately emerges with the championship gold.

On Raw SuperShow, in spite of Big Show's urging, Cena passed on the easy cash-in attempt on Punk and gave the WWE Champion one week to get ready for "the biggest match of [his] life." At Raw 1,000, with The Rock in attendance, now both champion and challenger must expect the unexpected.

WWE Shows Latest Results

View all Shows