- CM Punk’s injury at Royal Rumble resulted in significant changes for WWE Raw heading into WrestleMania 40.
- Rumors that Punk was supposed to win Royal Rumble are untrue; Cody Rhodes was always planned as the winner.
- Creative adjustments had to be made for Monday’s Raw due to Punk’s injury, leading to a new promo segment and potential change in storyline.
The aftermath of CM Punk’s injury at the Royal Rumble 2024 has left the WWE to scramble heading into WrestleMania 40. Significant changes took place on the January 29 edition of WWE Raw as a result of an injury that took place during the men’s Royal Rumble match and the company has been forced to pivot their original plans. That said, one rumor that was making the rounds is not true.
Contrary to fan speculation that Punk was slated to win the Royal Rumble, it’s been clarified that Cody Rhodes was always the intended victor of that match. Punk’s injury did not lead to unplanned adjustments in the creative direction or a new winner being chosen during Saturday’s show. WWE always wanted Cody to win, and perhaps it’s a fortunate thing that they did. Having Punk go over, only to not be able to wrestle at WrestleMania would have posed a much bigger problem than the one the company is currently facing.
WWE Handled CM Punk’s Injury Perfectly On RAW
CM Punk is out with a torn triceps, but WWE Raw made the best of it with a powerful promo, followed by Drew McIntyre giving his best heel performance.
Cody Rhodes emerged triumphant at the Royal Rumble by eliminating Punk, who unfortunately suffered a torn triceps during the bout, ruling him out of WrestleMania 40. While the Rumble match wasn’t changed, WWE did have to greatly adjust what happened on Monday as the post-Rumble Raw needed some last-minute edits.
According to Fightful Select’s update, creative adjustments were made to Monday’s Raw, stemming directly from Punk’s injury. The Cody Rhodes/Seth Rollins promo segment, which unfolded as a result of this unforeseen situation, became a pivotal addition to the show.
During the segment, Rollins proposed a challenge to Rhodes for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 40, diverting from the initially planned storyline involving Roman Reigns. It is still believed the plan is Cody vs. Roman, but this gives the WWE options. Meanwhile, an emotional Punk addressed his injury and WrestleMania absence in a heartfelt promo, only to be interrupted by Drew McIntyre, who mocked Punk’s injury and launched a fierce attack. That was potentially a strange choice just based on timing. If Punk isn’t back for months and an unsigned Drew McIntyre will see his contract expire in April, when will the company pay off this match? That is, unless reports of McIntyre’s contract status are incorrect.
WWE Shuffled Things Around on Raw to Give Themselves More Time
Proving the company can pivot on a dime, it will be intriguing to see which direction WWE takes in all of these storylines. Who does Cody choose? Who will be the other opponent in the championship match? What superstars will be in the Elimination Chamber?