The rule of thumb regarding predictions for Triple Threat Matches with championship gold on the line is that the odds always favor the challengers. With two competitors simultaneously facing one titleholder, there are more ways for a contender to capitalize than there are for the reigning champion to come away with a victory.
Yet if recent history is any guide, WWE Champion CM Punk may not hesitate to test those odds.
That’s because The Straight Edge Superstar, who now must defend the WWE Title in a Triple Threat Match at Survivor Series 2012 against John Cena and Ryback, can call upon his successful experiences in three-sided bouts throughout the past year. Since claiming the championship at last year’s edition of Survivor Series, CM Punk has stepped into the ring for a Triple Threat Match at three different pay-per-views — WWE: Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2011, No Way Out 2012 and The 25th Anniversary of SummerSlam — and ultimately left all three victorious.
Does that triumphant trend boost the WWE Champion’s chances of winning at Survivor Series as well? While the probable outcomes of a Triple Threat Match continue to put the challengers at an advantage, CM Punk’s track record certainly implies that he can handle himself when facing two Superstars at the same time.
At WWE: TLC 2011, the two-time WWE Champion escaped being handcuffed to a ring post and managed to put both Alberto Del Rio and The Miz away in his first pay-per-view title defense. He later directed the numbers in his favor at No Way Out 2012 by neutralizing one opponent, Daniel Bryan, with a chin-crunching Go to Sleep and later sealing the win by outlasting Kane.
The most valuable evidence of Punk’s resiliency resides in his most recent Triple Threat Match at SummerSlam, however. Moments after John Cena knocked out Big Show with a monumental Attitude Adjustment, Punk pushed Cena out of the ring and claimed the easy pinfall for himself. In mere moments, the Chicago-born competitor went from being the odd man out in the match to the one being declared the winner before a raucous STAPLES Center crowd.
One of Punk’s adversaries in that bout, John Cena, will hope for a different outcome at the upcoming pay-per-view in Indianapolis. Of course, the Cenation leader has not minced words in the past when describing the unpredictability of the three-sided clash’s outcome and the frustration it can create for the competitors.
“I hate any match that isn’t a traditional tag team match or a traditional singles match because anything can happen,” Cena said in a 2011 interview with WWE.com. “It’s truly one of those deals where it’s all about being in the right place at the right time.”
Will Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis prove to be the right place for Cena to reclaim the WWE Championship? Is the main event at Survivor Series the right time for Ryback’s rise to the top of WWE? Or can CM Punk come away with his record-setting WWE Title reign intact?
If neither Cena nor Ryback learn from CM Punk’s recent history with the Triple Threat Match, then the challengers may be doomed to see The Straight Edge Superstar repeat his results in the championship clash this Sunday.