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Royal Rumble 2013: Stables, ladders and chairs? Oh my!

CM Punk claims he put "attitude back where it belongs." And the biggest angle of the "Attitude Era" was a feud involving Vince McMahon, who not only hates Paul Heyman, but also threatened to strip Punk of the title if he doesn't play by the rules at the Royal Rumble. Cryptanalysis FTW!

Sunday's big reveal? CM Punk is actually the manager of the Chicago Cubs! Swerve!
Sunday's big reveal? CM Punk is actually the manager of the Chicago Cubs! Swerve!
David Banks

"Welcome to the revolution!
Do you know why I am the leader?
Because I'm the best in the world!
I put attitude back where it belongs!
So join me and live the revolution!"

-CM Punk for WWE '13

I'm excited, Cagesiders.

Having been a pro wrestling mark fan for the past 30+ years, it doesn't happen often, so I like to get all giddy when it does. After all, we have the potential to witness something special this Sunday (Jan. 27, 2013) at Royal Rumble, of which the likes we haven't seen in quite some time.

I'm talking about the stable.

Or "faction," if that's your label of choice. It's created when a bunch of wrestlers who share the same vision team up to wreak havoc on those who don't. It really is that simple. Sometimes they're good (nWo, DX), sometimes they're bad (Planet Jarrett, Spirit Squad) and sometimes they're downright weird (Oddities, P.M.S.).

Now, unless you're in a tag team or Survivor Series type match -- or mired in some sort of hotshotted handicap gimmick -- joining forces makes no sense whatsoever. After all, only one person can win or lose in any given match. What good does it do Jinder Mahal if he helps Heath Slater beat Justin Gabriel?

No good at all, unless his 3MB cohort returns the favor.

The best factions then, by nature, are heels, because their only purpose is to interfere with matches of other members. Eddie Guerrero's "Lie, cheat and steal" gimmick notwithstanding, the fans aren't going to cheer a face for assault. Imagine Sheamus chair-shotting Big E. Langston before John Cena's most recent match against Dolph Ziggler?

Might be a neat twist for one night, but after awhile, that's not acceptable behavior for a face.

With that in mind, I want to talk about why I'm so amped for this weekend's over-the-top-rope extravaganza. If you've been paying attention, and dear lord I hope you have, then you've probably surmised that our beloved "Shield" is in cahoots with CM Punk (see more evidence here).

Yes, the same CM Punk who is managed by Paul Heyman, who also manages Broooock ... Lesnarrrrrrrr!

CM Punk, Brock Lesnar and The Shield? Sign me the fuck up. But there's something missing. We have the brains and we have the brawn, but what faction would be complete without a conniving little weasel? You know, someone who can start trouble and job to the faces when the bigger names can't afford to lose clean on television.

Oh, hello Brad Maddox.

Like The Shield, Maddy claims to work alone with no allegiance to the WWE champion (uh-huh), despite helping him defeat Ryback by feeding his balls more punches at last year's Hell in a Cell. Then this little gem of coincidence turned up backstage.

That brings us to Lesnar, who may not be due back until after Elimination Chamber.

He's the X-factor (stable pun intended) here. It's hard to imagine a star of his caliber being bogged down by the weight of a faction, but then again, ol' sword 'n chest is dreadful on the stick and will likely need Heyman to hold his leash on the road to WrestleMania.

And an angle that big means Heyman is a package deal.

Of course, nothing is set in stone, especially in this industry. This is simply one fan putting the alignment before the syzygy. For all I know, WWE color commentator Jerry Lawler will stand up on Sunday and tear off his Affliction tee shirt to reveal a Shield tank top.


But just the prospect of a new faction has me excited because when they're done right -- and not just an amalgamation of mid-card jobbers with nothing to do -- they're money. Furthermore, this is the perfect opportunity for WWE to make amends with fans for the Nexus debacle, which just so happened to have Punk as its leader.

You know the old pro wrestling motto: If at first you don't succeed, pretend it never happened and try again.

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