After WWE first teased that CM Punk wouldn't be wrestling, then said he would, then reports came out that conflicted with that, then everyone admitted confusion, the latest is that Punk will, in fact, be wrestling Ryback on the Jan. 7, 2013, episode of Monday Night Raw in a tables, ladders, and chairs match as originally planned.
WWE.com hammers it home with an article quoting Punk and Paul Heyman, who are both pissed that this match was ever booked to begin with.
"‘WWE sources' can kiss my a**. Of course I'll be cleared. Of course I'll wrestle Ryback in a TLC Match. Of course I'll win."
"In an obvious effort to appease the WWE Board of Directors, the Chairman of the Board has once again publicly demonstrated his vulgar obsession with denying the WWE Universe of its rightful undisputed reigning defending champion. Vince McMahon's unconscionable tactics now include forcing CM Punk, less than 30 days post-surgery, to defend this industry's most prestigious championship in a barbaric match known as TLC. The description ‘flesh-peddling promoter' for Vince McMahon is a terrible understatement. The medical clearance is a sham, and it is apparent this corruption starts at the top."
The assumption is Punk will work the match but won't be asked to do too much before The Shield interrupts to right yet another perceived injustice leading to The Rock making the save for Ryback and firmly establishing the feud between "The Great One" and the "Straight Edge Superstar" and building to their WWE championship match at Royal Rumble in four weeks. This could also be the time for the big reveal that The Shield was working with Punk all along.
Either way, word around the water cooler is that something big is going to happen on Jan. 7 on Raw.