WWE Raw came and went on Monday night and still no sign of The Undertaker. As we all know, The Deadman returned to the company this past Saturday night at a house show in Waco, Texas and the majority of fans, myself included, expected to see him live on WWE’s flagship program once again.
But even though we did not get Taker, we did get the man who is widely believed will face him at WrestleMania 29, CM Punk.
And Punk is God.
Well, at least he claims to be. Punk’s promo on Raw did what so many of his other promos have done through the years: It has people talking. Perhaps Eric Bischoff’s next book should be called “Punk Creates Controversy.”
It is fairly obvious to any fan within earshot of CM Punk on Monday that WWE is laying the foundation for Undertaker’s return. The man who laid claim to being the longest reigning WWE Champion of the modern era said he was above all other Superstars and in was, in fact, God.
But, there’s only one God, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that.
Avengers reference aside, for a Superstar to stand in a WWE ring and call himself not only an icon but immortal? That is the most obvious invitation for Undertaker’s funeral bell that I personally have ever heard.
Surely Punk’s comments will draw out The Deadman, and when he arrives the air will be thick with not just the heavy fog but the anticipation of what will come next.
The Undertaker versus CM Punk at WrestleMania 29.
So, is this the match that fans want to see?
From a distance, it makes perfect sense. Punk has been the top heel in WWE since last year and one of its top Superstars over the past two years. During his latest run he has faced all challengers and worked some big names including Chris Jericho, Triple H and of course John Cena.
Punk has been at the forefront of the company since his infamous pipe bomb of 2011, and he held the WWE Championship for an astounding 434 days.
What’s left? To main event at WrestleMania. And, what better man to face than the legendary Undertaker?
Again, it makes perfect sense.
But the fact is that the WWE title is not in the equation. Add to that the fact that Punk is on a losing streak, having dropped back-to-back pay-per-view matches to The Rock and to John Cena on this past Monday Night Raw, and we are now suddenly talking about a CM Punk who is on the slide.
As fans, we often hear that winning and losing is not everything in pro wrestling. This is especially true for WWE, as a guy can be on the biggest downturn of his career and then miraculously emerge from it a winner, virtually unscathed from the whole ordeal.
The string of losses may have seemed important at the time and appeared to be such a big statement by WWE, but in the end it all amounted to nothing. Suddenly the Superstar in question is back on his feet and taking the company by storm.
Sheamus is a great example of this, as he went through a very long period of doing the job to one WWE Superstar after another. For a while it did seem that perhaps The Great White’s time in the sun had come and gone and this was to be his fate.
But one face turn later and he’s World Champion. The fact that he held his title for 210 days is proof that all the losses in the world do not necessarily mean that a guy’s career is over. Sometimes, you just don’t know.
This could very well be the case for Punk, because if he indeed does work Taker at WrestleMania, then he is likely not going over. For me, to see Undertaker lose in a one-off match against an opponent he has not touched in years and who has had no heat with him at all just does not make all that much sense.
So why even book the match? Why CM Punk?
Because Punk has earned this. Night-in and night-out, CM Punk has worked very hard in the ring and on the mic to prove that he belongs on the main event stage in WWE. As champion, he worked on TV nearly every week and he gave some of the best matches over the past two years that fans have seen in a very long time.
Despite his maverick reputation and his ability to create controversy every time he opens his mouth, Punk is a company guy who understands how to do business. He knows that for WrestleMania, Undertaker needs a top guy to challenge him for the undefeated streak. Punk also knows that he can make some good television for WWE with this rivalry, as short as it will be.
For Undertaker, to work Punk's style of match is is probably the best move. Considering the wear and tear on Taker's body and the fact that he is no longer a full-time, in-ring performer, Undertaker needs a slower-paced, less physically punishing bout than he would have had against Brock Lesnar.
Taker's reputation of working with only those he feels deserve it and carry their part is testament to how highly he thinks of Punk and what he can do in the ring.
Punk is also likely very aware that after Mania is over, Taker will probably leave again. Facing Undertaker adds yet another layer to his character and another notch in his belt. Winning and losing may still be a big deal to fans, but for CM Punk? Just being a part of it and bringing his A-game like he always does—that is the most important part.
The prospect of Undertaker versus CM Punk at WrestleMania 29 is one that fans have been anticipating for a very long time. The two men do have a history together and both entertain fans every time they are in the ring. They will do so again at WrestleMania.
And that is a win for everyone.