Why a Match with the Undertaker May Ruin CM Punk's Momentum

Bryan HaasFeatured ColumnistMarch 1, 2013

courtesy of wwe.com
courtesy of wwe.com

Much to the delight of wrestling fans around the world, one of the most revered figures in wrestling history seems poised to make his return to the ring in the very near future.

Unfortunately for former WWE Champion CM Punk, that returning superstar could ruin any momentum he has built up with his time in the company.

With word that the Undertaker returned to a recent WWE house show event, the stage seems to be set for him to return just in time for Wrestlemania, possibly as soon as this Monday on the “Old School” episode of Raw.

And with Punk without a current opponent for the most notable pay-per-view of the year, the Undertaker seems a perfect fit on paper. Punk has been ranting about no one having an respect for him for months. A win over the Undertaker would invariably change that feeling.

The Undertaker is, without question, a legend. He may even be one of the top five performers of all time in the ring. He was one of the most destructive, popular and respected forces in the wrestling business.

He is also 47 years old and seemingly incapable of remaining 100 percent healthy in recent years. It is more likely than not that he will not be completely healthy at WrestleMania, and that severely hampers any type of match he’d have with anyone.

And since Punk is now out of the title picture at the moment, it stands to reason that a high-profile opponent like the Undertaker is the only type he could possibly face.

Unfortunately for him, the company seems to think they have a great thing going with keeping the Undertaker’s WrestleMania winning streak alive.

Even for unfortunate for wrestling fans, that then translates to the Undertaker entering the ring in a less-than-suitable state and putting on a lackluster affair with whomever he is paired.

Punk’s gifts in the ring are undeniable. He makes every competitor who steps between the ropes with him look better. He is capable of inciting the crowd with only his words. The fact that he is one of the most talented in-ring performers in the company is secondary.

A match with the Undertaker may not exactly be career suicide for Punk, but at the very least he will need to call upon every shred of skill that he has to make his opponent look good.

This is not to say that the Undertaker is terrible or incapable of still turning it on these days. Simply stated, he is a broken and battered man after decades in the business. Is it possible that he can call upon his own reserves and turn in another “WrestleMania moment?” Maybe, but it seems unlikely.

Ever since losing the WWE title to the Rock at the royal Rumble, Punk has seemingly been a man without a country. He is no longer (probably) going to be involved in a program with the Rock or John Cena, and there seems to be very little other worthy competition for him to face.

It will be very hard to comprehend Punk taking on the midcard talent like Kofi Kingston or Brodus Clay all of a sudden.

Don’t discount any member of the WWE talent roster because they all deserve to be where they are. But Punk has attained a certain status level, and seeing him below that level, even briefly, is somewhat hard to comprehend and could hurt his credibility.

Yes, he is being cast aside to focus on a Rock/Cena bout that will generate pay-per-view buys. And while there is nothing wrong with making money, which is absolutely what that match will do, it shortchanges a competitor who has worked incredibly hard to attain his position, only to have it threatened by another aging superstar.

But once the Rock leaves to promote or star in whatever his next film project is, don’t be surprised if Punk is the person they call upon to light the torch and make the WWE title relevant once again.