Paul Bearer's Death Breathes New Life into Undertaker-CM Punk Match

Bill AtkinsonAnalyst IMarch 12, 2013

( photo)
( photo)

Somewhere on the other side, Paul Bearer has to be watching the feud erupt between his protégé and CM Punk. And he is laughing and saying, “Ohhhhh, yesssssss!”

As much of a shame as it was, the death of Paul Bearer (Bill Moody) may have injected life into the upcoming WrestleMania 29 match between The Undertaker and Punk. Instead of it having the aura of extending a WrestleMania winning streak, the match now has taken on the feel of a mission by the Deadman to right a huge wrong and end Punk’s sudden reign of disrespect for his fallen manager.

Here is the 50-cent tour of what happened: Undertaker opened Raw Monday night by kneeling in respect to Paul Bearer’s famous urn, which had been placed on a pedestal in the ring. Punk interrupted to say he was sorry for Undertaker’s loss…at WrestleMania 29.

Meanwhile, Paul Bearer’s other protégé, Kane, attacked Punk, and a no-disqualification match was set for later that night. Kane won that match, but as Undertaker was coming out to share in Kane’s victory, Punk grabbed the urn and clobbered Kane with it.

As Undertaker came down to the ring, Punk scooted up the ramp, turned and mocked Undertaker’s previous kneel of respect to the urn.

With all that in mind, the match turns from one of the three top spectacles of WrestleMania 29 to maybe THE one to watch.

Sure, WWE is going to be criticized for trying to tie Moody’s death into a storyline. But you have to remember, this is the same company that continues to push a WrestleMania main-eventer (Jack Swagger) who is facing serious DUI and marijuana charges in Mississippi. The company may promote a PG product, but it proves time and time again that nothing can get in the way of a good storyline.

Moody/Paul Bearer himself probably would give his blessing to this 'Taker-Punk storyline—especially since his beloved Undertaker is involved.

And it is the type of storyline that recharges everyone involved.

For Undertaker, a creaky wrestler clearly in the twilight of his career, the storyline turns him into a man on a mission, not just someone who comes in once a year trying to add another notch in his grave digger’s shovel. He will do everything within his power to recapture the precious urn his nemesis Punk so cruelly used as a weapon and then hijacked.

For Punk, the storyline adds another evil layer to his villainy. We already know his character does not care about anyone but himself, but to stoop so low as to steal the icon that gives Undertaker his power is beyond comprehension.

Punk’s already-solid ability to cut a promo that whips people into fits of anger definitely will be on display in the next few weeks leading up to WrestleMania. Now, Punk will not only tease with his words but also with a tangible object that means so much to Undertaker and his storyline half-brother Kane.

Speaking of Kane, he benefits from this storyline, too. From now until WrestleMania, we can forget how he has gone from a menacing monster to one-half of a comedy act. That was evident when he came out for the match Monday night with Punk when there was no sign of the Tag Team Championship belt draped across his shoulder.

The storyline will end with a major bang on WWE’s grandest stage. There will be much speculation over the coming weeks about how it will end.

Undoubtedly, Undertaker will be victorious and run his WrestleMania record to 21-0. There also will be a lot of pageantry around the end of the match. One possibility could have Kane coming out dragging Paul Heyman—tasked with guarding the urn—to the ring to surrender the urn. Then for good measure, Heyman gets dropped with a Tombstone Piledriver, and Undertaker and Kane get the moment they deserve to properly and publicly respect and mourn Paul Bearer’s passing.

Bill Moody would love that—ohhhhhhh, yessssssssss!

Follow Bill Atkinson on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.