CM Punk: How the WWE Is Trying to Right the Wrong at WrestleMania 29
You've got to hand to the WWE, they know how to quickly adjust a storyline. In this case, it took them a couple of days, but they are finally on the right track.
After ending CM Punk's historic 434-day reign as the WWE Champion, the longest title reign in 25 years, the storyline that followed for Punk was a rematch loss at Elimination Chamber in February and a No. 1 contenders' match versus John Cena for the right to face the Rock at WrestleMania 29.
In what is considered to be the best match of the year to date, Cena defeated CM Punk ensuring his title match against the Rock, much to the delight of some fans.
However, a rising consensus against the matchup seemed to grow out from the WWE Universe in regards to the Cena-Rock rematch, and for good reason.
For one, this is a rematch of WrestleMania 28, the same matchup that was billed as "once in a lifetime". Last year's non-title match was considered a complete toss-up between the two biggest icons in wrestling, a 50/50 toss-up match. The interest was there and it showed, as WrestleMania 28 became the highest-grossing live event and the pay-per-view with the highest buy rates in company history.
That was last year. This year, however, the buildup, for the most part, isn't there. The entire WWE Universe knows or believes that John Cena will win this rematch, making this probably the most predictable matchup of WrestleMania 29.
Knowing this, the WWE has put into motion Plan B: CM Punk versus The Undertaker.
WWE Examiner came out in early March with a story that "internal polling allegedly suggests that WWE fans are more interested in a CM Punk vs Undertaker match than a John Cena vs Rock rematch." Furthermore, the article mentioned the possibility that the Punk-Undertaker match could actually close out WrestleMania 29 instead of Cena and the Rock.
This could suggest that the WWE intends, as the article states, to have CM Punk defeat the Undertaker, ending his undefeated 20-year winning streak at WrestleMania.
This all could have come about with the WWE coming to CM Punk and offering him the following deal: drop the belt to The Rock at Royal Rumble and in exchange, end the Undertaker's winning streak at WrestleMania.
Knowing how CM Punk respects the history of professional wrestling, this quid pro quo makes perfect sense now more than ever.
With interest drawn down on a rematch between Cena and The Rock, the WWE has turned to the Undertaker and CM Punk to win back the disenfranchised crowd, and it could be working.
Furthermore, a CM Punk win over the Undertaker sets the stage for Punk to become the most hated and despised heel in the business and sets up what could be one of the most highly anticipated matches of WrestleMania 30: CM Punk versus Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Of course, this may just be wishful thinking, but the bottom line is this: The WWE and fanbase seems to have gravitated their attention to the CM Punk-Undertaker matchup more than Rock versus John Cena.
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