CM Punk calls himself “The Best in the World,” and at WrestleMania 29 he’ll get the opportunity of a lifetime to prove that is more than just a nickname.
So far in his WWE career, Punk has competed at six WrestleManias, and he’s had a great deal of success on the grandest stage of them all. In each of his first three WrestleMania appearances, he competed in the Money in the Bank match and won two of those matches back to back at WrestleManias 24 and 25. He then went on to compete against Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton at WrestleManias 26 and 27, respectively, before successfully defending the WWE Championship against Chris Jericho at WrestleMania 28.
As you can see, Punk is no stranger to picking up monumental victories at the WWE’s biggest pay-per-view of the year. He’s an even 3-3 at the PPV, but those three wins were incredibly important moments in his career—two Money in the Bank victories that led him to the World Heavyweight title and one great WWE title defense against a bona fide legend.
Punk had had so much success on wrestling’s biggest stage that it’s hard to imagine him ever topping anything he’s already accomplished at the pay-per-view. But at WrestleMania 29, he will compete in a match that is bigger than any WrestleMania match he’s ever participated in.
No disrespect to either the World Heavyweight or WWE Championship, but when it comes to WrestleMania, there is no greater honor than facing The Undertaker and attempting to break the most impressive record in sports entertainment: “The Streak.”
While Punk has competed in some memorable WrestleMania matches (every match has been good to great), he’s never had the spotlight he’ll get this year when he faces The Undertaker at WrestleMania 29.
The Undertaker’s defense of “The Streak” has become arguably the biggest attraction at WrestleMania each year, and Punk has been handpicked to be the man to try to break it in 2013. There are many fans who think that “The Streak” will never end, but, regardless, this is such an amazing opportunity for Punk.
His WrestleMania Money in the Bank matches, though really good, were on the undercard and didn’t have a ton of buildup. Similarly, his matches with Orton and Mysterio were very entertaining, but neither was billed as one of the top matches on the card.
Last year’s match against Jericho was the biggest Mania match that Punk has ever had, and, though the match was great, some felt disappointed by it. Many even think it was easily topped by their match just four weeks later at Extreme Rules.
That’s why WrestleMania 29 is so important for Punk. Never have the stars aligned more perfectly for him.
He has been on fire over the last several months, performing at an elite level as the WWE’s unquestioned top heel. As a result, there has actually been a lot of chatter across the Internet that Punk could, in fact, be the first man to defeat The Undertaker at WrestleMania 29.
While most think that “The Streak” will never end, there are plenty of fans who think that Punk’s rise to the top of the company could mean otherwise. For perhaps the first time ever, there is legitimate talk that the most impressive streak in wrestling history could end—and Punk would be the man to do it.
Regardless of whether that actually happens, it’s a good sign for Punk that people are even considering it. While some were disappointed by the end of Punk’s historic WWE Championship reign, there is now a lot of buzz about him challenging The Undertaker’s undefeated streak and potentially ending it.
For that simple reason, this is the biggest opportunity of Punk’s career, and he will be at his absolute best at WrestleMania 29.
Punk has done a lot of great things throughout his career, and he’s proven to be better than ever when the spotlight is the brightest. That’s why he’s performed so well in his huge matches with the likes of Cena and Jericho, and that’s why he was able to position himself as one of the WWE’s biggest stars during his historic title reign.
He thrives in situations when most others would fold under the pressure, and—make no mistake about it—the pressure will be at an all-time high at WrestleMania 29.
Punk will perform in the biggest match of his career, but he will also deliver the biggest performance of his career. He has the perfect opponent to do it against, the perfect situation to do it in and the perfect place to do it at.
No one has ever truly expected “The Streak” to end, but Punk’s incredible rise to the top of the WWE has now put him in prime position to make that happen—or at least make the fans think it can happen. That will create a truly electric atmosphere for a match between two great performers with a great story behind it.
Forget Punk’s Money in the Bank wins or his successful title defense against Jericho. He has had no bigger match than the one he will have against Undertaker, and the bigger the match, the better the performance he has.
At WrestleMania 29, Punk will prove why he’s “The Best in the World” with his best WrestleMania match ever.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!