Reports of CM Punk taking time off after WrestleMania 29 have been circulating the web in the past couple of days. Although WWE has been known to flip-flop its advance booking in the past, the "Second City Saint" is not currently scheduled for May's Extreme Rules pay-per-view, something which should turn out for the best.
Punk's last three big matches, against The Rock at Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber and Cena on Raw, have all ended in defeat for the longest-reigning WWE champion of the modern era.
At WrestleMania, Punk is looking odds-on to walk out of MetLife Stadium as the loser once more, and this fourth loss in a row would be an ideal time to take Punk off television until the Raw after Extreme Rules.
Primarily, a month away from the WWE cameras following a heavy beatdown and defeat at the hands of The Undertaker would be good for Punk's character, regardless of whether Phil Brooks feels fatigued.
Assuming Punk loses at WrestleMania 29, his momentum will be nowhere near the level it was back in January, and part of the blame for this lies in his gimmick. To successfully use a "best in the world" gimmick, a wrestler should be winning a vast majority of his matches in order to keep the concept believable and to prevent it from going stale.
In other words, Punk's momentum is largely affected by wrestling solid, lengthy pay-per-view bouts and the outcomes of said matches. A wrestler such as Mark Henry, however, who uses a "world's strongest man" gimmick, arguably just needs to power-slam a few midcarders to showcase himself as an unstoppable force.
What does Punk do after WrestleMania?
Might see how fat I can get for Wrestlemania.— CM Punk (@CMPunk) February 22, 2013
Eventually, he will almost certainly once again be feuding with John Cena over the WWE Championship, but there is no need to rush this. Should Punk suffer a likely loss to The Undertaker, there is no way he should be inserted back into the title scene for Extreme Rules.
Rather than thrusting him into a meaningless rivalry for the pay-per-view, it would perhaps make more sense to just leave him off all programming for a while.
His return, even if after just a month's absence, would generate sufficient momentum to have him climb back into a main event rivalry, even if he and Cena are booked to avoid each other for the time being.
Furthermore, Punk and Cena has happened all too recently for them to begin feuding as soon as The Rock up and leaves. Giving Punk time off allows for other heels to be built and given the spotlight in the post-Mania season; wrestlers such as Mark Henry, Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar, Wade Barrett and even members of The Shield could headline pay-per-views with John Cena for the belt.
Ultimately, CM Punk has done a solid job of being the company's top heel in the past nine months or so, but his poor win-loss ratio will start to hurt him eventually if it hasn't already.
An extended break would allow for a new and interesting direction to be thought up, while allowing both character CM Punk and Phillip Brooks a chance to recharge and get ready to go again.