CM Punk Is the Right Man to Face the Undertaker

Travis TaylorFeatured ColumnistMarch 28, 2013

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CM Punk is the right man to face The Undertaker because he is a wrestler who is more than capable of taking advantage of a unique situation—a weakened Dead Man. 

Punk is in a different position than all of the other men who have challenged the Phenom at WrestleMania and lost. Undertaker is physically weak, emotionally weak and seems, for the first time, to need to win.

Punk is the perfect player to exploit these and give the WWE Universe something intriguing: the little bit of uncertainty that this might be the year, that he might beat the streak.

For perhaps the first time in his career, Undertaker looks like he's at the end. His injuries have caught up to him. His shoulder and his hip have prevented him from working out as he would normally.

When he showed up this past Monday on Raw, he may have beaten the snot out of Punk, but he looked horribly out of shape while doing it.

Undertaker has always been a master of mind games. His stone-hard stares, the rolled-back eyes, the deadly-sounding gong of his music, the fascination with death; these are all tools to confuse and scare his opposition.

So far in this feud, Punk has been the one playing mind games while Undertaker has trailed behind. Could, or better yet would, any other wrestler pull off desecrating both the memory and the remains of Paul Bearer?

Stealing the urn wasn't enough. Punk had to play with it, drop it and flip it around like a football. What this has done is to turn the games around on Undertaker.

Bearer was a huge part of his professional life. The real-life loss of his one-time manager must be stinging.

That loss is being played up perfectly because now Punk is coming across as the one in control. He's the one pushing Undertaker's buttons for a change. He's the one getting the rise out of the Dead Man, forcing him to rush the ring to try and fight.

Instead of being the hunter, Punk has made the Phenom look like the prey. Undertaker is being tugged emotionally. He's pursuing Punk instead of making Punk chase him. 

Punk doesn't need to win the bout to further his career. Even with a loss, the Voice of the Voiceless will walk away from the biggest show of the year the same as he walks in, the polarizing WWE heel that happens to be the longest reigning WWE champion of the past 25 years.

But Undertaker now appears to be the one who does need to win. 

“The pressure is not on CM Punk to defeat the streak. It’s on Undertaker to keep the streak,” Paul Heyman said in an interview with

Punk, with his touches of realism, is just the man to work the weaknesses of the Dead Man into a selling point. No one else can make it seem like it could happen, the streak ending.

"I am the one in 20-1," Punk said on Raw. 

At some point, after 20 WrestleMania victories, the story has to change. The Undertaker has to go from being the one to beat to being the one who has to win. Otherwise the WWE ends up with a gray-haired once-a-year-wrestling Phenom who is no longer compelling to watch because the end is a forgone conclusion.

If there is no credible threat to the streak, then what's the point of watching?

There isn't one. That's where Punk comes into play.

He can push Undertaker physically. He isn’t afraid to desecrate Bearer’s memory and remains to push Undertaker emotionally.

And he doesn’t have to beat the Phenom at WrestleMania—the Phenom has to beat him.

Punk is the right man to face Undertaker at WrestleMania because he's the best one to change the rules for what it will take to keep the Dead Man buried.