CM Punk is a WWE fan favorite for a reason.
He might not be one of the sport's current champions heading into WrestleMania 29, but the upcoming match against The Undertaker on April 7 has the potential to be one of the most important matches of the WWE season.
Even more so if you consider Punk's reported time off following the event.
WrestlingInc.com (h/t PWInsider) first broke the news that Punk would likely be held out of live action following WrestleMania. The company is already allowing its bad boy to rest his injured arm in preparation for the showdown with the Deadman.
While the layoff is expected to be short term, it puts pressure on this match against The Undertaker to be one of the best of the current card at WrestleMania 29.
Sure, The Rock and John Cena will grab most of the headlines out front. Returning WWE star Brock Lesnar has a chance to send Triple H home for good, too, and there's always the threat of Dolph Ziggler cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase.
For obvious reasons, there's a general feeling around WWE fan circles that this match could steal the show on April 7.
For starters, some are tired of the Cena/Rock storyline. The pair renew their rivalry in front of likely the biggest pay-per-view audience of the season so far, but that won't stop fans for remembering their most recent matches—matches considered too close to this event to repeat yet again.
The undercard features enough excitement to captivate audiences, including a six-man tag team match between Sheamus, Randy Orton and Big Show vs. The Shield, and Alberto del Rio vs. Jack Swagger for the World Heavyweight Championship.
All that being said, Punk and Undertaker have the buildup and star power to completely make everyone forget about the rest of the card when they are in the ring.
Don't forget, The Undertaker is a remarkable 20-0 in WrestleMania matches. It's a figure that will be thrown around until the Deadman loses, and one that has been thrown in Punk's face as he tries to contend with the longtime WWE legend in this singles match.
The Paul Bearer storyline has also thrown fuel on the fire for this match.
Punk continues to carry the urn of the late Bearer around to the chagrin of Undertaker, and this clip from Monday Night Raw on March 18 is going to be a big promo for the fight as it inches closer over the next week.
Undertaker got his revenge on March 25, though, attacking Punk and making things personal for both men with bragging rights on the line and Bearer's honor now the main focus of the Deadman's wrath at WrestleMania.
Throw in Punk's absence for the foreseeable future, and the company has to make this send-off something that keeps fans engaged and waiting for his return to live action during the absence.
It's hard to see Punk winning this match, particularly with Bearer's death the main focal point of the feud to this point. However, with Undertaker making his return to the WrestleMania ring in an attempt to reach No. 21 in a row—anything can happen.
Expect that to be the motto in this match.
Who wins this match?
Punk and Undertaker are two very different aspects of the sport. On one hand, the Undertaker's reign in the WWE—particularly WrestleMania—makes him one of the sport's most long-standing stars. He's stood the test of time and has a chance to do so yet again.
With Punk, arguably the company's biggest star over the last year, it's all about setting him up for success in the future. The layoff will help do that in the form of some much-needed time away from the mat, and a loud send-off will do so, too.
Expect this pair to have the most engaging matchup of the current card. Punk's storylines certainly don't need any added boost while he's away, but taking full advantage of the uncertainty of his return with a major shakeup wouldn't be a surprise at all.