If there was any question about CM Punk and his performance in the ring against The Undertaker, it has been answered the past few weeks with his performance on the microphone.
With WrestleMania only eight days away, Punk could be (next to Shawn Michaels) 'Taker's greatest opponent and the biggest threat to "The Streak."
And for those reasons alone, he will prove once again how great he is in the ring and on wrestling's grandest stage. While Punk has been shoved to the side of the WWE Title picture for the moment, there is no doubt the title he held for more than a year will be his once again after he wrestles it from John Cena's hands.
But first, he must contend with The Dead Man and the issues surrounding not only The Streak, but also how Paul Bearer's death is being used as a sidebar to all of the shenanigans that come with a date in New Jersey.
And it is the sidebar that has allowed us to see Punk as more of the menace than we thought he was. How could this "evil" heel battle in one match and come out smelling like a rose? That's easy to answer. He does not have to win. He does not have to be "the one." He does not have to end greatness. He just needs to add to it.
And before we go any further, please understand this is not written because I am a CM Punk mark. I see things for what they are and can get behind anyone who fills this position. But honestly, the greatest thing to happen to this match is the passing of Bearer and the fact that Punk is using (with the permission of William Moody's family) the urn and the storyline to make it better.
Had Paul Bearer been in the picture and in New Jersey, this would be a good story, but a rushed story, and something we would talk about under the assumption of The Undertaker winning again. Now, everything is changed. We see the psychology of it all. We see Punk using the urn, talking trash, being meaner than usual. It's perfect.
Wrestling matches are just that, matches. I almost wish there was a way to have made this match more dynamic for a longer period of time—that would have gotten more fan reaction and we would have seen the true genius of Punk.
This match is now not about Undertaker and 20-0. It is more about Punk and whether or not he can eclipse greatness.
That is why he will shine brighter than ever in eight days in New Jersey.