WrestleMania XXIX: What If Undertaker vs. CM Punk Had Been for the Title?
This is it, folks.
The night of all night has finally arrived, and with that, the seemingly biggest card in WWE history.
Let's face it, with Brock Lesnar, Triple H and The Rock all in their own matches along with greats like CM Punk and John Cena, the odds of topping that are very difficult to conceive.
WrestleMania is about grandeur, the spectacle andm of course, the money.
It's no wonder why this company went ahead and made Rock vs. Cena II as the main event, and this time, the championship will be defended.
Their rivalry has been the subject of much media attention. Last year's match ended with a clean and decisive victory for the Great One, sending Superman into a self-dubbed downward spiral, seeking redemption.
It will all unravel tonight, and some seeds for next year may be planted as the titans clash on the grandest stage of them all.
But what if? What if history took on another path? One that would have resolved not at WrestleMania 29 but at WrestleMania 30.
What if it were CM Punk who defended his coveted Championship against the most powerful force in WWE, The Undertaker?
CM Punk as the Best in the World
CM Punk has been WWE Championship for over 400 days, longer than any man in the last two decades.
Whether using questionable tactics or not, he managed to defeat every challenger put in his way. This feat alone should have landed him in the main event of WrestleMania this year.
Royal Rumble 2013 comes along, and so does The Rock.
There is an incredible story built around them, the animosity is genuine, and CM Punk further claims to be the best in the world by comparing himself to God. As blasphemous as that is, it works.
The match happens, and instead of Rock winning, Punk manages to capitalize on some sort of mistake and pins the Great One's shoulders to the mat for the three-count.
Your winner and still WWE Champion: CM Punk.
Meanwhile...John Cena wins the Royal Rumble match.
At Raw the next night, out comes the champion along with manager Paul Heyman to the ring with a huge smile on his face.
They immediately rub it in everyone's faces and declare that, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the Straight-Edge Superstar is the greatest Icon in the universe, the best in the world and so on and so on.
On paper, it looks good. Who will challenge him next? He has faced the top guys and lived to tell of it.
But wait! Mr. McMahon starts messing with Punk soon after.
Elimination Chamber 2013: Is It Punk vs. Rock vs. Cena or What?
Vince McMahon is a mastermind.
Nothing ever escapes his attention, and when Superstars dare to challenge his authority, he gets even.
CM Punk has been a thorn in his side for a long time, and yet, Vince can't really do much to stop him, seeing that he is the Champion. Screwing him out of the title would serve no purpose—this isn't 1997.
After a heated exchange between Punk, Heyman, McMahon and a determined Cena, the Rock's music plays, and out comes the People's Champion.
The crowd is at the edge of their feet as all parties deliver some of the best promos in history, setting up a nice triangle of power between CM Punk, John Cena and The Rock.
It could have gone either way: Rock vs. Punk II or a Triple Threat match between them and John Cena, who is still penciled in as the challenger for the championship at Mania because of his RR win.
This throws in a strange dynamic on the situation because nothing is set in stone yet. It would all be up in the air. No one can safely assume that the company is gearing towards Rock vs. Cena II yet.
Punk Wins and Retains Again!
Elimination Chamber finally comes, and there you have CM Punk defending his title against both The Rock and John Cena (it ends up being that seeing how it can never happen again afterwards).
Has there been a bigger match in company history so far? That is debatable, but with the star power and ring mastery of all three participants, the match exceeds expectations and has the crowd fired up for the entire 30 minutes of intense action.
In the end, it is pride, anger or frustration on the part of Rock or Cena that allows for CM Punk to pin the shoulders of his opponents and walk out still holding up the championship proudly.
Someone cost someone the match, and the champion laughs his way into the history books as he passes the 500-day mark in his reign.
What does it mean for all parties involved? Who is going to be doing what at WrestleMania XXIX?
The next night on Raw, John Cena officially announces he is going after Punk on April 7 and vows to regain the title that has eluded him for so long.
He also makes an emotional speech about redemption and how beating the Straightedge Superstar will healing his broken soul, blah blah blah.
The Rock interrupts and faces his nemesis one more time. They go around in circles pointing fingers, and at every turn, one's words spite the other more and more.
John Cena has never forgotten how The Rock beat him the year before and is faced with a career-altering choice: face CM Punk for the WWE Championship or face The Rock in an attempt to rise above his failure.
Both scenarios involve redemption.
Behind the scenes...the WWE Champion laughs. Getting rid of two birds with one stone, he thinks.
The Road to WrestleMania Heats Up
There is no denying this possibility would have shocked the course of WWE history for years to come.
You have on one hand a performer (Punk) who has marked history by becoming one of the most talented, devious and manipulative champions of all time.
The Rock is one of the biggest movie stars and one of the most beloved characters in the company. His name resounds with greatness, and having him around is pure gold.
John Cena is the face of the WWE: the centerpiece of this business and the one who has the most important decision to make regarding his future.
He chooses to face The Rock, and at that moment, the Universe and McMahon gets their Rock vs. Cena II at WrestleMania XXIX.
It is just as impressive as the real-life match occurring tonight because the buildup and the stakes are just as high. There is real hatred now. For both Rock and Cena, a win is of most importance. One has to bury the other.
This somehow leaves Punk without a challenger. That is where the real story begins.
Punk Is God?
"I am the best in the world, the greatest of all time and the most powerful force in the universe," claims CM Punk
He goes on to say, "I will surpass all others and remain champion for years, not even death can release me" (or something like that).
The lights go out and GONG!
Finally, finally! The crowd stands on their feet, and the hairs on their body all stand up at once.
The man from the dark side makes his long-awaited return to WWE, fed up with CM Punk and his claims at being God or whatever force he desires.
They face off. Undertaker declares that, while Punk is the champion after beating both Rock and Cena, he has never beaten him nor has he held a record as impressive as the WrestleMania streak.
Pointing at the sign and holding up his title, CM Punk smiles, but that smile is met with an immediate throat-slashing gesture by the Phenom as the challenge is set.
The main event of WrestleMania XXIX pits the longest-reigning WWE Champion in modern history, CM Punk a.k.a the Best in the World versus the Phenom, the lord of darkness himself, The Undertaker.
Title for Streak, never to happen again.
Title for Streak
In the past, there have been some matches involving The Undertaker' Streak and a WWE or World Heavyweight Championship.
Sycho Sid, Edge, Batista...all were champions coming into the match, but every single one of them fell to the power of Undertaker and his devastating "Tombstone" piledriver.
This year would have been somewhat different, however, seeing that CM Punk is the top Superstar in the company (in this story) and has yet to be defeated.
The Streak has been the hottest commodity in professional wrestling for years and has come to be as valuable as the WWE Championship itself.
To place all these elements in the same place and at the same time is a stroke of genius and something that may never happen again, given the Undertaker's age and health.
He will quit when he decides to, but facts are facts: There aren't endless years left in his awesome career.
If done properly, most definitely this match would have eclipsed all others on the card for the stakes would never have been so high.
Both performers have mastered their craft and the verbal exchanges could have been phenomenal. Like Cena vs. Rock, both the Phenom and the Straightedge Superstar would have attempted to one-up each other until it got personal.
Fate unfortunately had Paul Bearer pass away recently, and no one will ever know how his involvement would have affected this amazing story. But the pure magic that this program represents is far more impressive than any Triple H career match or "Twice In A Lifetime" rematch.
It's Undertaker, the Streak, the title and Punk for heaven's sake!
Match of the Year 2013
That fateful day, April 7, 2013 finally comes, as does WrestleMania XXIX.
WWE Champion CM Punk and The Undertaker make their way to the ring and receive the introductions they deserve.
Each is outfitted properly to match the greatness of their program, of course.
The mind games already begin as the champion gets into Taker's face and smiles while kissing his title belt.
You have kissed it goodbye, Punk.
Despite the valiant effort and the "Match of the Year" quality battle, CM Punk finally falls prey to the more-than-once "Tombstone" delivered by the Phenom.
No one can stop The Streak in reality. Everyone should know this fact by now.
This match would have overshadowed all other on the card and put both participants to the test in terms of outdoing any previous performance in their respective careers, not to mention restore any lost credibility or prestige the WWE Championship may have lost over the last decade.
If anybody has put value into this belt lately, it was CM Punk. That would have been the right way to end his reign.
In the end, he could have looked back and said, "I did lose the match, but it was to Taker and we closed the show together."
Now that is class!
The Outcome and What It Means
After all of this, after all of the fire and destruction, WrestleMania XXIX passes and leaves a mark forever.
That championship, coveted by all, is soon vacated by Undertaker the next night as another blow to CM Punk's pride.
He states that while it is an honor to carry it, the Phenom has evolved past objects of the mortal realm (or something like that) and decides to relinquish his hold on the title so that another great somehow finds his way to it.
A tournament would be organized shortly after. The new champion and redesigned title belt to be revealed only at SummerSlam this year.
Some way, some how, WWE decides to prepare the universe for WrestleMania XXX and instantly decides on making The Undertaker vs. John Cena a thing to come. Planning it a year in advance as with the "Once In A Lifetime" match.
There are many ways to go from here, but ultimately, next year's edition should be the best one yet. Thirty years is a very big deal and must be met with such awesomeness the likes the world has never seen before.
In New Orleans next year, what if the card looks a little bit like this:
Undertaker vs. John Cena
Brock Lesnar vs. The Rock
And, keeping fingers crossed...
CM Punk vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
Makes you wonder now, doesn't it? What if Undertaker had taken on Punk for the championship?