In one of the most highly anticipated matches of the year, The Undertaker put his WrestleMania record of 20-0 against CM Punk. With tensions high and the potential for legends to be made, we were not let down.
So how did it all transpire?
Entering this match, the Undertaker and Punk had engaged in a personal feud that saw the latter make a mockery of Paul Bearer's passing. Between pouring an urn full of ashes onto Taker to impersonating Bearer, there was no shortage of controversy.
And it all leads to this.
This match started with Living Colour performing "Cult of Personality" as CM Punk made his way down to the ring. With Paul Heyman trailing and holding an urn in hand, Punk arrogantly marched down to a split of deafening boos and powerful cheers.
Not to be outdone with an entrance, The Undertaker made his way out in typically legendary fashion. With the lights down low and the possessed eyes below his signature hat, Taker marched just as confidently.
Taker wasted no time in taking the action to the ring.
The two traded blows, with Punk eventually rolling out of the ring to avoid further contact. Just as Taker rolled back into the ring, the action really began as he took it to Punk.
Just as Taker made it to the top rope for Old School, however, Punk countered with a deep arm drag to send him crashing to the mat.
From there, Punk took control of the match with a series of shoulder-weakening blows. After wearing him down, Punk brought the crowd to their feet with his version of Old School—a move that he converted and nearly won the match with.
The action continued both inside and outside of the ring, as Punk rocked Taker with a series of kicks and minor submission holds. Punk nearly put this one away, but Taker refused to lose.
After Punk botched a second attempt at Old School, Taker took back control—temporarily. With Heyman distracting him from ringside, Punk battled back with a Springboard Clothesline for yet another near-fall.
Not even a running high knee and flying elbow drop could decide this one.
Undertaker would battle back, taking it to Punk and eventually planting him into the mat with a Choke Slam. The two proceeded to trade heavy right hands and forearm smashes, only for Undertaker to take advantage and shove Punk into the corner.
After nailing Snake Eyes, the Undertaker ran the ropes and attempted his signature running Big Boot. Unfortunately, Punk was on the other end with a jumping heel kick to take him down.
As the action spilled outside, Undertaker took back control and focused on the announcer's table. He pulled Punk in, lifted him up for the Last Ride and looked to slam him through the table.
Unfortunately, Punk got free and kicked Taker right in the head. With Undertaker down and out, Punk hit the ring and climbed onto the top rope.
Although the table didn't break, Punk did connect with a gorgeous flying elbow drop.
Just before the count could reach 10, Taker rolled back into the ring.
Just as Punk attempted to cover Undertaker, however, he was caught in Hell's Gate! Punk craftily reversed it into a pin count, but one again, he was unable to garner the three-count.
Just like that, Undertaker had Punk up for the Tombstone and planted him on his head. With a chorus of cheers behind him, Taker covered Punk for the one...two...
Taker looked to put it away with a series of other moves, including a Chokeslam and Last Ride. Just as he attempted to perform the latter move, however, Punk clocked him across the back with the urn.
Punk proceeded to cover Taker with his signature cross-arm pin for the one...two...No.
Punk's arrogance continued, as he performed Undertaker's throat slashing taunt. Unfortunately, Taker was prepared for the Go To Sleep attempts and reversed one of them into a Tombstone Piledriver!
Review and Highlights
As one might expect, the Twittersphere erupted at each and every turn. Perhaps no part of the match garnered as much attention as the elbow drop that didn't break the announcer's table.
An extraordinarily dangerous moment.
Marissa Laiman @AlLaimanLOP
The table didn't break! That was cringe-worthy! The fact that he is moving at all is a feat in and of itself!2013-4-8 01:16:03
Indeed it was.
The action continued, with twists and turns coming at every moment. As ESPN boxing expert Dan Rafael illustrated, no one expected Punk to kick out of the first Tombstone Piledriver he received.
Dan Rafael @danrafaelespn
Punk imitates Taker throat slash and winds up in massive tombstone! #WrestleMania2013-4-8 01:22:15
Shockingly, it happened.
The action didn't stop there, as Punk continued to imitate Taker and enrage the legend. That didn't end well for Punk, though, as Undertaker eventually made him pay.
For the 21st time, we saw the same thing.
WWE Publishing @WWEpublishing
21-0. #NothingElseToSay #WrestleMania http://t.co/V5GmyQ7S0g2013-4-8 01:25:10
That's just the way it always seems to go.
When it was all said and done, the world had but one response to what had transpired. That, of course, was that the streak was alive and well.
The legend lives on.