Breaking Down WWE's Rumored WrestleMania Plans Following CM Punk's Departure

David BixenspanFeatured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2014

CM Punk vs The Undertaker at WrestleMania 29.
CM Punk vs The Undertaker at WrestleMania 29.Associated Press

Last week, WWE was shaken up a lot by the fan base's complete and utter rejection of the company's creative direction at the Royal Rumble and again by CM Punk walking out on the company half an hour before Raw went on the air.  

As I discussed last week, it seems clear, both using common sense and following the rumor mill, that Daniel Bryan is replacing CM Punk as Triple H's WrestleMania opponent.  It's the silver lining to Punk's departure, as Bryan vs The Authority is a much hotter issue with the fans than Punk's more recent battles with them have been.

Today, it looks like there may be more changes in store for WrestleMania, as Mike Johnson is reporting at (h/t that much of the card may be thrown out.  As of right now, the only match considered a lock is John Cena vs Bray Wyatt.

It was specified that changing Brock Lesnar's match had been heavily discussed.  The original direction was likely The Rock vs Brock Lesnar, but that was tabled when Rock was badly injured in last years's WrestleMania main event against John Cena.  The Rock even confirmed on his Twitter account that this had been the plan: 

Between Vince, Brock & myself our Wrestlemania 30 plan was ROCK vs BROCK. No plans now for 30 but possibly WM 31. #RockTalk @_JordanMayoral

— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) December 31, 2013

Since then, Lesnar vs The Undertaker had been penciled in.  While not quite as hot a match as it would have been a few years ago, it's still one of Lesnar's biggest potential matches stemming from an encounter between the two immediately after Lesnar's October 23, 2010 UFC Heavyweight Championship loss to Cain Velasquez.

Johnson's report mentions Lesnar vs Batista as a possibility.  I think that's a great idea, as they haven't wrestled each other since they were first called up from the developmental program in 2002.  If Batista can work his cardio back up so he can keep up with Lesnar, he's a huge monster who can go toe for toe with Lesnar with mixed martial arts-inspired spots, as Batista trains heavily in Brazillian jiu jitsu and had a professional MMA fight during his time away from wrestling.

If Batista vs Lesnar were to happen, it would be a title match unless Batista puts his shot on the line in the interim.  If that doesn't happen, it makes sense that Lesnar would injure Christian to take his spot in the Elimination Chamber to win the WWE Championship.

While Cena vs Wyatt is apparently still in the cards, I'd rather see Cena vs Undertaker.  Undertaker is pretty clearly more broken down each year and on borrowed time, but they haven't done this match at WrestleMania.  They haven't even wrestled each other since Cena became WWE's biggest star in 2005.  The crowd reaction would be insane, the match would be great, and Cena is an opponent who is believable as a threat to the Undertaker's WrestleMania undefeated streak.

If it can't be Cena, and Lesnar is moved to face Batista, then most of the obvious opponents are all taken, as is a potential dark horse in Wyatt.  Sheamus would be a fresh opponent and he appears to be free right now, but he would be the weakest threat to the streak since it became a major component of WrestleMania.  Roman Reigns would likely make the most sense: Even if he's not ending the streak, he can gain the most in losing and is probably the best non-Lesnar opponent in terms of being a physical threat.

How would you book the show?  If the rumored lineup changes are true, who is the best remaining opponent for Undertaker?  Let us know in the comments.

David Bixenspan has been Bleacher Report's WWE Team Leader and a contracted columnist since 2011 and is now part of the team putting together Figure 4 Weekly, available to subscribers along with other content including the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and variety of audio shows.  His article about WWE's 1984 expansion from regional powerhouse to national juggernaut is featured in the newly released issue #102 of Fighting Spirit Magazine, available worldwide online and in print in the UK.  You can follow him on Twitter @davidbix and check out his wrestling podcasts at