A Breath of Dead Air? Undertaker Vs. CM Punk
CM Punk is coming off a tremendous feud with "The Charismatic Enigma" Jeff Hardy, which I rated in my previous article, and it looks the WWE Universe is now going to be treated to a CM Punk/Undertaker feud.
CM Punk is currently at the top of the heap on Smackdown and in recent months due to his rivalry with Hardy he has transformed into a great heel. CM Punk became over-confident, self-righteous, preachy, but he is also cynical and ruthless.
After a three-month back and forth title chase with Hardy, which was entertaining while it lasted, I for one welcome the changing landscape of Smackdown with the return of The Undertaker after a five-month absence since Wrestlemania 25.
Undertaker's shocking return at Summerslam after the TLC Match between Punk and Hardy, ironically and literally taking Hardy's place on the canvas from underneath Punk who was standing over his fallen foe.
Then it happened; the crowd lit up with joy as the lights went out and Undertaker's trademark "gong" hit, CM Punk looked flustered and pain-stricken, the lights came back on shortly and The Undertaker was nowhere in sight, for the moment a sigh of relief sprang on his face and demeanor until he looked back down at who he thought was Hardy—hell I didn't even notice it was Undertaker right away either.
My mind was already rushing with ideas of possible encounters between The Straight-Edged Superstar and The Phenom, a match at WWE Breaking Point, rematches on subsequent Smackdowns, creating more heat and further developing their storyline until maybe dare I say a Hell in the Cell match down the line?
Most importantly for me, it's a breath of fresh air (my title is an ironic wordplay in reference to the Undertaker as "The Deadman"). It's a welcomed change from the Hardy/Punk storyline.
While very entertaining; when you mix Jeff's high flying daredevil antics, and Punk's promos, quick feet and his innovative ring versatility, I was starting to get tired of seeing the same two guys fill up Smackdown's main event scene since Wrestlemania (Hardy has headlined almost every PPV since Wrestlemania, and Punk was involved in the last four PPVs starting with WWE Extreme Rules when he cashed in his MITB contract).
Better yet, it's a great way to bring back The Undertaker who might be rumored to retire at next year's Wrestlemania, and it might mean a possible final World Heavyweight Championship run for a man who's been with the company for close to 20 years.
WWE's creative team has a chance to make something very special here if they don't drop the ball.
I mean come on. You have the ring savvy of both men, Punk's incredible heat from the Hardy feud, The Undertaker's amazing theatrics and you have matches that will produce instant classics as long as they don't make illogical swerves or end the feud before it has matured.
If done correctly, it will prove to everyone that The Undertaker still has it prior and leading up to his retirement, and that CM Punk can run with the big dogs, but in the end this feud essentially will be more about putting CM Punk over.
Just like Undertaker did for Randy Orton a few years back, or what he tried to do for Mr. Kennedy, or last year's Jeff Hardy/ Undertaker classics. Whoever the competitor The Undertaker has always been able to put new stars over with the fans, and is great at selling those matches—remember his clashes with Vladimir Kozlov (I don't particularly like Kozlov but The Undertaker made him look "that good").
Fact of the matter is if you want respect as a main-eventer from the WWE Universe, especially for up and coming wrestlers who are upgrading from the mid-card status you need "beat the top dog in the yard", and Smackdown is as The Undertaker would say "his yard".
All in all, I'm looking forward to it and see how it plays out, so tune into Friday Night Smackdown if you want to see the best thing going today in sports entertainment.
Here is a link to my previous article which I mentioned above, "Under The Microscope: Rating The CM Punk/ Jeff Hardy Feud"
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