Mike Shannon – CM Punk vs. the Undertaker Should Happen at WrestleMania
I think we are all in agreement that CM Punk is on a hot streak as a performer. Sure, he might not always be thrown into the best situations storyline-wise, but his mic work is awesome and Punk has been bringing it in the work rate department for well over a year.
CM Punk is headed toward a showdown at Royal Rumble with the Rock, which means the buildup promos should be fantastic and the match itself should hover around four stars. The Rock is rumored to be taking the WWE title from CM Punk and prepare for a WrestleMania rematch against his nemesis, John Cena, where, presumably, Cena will recapture the belt and make the wrestling world right again.
However, that’s exactly the opposite of what I would do.
If I were booking WWE (and no, I don’t want that job), I would have the Rock do what he does best: make other talent look like a million dollars. I would have the Rock and CM Punk go toe-to-toe for 20 minutes in the main event of the Rumble before Punk squeaks out a narrow victory and retains the title.
Listen, the Rock is a superstar, and not just in WWE’s sense of the world, but a legitimate Hollywood star who happens to excel at professional wrestling. A loss to CM Punk is certainly not going to diminish the Rock’s star power or how over he is; the Rock has already cemented his legacy as a gigantic star for the rest of his career. Punk, though, would be instantly hated that much more and would have even more credibility heading into the Road to WrestleMania.
Picture this: CM Punk and Paul Heyman stand triumphantly in the middle of the ring on Raw the night after the Royal Rumble proclaiming Punk the greatest WWE champion of all time. Punk could brag how he’s beaten the Rock, John Cena, Sheamus and everyone else who matters in WWE. Heyman could say how Punk might not even wrestle at WrestleMania because there is no one left to beat.
Then, the gong hits.
Trust me, the crowd would go absolutely insane, and Punk would sell Undertaker’s return as if the Devil himself was walking through the curtain. Instantly, you have a main event where people genuinely have doubt on both sides.
Can CM Punk finally end The Streak? Will an aging Undertaker actually win the WWE World Title on the biggest stage of them all?
WWE shoud build around the streaks of each guy, too. Place the buildup of the Undertaker’s 20-0 WrestleMania record against CM Punk’s 500-plus days as WWE champion.
Sure, people would be 99.9 percent sure that Undertaker would win (just like they were last year against Triple H). However, wrestling is all about that one percent. You might think you know what’s going to happen, but that one little percentage point is what keeps you hooked on a match.
The Undertaker is definitely nearing the end of the road as a wrestler and might only have one or two more big matches left in him. Well, what better way to utilize the Undertaker than to feature him in the main event one last time before putting someone else over and heading into the sunset?
I can already hear the criticism: “Well, Undertaker isn’t even a full-time wrestler! Haven’t you always said that part-timers can’t be champion?” Well, they can be champion if it’s booked properly. Booking a card of CM Punk vs. Undertaker, Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena and The Rock against someone like Daniel Bryan is much better than placing all the part-timers against each other.
Why? Because then you’re placing your current roster on the same level as the superstars of the past. Was Undertaker vs. Triple H a fantastic match? Absolutely it was, but did it really help the promotion at all? Immediately after the match, both guys were back on the sidelines and the current workers were left to try to live up to their level.
Instead, why not pair each part-timer up against a current wrestler so that the audience will at least start to buy the present-day wrestlers as being equal to the Attitude Era guys? You have to eventually start giving rubs to someone other than John Cena to make sure this new crop of talent is ready to carry the ball once the Attitude Era wrestlers can’t come back any longer.