This past Monday night on RAW many fans – myself included – expected to see the return of the one and only wrestling phenomenon The Undertaker to set up his much talked about Wrestlemania 29 match with CM Punk. It didn’t happen. Instead Punk was somehow thrust into possible WWE title contention at the huge PPV by goading Royal Rumble winner John Cena into putting his number one contender status on the line next week on RAW. This leaves us in an interesting position going forward in that WWE seemingly has no plans for it’s resident Dead Man, but is that actually the case?
Two weeks ago The Undertaker was spotted at a Predator’s NHL game in Nashville which just so happened to be the location of that night’s episode of Monday Night RAW which instantly set the internet ablaze with speculation and rumour that he would be making his surprise return. It later came to light that Mark Callaway, the man behind the Undertaker gimmick, was in Nashville to meet with Triple H and Vince McMahon to discuss his future with the company. Stories began to circulate that he was demanding too much money and that he wasn’t happy playing second fiddle to The Rock and John Cena and even Triple H and Brock Lesnar. A picture was painted of a grizzly veteran pissed off with the idea of facing perhaps the hottest talent in the company and receiving a lower billing on the card than 2 part timers. No word was ever leaked from that meeting and so the Internet Wrestling Community continued to speculate as to what might happen next.
Cut to this week’s RAW and WWE seemingly planted the seeds for CM Punk to be included in the Wrestlemania 29 main event. Let’s face it he’s more deserving of the spot than The Rock is and a John Cena Vs CM Punk match at the biggest PPV of the year would be this generation’s Hulk Hogan Vs ‘The Macho Man’ Randy Savage from Wrestlemania 5. However despite all this I am still confident that the WWE will go with an Undertaker/Punk contest.
With over six weeks left until the PPV WWE has loads of time to build something for Punk to try and end ‘The Streak’. All it took for Triple H and Undertaker the first time around was a silent face off in the ring and a nod toward the Wrestlemania banner hanging from the rafters. It’s that easy. They tried to recreate that last year with less success so it wouldn’t make sense for them to go that way again so here’s how I see it happening. John Cena and CM Punk have an exciting, competitive and near fall filled match on next week’s RAW to determine who will face The Rock. For added effect stick Rocky on commentary. After maybe 15-20 minutes Cena hits an FU/Attitude Adjustment and gets the win guaranteeing himself a spot at ‘Mania. As he begins to celebrate the light’s go out. The commentators remind the fans at home that The Shield are in the building and have been working with Punk and Paul Heyman in the past so a beat down is coming for Super Cena. When the lights go back up though it isn’t The Shield beating down Cena it’s a shocked CM Punk standing face to face with The Undertaker. And thus a ‘Mania worthy feud begins to take shape.
It’s obvious The Undertaker is not in the shape he once was and no amount of time off is ever going to get him back to where he was. He’s a part time performer out of necessity not because he wants to be so holding off a year to keep him fresh for the 30th anniversary of Wrestlemania doesn’t guarantee he’ll be able to perform when 2014 comes around. WWE needs to strike while the iron’s hot so-to-speak and book ‘Taker in a match while he can definitely still go. It’s practically a given that a match against Punk will be 5 star and a potential show stealer and that Undertaker will give it his all no matter how banged up he is and how much pain he is in. And if there really is a money issue I’m sure ‘Taker has earned the right to demand that big pay out by now.
I’d suggest that WWE puts the ball in motion this coming Monday or it may be too late and where’s that leave us? Cena/Punk/Rock triple threat or worse – no match for the Best in the World on the grandest stage of them all?
The clock’s ticking Vince.
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This article was first posted on February 22, 2013