April 4, 2013
WrestleMania Predictions: The Undertaker vs. CM Punk
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff
The feud between The Undertaker vs. CM Punk was the focus as Monday Night Raw went off the air this week, so it is the focus of SLAM! Wrestling's first of three previews for WrestleMania 29.
The background of this feud has been building for a while. It's hardly the first time they have fought, as they were regular combatants a few years back on Smackdown when Punk was more of the evil cult leader than the "Best in the World" that few can deny he is now. Quite simply, he IS the best and while he has been off injured, letting some aches and pains heal, Punk is at the top of his game -- and probably only heading higher. Adding Paul Heyman is like icing on the ice cream, unnecessary, but it makes it all that much sweeter.
As for The Undertaker, he's decidedly at the end of his career. His record is incredible, even without the perfect 20-0 at WrestleManias through the years. But he only works a very dates every year, which has to get harder and harder as he ages.
Then to add to the storyline, The Undertaker's long-time manager, Paul Bearer (William Moody) passes suddenly on March 5th. Naturally, this being pro wrestling, his death is used to further the storyline.
So, what will happen?
JON WALDMAN: I can't help but wonder if this match would be as intense if Bearer didn't pass away and gift WWE a wicked storyline. By right, this should close the show with 'Taker winning with the Gogoplata. Imagine the final image of 'Mania being Undertaker in his classic pose with a ghosted image of Bearer sprawled across the ring, as the Deadman avenges all the wrongdoings by Punk over the last couple weeks.
DALE PLUMMER: Punk is doing everything he can to get under Takerís skin, and it might work. I can see Punk winning with interference, or count out, or Taker getting DQíed, but Punk will pay dearly for the win. Taker will take the loss and end the streak, but Punk will get beaten within an inch of his life. And Paul Heyman may get his too; Triple H all ready got his hand on Paul, now itís the Undertakerís turn. WWE has already put out the 20-0 DVD set, itís not like they were going to churn out a 21-0 set.
MATTHEW ASHER: With everything Punk has done regarding the urn, no way Taker will let him win. Punk will be in control of the match much like Triple H in WM 27, but as he prepares to deliver the Anaconda Vice (he still uses this right?) Taker will lock in Hell's Gate. CM won't tap out, but he'll be rendered unconscious. This does two things: it keeps the streak alive at 21 but CM would be the first person to not be pinned/tap out against Taker (not including WM 9).
NOLAN HOWELL: This match is intriguing on so many levels, especially after the fire-hot build. I am of the opinion that making your current top dogs lose to a decrepit legend like Undertaker sets a bad tone for your product and that the current crop will never measure up to the old guard. I would like to see Punk end "The Streak" here, but I know better and expect to see The Undertaker go to 21-0.
MATTHEW BYER: This is another match where there are question marks because of ring rust due to The Undertaker not having wrestled since Wrestlemania 28. However, unlike the The Rock/Cena match the buildup has been excellent and should hopefully produce the best match on the card due to the abilities of CM Punk. Is there any doubt about the outcome? 21-0 for The Deadman, but I'll go out on a limb and say he wins by disqualification.
GREG OLIVER: With the advantage of seeing everyone else's predictions, I guess somebody has to decisively pick Punk. So I will. Why not? I'll argue that 20-1 is still pretty damn impressive. Punk gets the rocket strapped to his back and becomes the industry's top star for a couple more years. They just need to make sure to do it clean, no gimmicks, no run-ins -- just two top stars battling it out to the finish. And man, what a finish it'll be!