Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Case for CM Punk to End Undertaker's Streak

By Andrew Simak

In writing this article, I must preface any and all of my opinions by stating the fact that I have nothing but the highest respect for The Undertaker. The man is a first ballot Hall of Famer, and in my opinion, (just waiting for the dirty replies on this) the true “Mr. Wrestlemania."

If you’re even taking the time to read this, I don’t have to retell the legend that has become known simply as “the streak”: 20 appearances, followed swiftly by twenty victories. On a personal note, I tend to vigorously attempt to rid myself of the years of “the American Bad Ass” gimmick, and thus we should take the streak down a couple notches. But, never the less, still an impressive feat (though it’s written that way).

That being as nice as I can be in regards to the Dead Man, it’s time to voice my real opinion.

I grew up more so a fan of the rival. Every Monday night, a little boy version of myself, eyes glue to the television set, and I’m pretty sure I broke the knob off on channel 46, TNT. It was Monday night, and despite all the cool kids watching the Rattlesnake and the Brahma Bull, I was watching the Wolfpac. Now, the majority of my sports favoritism has always placed in the corner of the underdog.

The name Bill Goldberg comes to mind. You know, the guy that Vince is trying to rip off and build up this Rybak character…I digress…..For those of you who don’t know, Goldberg had quite the impressive undefeated streak (170-0 to begin his career in 1998) and everyone was chanting “goooooooooooollllllllllllllllddddbbbbbbbbbberrrrrrrg”.

In life, all things must come to an end. Insert Kevin Nash, Scot Hall and an infamous cattle prong at Starrcade '98. Just like that, the Cinderella tale was over, the streak died, and Billy G faded away. In the history of wrestling, nothing had ever made me happier. Years later, WCW was bought out by the WWE and I lost interest in the major promotions.

I found myself going from die-hard fan, all the way down the ladder to one the “Easter Sunday Catholics” of professional wrestling. Eventually ECW struck big, and for the first time in a very long time, there was one man, against all odds, that actually learned how to WRESTLE. The Straight Edge Superstar rose to the top. He spent years putting over people, being screwed out of his titles. Despite winning two money in the bank matches, he was figuratively, and literally, punted from major matches (Randy Orton joke, get it?). Yet, he has continued to be (don’t even try and argue this point) the HARDEST working man in the history of the business, capping it off with the most memorable promo in the history of Raw, a sold out home town Chicago crowd, an exit, a reemergence, and a four hundred plus day reign as WWE champion.
This brings us to the present situation. On an enormously stacked card, I feel that this match will get lost amongst the boring matches such as Mark Henry vs Rybak, Chris Jericho having to put over Fandango, and the stupid, and rather boring rematches of The Rock vs Cena: Twice in a life time, and HHH vs Brock Lesnar, an attempt to white wash the painful memory one of the most boring matches in Summerslam history.

The real money grabber on this pay per view, and the only reason I will be tuning in this Sunday, is Taker vs Punk.

“The Legend vs The Future,” as I like to call it. I’ve read article after article, and I’d like to take satisfaction that I can predict any WWE event, move for move might I add, to an astonishing ninety nine percent accuracy (I need a girl friend or better hobbies).

If I wrote this article prior to Raw this week, I would not have to fill my word count with common knowledge background information about Goldberg and the like, but in light of how this “rivalry” has run its course, specifically  the dumping of Paul Bearer’s “ashes” onto the Undertaker, I would simply state the fact that CM Punk will win, however, I don’t see this coming to fruition. I will say that the best outcome of this match would be giving CM Punk not only a win, but a clean win. Being one of the biggest fans of the Second City Savior, I could ramble on and on about how every night he brings new moves to the table, he pays homage to legends such as Randy Savage, and despite being screwed over repeatedly, he has taken the company off the back of Cena and carried his load for the past two years or so.

Nothing (not even Dwayne getting stupid comebacks and winning titles he DOESN’T deserve) bothers me more than how the WWE has treated heal characters over the years. Ziggler, Punk, The Miz, almost 85 percent of their wins (even non-title matches, or against clearly inferior superstars such as Kofey Kingston on RAW) have come by outside interference or screw jobs. The only FAIR thing to do to reward Punk’s hard work, would be to give him a clean win over the Undertaker, he is the only person who can still take the epic push that would follow such a win.

He isn’t even in his prime yet. I could continue for hours about it, but this side of the argument boils down to a few simple facts. What’s the point of a “streak” if it never ends? There is no one who deserves this more than the Straight Edge Superstar, but most important, how long can the Undertaker keep going? The last three or four matches (only occurring on the grandest stage of them all) he’s been out of shape and this year was even a question on if he could compete. Notice the odd lack of physicality on RAW between him and Punk? 20-0 the story of the streak sold millions (and millions) of copies, but who would honestly buy “21-0 the streak continues… barely”?

The streak is a cash cow, but it’s running dry. Ending it now would take every last nickel and dime out of it before the Undertaker’s career is actually resting in peace. Think of the rehashed DVD sales for 20-1. The tshirts with 20-(cm punks fist with an x on it) The list goes on and on, but dreams are for rookies, and luck is for losers. The only realistic outcome of this match is Vince giving the win to Taker, I just hope it’s not a repeat of their Hell In a Cell match from years ago. Look for Punk to do the heavy lifting, in an oddly short match, with him inevitably losing.