Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Best in the Netherworld

The Undertaker vs. CM Punk. The Streak vs. The Really Long Title Reign.

Oddly, I've been seeing a lot of whining about this match. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised, it's the internet, it's what it's there for, but what exactly is the problem, there's no story? Who cares? It's CM Punk vs. The Undertaker. There, I sold the the match for you.

I've seen others throw out the idea that five weeks isn't enough time to build the match and it needs a larger arbitrary number behind it, as if six or seven weeks would somehow put the match higher on the marquee. Again, it's CM Punk vs. The Undertaker, what more do you need?

"Aw man, this porno has no story." It's two people fucking on camera, what more do you need?!

The Fatal 4-Way on Monday's Raw (not the one in the porn I just referenced) was already too much story for this match, it didn't need Orton, Sheamus and Show getting involved. Just have Punk come out and say, "Oh I don't get to defend my title at WrestleMania, so I'll do you one better, I'll beat The Streak." Boom, done. That's not to say Punk and Taker can't exchange words or be framed just perfectly in the WrestleMania sign between now and April 7, but this isn't the next season of Justified, folks. We don't need a bunch of twists, turns, back-stabbings and shenanigans to sell something that sells itself: CM Punk vs. The Undertaker.

My only reservation is the two didn't exactly set the world on fire when they met a couple times in 2009, but Taker was working hurt (more so than usual) and Punk was still finding his footing as a top tier guy, so I don't think it's a fair comparison. Now we're talking about the Best in the World standing across the ring from The Goddamn Undertaker... at WrestleMania. Smirk if you want, but that means something and I imagine it means a lot to the two guys who will be in said ring, so I expect a much different match than what we saw at Breaking Point (lol) 2009.

I know a lot of people are bummed that CM Punk had to drop his title to an ACTOR and see this as some sort of consolation prize, but at this point, losing to The Undertaker at WrestleMania is a bigger deal than winning the WWE Title match. That's not to belittle the WWE Championship - although it has been relegated to the best supporting actor category in recent years, and when it's not, the match turns out disappointing - but The Streak is bigger than any belt. You might not think that's a good thing, but it is the reality of the situation. I'm not sure when you would pinpoint the moment The Streak became a thing, I think they reference it as far back as WrestleMania 11, but I'd say WrestleMania 14 or 17 is when you look back and say, "okay, this is something special." Sure, there have been duds along the way, ("just wait back here, Nathan Jones"), but since his return as The Deadman, the Streak match has become a major deal (and WM22 is criminally underrated).

And the clock is ticking on it. There are going to be WrestleMania main events as long as there's a WWE, but how many more Undertaker matches are we going to see? I'd be genuinely shocked if WrestleMania 30 wasn't the last go around, so why wouldn't a CM Punk fan want to see him in perhaps the penultimate Undertaker match?

"Oh but you know he's going to lose." So? You knew Shawn Michaels and Triple H were going to lose over the last four years too, didn't make the matches any less amazing or dramatic. And out of the WWE roster, CM Punk is the only guy besides John Cena who is even conceivably in the realm of possibly ending The Streak. If you want a believable match, Punk's your only option this year, and I personally guarantee at least one moment that gives you heart palpitations.

Sometimes we wrestling fans tend to over-think things and worrying about this match (and going into great detail explaining why that's silly) is a good example. Let yourself have fun once in awhile; sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and sometimes it's just CM Punk vs. The Goddamn Undertaker.

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