As WWE WrestleMania 29 gets closer, the chances of The Undertaker defending the streak appear to be more in question. A new report indicates that the Dead Man may not only miss this year’s event, but could have wrestled his last WrestleMania ever last year.
Dave Meltzer breaks down the rumor in the latest edition of The Wrestling Observer newsletter. According to Meltzer, The Undertaker is so banged up that he may not be able to perform at his desired level for WrestleMania. Meltzer speculated that The Undertaker has set such a high bar in recent years that the bar may be too high for him at this point in his career.
“He could always come back for the pay day and fake his way through it, but wants to be able to give a WrestleMania performance and if he is done, last year is the kind of performance he could go out with.”
The working plan was for a big CM Punk vs. The Undertaker match. The absence of The Undertaker would be a huge blow to the show and Punk. Punk is at an interesting crossroads after 434 days as champion. He needs to be kept strong and a match with the Dead Man win or lose would have put him in one of the top spots on what could be the biggest event in WWE history. The depth of opponents changes drastically once you take the streak out of the mix.
Ryback would probably be the option that not only makes the most sense, but is best for the future. Ryback needs a strong spot to continue the momentum he has built up over the last few months. A planned match with Chris Jericho is nice, but it wouldn’t be the same as Punk. Plus, these guys already have an issue. Their feud has never been settled and it would help everyone for Ryback to get the win over Punk on the biggest stage of the year.
Jericho is another intriguing name. Jericho and Punk have tremendous chemistry as evident by their series last year. The feud would have a new spin on it with Jericho as the babyface and Punk as the heel. It is a bit of a waste of Jericho to bring him back and put him right back where he was last year. However, fans are familiar with their rivalry and would be comfortable knowing they are going to see a heck of a match from these two.
Daniel Bryan is another intriguing option. Punk and Bryan have had a handful of very good to excellent matches over the last year or so. I am sure these two would chomp at the bit to wrestle one another on such a big stage. The only drawback here is that Bryan has been turned into such a comedy figure over the last few months, I think it would almost be a comedown for Punk to wrestle Bryan at this point.
I think one of the more logical options from a storyline point of view is changing the main-event into a Triple Threat Match with Punk vs. Rock vs. John Cena. At the same time, it doesn’t make sense from a business standpoint. The WWE have a golden ticket with Cena vs. Rock as evident from last year. I don’t think anyone wants to get cute and sacrifice what they hope will be the biggest money draw in WWE history.
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