Another year and another challenger trying to end The Undertaker’s WrestleMania winning streak. This year, it would be CM Punk’s chance to try and cement his legacy in the history books of the WWE.
The Undertaker: For the past 20 years, The Undertaker has competed at “The Showcase of the Immortals” and each and every year, he has been able to defeat all comers. His current win record: 20-0.
CM Punk: After losing his WWE Championship to The Rock, CM Punk decided to turn his focus to trying to end The Undertaker’s undefeated streak and thus prove that he is, as he says, “The Best in the World”.
CM Punk then interrupted The Undertaker while he was paying tribute to his long-time friend and manager Paul Bearer, who had passed away just days prior. CM Punk would continue to mock The Undertaker and Bearer over the following weeks. Now the two would now clash at Metlife Stadium, on the grandest stage of them all.
CM Punk entered the arena to a live performance of his theme song “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour, which seemed to fire up the live crowd in attendance. However, when The Undertaker began his awe-inspiring entrance, the mood shifted.
The match itself was an encounter of epic proportions which lasted over 22 minutes, with both fighters putting it all on the line. Throughout the match, there were numerous exciting spots, almost-finishers and near-falls; many times it seemed as though Punk would be the man to finally end the legendary streak. The finish of the match came when CM Punk mocked The Undertaker’s cut-throat taunt and attempted to deliver his finisher, The GTS (Go 2 Sleep). The Undertaker was able to escape and attempted to deliver a Tombstone piledriver, which Punk was able to reverse into yet another GTS attempt. Finally, The Undertaker was able to reverse this and hit CM Punk with an emphatic Tombstone piledriver and thus, get the pinfall and garner his 21st WrestleMania victory in a row. The streak remains intact, for another year at least.
In my humble opinion, this is the match that stole the show. Both competitors left it all in the ring and it was definitely the highlight of WrestleMania XXIX.
It’s a beautiful thing when a kayfabe sport can elicit real emotions and after the match, for the first time in the 23+ years that The Undertaker has been in the business, he had tears in his eyes. He placed Paul Bearer’s iconic urn in the centre of the ring and bowed before it, finally giving his long-time friend the tribute he so fittingly deserved.
Dedicated to the memory of William Moody a.k.a. Paul Bearer (1954 – 2013).