Seeing as Survivor Series is just around the corner, and Royal Rumble comes not long after, it's time for WWE to start putting serious plans together for WrestleMania 29. That means figuring out who will take on Undertaker and his legendary streak.
Trying to figure out what WWE is going to do at the next year's WrestleMania, in this case 29, is usually a fun experience. Or it's annoying and the overwhelming push of articles on pro wrestling websites wildly speculating on match bookings is enough to drive one mad.
For now, it's still relatively fun because we're still extremely early in the process. In fact, it's just getting ready to begin now that Survivor Series is next month with Royal Rumble looming large in January. Major angles are starting to get fleshed out and opponents for all the major players are being set up with a million contingency plans to go with them.
So far, it seems the only real lock -- and it's not really a lock, it never is -- is The Rock is probably going to be facing John Cena in the main event in a rematch from last year so Cena can get his win back. This means Rock will face WWE Champion CM Punk at the Rumble, likely winning the title there.
It's possible those two could flip flop but that seems unlikely for a number of reasons, the least of which being it would require Cena losing two high profile matches to Rock and not once getting his win back. While that has no bearing on storylines, it's definitely something to consider as far as business goes. Put simply, you can't beat your best guy with someone who is never going to be around. It goes against all conventional pro wrestling thinking.
If current plans hold, it also appears Triple H will be back for a rematch against Brock Lesnar from SummerSlam. When this was first reported, it was met with disdain but if "The Game" is going to work the show, this is really the only match that makes sense for him. And considering the two drew a solid buyrate at the box office this past August, don't be surprised if this is the direction they ultimately go.
That leaves two men: Undertaker and CM Punk.
Here's where it gets goofy.
During Punk's interview at Ohio Comic Con recently, he remarked that he's not a big fan of 'Taker matches at WrestleMania because he feels they're too predictable. If we already know the outcome, why should we care at all?
But then he made a comment on a recent WWE Inbox episode that fueled a few fires and kick-started strong speculation that a match between the two could be in the works. When asked which will come first, the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series or Undertaker's WrestleMania streak being broken, Punk acted indignant (he's a noted Cubbie fan) before looking at the camera and saying, "The Undertaker is going to lose at WrestleMania, probably next year."
Yes, that's as thin a thread to hang on as you can get, but considering the current landscape, it might actually be the best option. Punk can lose, no big deal, 'Take can keep his streak going, and everyone can make a bunch of money in the process.
Of course, that ignores Stone Cold Steve Austin and all the public flirting he's been doing with Punk but it still looks like a match between the two, while possible, is unlikely. And, again, contingency plans have to be in place.
Going back to Punk, a match between he and Undertaker "has at least been suggested," according to the Wrestling Observer. But so has 'Taker vs. Lesnar and, this one is going to blow your mind, so has 'Taker vs. Ryback.
Apparently, WWE Chairman of the Board Vince McMahon is high on Ryback right now, as evidenced by his main event push for a program with Punk. If they worked the match, it would likely revolve around the built in stipulation of a streak vs. streak match, seeing as Ryback has yet to lose a match under this gimmick.
Quite frankly, that's a terrible idea and would show how far removed McMahon has become from what fans want to see. A few marks chanting "FEED ME MORE" at arenas around the United States does not mean anyone on Earth wants to see Undertaker vs. Ryback at WrestleMania. The very thought is so very beyond ridiculous, it doesn't even deserve ridicule. It's just dumb.
Then again, it's also possible Undertaker, having had one hell of a curtain call last year and stolen the show at four consecutive events with near five-star matches, not to mention having just had another kid, might just decide to hang it up for good. And if he doesn't work the show, the streak won't be a streak anymore, it will be an undefeated record at WrestleMania.
Knowing that there have been discussions for all of the above makes WWE television interesting over the next few months if only to see the direction they ultimately decide to go.