Asking a difficult question because it's entirely possible we already know the answer and it may not be one that we like: Will WWE use Paul Bearer's death in the Undertaker vs. CM Punk feud leading to WrestleMania 29?
It's only been two days since the untimely and unfortunate passing of William Moody, better known in the pro wrestling world as Paul Bearer, the longtime manager of Undertaker. Yes, everyone is still grieving the loss but, as it always does, life goes on and it's time to get back to the cold reality of the world we live in.
And that means it's time to get back to the cold reality of the pro wrestling world we live in with WWE, which raises the obvious question: Will the company use Bearer's death in the upcoming feud between Undertaker and CM Punk leading to their match at WrestleMania 29 on Sun., April 7, 2013, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey?
Really, we have no way of knowing if they will so a better question might be if they should. If they do, it won't be without precedent.
After the death of Eddie Guerrero in November of 2005, Rey Mysterio was given a prominent storyline that saw him dedicate everything he did to the memory of his fallen friend, including winning the Royal Rumble in January of 2006 by last eliminating Randy Orton, who he would enter into a program with. That led to a match between the two at No Way Out in February and during the course of the build to said match, Orton said some really nasty stuff.
Here's the promo before the match, with two quotes that stick out especially:
"Rey, you're looking up towards the heavens like you're looking for Eddie. Let me tell you something: Bro, Eddie ain't in heaven. Eddie's down there ... in HELL.
"I know as well as Eddie knows, in a wrestling match I would own you. I would beat you, I would destroy you like that! You can't beat me. You have about as much a chance of winning that world title match at WrestleMania as Eddie Guerrero does coming back to life."
For whatever it's worth, Orton was booked to win that match, though he did so by cheating.
This came just two months after Guerrero's death. Obviously, if WWE used Bearer's death, it would be much sooner but again, this only serves to show that the company isn't above using the death of a beloved performer to get heat on a heel to help sell a match or a storyline, such as Mysterio's underdog run to the world heavyweight championship, which he ended up winning at WrestleMania 22 that year.
For whatever it's worth, Punk has remained silent since Bearer died, though his Twitter account has been dark since Feb. 23 when he last tweeted to a fan. He has shown in the past that he's willing to push the envelope for the sake of the art form, such as the angle he ran with his manager Paul Heyman when they faked a heart attack just to get heat on the night Jerry Lawler returned to television just two months after suffering an actual -- and near fatal -- heart attack live on the air during Monday Night Raw in Montreal.
We asked our followers on Twitter -- follow us if you're not already -- if during the course of a promo it would be okay for Punk to say this to Undertaker: "After WrestleMania, your streak will be as dead as Paul Bearer." Here are some of the responses we received:
@cagesideseats I think I'd be "OK" with it, but that would have to mean that Undertaker buries Punk alive.— Hunter Patterson (@whpatterson) March 6, 2013
@cagesideseats no way does taker ok that— David Clacher (@D_Clacher) March 6, 2013
@cagesideseats nah. in the case of Lawler's heart attack, he apparently signed off on Punk's mocking. Bearer's death should be off-limits.— Brandon Gee (@UTPbrandon) March 6, 2013
@cagesideseats because its good business, it needs to happen. it will add so much more into this heading into wrestlemania.— Mark Gonzales (@markgonzales_) March 6, 2013
@cagesideseats No. Wrestling should exist at a distance from real life and, they'd have no right to assume that Moody would have okayed it.— BenSix (@bensixesq) March 6, 2013
@cagesideseats It's irrelevant how it would be received-The mere fact we're all talking about it makes it a more and more likely occurrence.— J-Dubz (@Cr8vly) March 6, 2013
Now we turn the discussion over to you here. Two questions: Will WWE use this in the Undertaker-Punk feud and if they do, will you be okay with that?