A consistent theme to the persistent rumors and speculations about CM Punk's reasons for leaving WWE after Royal Rumble this year centered around a couple of facts:
1. The Best in the World had never been given the opportunity to main event The Showcase of the Immortals, even coming off an angle that set the wrestling world on fire in 2011 and a 434 day title reign.
2. Guys like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson did get to main event WrestleMania, while getting paid truckloads of money to only work a handful of dates.
Now, a year after Punk worked through pain and burnout to co-create what we'll probably look back on as the last good-to-great match of Undertaker's career at WrestleMania 29, Phil Brooks was enjoying the afterglow of big Chicago Blackhawks win when he got word that Brock Lesnar had defeated The Dead Man and ended the iconic Streak.
Like many WWE observers and pro wrestling fans, last night was probably a mixed bag of emotions for the Straight-Edge Superstar. He has been on record as saying that this was Daniel Bryan's time, and somewhere adrift in today's reaction to The Undertaker news is the fact that Vince McMahon and company booked The Beard in a way that they haven't booked a babyface star since Stone Cold Steve Austin.
I don't know if that burns Punk or not - that he never got that same opportunity. But his public statements and reports of backstage comraderie with his fellow Ring of Honor alumnus probably mean that he's not seething with jealousy about Bryan's big night.
But if the two true statements above drove Punk to walk away from WWE and pro wrestling, it has to irk him that another guy who only works 3 pay-per-view (PPV) events and 10-12 total dates a year overshadowed the new WWE World Heavyweight Champ's big night. And that he did so because he was given the honor of doing something that many thought would never be done - pinning The Phenom 1 - 2 - 3 at The Show of Shows.
On the one hand, it validates his (alleged) criticisms: a part-timer who can now rest up on his farm in Minnesota because he doesn't have to work the house show (or even the public relations) circuit this week has been rewarded with the one of the most talked about moments in wrestling history, while the guy who busts his ass four-five nights a week without fail, and who will be judged based on tonight's ratings rather than from an historical perspective, is the 'B' story.
On the other hand, a guy who walked out on and then sued the company just got his name written in the history books again.
Maybe Punk just wised up to the game, and is plotting his WrestleMania moment for his part-time return in 2016.