Where Is CM Punk’s “Respect” Storyline Going?
by Matthew Harrak on October 11, 2012

Since it looks as if Stone Cold Steve Austin will not be ready for in-ring action any time soon (or ever), CM Punk’s current “obsession” with wanting respect may lead to a payoff feud with the returning Undertaker.

Punk is expected to hold on to the WWE Championship until the Royal Rumble where he will drop the WWE title to the Rock and the Undertaker will return in the Rumble match itself, possibly with CM Punk costing him the match. This will lead to a “Streak vs Respect” match at WrestleMania.

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Source: The Wrestling Observer

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Matthew Harrak

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  • limodriver

    That’s a terrible idea. I hope someone comes to their senses.

  • Blair A. Douglas

    I dunno, I think I’d kinda like to watch Punk fight Undertaker before ‘Taker hangs ‘em up. (No idea how long it’ll be before that happens though.)

  • Rivas

    Anybody else remember Undertaker’s version of the RESPECT! heel turn, back in 2001?
    Like Punk, he cut his hair shorter, beat up a couple people (J.R included), and demanded respect weekly. That’s who Punk instantly reminded me of. Only difference were the reasons (Punk wants to be a respected champion, Taker wanted to be a respected legend.)

  • James A

    He was in great shape at WM28, and he’s had a year off to stay healthy and look after himself… Heck, he’ll probably be in more ring-ready than Cena by the time WrestleMania rolls around.

  • flamingwombat

    I’d be OK with this.

  • limodriver

    Nevertheless, a guy who can only wrestle once a year should not be going over one of the company’s top stars. Let him wrestle Big Show or Tensai if they must keep the streak alive. Or better yet, some newer guy like Ziggler or Sheamus or Sandow who can lose to Undertaker but come out looking strong just by being in the ring with the Phenom and putting up a good fight.

  • James A

    If I had to choose one guy to get ‘the rub’ in a Wrestlemania match with ‘Taker, it’d be CM Punk. He’s the sensible choice. No other guy can look as good in defeat as Punk, and no one else can bring as much to the match in terms of character either.

    Granted, it doesn’t seem right that “a guy who can only wrestle once a year” goes over one of the company’s top stars, but it didn’t do Cena any harm in the long run when he lost to The Rock. And besides that, isn’t your criticism actually a pretty compelling argument FOR the match rather than against it? It’d clearly be part of the angle. After all, railing against that kind of thing is exactly what turned Punk into a main eventer in the first place! If anyone can turn a loss to Undertaker into genuine character development – into a true “career moment” – it’s CM Punk.

    Say what you like about Taker’s relaxed schedule, but for the past five years at WrestleMania Undertaker hasn’t had a single match that wasn’t a “must-see.” Undertaker against Sheamus? No one wants to see that. Undertaker against Punk, on the other hand, is a different story…

    This could even turn Punk babyface again, if WWE were so inclined: all it would take would be a post-match handshake with Taker in the middle of the ring, a kind of “respect has been earned” moment, and Punk would enter the new WWE year as the most well-rounded character in the company, and a new reason for fans to cheer him. It wouldn’t work with any other guy out there right now – but with Punk the whole scenario would make perfect sense.

  • Blair A. Douglas

    “Undertaker against Sheamus? No one wants to see that.”
    You know how I’m all about time travel lately? I wish this present-day James could go have a talk with 2011 James. Or a lot of people from 2011. No one listened to me.

    Anyway, James is absolutely right about this. In Punk’s current incarnation, he’s likely got to lose at WrestleMania anyway. Which is fine. So he may as well lose to Undertaker. And, since no one wants to see ‘Taker against guys like Shaemus, Ziggler or Miz, as James rightly pointed out – Punk is the last reguarly-performing guy that’s left to face him aside from Cena. They could put Rock or Brock up against him, but I still say Punk is a better idea. Plus, the match would probably be good.

  • James A

    Sigh. I knew you’d latch onto that, Douglas. I’m still a firm Sheamus supporter, I’ll have you know. At the moment, though, he’s a dull-as-dishwater Irish Cena, cracking rubbish jokes, being invulnerable against everyone, and generally constituting the least interesting part of whatever feud he’s in. It’s a damn shame, but that’s how it is right now.

    Incidentally, 2011 James wouldn’t have wanted to see ‘Taker / Sheamus at ‘Mania either, for pretty much the same reasons 2012 James doesn’t. The spot should go to someone who can thrive in the “big match” moment. Punk, Cena, Brock and maybe even Daniel Bryan. Those are the money matches, as far as I’m concerned.

  • Blair A. Douglas

    Hasn’t that been pretty much Shaemus’ deal for years? As well as being terrible in the ring and relying on other wrestlers to carry him?

    Fair point about Taker, though. I definitely agree. Any Mania could theoretically be his last one, so they don’t wanna waste that on someone like Ziggler, Miz or Shaemus. What do you think about him against Rock or Brock? Better or worse idea than Punk? How about Cena?

  • James A

    Ha! He’s solid in the ring, but even if he wasn’t that wouldn’t preclude having an interesting character arc. At the moment Sheamus has plateaued; he’s stuck in a rut.

    Undertaker vs Cena is the biggest WrestleMania match that hasn’t happened yet, I think. It’s probably the closest thing that WWE have left to a genuine “dream match” without bringing in Sting. The last time Undertaker and Cena had a worthwhile singles match was 2003 (I think maybe they had one that went to a non-finish on Raw in 2006 or thereabouts) – but they’ve teased it on and off since ‘Taker won the Royal Rumble in 2007. Cena can do “big” matches, and I think that this could easily main event WrestleMania.

    ‘Taker vs Brock would be a close second, I think, if only because they had that UFC confrontation and it’d be nice to have some sort of payoff to that. Also, the two had great chemistry, from what I remember.
    Jeff Hardy could also be a pretty worthwhile opponent, now I think about it. He and Undertaker had a tremendous no-DQ match on SmackDown in 2008 (here in London, I think!) and the crowd reactions were ‘Mania-worthy.

    Undertaker and Rock would have an entertaining match, I don’t doubt… But perhaps I’m just worried it would feel a bit contrived (or worse, dated!). Something about the idea just doesn’t click with me like ‘Taker vs Cena does.

    What are your thoughts on the Punk / Stone Cold stuff? That’d be quite the memorable encounter. This article kinda writes it off, but I was under the impression that the match was being considered for WM30 rather than this year anyway.

  • G

    So does that give us our top three Wrestlemania Mayches as:

    WWE Title Match: The Rock (c) vs. John Cena
    Streak vs. Respect: Undertaker vs. CM Punk
    Grudge Match: Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar

    While that sounds awesome, it’s sad that only two of those six men will even wrestle on RAW in the buildup. Expect to see 3 hours of promos in February and March 2013.

  • Starcade

    Which would be the same five guys carrying the company that did the last two Manias…

    It also gives you an idea as to why there was no talk of firing Punk (as some have suggested here!) — they have no other options at the top of the card!

  • Starcade

    Problem is that I really think Taker and Cena should get one go at it before Taker hangs it up…

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