You must have been living in a cave for the past three months to even think that someone other than CM Punk would face The Undertaker at WrestleMania 29. If you have, then you had to be among the few who actually enjoyed the Fatal 4-Way Match Monday night that determined his opponent.
In a show chocked full of bad matches, that one had to be the worst. The only thing that match did was attempt to throw a blanket over the painfully obvious fact that Punk was going to win.
First of all, it is hard to call a match a “4-way” when most of the time, it was only two men in the ring at a time: Randy Orton vs. Big Show…Big Show vs. Sheamus…Sheamus vs. Orton…Orton vs. Punk. Meanwhile, the others stretched out at ringside acting as if they were trying to recover from a heavy beating.
If you want a 4-way match, then make it look like a mini-Battle Royal. All four men should have been in the ring at the same time, beating on each other before moving on to the next man.
If the match was not bad enough, the ending was terrible. Finisher…finisher…finisher…pin. Scissors cut paper, paper covers rock, Rock smashes Cena (just wanted to see if you were following along).
From what we hear, the best action took place after the show went off the air and The Shield made their weekly pack Superstar beatdown. This time, though, they might have picked on the wrong one in Big Show.
But that is another article for another time. Let’s get back to the Fatal Two-at-a-Time match.
Two of the combatants in the match—Orton and Big Show—already have faced Undertaker at a WrestleMania and lost. Many of Undertaker’s victims were repeat offenders.
That left Punk and Sheamus as fresh meat. Sheamus is riding a huge babyface wave right now, and he already had been mentioned in a match with The Shield at WrestleMania 29. Based on that, you knew he would not win.
So Punk—WWE’s reigning top heel and probably the best chance at a huge payoff from an Undertaker match—winds up as the opponent. He might be the best payoff, but he is not the best opponent.
Of the four, Sheamus matched up best with Undertaker. Big and tough, with a mean streak when riled. He was new to the streak concept.
Plus, Sheamus proved in his recently ended program with Big Show that he handles himself well against big men.
But he still is not as big a payday as Punk. And in WWE, the only thing that talks louder and better than CM Punk is money.
It’s too bad, though, that the search for Undertaker’s next opponent amounted to a raffle of sorts.
Clearly the best matches of Undertaker’s impressive WrestleMania streak came over the last four years when he battled Shawn Michaels and Triple H twice. Those matches were built up as missions, as if beating the Deadman would fill a void in their already illustrious careers.
And the matches played out just like that, loaded with drama and overloaded with emotion.
Right now, there is no emotion in this match. WWE has about four weeks to create that emotion.
But if the raffle/Fatal 4-Way to “crown” the opponent is any indication of what is to come, even Punk the "human hype machine" may not have enough to save the day.
Follow Bill Atkinson on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.