Kane Over Punk, WM29 Buys, The Streak, Unifying Titles In WWE

What are your thoughts on Kane going over CM Punk clean(ish!) on this week’s Raw?

Kane surprising CM Punk with a chokeslam and a clean pin after the gong of The Undertaker was done to show Punk was preoccupied with Undertaker to focus on a match on Raw. I’ve tried to justify the loss in my mind but I didn’t like it. Punk has racked up the losses and any outcome that has him getting pinned clean shouldn’t be done. If Punk ends the streak, going over Undertaker at Wrestlemania, I may see it as part of the bigger picture but I’m not optimistic about that outcome.

Is there any chance Wrestlemania 29 does more buys than Wrestlemania XXVIII last year?

WWE is hoping for more than one million buys with Wrestlemania 29 and given how well tickets have sold, my guess is WWE is expecting it to be their most bought show of all time. Wrestlemania XXVIII last year set the buyrate record with 1,217,000 buys but the thinking is there is more star power with the addition of Brock Lesnar.

After reading JR’s thoughts on Undertaker’s streak, here is my question. If a historic title reign didn’t elevate Punk to WWWE’s face, what makes you think beating Undertaker will?

My argument is that Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania is bigger than any title reign and carries a massive payoff to whoever ends it. CM Punk’s 434-title reign did elevate him and put him in this position. As I stated in the latest Premium Mailbag, I would have been against Punk ending “the streak” just last year. Circumstances have changed and my opinion on what to do with “the streak” has changed as a result. The time is now for Punk to get a massive rub from ending the streak, setting the company in a great position moving forward. I’m not optimistic WWE will end “the streak” but it’s absolutely the correct outcome.

How would you feel about the unification of the Intercontinental and United States titles?

I’ve gone on record previously in saying I have no problems with WWE eliminating the United States Championship and keeping the Intercontinental Championship as the sole secondary title. While I’m still in favor of both the WWE title and World Heavyweight title, it seems pointless to have two secondary belts that are nothing more than props.

Remember questions with proper grammar and spelling stand the best chance of getting answered. The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Wednesday, March 13, 2013.

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  • Dave L

    so punk can’t beat cena and can’t beat the rock, but can beat the undertaker? Undertaker is the freshest out of all of them, he wrestles maybe once or twice a year. From a storyline standpoint, I just don’t see him coming back to lose.

    • Kris Mystery

      Undertaker is also the oldest and most beat up of all of them. And yes he only wrestles maybe once or twice a year but that is because that is all he can wrestle at this stage of his career. I also would have no problem with Punk ending the streak. This would shoot him through the stars as far as a rub goes and Undertaker wouldn’t hurt by losing. He’d still have 20 straight wins at Wrestlemania…that will never be beat.

  • Adam

    Undertaker’s streak is something that will NEVER be done again and should NEVER be ended! Taker has maybe just one or two mania matches left and with what he has done in wwe he has earned the right to retire undefeated at Wrestlemania

    • Mark J.

      Richard, I think that you’re missing what is really happening here. Vince said several years ago that he didn’t see any reason to end the streak. And yet you’re approaching this issue from your/our perspective, not Vince’s. When it comes to picking Taker’s more recent opponents at WM (e.g. Batista, Edge, HBK, Triple H), the criteria is not a matter of who deserves the win, rather who can HANDLE the LOSS to the Undertaker. Each of those guys were big enough to handle the loss … and so is Punk. If Vince wanted to give the rub to a future star, he would have done it with Randy Orton at WM 21. Once that opportunity passed, there was no turning back. It’s time to accept it and move on.

      • Xavier

        Agree. I’ve always thought out of all of the opponents that Taker has faced at Mania that Orton should of been the one to end the streak. After that didn’t happen I felt that no one after really needed or wasn’t qualified to end it.

        • monty

          but don’t you think streak became much much bigger after the 2 matches against HBK?

          i don’t think streak will end and here is why, HHH is basically running WWE and he has gone on record and said he doesn’t believe streak should/will end.

          also PUNK is just internet community’s favorite wrestler so they want him to beat taker. when you were champion for over a year and that couldn’t do it for you and without cena ratings and buy rates for PPV’s were low what makes anyone think beating taker will make him any bigger star than he already is?

    • Cubed56

      He also should put someone for all the WWE has done for him, I believe the WWE has earned that.

      • Cubed56

        Over*

  • http://www.facebook.com/justinneerajlal Justin Lal

    I would prefer WWE unifying the World Titles and keeping both the US and IC Titles. By having 1 World Champion it will give guys an incentive to go after one of the mid card titles. This would be like WCW having a World Champion, US Champion and TV Champion. Say what you will about WCW but they did a good job keeping the secondary titles important.

    • opie

      I could not agree with you more. Once the brand extension ended, having two world titles became redundant. Just like freakin Highlander, “There can be only one.”

    • Yung

      I do think it’s a good idea but i think that by having 2 world titles, it gives more opportunity for the talented young guys to cement their place in the main event and not just hang on to the mid-car. We would have a roster full of Kofi Kingstons. By that i mean a roster of young entertaining guys stuck on the mid-card for years.

  • opie

    I love Taker, but nobody has the *right* to retire undefeated at Wrestlemania. He may do so, but it won’t be because he has the right. The loss won’t hurt his legacy. He has over two decades of substance to cement that legacy.

    • coolkdd1

      Yes he does. If he wants to stay retired and undefeated he can. If not he would choose his successor.

    • Jason

      say what you will, but there is no denying that with everything that undertaker did in his career his undefeated streak surpasses everything he has ever done. and that 20-0 streak at mania has become his legacy. he could choose any other time a year to come back, and yet he chooses wrestlemania, why? its because wrestlemania has become so far into takers legacy, it has BECOME his legacy. so yeah he does have that *right* to retire undefeated and now that william moody past away someone who has been in takers corner for most of his wrestlemania’s you can beat your ass he’ll stay undefeated not just for takers legacy but for the memory of william “paul bearer” moody.

    • Don

      He has every right, and the power in the company to choose what he wants.

    • wrestlingfan4life

      Nobody has the *right* to retire undefeated at Wrestlemania? Really? REALLY? really? So by that logic, then, Ric Flair’s record of 16 time world champion should be broken, because no one has the *right* to hold that record, either. There’s nothing wrong with Taker keeping his streak and retiring with it. If he absolutely HAS to lose his final wrestling match, make it on a different PPV, perhaps a casket match where he’s put in the casket and it’s nailed shut, then rolled off stage surrounded by druids in a monumental tribute. But Taker’s streak should remain intact.

  • Sam

    @facebook-100001089677010:disqus Having two World titles allows WWE to push more than one superstar in the main event pitcure. The roster is too big to have one World title.

    • Sam

      Picture*

    • SRP

      Except the WHC usually opens PPVs.

  • Cubed56

    I think creative really dropped the ball with the Punk/Taker storyline last night. Instead of putting any inclination of Punk being able to beat Taker at WM they make it obvious he’s going to lose by having Punk disrespect Taker, Kane, and Bearer. Instead of Punk chasing the streak, it’s now about Taker chasing Punk and the urn as a payback storyline. It’s to bad cause while I’m a Taker fan I’ve said before I feel it’s time for him to give back to WWE by putting someone over at WM, and Punk is the only legitimate guy who can over Taker in the last 6-8 WM’s. I’ve also said I will lose respect for Taker if he doesn’t go under and view him as a selfish and only caring about himself and his legacy when his legacy is already rivaled by nobody regardless of the streak. This may not be popular with people, but its just my opinion.

    • Xavier

      Why would you lose respect for Taker. He’s paid his dues and has put over countless people throughout his career. I got a Question for you, and hopefully you can answer this b/c every other Punk fan avoids the question altogether, who has Punk helped elevate or put over since he’s been in the WWE?

      • jdl

        Anyone who’s worked with him. Unfortunately WWE has a habit of pairing him with people who don’t have glistening futures. Luke Gallows? He’s now a biker with a GI Joe bad guy name. Serena Deeb? Gone. The members of New Nexus? They’re all fine, but due to Punk’s face turn they never really got over from associating with Punk. Really Punk’s efforts to get himself to the top involved carrying a few people up the card with him, but they wound up casualties of Vince.

        • Xavier

          Punk hasn’t elevated anyone. Lets be honest here. Guys like Rock helped elevate guys like Angle, Foley & Lesnar. Cena elevated Edge, RVD & Sheamus. Punk has elevated ???

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Timothy-Lowe-Jr/100000559123347 Timothy Lowe Jr

            Yea those people elevated other wrestlers but punk elevated ratings and interest in a dying tv show.

          • Xavier

            How you figure that. When Punk was champ ratings on RAW were at their lowest since early/mid 1997. If you don’t believe me then check the RAW ratings, Richard post them every week.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Timothy-Lowe-Jr/100000559123347 Timothy Lowe Jr

            Everything has been lower since the attitude era. Hence the cry for a return

          • Yung

            I’d like to Ryback and The Shield but that was barely because of Punk.

          • Xavier

            I don’t recall Punk every pitting Ryback over in a match. And Punk has never faced any member of The Shield. So your right, barely anything to do with Punk

          • Yung

            Punk basically got dominated in a title match with Ryback and lost won dirty so thats kind of putting him over and he was partially involved with bringing the Shield into his storyline to bring them on the main roster.

        • Xavier

          Losing to someone that’s already super established isn’t putting them over. Cena losing the title to Sheamus at TLC 2009, Or Rock losing the title to Lesnar at Summerslam 2002 is putting some one over. Prime examples of a ultra established star going under to guys who are up & coming and who had been in the company less then a year.

      • Cubed56

        I lose respect for all talent that stays too long and way past their prime and refuses to put up and comers over. Someone had to put Taker over for him to get from superstar to megastar right?(jimmy snuka, hogan, jake the snake, ultimate warrior to name a few, not to mention everyone who’s lost to him at WM to allow his streak to balloon into epic proportions) Punk had put over John Morrison, Jeff Hardy for starters and even though he is already over every time he wrestles cena, he makes cena look 100x better wrestler then he is, not to mention he ended his record title reign to a part timer for God sake. My point s people put Taker over to gain his legacy it’s time for him to return the favor and give someone a undeniable and unforgettable legacy.

        • Xavier

          The whole Punk carries Cena thing is a myth. Cena has had great matches with just about every top guy on the roster. If anything Cena put Punk over in a HUGE way in 2011 by agreeing to go under him. Hardy was already over by the time he feuded with Punk thanks to HHH. And Rock was already super OVER. Those are terrible examples you gave.

          • Cubed56

            I will agree that cena helped punk by going under in 2011, but punk was already way over due to his kayfabe shoot promo on raw. That’s the last time I remember cena legitimately putting someone over, otherwise he buries people. You say he’s had great matches with every top guy, name them to yourself and I guarantee that 90% of the were better because the opponent. Btw I don’t hate cena. I don’t hate taker, actually taker is my favorite of all time with hbk, I just feel he should go under, and punk is the last legit guy to do it. I’d say the same thing if this was someone else who could be accepted as beating the streak unfortunately WWE has done such a terrible job building starts, there is i body else.

          • Xavier

            That’s an easy one. Remember Cena’s feud with Umaga? The match at NYR07 was very good and the Last Man Standing Match at the Royal Rumble was one of the all-time great matches, would of easily been match of the year if weren’t for that epic 60 minute Cena/HBK match on RAW which by the way also involved Cena. Remember the Great American Bash match against Lashley which was very good. Or how bout the Summerslam 07 match against Orton that was great. Hell even he even managed to carry the Great Khali to a solid match at Judgement Day that year as well. Come to think of it, Cena spent the majority of 07 having good to great matches against guys that were lower on the card with far less experience. How much his match against Swagger on the 2009 RAW Draft episode that was very good. Or his great matches against Ziggler. How bout the S08 Summerslam & WM26 matches against Batista that were very good or the feud with Sheamus at TLC 09 where Cena put Sheamus oOVER CLEAN and dropped the title to him. And let’s not forhet about his great matches over the years against Big Show Or his feud with Punk in 2011 which made Punk relevant again and finally elevated Punk to the main event for good. Yup, I bring up Punk b/c CENA IS BETTER THEN PUNK. Yeah I said that shit and I’ll say it again! CENA IS BETTER THEN PUNK! Cena’s had great feuds with Orton & Edge and I think Cena is better then them as well. Punk’s 2011-2012 feud i against Cenais by the far the/biggest fued Punk has had in the WWE and it’s not even close. I can make a strong case that Cena has had feuds with Orton & Edge that were better then the one he had with Punk.in 2011. But of course you and everyone else will say that he was carried in all those matches as well b/c that’s what people tend to do on here. That whole “Cena buries people argument is weak and played out b/c it couldn’t be any further from the truth. Just ask Edge, RVD, Sheamus, Barrett, Punk & Ryder about that.

            Two reasons why I don’t think Punk should go over Taker is b/c he isn’t gonna stick around past 2015, Punk himself has said that. And my second reason why he won’t/shouldn’t go over Taker is b/c the WWE has spent the majority of 2012 and all of this year building Punk up as a stoogey type heel who only wins by outside interference, If he can’t beat Ryback or Cena CLEAN then why would he beat Taker CLEAN at Mania. It’s not believable in the least bit. And then there is also the fact that Bearer just passed away. And with Punk ruining Taker’s tribute to Bearer on RAW which will probably become the running theme in this feud from now til Mania. All that will probably add up to Taker beating Punk at Maina and being able to finally pay tribute to bearer on the biggest stage of them all.

        • Yung

          Punk did not put over Jeff Hardy you are out of effing mind kid, Hardy helped elevate Punk.

    • BrownieHound

      I had read somewhere a few years back that Undertaker himself has been pushing for someone to end the streak. I believe he wanted Kane to do it and Kane turned it down saying he wanted no part in ending the streak. Maybe Richard can confirm that.

      • Cubed56

        I read the same thing, but then more recently I saw on multiple sites that he refused to go under in his latest negotiations.

  • The Breaker

    I actually want to see Jericho win the Intercontinental Championship one more time. I like Barrett, but he’s done nothing with the title. Right now it’s probably the least valued in the company. Giving it to Y2J would add a lot of shine to the title, and bring some life back to the IC title hunt.

  • Mayank S

    Richard,
    I have utmost respect for you but why are you going against your own
    statement? We all know that you were not in favour of Undertaker’s
    streak ending at any point of time to *anyone*. And that being the case,
    I’d expect you to stick to that statement *no matter what* and no
    matter *who* it is. I don’t think it is a risk worth taking. What if
    Punk tomorrow has a career threatening injury and never makes it as big
    as Taker? What if he quits the WWE and joins TNA or ROH once again and
    brags there about ending some ‘streak’? Guys as loyal to the company as
    Taker and HBK come once in a generation and as Punk is still not the top
    guy in the company, I don’t see any reason why he should end the streak
    (I don’t even see the top guy ending the streak).

    Taker’s
    streak should remain as an immortal measuring stick against which
    superstars should try to accomplish something similar to, like a
    bench-mark. It is recognized by sports journals (even non-wrestling
    ones) as a major accolade and is listed by the WWE as their # 1 record
    of all time. I’m not sure why the WWE would want to end it then. I think
    their money lies in keeping it where it is, otherwise it is too big a
    risk. If Taker was not fit for Mania and if he just retired today
    itself, then what would happen to the plan of ending the streak? Well
    such a plan was never made, that is what we learn each year. The WWE
    makes us feel every time that the guy who is facing Taker is worthy of
    ending the streak, and let’s not fall for their trap. The same point is
    debated every time and eventually the same conclusion is always made.

    Taker
    never had long title reigns unlike his other peers such as Bret,
    Austin, HBK, Rock, Angle, Lesnar, Edge, HHH, etc and to me, the streak
    makes up for that. It is Taker’s legacy and it should remain intact just
    like other wrestlers have their legacies intact. A wrestler can end
    another wrestler’s career but not his legacy.

    • opie

      A guy’s allowed to change his mind. Don’t be a jerk.

      • opie

        And Taker’s legacy is safe, regardless of the outcome of one match in the twilight of his career. You need to understand what “the rub” is. If Taker puts Punk over, Punk immediately becomes a legendary villain.

  • opie

    1. During the Attitude Era, there were usually about six guys in the main event picture. Shawn Michaels (then Triple H sort of took that spot after Shawn lost to Austin), Austin, The Rock, Foley, Kane, and Taker were all right there at the top for years. That was with exactly one world title. That’s what made the title picture so great. They were all battling to be THE top guy (one guy, singular), and they all deserved to be there. Then a bunch of other guys were right below that, working extremely hard to make it into that group (Ken Shamrock didn’t quite make it, Jericho did).

    2. Does anyone actually see Alberto Del Rio as a main event guy? That’s one of your world champs. Is he in the same league as Rock, Cena, and Punk? Of course not. He should be wearing the IC belt right now, and the Big Gold Belt should be retired (again). You could have a thousand secondary or tertiary belts with compelling storylines around the hunt for them, but if the overall tone of the company is that everyone wants to get to the same place, the storylines are less contrived.
    3. There’s only one main event. Otherwise, the main event kind of loses its luster.

    • H.M.

      I actually agree with this. Some solid points were raised. Who has really truly cared about the WHC in the last few years? It’s status today is akin to the Intercontinental title’s status in the days of old. One world title would actually be a wiser decision, and with the fact that there is virtually no brand division remaining why not? How many times have Big Show, Daniel Bryan, Miz, Jericho and the like jumped from brand to brand depending on the situations? There is virtually no differentiation between the two brands and their stars except for the fact that Del Rio is the champion of the blue show. Might as well revert to one title and after reading your comment I’d say I’m more convinced than before lol.

  • Cobra

    I believe the reason Kane won, was just as a tribute to Paul Bearer.

    • Mark J.

      Exactly. Even if it was the decisions in the eyes of the IWC, what’s done is done. Even though Taker’s victory at WM 29 will be even more predictable than the matches against Triple H (and the second match against HBK when we knew he was retiring), many of you are overlooking the obvious. It’s Vince’s decision, not Taker’s. So maybe there’s a deeper reason why Vince is temporarily burying Punk. My guess is that Vince needs Punk to “take it” because Punk is the only credible available opponent for Taker, and Punk can handle the loss. Everyone can talk about the “rub” until you’re blue in the face. But if Vince long decided not to end the streak, then the issue is who can HANDLE the LOSS, not who deserves the win.

    • http://twitter.com/JR_Texx JR Texx (Jamie)

      Thats the reason I keep coming too, and for that reason alone I’m glad Kane won, even if it did mean another loss to Punk

  • Xavier

    Richard I’ve always respected and valued your opinion and knowledge of the wrestling business and enjoy coming to your site on a daily basis but your being a Punk homer and letting his personal feelings get ahead of logic/common sense in this case, just like the majority of Punk fans tend to do on here. There is NO REASON whatsoever for Punk to go over Taker, Punk has stated many times before that he is retiring when his contract runs out in 2015 so why would Taker go UNDER to a guy who isn’t gonna stick around long term?

    • Gary Robert

      He’s not going to retire when hes at the top of his career.

  • Rikardo

    “Ending the streak is the absolutely correct outcome” May your opinion Rest In Peace

  • Clinton

    Undertaker has more than paid his dues. Think about how many title reigns he has and the majority of them came way late in his career. He took a back seat to austin rock and triple h. Even competed in the hardcore divison. The streak is his greatest legacy. Win or lose it will never be forgotten. I absolutely think he should face cena next year before he hangs it up. If cena faces him i think it will be one of the true few times that people would believe the streak could be ended.

    • Gary Robert

      Either of the last four years, I felt it could have ended and was very unsure of the outcome.

  • Chris

    This Wrestlemania is going to be an epic fail!!

  • Winnipeg

    I 100% doubt  Taker would come back to loose. Taker wasn’t even gonna come back this year period. Can you picture Vince or HHH convincing Taker to come back & loose @ Mania after Taker was not gonna come back? Jeez 

    • Gary Robert

      If he has respect for the business he became a star in, then losing is what he should be offering to do. It shouldn’t be a forced issue. The Streak is a written piece of WWE history , that not, has the potential to further elevate a CURRENT and FUTURE star. You’re supposed to get some sort of pay back from building that up…its simply strategic and competent storytelling.

      • Xavier

        I bet you wouldn’t feel the same way if let’s say Taker lost to Miz, Cena or Ryback at WM.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Timothy-Lowe-Jr/100000559123347 Timothy Lowe Jr

    1. Undertaker is bigger than the wwe title

    2. I’m so tired of Kane not being Recognized. For how good he is. He was and still is better than. The big show Alberto del rio and Sheamus aswell as Orton and cena. Punk can go under clean to a monster like Kane. It’s kind of very reasonable. You say kane is a very reliable seasoned veteran. But not someone who is main event world champ material. How does that make sense. I understand that everyone has their own opinion. But come in Kane deserved more than two world title reigns.

    • dean

      I absolutely agree. I don’t think it would be odd for anyone in the WWE to lose to kane on any given night. Kane is a main event level star who has been in the wwe for 15 years. Just because he’s not in the main event regularly doesnt mean he’s not a “main eventer.” Right now, its the younger guys time to shine and establish themselves as legitimate players. Kane is already well established.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Timothy-Lowe-Jr/100000559123347 Timothy Lowe Jr

    If I’m not mistaking everything that happened to taker and his character is all his own doing,cause he owns his character right? Plus I heard taker wanted to lose at wrestlemania to a big heel.

  • Popped A Molly Im Sweatin

    C’mon now Richard, as much respect as i have for you and your site. I have to say that as of late you’ve been the ultimate CM Punk mark. If there was ever a CM Punk band-wagon you would be the one driving it. When Punk loses 1 match you act like it’s an International Incident or something. It’s wrestling entertainment, people need to lose every now and then, Cena is WWE’s #1 guy and he lost nearly every single PPV match in 2012. Punk is good but he’s not the best in the world, Punk said it himself that all he has left to do is main event WM once he does that he’s gone. If Taker were to go under then it would be the mainevent, anything lower than that would be disrespectful to Taker, Punk, The Streak and the fans. So if Punk goes over in the main event he’s out of here aswell as Taker so whats the point of the “rub” as you like to say.

    • Gary Robert

      thats b/c he’s right about the streak and CM Punk.

    • Xavier

      If a 435 day title reign isn’t enough to make Richard/Punk fans happy then beating Taker won’t either. They’ll eventually find something else to cry about

    • Mark McMark

      If, and I really mean IF, Taker’s streak were to end, it’d have to be the last match on the card. It would have to be the MAIN EVENT. Undertaker doesn’t deserve any less. Since this year’s main event hampered by the Once-in-a-Lifetime rematch, Undertaker SHOULD NOT lose at Mania.

      Now, I love CM Punk, and if there was ANYONE who would make me happy to see beat the Streak, it’s him. But it just ain’t happening…

      And it shouldn’t happen. I’m just glad I get to see my favorite of all-time square off against my favorite of the current times. It’ll be the best match on the card.

  • http://twitter.com/JR_Texx JR Texx (Jamie)

    I think all titles should be kept, and just be booked better and give the titles some prestige again.

  • StraightEdgeForLife

    Ok, so obviously Taker has a HUGE say in if the streak should end or not. What if Taker agreed that Punk has what it takes to lead the WWE and was ok with Punk ending his streak? What would you all think of that?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jarryd.hale Jarryd Hale

    Its funny how people get worked up about a streak that is SCRIPTED. Every single one of those wins was part of a plan. Therefore boring! The novelty wore off for me at WM XX when he beat Kane again. CM Punk is absolutely the best “wrestler” in the world and deserves to be scripted in for the win. Undertaker is a gun and a legend of the greatest of ilk but he is not immortal. It’s not like he has won every match through sheer toughness and resilience, somewhere along the line Vince said to Mark Callaway; “hey you’re not going to lose at Wrestlemania” and this continued for 20+ years. I just want to see change and diversity and complacency is the WWE’s biggest downfall. This is no exception. I want to see the Undertaker retire so he can be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

  • Guy

    Shawn Micheals can’t end the streak two years in a row but CM Punk can?,ridiculous.