Original Plan For Daniel Bryan, Where Harper & Rowan Came From, Punk At Raw?, Undertaker As The GOAT

It looks like WWE is going with Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania XXX. If CM Punk had accepted the supposed match with Triple H, what would have been the plans for Daniel Bryan?

The original plan for Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania XXX was a singles match against Sheamus. The talk of switching Bryan's opponent to Triple H began the night after Royal Rumble. I still do not know what CM Punk knew about this before he walked out. Did word reach him the proposed bout against Triple H, that apparently he wasn't happy about, being off in favor of extending his program against Kane? Remember, Punk was scheduled to work Kane at Elimination Chamber in a stopgap to Hunter but there was talk they could wait until Wrestlemania to blow it off. The Wrestlemania lineup is now beginning to take shape and the current plan is in fact Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan.

Where exactly did Erick Rowan and Luke Harper come from?

Erick Rowan was known on the independent scene in the United States and Japan before signing a WWE developmental contract in February 2011. Luke Harper was better known as Brodie Lee as one of the top independent names in the US during his time with Evolve and Dragon Gate USA. He signed his developmental contract with WWE in March 2012. The team was put together and seasoned in NXT, where they held the NXT Tag Team Championship for 84 days. They taped a reunion match at NXT against Marcus Luey and Jason Jordan on January 9, 2014 that you can read about here. I actually watched the tape on Wednesday night and it was a short squash match but Bray Wyatt proclaimed they hadn't forgot where they came from. The Wyatt Family were babyfaces at NXT that night.

Since Monday Night Raw is taking place in Chicago this Monday, could we see CM Punk?

We can't rule anything out because literally anything is possible, however, I would classify a possible CM Punk return at Raw in Chicago on Monday as doubtful. If Vince McMahon could work some magic, this would be the time to do it. Could you imagine the pop Punk would get at the Allstate Arena and the momentum they would have leading up to Wrestlemania XXX in April? It would make for a historic night and a historic moment, however, I have heard of no such plans. WWE continues to move away from Punk, with the overwhelming assumption being that he's gone and not coming back. My one hope about Raw in Chicago is that the crowd doesn't behave like they did in Green Bay this week. That crowd didn't send a message, they seemed out of touch and irrelevant.

What are your thoughts on Undertaker's look on Monday Night Raw? I thought it was a mixture of old and new school with the beard.

I believe it's humanly impossible to get tired of the gong hitting and The Undertaker returning. Even though most expected him to come back on Monday night, his entrance was epic. The goatee and shaved mohawk looked great and got me ready for Wrestlemania season. After last year, the conversation needs to shift. We need to stop debating whether or not "the streak" should end and start debating whether or not Undertaker is the greatest Wrestlemania superstar of all-time. I also implore readers to realize that every Undertaker appearance and match from this point forward is historic. Don't miss them and don't get overly critical. Realize you are watching something that's coming to an end and it's a privilege to be a part of it.

From the Ask WNW vault…

April 2013: When will WWE realize Undertaker should always go last at Wrestlemania? Every year the crowd dies down after his matches no matter what happens next. - I agree, The Undertaker is impossible to follow at Wrestlemania. We’ve seen him do what he did at Wrestlemania 29 before (saving the show with an outstanding match) yet we all wondered going in what CM Punk would be able to get out of him. Here’s a guy that works one match a year and consistently puts on “match of the year” candidates. Following his match against CM Punk, the conversation has shifted. We need to start having serious debate on whether or not Undertaker is the greatest of all-time. I almost feel bad for even doubting what we would get out of the bout this year. Undertaker not only showed he hasn’t “lost a step” in the ring but his physical conditioning was very good as well. He certainly looked the part and did not disappoint.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Friday, February 28, 2014.

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  • Stephen Cash

    I thought taker looked old…. He struggled walking down to the ring, and his arms were getting that extra loose skin old people get… I’m very worried about his health at WM… IMO, he’s never looked worse than on Monday night.

    • Mathew Lisett

      hes 48, of course he loked old

    • Please re-read this – “I also implore readers to realize that every Undertaker appearance and match from this point forward is historic. Don’t miss them and don’t get overly critical. Realize you are watching something that’s coming to an end and it’s a privilege to be a part of it.”

      • Xavier

        Could not have said it better myself.

    • HugeRockStar

      Every year ppl worry about wether he can still go or not and every year he’s the best match on the card. I don’t think he would be doing it if he couldn’t live up to the standards he’s set, and I don’t think he’s in as bad a shape as ppl make him out to be.

    • Bob’s Diner

      Struggled walking down the ring??? He moves slow – that is called CHARACTER
      He looked fine. You are talking about a guy that has a ring at home and puts in more work for his one match than most superstars do all year

      • Stephen Cash

        I love taker and want him to wrestle forever…. Go back and watch, it looks like his knees are going to fall off

        • Bob’s Diner

          You couldn’t see his knees. He was wearing a very large coat that covered them. Unless you have x-ray glasses… can you please share them sometime? I’d like to see if Randy Orton really is a robot and if so, why someone can’t upgrade his programming

    • Robert D Miller

      Not worried about his health at all he has had what maybe 10 matches in last 5 yrs his body is taking nowhere near the damage people think it is and as richard stated those of us that have watched undertaker from the begining (I actually remember him as “mean” mark callus and like him when he was tagging with dan spivey in wcw lol) that these moments are indeed coming to an end so relish them for what they are especially since that old man as you call him givesmus at least a 4 star match if not better every year

      • Jbreed

        The problem is until just a couple of months ago The Undertaker wasn’t sure if he could wrestle a match at this year’s WM. This could only mean he’s been dealing with health issues even though he hasn’t been as active over the past few years.

        • Bob’s Diner

          Or he could have been concerned about the WWE Network meaning he won’t get his usual PPV bonus

    • Mysterion

      Let’s see you look better after decades of putting your body through hell, endless miles of travel, stupid amounts of surgery and being 48.

  • The Bops

    I was at the Undertaker’s first appearance (Survivor Series 1990, Hartford CT) and would damn near kill to see him live one more time. There might be some kinks in his armor and the tires have lost some tread, but this is one of the greatest and I can always claim that “I saw him first” haha 🙂 *being facetious*

  • King A sshole

    No body else hits the mark the way the Undertaker does, he just comes and it’s an almost universal rule that you turn into a six year old that just watched Toy Story for the first time. You’re going to lose your mind. No body else (not even Hogan) has that kind of power over the fans, and I think the reason for that is because he’s not going to disappoint you, every other wrestler on the roster can let you down, creative can piss you off, but for that four or five weeks out of the year, the Undertaker’s going give you a reason to stick around. At this point, I think his appeal is that he is kind of like Superman, in that if you were to go to the set of Batman Vs Superman and see Henry Cavill in full gear, you didn’t just see Henry Cavill, that was Superman. It’s the same with Taker, if you to Raw and see Taker, (Which everyone should go and do, his entrance is amazing) you just saw the Undertaker, and it was closest your ever going to get to a real life superhero. That’s my take on it atleast.

  • Willie N Michelle

    Hearing the gong and the lights going out gives me goosebumps every time! It has been awesome watching Undertaker through the years and as wrestlmania comes around The Streak is the one match I am always looking forward to. I agree with you Richard any appearance by the Undertaker is more historic and you never really know when it will be his last. Thats one era I dont want to see end…

  • Morgan McKirdy

    Richard you need to lay off the fans they can chant what they darn well please they paid their hard earned money to watch the show. It ia their right. Who cares? WWE seems like they’re taking the easy way out and Trying to hid the chants on tv but they Cant ignore them forever. Batista matches deserve all the heat and chants they get IMO.

    • David Jr.

      He’s not talking about the Batista match, he means the crowd chant during the Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt match.

      • Bob’s Diner

        But why is it OK in some matches but awful in others?

        • Jbreed

          The thing is the boos and the negative chants towards Batista are genuine, but when it’s done during other matches I think it’s just the fans having fun. The problem is the WWE officials may interpret those chants the wrong way and think the fans don’t care about guys like Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns either.

          • Bob’s Diner

            The fans didn’t care about the match. It was boring. But what I keep seeing is people upset because their favourites put on a bad match and the crowd didn’t give them a pass. All of a sudden this crowd became “disrespectful”, despite the huge ovation they gave Hulk Hogan and Undertaker and completely blowing the roof off the building when Undertaker put Lesnar through a table.

            Also, their lukewarm reception to Daniel Bryan was a reaction to the idea of Bryan/HHH at WrestleMania. You could tell the crowd were let down knowing there was no way he was getting put in the title match

          • opie

            I think everybody from the two big EC matches looked gassed Monday night (except for maybe Bryan, but he has a ridiculous motor).

          • Bob’s Diner

            Fair point, actually. Though hilariously, none looked as gassed as Batista. 10 minutes of wrestling within 24 hours really took it out of him

          • Jbreed

            I agree with your second comment. And I actually hope the fans at New Orleans crap all over the Triple H/Daniel Bryan match as well.

          • Bob’s Diner

            I just hope they actually boo the crap out of HHH – most of the time he goes in to these matches and still gets a great reaction, leaving me very confused. If anyone in that arena actually cheers when he hits the pedigree I will be very disappointed

    • opie

      So what you’re saying is that the fans chanting “Husky Harris” should tell Vince and Triple H that Bray Wyatt’s gimmick just isn’t working? I mean, they can’t ignore them forever . . .

      • Robert D Miller

        Are you watching the same shows everyone else is lmao bray wyatt is one of the most over people on the roster

        • Jbreed

          Some chants need to be taken with a grain of salt. When the fans start chanting Michael Cole’s name I doubt it means the 15,000 fans in the arena who are chanting actually like the guy.

        • opie

          I was being sarcastic. If you want to get literal, I’m saying that people probably shouldn’t read so much into chants.

  • Sandeep Agarwal

    I just finished watching Raw and i am still having goose bumps. I don’t agree with people who are saying that he looked old and slow. Undertaker looked fearsome, that too standing in front of Brock Lesnar who himself looks like a monster. The attire, the goatee and those eyes, pure evil. This is going to be another epic match and i just can’t wait to see it. I agree with Richard, every appearance and match from the Undertaker now on is going to be historic!

    • Ernest Bethea

      Richard hit the nail on the head. We are witnesses to history when it comes to The Undertaker. Instead of being overly critical, just sit back, relax, and let’s ride this thing out.

  • jason witten 82

    Although I agree with you 100 percent, people are still going to ruin the taker appearances for themselves anyway, some people just arnt happy unless they are complaining.

    • Bob’s Diner

      Absolutely. All I’ve heard the last few months is people complaining that Undertaker is too old, that people don’t want to see him wrestle Brock Lesnar, that he has poor health, blah blah blah. It is almost the same thing everyone complains about every year and come WrestleMania he proves them wrong all the time. He is one of the all-time greats and puts on stellar matches year after year.

      • Cubed56

        Taker is old by wrestling standards and he probably has lost a step and rightfully so, but I agree with you, when all the chips are down and the bright lights are on, he always delivers. However I am part of the group that does not want to see him fight lesnar. It’s not because I don’t think the match will be good or anything, I just want these last few manias we have taker for to have more doubt about the streak remaining. Now I get with his superior athleticism and his strength, Brock does pose a threat to the streak, but as a true wrestling fan you’ve gotta know there is no way the streak ends to a part timer. That is the only reason I don’t want Brock vs taker. The lack of drama to the streak ending makes me less interested in this match then if it would be against DB or Cena. However, you can be damn sure I’ll be watching when these two meet at WM, cause you know taker will do everything possible to deliver another amazing WM match.

        • Bob’s Diner

          Well said.

  • Charlie Crimefighter Hovey

    I have seen take wrestle live 15-20 times since 95.. Wrestlemania 28 when he came out was surreal.. You get goosebumps watching it live.. I will never forget seeing it…

  • youcantnailher

    i get the chants at batista, but the other matches, c’mon! asshole crowd

    • Bob’s Diner

      So it is fine during matches with guys you don’t like but not in matches with guys you like

      • Xavier

        Our common sense regarding that topic is falling on death ears I’m afraid

      • youcantnailher

        its just common sense. i like batista btw, but in better shape . its very easy to say things without any knowledge.

  • Mohan Ramnath

    Undertaker looks more badass with the long hair, the mo hawk just looks to dam funny for me to take him serious.

    and if i was wwe creative wen he return should have put him on his bike- keep the dam man outfit but use the bike , with him wearing the hoddy he’d be ghostrider look – whic wod have been better i think

    • JR Texx (Jamie)

      dam mean? do you mean Dead Man? he should keep to one gimmick at thats it.

      • Mohan Ramnath

        ah yes sorry “dead Man” and keep the gimmick but add a change same outfit just the bike, the long walk to the ring gets old after a while esp with him doing hip surgery etc. the bike would have been cool

    • Sandeep Agarwal

      So you want him to come out on a bike after the gong? Hilarious.

      • Mohan Ramnath

        why not he is always the best match at wrestlemania and he doesnt have long again. they could change it up cut the lights , do the undertake symbol on fire, light on fire a path to the ring, do the gong, and use the dif dead man tune a bit – i’m sure the crowd would love it .

    • Mysterion

      Despite your best efforts to make this as unreadable as possible I managed to get through it and determine thank The Lord you aren’t booking ANYTHING wrestling related. That is an atrocious idea. Remember when TNA went and changed the Sting character…?

      • Mohan Ramnath

        so i can’t voice an opinion? and throw out ideas, how many millions of people exist that watch wwe , you think they all share your same view?

        • Mysterion

          On the Undertaker I can pretty comfortably say the majority of people do NOT want to see him wearing a hoody and riding a bike to the ring while his Dead Man music plays. It’s a horrible idea.

          • Mohan Ramnath

            when i said a hoody, i mean the outfit he wore on raw, and they could change the song and you can’t speak for other people just your self.

          • Bob’s Diner

            His outfit from Raw? How on Earth is he supposed to ride a motorbike while wearing that thing???

  • Jbreed

    BTW the new voting system sucks. Damn Discus.

    • Bob’s Diner

      Agreed. I see a stupid comment and don’t get the pleasure of seeing it get a hundred downvotes…

  • JR Texx (Jamie)

    One sound sums up The Undertaker.


  • Christen

    Chicago crowd will exactly be like Green Bay crowd they never hold back from anything

  • Robert Olley

    My only problem with taker returning is his match is with lesnar i just dont think it will steal the show like the last few years.
    The stuff with punk is getting old now he decided to leave and i think its time we all forgot about the spoilt brat.

    • David C

      Spoilt brat isn’t exactly what i would call him in this situation. Plenty of Superstars over the years have had a certain extent of control over where they are heading in storylines, but this was a very different thing entirely.

      Look at the year from WM29 through to where we are now and hopefully you’ll agree that there have been lots of questionable decisions made.

      Firstly we had the strong reactions to guys like Ziggler, Punk, Bryan and Reigns.

      Over the course of the year we saw Ziggler become jobber fodder after a concussion lost him his spot. This was thanks in part also to the fact that managerial liked keeping Del Rio prominent because they cared about markets and money over the fans reaction.

      Bryan has been gathering the biggest true face reaction from an audience in years. He managed to get a comedy segment character over and turn around to come out with a show stealer at Summerslam. Since then he was part of some of the strangest match outcomes (battleground) and had to take a back seat due to the creative only booking for short term. Now he’s as hot as ever and is missing what 99% of the WWE viewers believe should have been his moment with the Rumble win and WM pinfall.

      Punk stole the show with Taker at Mania and finally got a little rest, he then went on to provide a great story between himself and Lesnar only to become an afterthought and eventually be in a series of almost pointless matches. To top this off he’s told his plans were going to be changed to a match with Kane whose in ring performances have been sub par as of late.

      All this is a result of the WWE failing to write ahead for their true talent and deciding to go above the work dogs who seemingly never get their chance for relevance by bringing back a poor wrestler in Batista.

      If i was him I’d be questioning what’s the point aswel

      • blb1983

        jim ross said it best on the wwe legends roundtable renegades and outlaws (just saw it on wwe network lol) that their are to many guys now in the back that are just happy to receive a paycheck instead of speaking up and rocking the boat to give the bosses a different point of view on things and if they speak up and get no results over time then they should find another profession instead of doing something their heart is not into, sounds like what punk did

  • Padres4life

    has anyone given up yet with the whole DB thing? I don’t think he’ll ever be champion…i do find it curious how he’s the spokesman for the WWE Network on the WWE website though, find that strange.

  • LeftyTosser

    That crowd didn’t send a message, they seemed out of touch and irrelevant? The last time I checked, the fans were what make the business what it is and help companies like WWE make the money they make. Fans are never irrelevant. As soon as a company determines that what the fans think is irrelevant, the company is on the way down.

    Personally I am not a big fan of Punk. But a company that makes some of the decisions that VKM and company have recently, to think the they would consider fans to be irrelevant would be insane.
    Richard, I know that was not what you meant, it had to be a typo.

  • David F.

    There is no way WWE can confiscate all CM Punk sings this Monday or they will have riot on their hands lol.

  • LeftyTosser

    Richard, if fans really wanted to show the WWE what they think on the Punk situation, then the strongest response would be to do a Punk chant early in the show, and then go completely quiet for the remainder of the show. There is no way VKM or production could recover fast enough for people around the world to not notice the quiet in the arena. There is far more strength in a silent crowd than in any chants they could ever do.

  • Anon

    Punk should just be there on his own accord, sitting in the crowd…

  • Anon

    I think in his function as host of WM XXX Hogan should add Bryan to the
    title match during the PPV, then gets shoved by Orton, gives him three
    punches, throws him out of the ring, tears his shirt and poses while
    Real American is playing…that would be perfect usw of the character at