On WWE’s website, they recently released a poll asking fans which of the Undertaker’s various WrestleMania matches are their favorites. Many names were mentioned, such as Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Bray Wyatt, Mark Henry, Edge, Ric Flair, and various others. However one name is conspicuously absent from the poll. The Undertaker’s bout against CM Punk at WrestleMania XXIV is mentioned, but Punk is not.
Many find it both petty and hilarious that WWE refuses to mention Punk at all. Others find it ironic that Punk is getting the “Benoit treatment.” In fact, when one votes in the poll, the site does not reveal the results of the voting, and instead claims that the winners will be revealed on March 27 in a WWE Network exclusive. Many find it highly unlikely that Punk will be mentioned at all in the network exclusive.
Many called out WWE for being so petty, with users on Reddit claiming that the snubbing of Punk will lead to people voting for him just to spite WWE. One user even joked that people would troll the poll and “vote for WrestleMania 29, when Undertaker defended the streak against himself.” Another said he “lent his voice to the voiceless Voice of the Voiceless” and voted for Punk. This, of course, is a play on words, as CM Punk often called himself the “Voice of the Voiceless.”
Prior to WrestleMania 29 in 2013, CM Punk lost the WWE Championship to The Rock at the Royal Rumble, and decided to “take something away from the fans” because they took the WWE Championship from him. He beat Big Show, Sheamus, and Randy Orton in a fatal-four way match to earn the right to face the Undertaker at WrestleMania 29. It was during the build up to the match when CM Punk courted controversy by using Paul Bearer’s name. Bearer had died after Punk had won the fatal-four way, and Punk allegedly disrespected Bearer. At one point, Punk even got an urn, which he purported held the ashes of Bearer. He then poured out the ashes onto the ground.
The segment was highly criticized by many as being too disrespectful towards a recently deceased person. Others claimed that Punk was simply acting to get heat, and that Bearer, who was “old-school,” would approve of such tactics. Regardless, Punk lost the match and the Undertaker extended his WrestleMania streak to 21 – 0. This was the last victory in The Streak before Undertaker lost to Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XXX.
Punk left the company the next year, citing injuries and frustration as the reasons for leaving. He claimed he had been wrestling while suffering from a staph infection. He also suffered several concussions, and worked while having broken ribs and injured knees. He also highly criticized Triple H. Punk walked out after the 2014 Royal Rumble, and has not returned since.
“I was sick and hurt, and sick and tired, and burnt out, and I walked. And, I can do that because I’m an independent contractor.”
Vince McMahon publicly apologized to Punk on the WWE Network and claimed he was open to working with him again. However Punk felt this was a publicity stunt and rejected the apology.
Punk was one of the most popular superstars of his time, especially from 2011 to 2013. He held the WWE Championship for 434 days. He won it at Survivor Series in 2011 before dropping it to the Rock at Royal Rumble in 2013. It was during his reign that many memorable moments occurred, such as his feud with Ryback and John Cena, and the debut of The Shield.
[Featured Image by WWE]