CM Punk will appear at WrestleMania, and the Shane McMahon-Undertaker battle is the perfect way to bring him in. There is ample reason to suspect this “surprise” appearance will occur in the way that events are stacking up on both the WWE and UFC sides of things.
First, World Wrestling Entertainment.
Bringing Shane McMahon in on this past edition of Monday Night Raw was a swerve that no one saw coming. Putting him in the prime spot against The Undertaker at WrestleMania 32 on April 3 was even more surprising.
As WWE storytelling would dictate, there is no way that Shane beats ‘Taker in head-to-head competition. Yet bringing in Vince’s “estranged” son for a one-off appearance in which he gets clobbered and beaten would be a move more suited for the lone WCW superstar-who-will-not-be-named to never work for the WWE until he was washed up. It’s not a way to treat a family member.
Therefore, if fans know that Shane will survive this tiff with his old man (and ‘Taker), then they also know he will need some outside help, preferably from a Straight-Edge Superstar with a history of putting Mr. McMahon in his place like CM Punk.
Add to this evidence the fact that WWE quietly put CM Punk back on the alumni section of their website this week as well as the “surprise” appearance from UFC superstar Ronda Rousey last year as precedent, and the probability of a WrestleMania appearance is increasing.
It makes sense for the WWE and UFC to work with each other on this, which brings the evidence to the UFC side of things.
CM Punk is supposed to fight Mickey Gall in 2016. However, he was forced to undergo a surgery to repair a herniated disk from his wrestling days on Feb. 10. That means Punk cannot step into a cage for the four- to six-week recovery time, making him ready for action by March 23 — 11 days before the biggest WWE show of the year.
CM Punk signed with UFC in 2014 and has still not had his first fight. He’s getting stale, and Dana White knows it. So what better way to regenerate interest in Punk’s debut than to work with Vince McMahon on a one-off deal that has Punk costing ‘Taker the match McMahon placed his son in to teach him a lesson on the grandest stage of all?
Having Shane go over in such a way would generate a massive pop and play into the current WWE storyline. It would also create will-he-or-won’t-he buzz on whether CM Punk will really show up for WrestleMania, thus giving fans a compelling reason not to cancel their WWE Network subscriptions until the following Monday.
That said, it is unlikely any appearance from CM Punk in a WWE wrestling ring would lead to a lengthier program. The Straight-Edge Superstar will likely show up, screw Vince, cut a hot promo, and leave. He won’t get physical because it would be stupid to risk injury when he’s already been injured in the WWE before, and the UFC has him for a multi-fight deal they’ve had to put off for two years already.
Still, going from the massive pop Rousey’s appearance created last year, it’s pretty clear that CM Punk wouldn’t have to do any wrestling moves or holds to start the “This is awesome” chants, and that creates a win-win for Vince McMahon and Dana White.
What do you think, readers?
Is it crazy to think CM Punk will be at WrestleMania, or is the evidence there to back it? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Image via Flickr Creative Commons/Ed Webster]