Paul Heyman has provided some insight into The Undertaker’s WrestleMania 29 classic with CM Punk and if “The Streak” could have ended.
It was ten years ago at WrestleMania 29 in 2013 at MetLife Stadium when Paul Heyman led CM Punk into a showdown with The Undertaker.
At the time, The Undertaker was 20-0 at WrestleMania as “The Streak” really took on a life of its own. In the eyes of many fans at the time, The Undertaker’s match at WrestleMania was often times considered the biggest match at the show whether it was for a WWE World Title or not.
Going into WrestleMania 29, CM Punk was coming off a 434-day WWE Title reign that ended at Royal Rumble 2013 when he lost the championship to The Rock. Despite not being the WWE Champion any longer, CM Punk’s star was brighter than ever thanks in part to that incredible championship reign that he had.
Paul Heyman was CM Punk’s advocate/manager during most of Punk’s memorable WWE Title reign. Together, they played mind games with The Undertaker by using the recent death of The Undertaker’s former manager Paul Bearer in the story. At one point, Heyman even dressed like Bearer while Punk poured ashes onto The Undertaker.
While there were moments in the WrestleMania 29 match where it looked like CM Punk might actually win, it didn’t happen. Like many WrestleMania matches, The Undertaker hit a Tombstone and pinned Punk to get the win.
During an appearance on Tetragrammaton with Rick Rubin, Paul Heyman spoke about the Undertaker-Punk rivalry and how a Punk win really could have made Punk a bigger star. However, Vince McMahon an WWE’s decision-makers didn’t agree.
“I thought when we were going with Punk versus Undertaker, and Paul Bearer had just passed away, and we had done the out of the box and way over the line story on television that we laid out the Undertaker, and then we poured the ashes of Paul Bearer out of the Undertaker’s urn onto the Undertaker, which was just the heaviest thing we could think of doing.”
“I was like, ‘Okay, if there’s a guy that could be anointed as a top tier star, if there’s someone that could become equal to Cena at this point in time, the Macho Man to Hogan, The Rock to Steve Austin, a clear 1 and 1A, that if we give Punk this victory, we’ve established someone for the next 20 years as a star.’ I thought the case could be made for that. CM Punk was ready to beat The Undertaker. In Vince’s mind, and a lot of other people’s minds, and most likely in Taker’s mind, Phil Brooks was not going to get that victory. CM Punk, yes. Phil Brooks, no. That was their decision. That was their judgment.”
One year later, Brock Lesnar beat The Undertaker at WrestleMania 30 with Heyman saying when he first heard about it, he thought Lesnar would end “The Streak” and that’s what happened.
“But Brock Lesnar going against the streak. The moment Vince came to us and said, ‘Hey, here’s what I have in mind for Mania. When he said Brock versus Undertaker, first thing in my mind was, ‘Oh, my God, we’re getting the streak.’ I didn’t see it any other way. I couldn’t fathom it any other way.”