It all started when CM Punk was placed in a four-way match to determine the opponent for Undertaker at WrestleMania. Although The Big Show, Randy Orton, and Sheamus were all good candidates to face 'Taker, it was pretty much a lock that CM Punk was going to be the chosen one this year.
Initially, CM Punk simply used his good mic work to convince even the strongest believers of the streak that any form of winning—albeit even a countout or disqualification—is good enough to cause a one-loss blemish. It seemed as if that was the path WWE Creative was going to take for the duration of the angle.
Then—tragedy struck. We were saddened to hear about the loss of Paul Bearer. The WWE did a great job honoring Bearer by having a tribute show dedicated to him. Although CM Punk did take some jabs that seemed to be directed to the death of Paul Bearer, it was not too overboard. To atone for any feelings of discomfort amongst the fans, Kane defeated CM Punk in the main event of that evening.
However, the jabs did not stop there.
Since then, we have seen Punk toss around the urn like he played for the Harlem Globetrotters, "accidentally" drop the urn, and take more jabs at Paul Bearer's death. Most extremely, he attacked The Undertaker with the urn, which he revealed to contain ashes that he subsequently poured on 'Taker and rubbed on his own body. Moreover, Paul Heyman mockingly dressed as Paul Bearer.
With these heinous acts committed by Punk, he still continues to be adulated by the cult-like followers who will never jeer him, no matter what the case may be. So, because of that, one may wonder if the level of Punk's actions were even necessary, having gone too far to make himself become a legitimate threat to break The Undertaker's 20-0 WrestleMania streak.
One thing that I ponder about is how WWE would have developed the feud if Paul Bearer did not pass away. Would the urn still be used? Would he heavily emphasize a countout or disqualification victory like he did initially? We will never know.
However, one thing I do know is that the WWE is definitely pulling out all the stops to sell this feud—even at the expense of a deceased Paul Bearer. Despite this, the current direction has definitely added some passion to the feud, and has made The Undertaker look vulnerable.
Do you think that CM Punk has gone too far? Sound off below.