After amassing his 21st-straight victory at WrestleMania XXIX over CM Punk, fans openly wondered who would topple The Undertaker and finally put his historic Streak to an end.

Year after year, fans would clamor to see who would draw “The Deadman” for a match at The Showcase of the Immortals, and year after year, fans would have to watch a performer they put their whole heart behind come up short against the “American Bada**,” even if it did lead to some pretty incredible matches like Taker's legendary bouts against Shawn Michaels.

But did you know that before Brock Lesnar was tabbed as the man who would end Taker's legendary run, there was another man strongly considered for the honor but ultimately passed over due to his lack of maturity? According to Paul Heyman on Rick Rubin's Tetragrammaton podcast, that's the case, and the ramifications of the decision are fascinating.

“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,” Punk said via Fightful. “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. 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.”

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Goodness gracious, could you imagine a world where CM Punk, not “The Beast Incarnate,” stood over a laid-out Undertaker after the bell rang 1-2-3? Would he have earned an even more impressive push in WWE and ultimately remained in the company long-term instead of leaving the promotion and joining AEW over half a decade later? Who knows, maybe Punk would have been pushed like a top guy, paid like a top guy, and as a result, found a mid-career maturity a la John Cena when he became WWE's top star?

… or maybe Punk would have pipe bombed the situation as he's accustomed to doing, and it would have been an even bigger disaster than giving Lesnar the honors? Either way, it's interesting to learn, regardless.

CM Punk lands an endorsement from a surprising AEW colleague.

Turning attention from the past to the not-too-distant future, CM Punk is slated to headline AEW's new show Collision, which will be coming to fans next Saturday from 8-10 EST.

While some fans have questioned the decision to bring back Punk and give him so much power on television, Billy Gunn noted in an interview with WrestleBinge that he feels talks of “The Best in the World” being a locker room cancer are widely overblown.

“So you can probably look at that two ways. Some people are gonna think it’s negative, and some people… I think it’s positive thing, I really do, because he is still, no matter what goes on behind the scene, he’s still got it. He’s still the guy. He still has huge drawing power, and that’s only gonna help us, so why would you not want a guy in here that can help?” Gunn said via Fightful.  “I don’t feel he’s as toxic as everybody thinks he is, but then again, I’m an old person and I don’t really care about all that other stuff. All I care about is what can he do for the company? What can he do for the talent in the company? He’s still very good at that, and we all have our days of where we go a little off-track. I can’t speak for anything, what happened with that, because everything I heard is also hearsay, and I don’t speak on hearsay because I’m not a gossiper. But in the general scheme of things, I think it’s a good thing, it really is.”

Asked how he feels Punk will help AEW moving forward, ran through an expansive laundry list, suggesting that his return could have widespread benefits across the promotion.

“He’s just gonna help the company all around. He’s gonna help the talent on the Collision show or whatever. I mean, when the single guy can sell out Chicago arenas, yeah, I’m gonna say you might wanna keep him around a little bit,” Gunn said. “But what personality’s on the other side, sometimes you gotta set that aside. I’ve been in the business a long time. There’s been some people that I despise, but I still work with them. That’s just being honest. I still will do my job because my job isn’t to like you or dislike you. My job is to go out there and have the best match and do the best for the company that you can, and that’s what you do. I’m not gonna hang out with you. We’re not gonna go eat, we’re not gonna go to the gym, but when it comes to business, when it comes to stepping in the ring, it should always be business. It should always be, you do the best that you can at that moment in that specific time that you’re given. So I think it’s a good thing, I really do. All feelings aside, it’s gonna be a good thing. It really is.”

Will Gunn's take prove correct? Will AEW finally add another top-tier star who helps to vault the promotion back into legit competition with WWE, instead of being a clear-tier blow in this pivotal fourth year on television? Fans will have to tune into Collision to find out.