In what was unquestionably the most shocking outcome in WWE history (sorry, 123 Kid), The Undertaker stared at the lights for Brock Lesnar during Wrestlemania XXX, and has been notably absent in the aftermath.
Many folk are speculating that The Undertaker is done as a WWE performer and, now that the streak is broken, he’ll return to Death Valley and live out his retirement watching Addams Family reruns (I’ve always assumed that would be his favourite TV show).
But I have very different feelings on the matter. I’m not convinced we’ve seen the last of The Undertaker as an in-ring performer. No sirree. You wanna know why? Then please allow me to elaborate…
Nobody with even a modicum of brain activity is ever going to argue with the fact that The Undertaker is one of the greatest ever performers the WWE has ever known. I think it’s fair to say that he’s frequently not mentioned alongside other greats such as Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin and Ric Flair … And that’s mighty unfair indeed. Because not only has he had a near 25 year career, pretty much all of it has spent at the very top of the card. Part of me thinks he doesn’t get listed among the greats because he’s still recognised as a current performer – and further adulations will come when his retirement is confirmed.
It’s pretty amazing to think that a guy that used to share locker rooms with the likes of Jimmy Snuka, Ultimate Warrior, Randy Savage and Demolition has also shared locker rooms with guys like of CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler and The Shield. To say his career bridges generations is a mighty understatement.
The picture that I’m trying to paint here is that The Undertaker is the absolute definition of a WWE icon. There will never, ever be another performer who boasts a 25 year in-ring career with the company.
Thus, would the WWE – and Undertaker himself – let his last match occur with such little fanfare and send-off? Hell no, says I.
I fully believe that when The Undertaker does choose to wrestle his last ever match, we will all be made very aware of the fact. Think of the business that WWE could do off the back of it! Wrestling fans from every generation – even a plethora of those that have stopped watching the product – would surely clamour in abundance to witness a final outing from The Deadman. And you’d have to think that ticket prices on the secondary market would go through the roof! It will undoubtedly be one of the biggest “I was there” moments in wrestling AND sporting history!
So I’m very much of the opinion that The Undertaker will be back. Possibly at Wrestlemania 31 as he attempts to seek redemption following the collapse of his streak. Or heck, if not at Wresltemania, the WWE could surely base an entire entire around The Undertaker’s last match, and rename one of the lesser PPVs “The Last Ride” or something. For me, that would reek of awesomeness.
A match with Sting is still strongly rumoured, and I’d be all for it. Sure, their combined age is well over 100… But these are two absolute masters of the game who are well aware of the limitations that Father Time has imposed on their abilities, and thus I’m confident they’d know what shortcuts to take to ensure an entertaining bout occurs between them. The buzz that would surround the match would be off the scale. Also, if the match were to take place at Wrestlemania 31, with the streak now broken the outcome would be well up in the air.
My only beef with a possible match-up between the two would be if it was also billed as Sting’s last match. The Undertaker shouldn’t have to share the spotlight equally with anyone – even someone as iconic as Sting – as he bows out.
Another distinct possibility for a final bout is a rematch with Lesnar. Sure, their match didn’t set the world on fire this year and it was arguably the worst match on the Wrestlemania card (divas aside). But an early concussion reportedly suffered by The Undertaker contributed to that, and he surely would snap at the chance to make amends with a show-stealing performance against The Beast.
To further milk The Undertaker brand for another year (and I mean totally mean that in a good way, I hope WWE milks The Undertaker until his teets are bone-dry), The Phenom can return again at Wrestlemania 32 for a Hall of Fame induction.
So hey, it’s just an opinion, but I’m stating confidently that we haven’t yet seen The Undertaker’s last match. When we do, it will be celebrated with as much ferocity as the 4th of July – because that’s the type of send-off The Undertaker deserves.
Over and out