The craziest WrestleMania rumor reported on websites for weeks has been the return of the Undertaker. The Undertaker is reportedly set to go for one more match at WrestleMania 31. That’s great news but the opponent makes absolutely no sense at all.
[adinserter block=”1″]The rumored Taker match pits the Dead Man against Bray Wyatt. Those rumors have been strengthened in recent weeks with Wyatt’s promos on RAW which certainly appear to be geared towards an Undertaker match. Yet this whole idea seems like one big wasted opportunity by the company, something that appears to be a theme with Taker’s recent Mania matches.
Let’s go back a couple of years, three to be exact and look at the creative leading up to Undertaker’s Mania matches. The Undertaker’s streak has arguably been the biggest match or at least second biggest match on Mania since Michaels started playing it up at 25. Ever since then the streak has taken on a life of its own and been something to look forward to every year. It seems so easy to write yet the booking has been some of the most uncreative in recent Mania years.
I’ll start with 28 against Triple H. The whole idea behind that match was absurd. The Undertaker won yet it was Taker seeking the rematch for some kind of “revenge.” I am still not clear what that revenge was. The booking of 29 with an ad-hoc Fatal Four Way on RAW with the winner meeting Undertaker resulted in one of the writers getting fired. I should point out how easy that could have been with Punk putting up his own streak of 400+ days as WWE champion vs. Taker’s streak. That would have been huge! The match that wound up ending the streak wound up so underwhelming going in because the angles were rather dull and predictable. I just can’t understand why it is so hard to book this guy correctly at Mania.
Now we are here a year after the streak and it appears we are heading towards a Wyatt vs. Undertaker match. That match makes zero sense for one reason. If Undertaker is coming back, why in the world wouldn’t he want to avenge his streak? Is he scared of Brock? Does he know he can’t beat Brock? Have you ever heard an interview with a losing team or player in a championship game who says his or her goal is anything but getting back to the championship next year? While the streak is not necessarily a championship, the idea of avenging it is the same in my opinion.
I have written for a year that Taker vs. Lesnar 2 at Mania 31 could be absolutely huge. Like Rock vs. Cena at 28, the match and angle has been promoted for a whole year, more if you go back to pre-30 promos. Undertaker coming back to silence Heyman’s obnoxious mocking and end the reign of terror of Lesnar writes itself. Who wouldn’t pay $10 to watch Undertaker shut Heyman up once and for all about “21 and 1″? Who wouldn’t root for the Undertaker to get his win back and stop the beast in his tracks?
The angle was so easy to write that it’s mind boggling it wasn’t done. Have Taker start messing with Lesnar with the lights going down, etc back in November. The Undertaker appears and wants his rematch which Heyman and Lesnar decline out of fear because we all know that the Undertaker has nothing to lose at this point. The Undertaker enters the Royal Rumble as a mystery entrant and wins his title match. The match is made with the caveat of Taker having to retire if he loses the match. He can either win the title and drop it on RAW the next day or a month later, retire with it, or lose the match and retire gracefully. You could also have Taker screw Lesnar out of the title with Brock demanding the match against Heyman’s wishes. It’s not rocket science.
[adinserter block=”2”]But no, the Undertaker will instead rise from the dead to answer some random challenge from a guy who most see as an upper-mid carder. I have never been a big proponent of the Sting match but hell, if he’s coming back a match with Sting would make more sense than this one. It makes less sense than a Lesnar rematch but more sense than anything else. This one makes Undertaker look more like a coward picking a fight with a lower card guy than the legendary tough guy he has been portrayed to be.
While I understand that Vince McMahon thinks his fans have short memories, nobody is forgetting about the loss at 30, especially when we have been reminded of it for a whole year. It will be nice to see the Undertaker back but at this point I’d rather let sleeping dogs lie. Keep him on the sidelines until you have something worthwhile. That match is not Bray Wyatt.