Last year, The Undertaker faced off against Vince McMahon’s new guy, Roman Reigns. This match was supposed to be the passing of a torch from ‘Taker to Reigns… at least in Vince’s eyes. Despite the rejection and disapproval of fans about Reigns, ‘Taker suffered his second lose at WrestleMania against Reigns.
Seeing Undertaker return for WrestleMania season still gives me goosebumps. I have been a fan of ‘Taker since the early 2000’s. In fact, I got into wrestling when I saw the likes of The Undertaker. As a child, he used to scare me and I’m sure I’m not the only one that he used to frighten. Anyways, the point is, ‘Taker returning for WrestleMania 34 was nothing short of excitement for old school fans like myself. However, there was a feeling that this may be The Undertaker’s last match ever.
I and the rest of the fans had a feeling this would be ‘Taker’s last match because let’s face it, we all know he is no longer in the best shape of his life. ‘Taker is past his prime. The Deadman is 53 years old. But somehow and someway, the WWE keeps getting Undertaker to perform once every year, at WrestleMania.
Since the match between Reigns and ‘Taker was meant to be the passing of a torch, we got a feeling this would indeed be ‘Taker’s last match… and it was apparently. Reigns went on to defeat ‘Taker in a match which was a failure and devastating to watch.
Why The Match Was A Disaster
The match between Reigns and ‘Taker flopped due to a number of reasons:
- ‘Taker had been holding off a hip injury.
- ‘Taker was 52 going into the match, way past his prime. This showed in the match as ‘Taker had a hard time moving around and being carried by Reigns.
- The fans do not give a shit about Roman Reigns. Majority of them boo him out the arena.
- The ending of the match which saw Reigns go over Taker, only added more fuel to the fire of hatred that fans have against Reigns.
Aftermath Of The Match
After the match between Reigns and ‘Taker, ‘Taker was left all alone in the ring. ‘Taker grabbed his formal coat and hat that he takes off before a match, proceeded to wear it and then took it all off again, placing it in the middle of the ring. Moreover, ‘Taker removed his gloves and left them lying in the center of the ring beside his coat and hat. Although not confirmed, I and everyone else were perhaps witnessing a battered legend and benchmark of this company having wrestled his last match, hinting at retirement.
The Buildup To The Return Of The Phenom
At WrestleMania 34, The Undertaker made his shocking return, to wrestle a man that needs no introduction, John Cena.
John Cena had been failing to earn a spot on the WrestleMania card. Losing at Royal Rumble, Elimination Chamber and then at Fastlane, Cena was left without a match and no secure path to go to WrestleMania.
On Raw Talk after Elimination Chamber, Cena’s disappointment was showing. He said that he might have one more plan left and is willing to go out of proper etiquette to figure it out. That could have meant anything. I personally thought that this would be a chance to see Cena finally turn heel! If not a heel turn, then something big…. We had to wait and watch.
Calling Out The Deadman
On the Raw after Elimination Chamber, John Cena revealed his plan. Cena called out The Undertaker!
John Cena was on the verge of making this dream match a reality. For four weeks straight, John Cena kept calling out The Undertaker to a match at WrestleMania 34 and every time the crowd ate it up. Everyone wanted to see this dream match. The only problem? ‘Taker refused to respond in any way possible. No sign, no famous “gong”, no nothing. Us fans were almost left to believe that this match may not happen after all. Cena said if he is not going to have a match with ‘Taker at WrestleMania, then he will simply go to WrestleMania, sit in the crowd with all the other fans, to enjoy WrestleMania as a fan for the first time ever in his career.
Knowing the WWE, they would not have John Cena, the biggest superstar of the modern era after Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin, to continually tease a match with The Undertaker week after week for WrestleMania, only for ‘Taker to no-show the event. Deep down inside, I knew this mystery of The Undertaker’s whereabouts will be solved at WrestleMania.
Be Careful What You Wish For
It was WrestleMania time. John Cena’s segment was on. I was eager to know in which fashion will the WWE have The Undertaker appear and face off against John Cena in a dream match everyone has been wanting to see for many years. A lot of questions were raised such as if The Undertaker will return with his biker gimmick since he left his Deadman attire (gloves, hat, coat) in the middle of the ring last year. Few minutes into the segment (after the riddance of an interrupting Elias by Cena), the lights went out.
It was dark all around the arena. Suddenly, a spotlight with the gloves, the hat and the coat appear in the middle of the ring.
A lightening strikes the attire. The lights go out again. Few seconds later, the famous “gong” tolled around the arena which only meant one thing….
The Deadman rose once again and answered John Cena’s challenge in a big way! Fans were unglued from their seats as they witnessed The Legendary Phenom make his return once again, “THEEEEE UNDERRRRTAKERRRR!”.
Everyone including myself was finally about to see this dream showdown happen before our very eyes. Of course, these two have faced off with one another before, but that was over a decade ago. Moreover, the John Cena we know today was not the John Cena we knew before that went on to face The Undertaker. Cena was still green, a heel, trying to make a name for himself and ‘Taker was in his biker gimmick phase. Both megastars have changed over time drastically and are bonafide future WWE Hall of Famers today.
Everyone around the world expected an instant classic between these two but what we got was a surprise(?) or yet another mystery to still be addressed by both Cena, ‘Taker and the WWE.
John Cena shockingly got beat by The Undertaker in two minutes and forty-five seconds…. Cena was unable to get barely any offence in. ‘Taker absolutely destroyed the superman that once was of the WWE, John Cena. Despite ‘Taker’s quick disposal of Cena, ‘Taker had not looked this good in years.
The Undertaker shockingly looked like he was in tremendous shape as he performed the moves we had not seen him perform quite preferably since his match with CM Punk at WrestleMania 29. Ever since WrestleMania 30, The Undertaker’s age had caught up to him in wrestling, as he was putting on sloppy performances, making it hard for the fans to watch.
There Has To Be More To This Rivalry
Now the question remains is why the match between ‘Taker and Cena was so quick? Was it because ‘Taker could not perform at the standards of a lengthy match? Who knows. But what I do have a feeling about is that this can not be it.
I mean look at this, you have John Cena, the face that ran the place and carried the WWE on its shoulders for so many years, longer than anyone else, demolished by The Undertaker, at the BIGGEST event of WWE we see once a year, WRESTLEMANIA. This just does not make any sense. Why? Because I think the WWE is going to have a rematch between these two. Since John Cena vs. The Undertaker draws money, why not make much use out of it as possible. This is simply a smart strategy by WWE to draw and sell out next year’s WrestleMania perhaps.
As statistics and history have shown, John Cena and The Undertaker (despite his age factor), have the ability to put on an instant classic. The match they had at WrestleMania 34 did not simply feel like that both sides were trying to put on a clinic. It was more of a “happy to see The Undertaker back and healthy” type of feeling. The competitiveness was still missing in the match. Moreover, John Cena does not suffer from humiliating defeats without a rematch in sight.
I mean let’s face it, it’s WrestleMania people. John Cena and The Undertaker have made the squared circle their yard and have performed at the elite level at WrestleMania for majority of their careers. John Cena has had eight WWE World Heavyweight Championship defenses at WrestleMania, with five main evented and The Undertaker had his undefeated streak of 21-0 at WrestleMania which was a cornerstone of WrestleMania before Brock Lesnar broke it. A win over The Undertaker at WrestleMania meant a greater accomplishment than winning the main title at the event.
With the shocking outcome of ‘Taker and Cena’s match, we are left with a cliff-hanger and that is why I believe we will see a rematch at WrestleMania 35. There is still a lot left to milk out of this. What we saw at WrestleMania 34 was just an appetizer to what awaits us perhaps at WrestleMania 35.
The Best Is Yet To Come
The WWE will in no way leave us with a cliff-hanger. They usually don’t. With the way The Undertaker looked at WrestleMania 34 and with John Cena still in tremendous shape, there is still hope for an classic showdown between them which WWE is holding off. The only question remains, how will the WWE play this storyline out?
Changes The WWE Can Make This Time Around That The Fans Will Love
In my opinion, John Cena should return to the WWE and climb back to the top of the mountain slowly. Cena has almost a year to rebuild himself up as the force he once was in the WWE when he was a full-timing wrestler.
What can John Cena do?
- Win big matches
- Win a main event championship and beat Ric Flair’s record of all time main championship wins
- Turn heel. Change his character. Become a villainous force to be reckoned with and run havoc on the entire roster. This way, Cena can beat ‘Taker and establish himself as the greatest heel since Hulk Hogan’s heel turn. Moreover, Cena as we know is great on the mic. As judging from his previous heel turn during his early WWE run, he was the hottest thing on the mic and talk of the topic as the Doctor of Thuganomics. Imagine the things we can see from a heel Cena once again especially after all he has seen and learnt in the business.
As for The Undertaker, I would like to see him come back as The American Badass and go on to face a heel John Cena. That would enable Undertaker to have more freedom to talk and perform, rather than being restricted by his usual Deadman gimmick. Moreover, have The Undertaker put his career on the line. It would add higher stakes to the match-up this time. Imagine how entertaining the buildup and the match itself would be to watch. It would be nostalgic to watch The American Badass against The Doctor of Thuganomics once again.
Do you agree with seeing a rematch between The Undertaker and John Cena at WrestleMania 35? How would you like to see these two build up towards their match this time around? Comment and leave your thoughts below!