The Undertaker is a major feature of the WWE's Wrestlemania 31 advertisements that currently adorn their production trucks, and with rumors beginning to fly about whether or not Mark Calloway makes his return to WWE in the next few months, I thought we should take a look at what his role could be for the "Grand-Daddy of them all!"
This is the most obvious choice, as people have been debating the merits of a Phenom vs. Icon match for years. While the build-up and drama would be epic, there is no guarantee about match quality, so I'm less enthused about this potential option than some of the others I'll mention. Plus, after Survivor Series, Sting has to wrestle Triple H, right?
If you made most WWE fans pick a current superstar to face the Deadman (not counting our current WHC, who isn't exactly "current", is he?), I'm venturing that almost all of them would say Bray Wyatt. While he doesn't have the physical presence of The Undertaker, his gimmick is certainly the closest, and as with Sting, the lead-in to Mania would be pretty amazing.
The biggest problem with this idea is in terms of who wins. Nobody wants to see Undertaker lose 2 matches in a row, and at this point Bray needs as many wins as he can get. Unlikely, but a decent idea.
No, I don't mean Corporate Kane. . . Or Concessions Kane for that matter. This match would require Hell's Favorite Demon to make a return, mask optional, in one final battle between the Brothers of Destruction.
In a perfect world, this winds up being a double retirement match. While Undertaker is far and away the superior 'legend', these two talents have been linked for so many years that it would be poetic justice for them to end their careers facing each other.
Or, at least, in the same ring. . .
Up until they started getting their asses kicked by Itami and Balor, Konnor and Viktor were poised to be the next dominant talents in WWE. If you believe the rumors, this might still be the case, as these two will likely be making their main roster debuts soon after Takeover, and in Road Warrior-esque style to boot.
These two need a high profile feud to establish themselves, and if they are truly going to be the next monsters (despite their lack of size), fighting a Brothers of Destruction would be one way to do it. In my WAYYY too early predictions for Wrestlemania (also located here at NAI), I hypothesized that Kane and Big Show could be a team to take on The Ascension at Mania - Taker and Kane would make it ten times better.
This is my reach pick - Though Harper is immensely talented and poised to be a giant threat in WWE for the next few years, I'm not sure anyone in the company sees him as anywhere near Taker. However, there's potential here. This would be a fun mini-feud; Harper gets elevated just by being acknowledged by the Deadman and Undertaker leaves the WWE on a winning note.
This idea has been bandied about social media for months now, practically ever since Lesnar won the WHC. After a stretch of dominant performances (or, in this case, a couple dominant performances followed by 2-3 months off), the Undertaker returns to avenge his Wrestlemania defeat. The two go head to head for the title at Wrestlemania, Undertaker is victorious and retires as champion the next night on RAW, setting up a tournament to crown a new champion (which, if booked right, could easily be Roman Reigns).
Again, I'm dubious about the possibilities, but a lot of fans would probably sleep better at night if this happened, erasing the memories of Wrestlemania 30.
I seem to be the only one riding this train, but so be it, I'll ride it alone.
For those who've missed my earlier thoughts on this, there was promo Cena did leading up to Night of Champions. In this promo, Cena makes a somewhat offhanded comment about how he had made his return from a Brock Lesnar beatdown after only a few weeks, whereas 'Taker had suffered his loss way back at 'Mania and had not been seen since. This, to me, was more than just a throwaway bit of braggadocio. This was a slap in the face of Undertaker, one that should not and likely would not go unnoticed.
Even months later, I still think this would be an excellent feud. Taker comes out and attacks Cena at the Rumble, costing him his chance at victory. When he comes out to explain himself the next night, Undertaker shows this comment and, in the tradition of the once-American Bad Ass, says that while Cena might be the Big Dog of the WWE, this is still HIS yard.
Once more, we come down to who wins. I liked to think that Cena would be happy to help Taker end his career in the right way, but that was before I heard John personally asked to be the one to end the Streak, an act of such utter horse manure that it makes me sick just thinking about it. So perhaps this wouldn't be such a good idea after all.
Just because Undertaker is featured on the trucks doesn't mean he wrestles at 'Mania. Would anyone question Calloway's Hall of Fame credentials? Would anyone scoff at the idea of him being inducted so soon after, potentially, wrestling his last match? We might be in store for just an appearance from The Phenom, and frankly, that would be enough for me.
What do YOU think? How should The Undertaker be used at Wrestlemania, if he is used at all?