The Undertaker's loss at #WrestleMania 33 sent shockwaves through the entire WWE Universe, and the reason for that is due to the fact that it may have been the final time we ever see the Phenom wrestle in a WWE ring. His touching moment with the audience after the match — in which he left his gloves, coat and hat in the middle of the ring — was believed to symbolize his retirement from the company.
However, according to the Undertaker's friend Bruce Prichard, the Deadman hasn't wrestled his final match yet. Prichard is of course well-known for portraying Brother Love — the Undertaker's first manager — before Paul Bearer took over the managerial role. And he recently commented on the Phenom's "retirement" on his Something to Wrestle podcast. He stated:
"It was a nice ending of a chapter if you ask me, but I don’t think it’s over. Now he would argue with me on that and say, ‘No, that’s it.’ But you never say never in this business. And The Undertaker and that character will live on forever and I think that he could still go out and have a match. It may not be what it was 25 years ago, but by God, he’ll go out and the people will be behind him just as much as they were.”
It's safe to say that Prichard and Mark Calaway have known each other for a very long time. Thus, we certainly shouldn't laugh off Brother Love's comments. And it may have actually raised some interesting questions about the Undertaker's WWE status.
Did The Undertaker Actually Retire?
The Undertaker's emotional farewell definitely seemed like a fitting finale for his legendary in-ring career. He has put his body on the line to entertain WWE fans for 27 years, and with reports suggesting that he's in need of a hip replacement, it's safe to say that he earned his retirement a very long time ago.
So it would make total sense for him to bow out main-eventing WrestleMania for the fourth and final time. But was this actually the end of his in-ring career?
After all, since it happened, WWE hasn't officially confirmed his retirement. They have posted multiple "Thank You Taker" posts on their social media accounts, but have yet to post any solid evidence that he's retired. And given the finality of the WrestleMania moment, you would think that the company would be happy to celebrate his storied career by officially announcing his retirement.
Moreover, the commentary team have been commenting on his "possible" retirement, claiming that his WrestleMania 33 match against Roman Reigns "may have been the final match of the Undertaker's career." This is reminiscent of how they spoke about the Deadman after the Streak was broken by Brock Lesnar in 2014. After his shocking first loss at the event, the company alluded to the end of the Deadman without ever confirming it. And just like that, he returned in 2015 looking younger than he had in years.
So keeping in mind that his 2014 loss to Brock Lesnar was followed by a touching moment in which the crowd chanted "Thank You Taker" before the commentary spent the next year suggesting that the Undertaker's career is over without actually confirming it, this year's scenario doesn't seem all that final.
Granted, he did leave his gloves, coat and hat in the ring this time. And symbolically, it definitely looked and felt like a retirement. But could that just be WWE's way of setting up for a future — perhaps final — storyline for the Phenom?
If you're a fan of The Undertaker, check these out:
- Why The Undertaker Is The Greatest WWE Superstar Of All-Time
- Dawn Of The Deadman: The Undertaker's Greatest WWE Returns
- The Undertaker's Most Awe-Inspiring Entrances
Will The Undertaker Have One More Match?
Without a doubt, the end of WrestleMania seemed like the closing chapter of the Deadman's legendary career. However, due to the WWE's continual evasion of officially announcing his retirement, they may be holding off to see how the legend's hip-surgery goes.
From the looks of things, they speculation surrounding his status with the company seems to suggest that WrestleMania may have left the door open, just a little, in case he is able to compete next year. But even if that were true, the question remains: who would his opponent be?
It's worth noting that WWE is planning on having Brock Lesnar take on Roman Reigns next year at WrestleMania for the WWE Universal Championship in what is sure to be another controversial main event. However, as Paul Heyman mentioned on the #RAW after this year's marquee event, it seems WWE will heavily reference the fact that these two men are "the 2 in 23-2" — the only two men in history to defeat the Undertaker at WrestleMania.
Thus, we have to wonder — could the Undertaker make a return at next year's major event and reclaim his yard once and for all? WWE has a history of turning potentially controversial matches into triple threat matches by adding a much more favorable third contestant. Moreover, the fact that it would be a triple threat match would make for more action by having the two younger men tear each other apart while allowing the older Phenom a chance to rest at the same time.
Finally, having the Undertaker defeat Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns simultaneously would not only give him another championship win, it would allow him to end his in-ring career by avenging his two biggest losses. It would be a more than fitting end to a Hall Of Fame-worthy career.
Additionally, we shouldn't forget that this year's #SurvivorSeries is in the Deadman's home state of Houston, Texas. Could he end up retiring at the same event in which it all began 27 years prior?
It remains to be seen whether or not WrestleMania 33 was the Undertaker's last match. While it did seem very final, the comments from Taker's former manager seem to suggest otherwise. And he isn't the only one, as former WWE Superstar X-Pac also claims that he doesn't think we have seen the last for the Phenom.
If we truly look at the evasive way WWE has handled the Undertaker's apparent retirement, Prichard's comments don't seem that unlikely. They have been very careful not to confirm his retirement. And whether that is down to future plans or hope for his eventual return, the question still remains — will the Deadman's chilling bell toll one more time?
Do you think the Undertaker has already retired? Let us know in the comments below!
[Source: Something To Wrestle Podcast]