To say that this week's episode of WWE's #SmackDownLIVE was historic would be an understatement. Not only did it mark the 900th episode of the blue brand, it saw the return of the Undertaker. Although it was previously announced that the Deadman was returning for the milestone episode, we couldn't help but wonder if we would get some insight into his future with the WWE — after all the legendary performer, has been with the company for almost 26 years. And that is exactly what the Phenom gave us.
The Undertaker took the time to raise the stakes for Team SmackDown's #SurvivorSeries bout against Team #RAW — making it clear that they would answer to him if they fail at the event. But the real story of the night was his major announcement regarding his future. The Deadman told us all that he would no longer be defined by WrestleMania — putting us all on notice, he was back to stay.
The Demon Of Death Valley's huge announcement is sure going to have some major effects on not just SmackDown LIVE but the WWE in general. And let's take this opportunity to see how the return of the Deadman will factor into the company going forward.
The Dark Days Are Back
With Undertaker being semi-retired and only wrestling once a year at WrestleMania for the past five years — except for 2015 when he wrestled four times — this gave us a single opportunity each year to get excited about his return to the company. Thus, outside of occasional appearances, he hasn't factored too much into the current product. Well, this announcement changes that.
Judging by his words, it seems that we will be seeing a heck of a lot more of the Undertaker in the coming months — and that is most definitely a good thing! This will be the first time the Deadman has been regularly featured on WWE #TV since 2010. And if we do indeed see him more often, it will give us the opportunity to see how he would fit into the product as a regular presence. And because of that, he would be involved in more storylines than just the one.
The Undertaker has always been associated with WrestleMania, but he has also had a phenomenal career outside of the event. And now that he's back on at least a more semi-regular basis, we will once again find ourselves thrust back into the era of the Deadman, never knowing where and when he could strike. Arenas will be plunged into darkness, druids will flood onto the aisle way and a Phenom will chill us all with his cryptic words — yes ladies and gentlemen, the dark days are back!
The Deadman Is Back Home
During his words of wisdom, the Undertaker referred to SmackDown as his home. And rightly so — the Phenom has been a mainstay on the blue brand since its inception in 1999 and single-handedly carried it between 2002 and 2010, providing us with countless memorable moments.
And his championing of Team SmackDown at Survivor Series seems to allude to the fact that he's come home to stay. After both brands officially separated in the WWE draft in June, WWE.com made a big deal out of the Undertaker's status as a free agent, commenting that his exclusive signing to either brand would "put the spotlight on whichever brand The Deadman chooses to represent".
So while they haven't made it official, the Phenom made his allegiance to the blue brand known, and it looks like he will be "taking souls and digging holes" as an official member of the SmackDown LIVE roster.
If you're a fan of The Undertaker, check these out:
- The Undertaker's Most Awe-Inspiring Entrances
- 5 Times The Undertaker Proved That Age Was Just A Number
- The Undertaker Will Return To WWE For WrestleMania 33, But Who Is His Opponent?
Brothers Of Destruction Reunion
The Undertaker and Kane have dominated opponents — both together and separately —for the better part of two decades. And now, they are back under the one roof — SmackDown LIVE. In fact, they even crossed paths during the 900th episode when the Undertaker exited the ring and Kane headed towards it, not missing the opportunity to pose together.
Check out the Brothers Of Destruction standing together on SmackDown LIVE:
With the Undertaker back as a regular presence on SmackDown, this gives WWE the opportunity to reunite him with Kane. While they have had on-off reunions for the past decade, they were an official tag-team back in 2001, winning the WWE and WCW Tag Team Championships, destroying anyone who got in their way.
A reunion between the two as an official tag team would definitely be a fresh storyline for them both that would also reinvigorate the tag team division. With the Undertaker not being a regular performer, it would allow him to tag in and out of matches, never doing too much. Moreover, during any week that he isn't on the show, Kane could be there, effectively representing both of them.
Kane is having trouble with Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton at the moment. Perhaps after Survivor Series, his demonic big brother might lend a hand. Or perhaps they could even end up going after the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships. The Undertaker hasn't held the Tag Team titles in 15 years — during that 2001 run with Kane — so perhaps it's time to bring the Phenom back to the tag team division.
The Undertaker has practically feuded with everyone there is to feud with in professional wrestling. However, as he only wrestled once a year lately, his match at #WrestleMania is treated with even more prestige than a title match, it was vital they choose a worthy opponent for the grand stage that they knew would deliver. But now, with the new faces of SmackDown LIVE, there is a whole roster's worth of people the Deadman has never feuded with yet.
As the WWE landscape has significantly changed since the last time the Undertaker was a full-time competitor, this opens up a whole world of firsts for the legend. Not only are there brand new faces to rival with, there are brand new opportunities for dream matches and other possibilities.
The Undertaker warned Team SmackDown that if they lost to Team RAW, they would feel his wrath. So if the blue brand's representatives aren't so lucky this Sunday, there's a strong possibility that they may feel the wrath of the Deadman. Furthermore, during his return, the gunslinger came face to face with AJ Styles for the first time ever. I know that we all would love to see the Phenomenal One taking on the Phenom. And speaking of the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, it's possible that we might just see another title run for the Deadman.
The Undertaker's return to WWE for SmackDown's monumental 900th episode has us all talking — and rightly so, he addressed his current career status and basically confirmed that he will be appearing on a much more regular basis. With him likely being SmackDown LIVE's newest acquisition, there is an endless array of possible storylines for him including new challenges, reunions with Kane and perhaps even another run as WWE Champion. While the possibilities are up for debate, one thing is most definitely certain — the Deadman has risen again!
Are you excited to see the Undertaker appearing more often on WWE? Let us know in the comments!