For the better part of two decades, wrestling fans have been speculating about when legendary superstar The Undertaker would finally hang up his boots. However, now 27 years into his WWE career, the Phenom continues to prove all the critics wrong. And he looks set to do it again this year, as he will be competing in the 30 man #RoyalRumble match for a chance to main event #WrestleMania 33.
However, due to backstage rumors and various reports, there was a lot of speculation that this year's WrestleMania would see the Deadman competing in his final match before officially retiring from active competition. This stems from the fact that many thought last year would be his final WWE year, and the possibility that we would finally see that highly-anticipated clash between the Undertaker and John Cena this year, marking the end of his career as an active performer. However, things have changed, and it seems like the Phenom will be sticking around after this year's WrestleMania — and here's why.
His Appearance At The WrestleMania 34 Press Conference
2017 may have just begun, but it seems that the Undertaker is looking ahead to 2018. This week not only saw his return to #RAW, it also saw him make a surprise appearance at WWE's press conference in New Orleans for next year's WrestleMania 34. Now, we haven't even had this year's WrestleMania yet, so the question is — why would the Phenom suddenly appear at a press conference for next year's marquee event if this year's is supposedly his last as an active competitor?
If WWE needed another major star to promote the event, surely they could have just contacted John Cena or Brock Lesnar. Thus, the Deadman's surprise appearance at the WrestleMania 34 press conference suggests that he will be playing a role in the 2018 event. So taking that into account, it's possible that he will indeed be sticking around after WrestleMania 33 and wrestle at next year's premier event in New Orleans.
In the words of the Undertaker himself, "Let the good times roll."
His Participation In The Royal Rumble
The Undertaker's #TV return to RAW this week began what many thought would be his final Road to WrestleMania. And at first, it surely seemed like it — he announced his participation in the Royal Rumble match, so he very well could go on to win the contest and headline WrestleMania is his last match.
However, now thinking about it, this could just be an extension of what he announced on #SmackDownLIVE in November. During that appearance, he told the world that WrestleMania would no longer define him and that he was back to take souls and dig holes. Perhaps his return to the Royal Rumble is evidence that he truly is sticking around outside of his annual WrestleMania appearance.
Moreover, according to a recent report, there are currently no plans for the Undertaker to challenge for the WWE or the Universal Championship at WrestleMania, meaning that he won't win the Rumble. Of course, this could always change over the next few weeks, but if it does come to fruition, then it's highly likely that he will instead face the man that eliminates him in the Rumble match. And this doesn't necessarily sound like a worthy cause for his rumored last match. So whether he challenges for the championship or not, it's starting to look more likely that his Royal Rumble appearance isn't a sign of the end for the Phenom, but actually a new beginning.
If you're a fan of WWE, check these out:
- Taking Souls & Digging Holes: What The Undertaker's Return Means For WWE
- Who Is The Undertaker's Opponent At WrestleMania 33?
- Kurt Angle's WWE Return: Is There Still A Place For Him In 2017?
Undertaker And Cena Isn't Happening
With John Cena being WWE's biggest star of the last ten years, and the Undertaker being one of the biggest stars of all-time, it's understandable that many want to see these two collide on the Grandest Stage of Them All. In fact, the match has been rumored to take place at WrestleMania for quite a few years now, and almost did last year but was shelved when Cena got injured.
Thus, we all thought that it was inevitable that we would finally see it take place this year. And because of this spectacle of a match, we all thought that it might be the Undertaker's final match. However, according to reports, Vince McMahon recently scrapped the idea, believing that it did nothing for the future of the company.
Furthermore, it has been speculated that Cena's replacement in the Undertaker's match might be a RAW superstar due to the Deadman resurfacing on the red brand, instead of his home SmackDown LIVE. Thus, it's unlikely that this is the Undertaker's final WrestleMania if he was randomly paired with another opponent last minute. Perhaps they could be saving the collision with Cena until next year, or maybe they have scrapped the idea altogether. Either way, it doesn't look like it's happening this year.
When you wrestle for 27 years, it's understandable that many would wonder when you're going to call it quits. So while we all expected the Undertaker to re-emerge for a potential final match, his return seems to have solidified the fact that he could be sticking around for a little longer. In fact, his recent appearance at the WrestleMania 34 press conference practically confirms that he will be present at next year's event — an event that the he hasn't missed since 2000.
While we don't know who he'll be facing at this year's marquee event, one thing seems certain, it won't be the last we see of the Undertaker — and I couldn't be happier about that!
Do you think this means The Undertaker is sticking around? Let us know in the comments!