Four WWE Superstar who should face Undertaker at Wrestlemania 32 (And Some Who Shoudn’t)
Rumours swirled towards the back end of last week that Braun Strauman was in line to face Undertaker at Wrestlemania 32 – something that sounds incredibly dumb and shouldn’t happen in any plain of existence. Let’s be clear here – Braun may be the flavour of the month with Vince McMahon but he’s certainly not worthy of facing the legendary Undertaker at any Wrestlemania. Heck, there’s a good chunk of the roster who deserve that honour ahead of the blandest big wrestler since Ezikiel Jackson popped up in ECW.
With this in mind I’ve decided to outline several alternatives whom I feel are insanely more worthy of the honour and would be more deserving of facing Undertaker in what will likely be his final match (For the benefit of this article, I’ll be imagining that it’s that)
I don’t like Roman Reigns – it’s a thing I’ve come to accept in modern WWE that there’s very little Reigns can do to win me over. His brand of uncooked promo’s and slightly receptive matches doesn’t do anything for me. But WWE are determined to get him over as the next big thing – so why not let the former Shield member have what would arguably be the biggest match of his career – the retirement match of Undertaker?
How Would we book it: Of course he’s probably off facing Triple H but in fantasy booking – the story would tell itself. Reigns wants the fans respect and to get it he has to do what has only been done once before – pin the Undertaker at Wrestlemania. You could even hang in the low fruit of Triple H turning it into a bigger thing – Reigns has to win if he wants a title shot the other side of Wrestlemania. Oh and if the Undertaker doesn’t do the job – he’ll be forced into a Shawn Michaels type retirement. It sets the stakes high and gives Reigns a storyline reason for fighting Undertaker. Better still it would be the ultimate act of torch passing from Undertaker – giving Reigns the final rub of a long career and the Deadman’s seal of approval. The match wouldn’t be particularly pretty I suspect, but people would be hanging on every pin hoping that Undertaker would overcome it. And when the final bell rings, Undertaker could shake Reign’s hand give him the kind of legitimacy that can’t be forced by booking.
John Cena is currently super-Cenaing his way back to health. His incredible recovery all but points to a Wrestlemania appearance and with no one on the roster really in Cena’s crosshairs right now (We suspect he doesn’t care about the US Title enough to chase Kalisto) then it would be the perfect fantasy match to have Cena end the Deadman’s career. Plus it would be a nice parallel – one of the very first things Cena did on TV was interact with the Undertaker who famously muttered, “What’s your name?”.
How we’d book it: Very simple booking. Cena wants to face the biggest star on the biggest stage. Undertaker being the badass he is tells Cena if he can’t hang with the best (Cena) anymore then his times up. It sets up an emotional match that mirrors the Wrestlemania 24 match between Flair/HBK but takes the dynamics setup way back in 2002 and runs with them. Fans would eat it up and without the threat of the Streak hanging over proceedings, would be a perfect bookend to Undertakers career. Seriously, Undertaker deserves to go out against the very best on the biggest stage and no one is better to do that than John Cena.
Surprisingly Rock and Undertaker haven’t really competed together all that much in WWE’s history. There was a brief feud in 1999 which played second fiddle to the McMahon/Austin storyline but other than that; it’s mostly been tag matches (They did feud over the tag titles in late 99). The Rock has gone on to become one of entertainments hugest stars and any return to WWE generates mainstream buzz. Undertaker has just enough main stream penetration that his name has nostalgia appeal. I’m very certain it wouldn’t be pretty but it certainly would be the kind of name Undertaker would be worthy of seeing out his career with.
How we’d book it: Rock comes out to cut one of his promos, maybe insults the Undertaker on the sly and this leads to an Undertaker appearance citing disrespect (In fairness that’s how the whole Brock feud got started last year). There wouldn’t need to be that much build on a weekly basis – the match (much like Brock/Taker) practically sells itself by name value alone and both could tape footage to play out over the Road to Wrestlemania.
“Kane doesn’t need it”.
“No one wants to see Kane fight Undertaker”.
“Give it to Owens, Kane’s boring” (We’ll get to Owens in a bit).
See here’s the problem with modern wrestling fans, there’s no room for sentiment in booking. Kane and Undertaker’s careers have been intertwined since the arrival of Undertaker’s brother in 1997. Since then they’ve fought together, fought each other and gone back and forth over a very long and storied rivalry. Why not have it all end on the biggest stage of them all with the two walking of Wrestlemania together, with the sun setting on two legendary careers together?
How we’d book it: Kane could call his brother out and say it’s time for them to move on. Undertaker could refuse, saying he feels he’s got more to give. Kane could basically do his best over the next few weeks to remind Undertaker that he’s basically a shell of his former self. Cue the video packages of the two from over the years. Pipe in the nostalgia and make out this is the last time we’ll see these two legends go at it. Ir’s really oh so simple.
People I wouldn’t Give the Undertaker’s final match too
I’m aware at this point that several people are missing from this list that many would love to put in. It’s not to spite them – it’s just a personal preference that Undertakers final match should have some greater meaning. In regards to these people; no offence to them; but they’re not really at the level where I’d say they should get an Undertaker match.
Kevin Owens: He’s a great worker and a great heel. But giving him Undertaker’s final match feels insincere from a wrestling standpoint. Why would Owens want to face Undertaker when he’s more interested in proving how good he is against the likes of Cena/Ambrose? Undertaker presents no real challenge to Owens post-streak and as shown with Bray Wyatt – WWE are really bad at turning the momentum from an Undertaker feud into something bigger post-Wrestlemania. Owens beats Undertaker and then he’d go straight back into the mid-card. That’s not really good enough and given Owen’s current standing on the card – would be an incredible waste of the Undertaker final match. Now if it *wasn’t* Undertakers final match, I’d be more inclined to get behind it, but that’s not what we’re pondering here.
Dean Ambrose: Ambrose is in a weird spot on the card right now. He’s the Intercontinental Champion but he’s also involved heavily in the World Heavyweight Championship picture. If he loses at ‘Fast Lane’, he still has the IC Championship to deal with going into Wrestlemania; which will likely be the workhorse match (as it was last year). So unless the plan is to completely rip him from the direction they’ve pointed him in, Undertaker would have no reason to come down to Ambrose nor would Ambrose really care too.
Daniel Bryan: It’s easy to say “This would be an excellent match” but really, what would be gained if Bryan came back just for this match? He beats Undertaker and then 3 months from now rolls up injured again. Nobody wants to see that.
Bray Wyatt: He’s had two bites at the cherry and both were tedious at best.
Braun Strowman: I don’t think anyone wants to see him anywhere near Undertaker on a Wrestlemania card.
What do you guys think? Who should Undertaker face at Wrestlemania 32?