If you are a fan of WWE wrestling, it won’t have escaped your notice that The Undertaker is appearing on tonight’s edition of WWE Monday Night Raw. The official WWE website has been hyping The Undertaker’s appearance on Raw for weeks, but even today they describe that hype as “a rumor.” On the day that Monday Night Raw rolls into New Orleans, there is no clear indication as to what The Undertaker’s role will be in tonight’s show. Let’s be realistic, given that The Undertaker resides on the WWE SmackDown brand, we can be reasonably certain that he won’t be wrestling tonight.
Intriguingly, Monday Night Raw also has Shawn Michaels along for the ride. Wrestling fans will be aware of Michaels’ connections to the venue for this year’s Royal Rumble on January 29. The 60,000-seat Alamodome in San Antonio means that WWE needs to shift a lot of tickets for the first big PPV of 2017. Sadly, that probably means that The Undertaker and Michaels are appearing on tonight’s Monday Night Raw simply to increase the Royal Rumble hype.
Of course, there is a side story too. As was reported in the Inquisitr recently, Monday Night Raw has been criticized in recent weeks for the lack of engaging storylines. The wrestling on Monday Night Raw has been up to standard, but the scriptwriters appear to be on vacation. As an example, matches between emerging star Bayley and Charlotte Flair have become a weekly occurrence. The storyline is so transparent that you could bet your house on Bayley taking Charlotte’s crown to set up an ongoing feud between the pair.
The WWE network will be concerned that Monday Night Raw is losing viewers to SmackDown. During the Christmas holidays, SmackDown drew more viewers than Raw for the first time ever, and WWE will not want to see its premium brand trailing in the ratings. Drafting The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels on to Monday Night Raw has definitely sparked plenty of chat, so we can expect that chat to take an upward turn tonight.
What Is WWE’s Plan For The Undertaker On Monday Night Raw And Beyond?
The Undertaker has been one of the WWE’s biggest stars for decades, and he is always a crowd pleaser. However, The Undertaker is now on the wrong side of 50-years-old. WWE may be choreographed, but few 50-year-old bodies can take the type of punishment it receives in WWE week by week. As a result, recent years have seen the Undertaker roll up to WrestleMania and then disappear for another year.
The Undertaker has said that he is back “taking souls and digging holes,” but he hasn’t wrestled since he said that. The Deadman also declared that he “won’t be defined by WrestleMania. As Blasting News points out, there are only four matches currently confirmed for the Royal Rumble PPV. Many expected The Undertaker to challenge 2016’s big star AJ Styles to a world title bout at Royal Rumble. That speculation proved false, and that honor has gone to 15-time world champion John Cena.
The Undertaker and John Cena are arguably the two biggest names that WWE wrestling has ever produced. Anyone who loves wrestling would love to see Cena and The Undertaker split their tied record against each other. The Deadman and Cena have not met for over a decade, and they have two wins each in head-to-heads.
Cage Side Seats rounds up some of the latest WWE rumors and claims that there will be “multiple additions” to the Royal Rumble main event tonight. Expect The Deadman to declare his intention to win the Royal Rumble, and potentially challenge the winner of the AJ Styles vs. John Cena match to a championship showdown at WrestleMania 33 in April.
The prospect of The Undertaker disrupting the championship bout at Royal Rumble, leading onto a three-way championship bout at WrestleMania, would make for fantastic entertainment. Forbes even claims that the script is written for a Cena vs. The Undertaker match at Wrestlemania.
“You [can] draw a map from an Undertaker win at the Rumble and a Cena title run heading into WrestleMania 33 to setup the much talked about Cena/Undertaker match in the main event.”
One thing is certain, this time tomorrow we will know a lot more about The Undertaker’s plans for Royal Rumble and beyond.
[Featured Image by Paul Abell/AP Images for WWE Corp]