The WWE universe was thrilled when The Undertaker announced he was back “taking souls and digging holes.” The Undertaker announced his WWE return during SmackDown 900, and hinted that he may be making more appearances on the WWE networks weekly shows. The Undertaker said that he did not wish to be defined by WrestleMania, and it seemed like we might be seeing a lot more of him. It was a pipedream, a mirage, a fleeting glimpse of what might have been. Sadly, The Undertaker’s return to the ring, at last weekend’s Royal Rumble, was short and largely uneventful.
When The Undertaker showed up on Monday Night Raw, to announce that he would compete in the Royal Rumble, it was assumed that the WWE network had big plans for the Deadman. It was widely expected that The Undertaker would win the Royal Rumble and go on to a huge match with John Cena at Wrestlemania 33. It was not to be, perhaps we should have known, after all, The Undertaker was one of those who was driven to the ring at the Alamodome, standing on the back of a golf buggy.
After all the hype, and the predictions, The Undertaker’s return to WWE lasted for just over five minutes. Admittedly, The Deadman did eliminate four wrestlers, Sami Zayn, The Miz, Baron Corbin, and Goldberg, after entering the battle royal at No. 29.
Roman Reigns, who eliminated The Undertaker, was the last man to enter the Royal Rumble fray. An epic stare down occurred after Reigns eliminated The Undertaker, hinting that rumors of a WrestleMania match between the two was on the cards. Sadly, it seems that Roman Reigns may have eliminated The Undertaker permanently.
The Deadman did not appear to be anywhere near the top of his game at the Royal Rumble, and as a result, rumors are re-emerging that suggest The Undertaker’s 25-year wrestling career may be over.
Has Roman Reigns Eliminated The Undertaker For Good?
Comparisons between Roman Reigns and The Undertaker could not be more stark. The Undertaker is an infrequent competitor, but is adored by the WWE universe. The WWE network has put more effort into promoting reigns as the “face” of the WWE network, but the fans despise him. As reported in the Inquisitr yesterday, Reigns is the only WWE face to be voted “most hated” wrestler of the year.
Being the man who eliminated The Undertaker from the 2017 Royal Rumble, will do little to improve Reigns’ popularity in the WWE universe. Rumors have been buzzing for some time, suggesting that The Undertaker’s wrestling days are numbered. The Deadman will be 52-years-old this year, and we know he underwent hip Surgery in 2016.
Comic Book reports that, according to Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer, The Undertaker’s poor showing at the Royal Rumble is down to that injury.
“So Undertaker, he was hurting real bad last night. I mean you could look at him and you could see that he wasn’t in shape, and you know… it’s the hip.”
“He’s got two months before WrestleMania. He had surgery. He came back to quick from surgery, I think that’s pretty clear. But you know it was the time and they had a story… and the way that the match was structured he really didn’t have to do a whole hell of a lot. But even that when he was backstage he was hurting a lot.”
According to What Culture, The Undertaker may be forced to miss WrestleMania. There has been speculation that The Undertaker may need a hip replacement, and it’s hard to see the physicians allowing him to continue wrestling if that is the case. It would just be too big a risk for The Undertaker’s long-term wellbeing.
Sports World News joins the speculation on The Undertaker’s long-term future, saying that WrestleMania 33 could be the last time that we see The Undertaker compete.
There has been a lot of speculation suggesting that Roman Reigns, who eliminated the Undertaker at Royal Rumble, is set to take a heel turn. If that is the case, there would be no better time. If Reign’s elimination of the Deadman aggravated The Undertakers injury, and he retires as a result, then Reigns would take hatred to a whole new level.
This is just one more reason why Roman Reigns would be the ultimate WWE heel.
[Featured Image by WWE]