Those who were watching WWE WrestleMania 33 and saw Roman Reigns defeat The Undertaker may have been less surprised that he lost than they were when they saw him leave his hat, coat, and gloves in a heap in the center of the ring and emotionally hug his wife, Michelle McCool, before he retired The Undertaker from the world of wrestling.
Immediately after WrestleMania 33, there was confusion as to what had happened to The Undertaker as fans were understandably shocked and doubting he had officially retired, but Jim Ross confirmed The Undertaker’s retirement on his Twitter page and spoke of how honored he felt to have been part of The Undertaker’s final wrestling match.
“Humbling to think that I helped broadcast #TheUndertaker last match. I’ve never received a bigger honor. @WWE #thankyoutaker.”
— Riz (@johncenaAm) April 3, 2017
There have been rumors swirling around the wrestling world and WWE for months now that The Undertaker may be planning on retiring soon due to alleged injuries, as Huffington Post reported, and it has also been rumored that The Undertaker went through hip surgery last year and may have even been in need of a full hip replacement, as What Culture reported.
Before The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33, there had been some chatter and opinion pieces published suggesting that Roman Reigns should be the wrestler responsible for “retiring” The Undertaker. A piece in Forbes, for instance, named Roman Reigns as “the perfect candidate” to retire The Undertaker.
Finally getting a chance to watch raw in full and the opening video just made me cry. Again.???? #thankyoutaker
— Kimber Lee (@Kimber_Lee90) April 4, 2017
But whether The Undertaker had injuries or had long been planning on retiring, this still didn’t stop the shock and surprise that his fans and felt. The hashtag #ThankYouTaker is still trending on Twitter, and distraught fans are mourning The Undertaker’s retirement from WWE and calling him “one of a kind,” “a hero,” “a legend,” and their “idol.” One longtime fan of The Undertaker wrote on Twitter of Sunday night’s WrestleMania 33 match: “Honestly got me teared up last night.”
“#ThankYouTaker for 30 great years of entertainment. You’ll forever be one of the greatest of all time. #God”
Tributes to The Undertaker from other wrestlers and the WWE began immediately after the end of WrestleMania 33, and included Drew Galloway, who said that his life was a “dream” and that he himself had grown up on the road with WWE and learned the most from The Undertaker, calling him a “legend” according to USA Today. Bubba Ray Dudley explained that there was a very good reason why The Undertaker was known as “Boss,” and Triple H called the retirement of The Undertaker as the “end of an era” and thanked him for his mentoring and friendship.
Lest we forget Roman Reigns, who was only the second wrestler that was able to defeat The Undertaker at a WrestleMania performance, after the conclusion of the match and The Undertaker’s piling up of his hat, coat, and gloves, Reigns looked visibly dejected as he sat down to rest in a chair after the match was over. So judging from the WWE Instagram photo of Roman Reigns that was posted, even Roman seemed quite upset over The Undertaker’s retirement.
Nobody knows what the future holds for Roman Reigns or the wrestling world in general. Will there ever be anyone again who is quite as good as The Undertaker?
How did you feel after seeing The Undertaker walk off the stage at WrestleMania 33 knowing that he was retiring and will no longer be a part of WWE?
[Featured Image by Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Images]