The Undertaker is pretty much a given for WrestleMania 31. While nostalgia lovers want to see it, those of us who go in for competent storytelling and great in-ring action are already starting to cringe.
Part of the problem is that the WWE has booked this showdown in the worst possible way.
Bray Wyatt wants a piece of the Undertaker. A man who was crushed beyond belief at WrestleMania 30 — mortalized, if you will, by the Beast Incarnate Brock Lesnar.
What Wyatt is hoping to achieve was basically already done with last year’s match. The enigma of the Phenom was on the line, his 21-0 streak, and it ended in convincing fashion to the shock of fans everywhere.
If Bray Wyatt wins this matchup, what does he have to gain from it? Same question if he loses.
Bray has been built up as a monster replacement for the Deadman. The man who would claim ‘Taker’s place as the superstar to be feared.
But what he’s really trying to do is be the second guy to beat Roger Maris’ home run record. When Sammy Sosa passed the milestone of 61 home runs, it wasn’t special because Mark McGwire had already done it.
But at least that competition had the appeal of oneupmanship to keep us interested. How many home runs could these guys hit, and who would have the highest number at the end?
Assuming Bray Wyatt beats the Undertaker, what does it prove? That he can beat a watered-down legend — a guy who hasn’t appeared and who doesn’t plan to appear until the March 29 pay-per-view.
And worst of all, there’s nowhere for him to go from here. He can’t chase after Lesnar because the current World Heavyweight Champion’s contract will have expired, and he’ll most likely be off to UFC or Bellator.
If Wyatt loses, then he’ll essentially be buried more deeply than he was when he lost matches to John Cena and Chris Jericho.
And the decision to not have the Undertaker show up until the PPV — as reported here by Cageside Seats — is a real puzzler. The WWE appears to be hoping for a big enough pop for ‘Taker on the night of the event that fans might forgive the boring, uneventful match they’re about to see.
(Seriously, the Undertaker was a train wreck last year, and after being away for a year, I don’t see him looking any better.)
‘Taker’s age and athleticism are waning. With essentially no reason to be feuding with Bray Wyatt, fans are destined to be disappointed again.
It’s a sad end for the Undertaker — one of the biggest icons to ever step foot in a wrestling ring — and it’s a disservice to one of the WWE’s best new talents.