On a night that could potentially alter the entire landscape of WWE moving forward, the Undertaker may have stolen the headlines right out from under the Roman Reigns/AJ Styles feud and the McMahon family drama. Vince McMahon is in the process of deciding whether his son Shane or daughter Stephanie and son-in-law Triple H will assume complete power of Monday Night RAW, but the Undertaker recently told Vince some news that is bigger than any storyline currently in the fire.
The Undertaker and Shane McMahon were booked in a feud that had the most implications riding on their match that took place in Dallas at WrestleMania. Vince declared that if the Undertaker was defeated, he’d never be able to compete at a WrestleMania again. The Deadman won, which offered the impression that we’d be seeing The Phenom next year in Orlando, at least.
However, at the conclusion of the Hell in a Cell match inside AT&T Stadium, the Undertaker removed his gloves and left them at ringside, a symbolic gesture suggesting that the combat athlete has retired. It was also reported that the Undertaker was telling people that he was finished at the WrestleMania after-party. The latter apparently has happened on at least one other occasion, but 2016 is the first time that information was leaked to the public, forcing fans and reporters alike to speculate on his future.
Because the Undertaker has declared retirement in the past, this year’s declaration was largely ignored. But according to a report from Daily Wrestling News, the Undertaker has told Vince McMahon that he is in fact, retired. Vince has obviously been able to persuade the Deadman to change his mind in the past, but this time is not as certain to yield a similar outcome. The Undertaker told the Chairman that he never wants to wrestle again and Vince apparently is more convinced than ever.
Like he’s done in the past, Vince will allow for a good amount of time to pass before making another sales pitch to his “instrument of destruction.” And though Vince is more convinced than he’s ever been in the past, many WWE officials believe that the boss will change his mind and help steer the Undertaker back to the ring for at least one more match. It’s been reported that Mr. McMahon envisions a monumental match-up for WrestleMania 33 pitting the Undertaker up against John Cena. The Deadman and Roman Reigns were the two rumored opponents for Cena at this year’s marquee event, but injury derailed any chance of an official match either way.
Vince is hoping a Cena/Undertaker match can co-headline next year in Orlando alongside The Rock and Brock Lesnar in what would certainly be a major attraction. The Undertaker doing the favors for Cena in his final match has been discussed for years, but according to this report, the Undertaker has never wanted the fanfare of a farewell tour or retirement match similar to how WWE booked Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels.
The Undertaker has certainly earned the right to go out on his terms, but the company would be doing a disservice if they didn’t capitalize on his swan song. And while his angle with Shane McMahon certainly teased the idea of a retirement, it’s likely they would have booked it a lot differently if that was in fact his final act. Jim Ross recently said that it was highly unlikely that the Undertaker would retire based on that thinking.
“I think that when he does retire, unless there is complete insanity [that] has engulfed the world of sports entertainment, that it will be the biggest news of the year, the last match for ‘The Deadman’. And I think that last match for ‘The Deadman’ will be at a WrestleMania. When that will happen, I don’t know. [WrestleMania] 33? I don’t know. [WrestleMania] 34? Who knows?”
But now? This report throws the entire situation for a huge loop. The Undertaker has certainly done it all, but retiring before WWE has a chance to create a suitable send-off, and before his fans have a chance to say their proper goodbyes would be highway robbery.
[Image via WWE]