When Shane McMahon came back to the WWE and ultimately was announced to take on The Undertaker at WrestleMania 32 inside Hell in a Cell, many of us were hyped for it. We all thought it would be awesome to see Shane return so much so that we didn’t think about The Undertaker in all of this. Undertaker originally wanted to face John Cena, but plans changed when Cena went down due to an injury. That led to the match being rumored for WrestleMania 33, but it seems that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon wants The Deadman to work before then.
According to Ringside News, Vince wants The Undertaker to appear at WWE SummerSlam at the end of the summer. He did work the event last year in a match with Brock Lesnar, but he’s apparently not willing to work SummerSlam this year; at least, that’s the impression. Undertaker has not returned any of McMahon’s phone calls regarding the situation. This led to more digging by insiders, and it appears that The Phenom is a bit upset with McMahon right now.
He is reportedly telling those close to him that he is not willing to work another match after McMahon asked him to lose to Shane McMahon at WrestleMania. Undertaker refused to job to the boss’ son, which resulted in the weird storyline result we ended up getting. Due to the issue over the match, Undertaker is not interested in working another match for the company. Fans have been hearing that the WrestleMania match in Dallas is Taker’s swan song.
However, most within the company felt that The Undertaker would want to work again after a bit of time away. Vince McMahon hoped this more than most, and although Undertaker is a professional, he did get upset with the ordeal at WrestleMania. Vince respected Undertaker enough to not have him lose to Shane after he decided against it, but the fact that it got so heated likely means there is more to the story than this.
McMahon is apparently trying to smooth things over with Undertaker, but the Deadman isn’t really allowing him to do so as he is allegedly ignoring the Chairman at this time. The former World Champion has an interesting contract that requires him to work only one match a year minimum to get his downside guarantee. Basically, his contract asks him to perform once and he’ll get paid for the rest of the year.
Regardless of what happens with McMahon and Undertaker for now, Taker will still get paid for the remainder of 2016 as he worked WrestleMania 32 and is not in any sort of breach of contract. Now, if Undertaker decides that he does not want to perform in 2017, the company would then have the right to freeze his deal similar to what they have done with Rey Mysterio and Daniel Bryan before him.
While it is almost obvious The Undertaker would not work for any other company if he decided he was done with WWE, the company does not know this for sure. That’s why they would want to freeze the deal more than anything else. He would remain under contract, not getting paid much at all, and would have to work one match just to get his full pay.
If The Undertaker decides to fully retire, he can remain under contract with the WWE even as his talent contract pushes for him to wrestle unless he has to retire for a medical reason. Regardless, he can be switched to another role within the business which would allow him to still work with the company in some capacity away from the ring. He would then serve out his contract in that way so he didn’t have to perform.
What is so glaring here is that it seems kind of petty for The Undertaker to be upset with Vince McMahon simply because he asked him to lose to Shane. Undertaker has been open in the past to doing business as long as Vince asked him. Undertaker is the most respected man in all of pro-wrestling, and he has always been open to doing what is asked of him. He even allowed “The Streak” to end simply because Vince wanted it to die. On top of that, Taker still got his wish with winning the match at WrestleMania. That said, there is clearly more to the story that WWE is not allowing to get out at the moment. The Deadman is too professional to be mad over this little thing.
For now, we won’t be seeing The Undertaker work for the WWE. We all felt the next time he would be seen would be near WrestleMania 33, if he did return at all. But, even that could be in jeopardy if Vince McMahon and The Undertaker don’t get on the same page. It should be an interesting to see what happens next.
[Image via WWE]