The Undertaker has not been seen in the WWE since he beat Shane McMahon at WrestleMania 32. Funny enough, the stipulation was that if Shane won he would control WWE RAW and if he lost he, well, wouldn’t. Screw those plans, right? McMahon would run RAW the very next night, making the match with The Deadman quite useless and literally a waste due to the fact WWE was seemingly always going to have Shane stick around.
Not only did he get to run RAW for a while, but now he’s the Commissioner of SmackDown Live. The new brand split has forced he and sister Stephanie McMahon to compete, which is cool to see. However, the question remained if we would ever see The Undertaker again. He worked a lot last year, and most felt that WrestleMania 32 would have been his retirement time. He was in Texas, inside Hell in a Cell, in front of the largest crowd in the history of the company. What better time to call it a career?
This is crazy to WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, who reportedly wanted The Undertaker to work WWE SummerSlam. Taker and the boss reportedly hadn’t spoken due to some anger Taker had with McMahon, and Vince was worried that The Phenom was calling it a career. Despite this, he remained hopeful Undertaker would want to work WrestleMania 33 as he always comes around by the time WrestleMania season comes about. Now that SummerSlam season is here and Undertaker has not really told McMahon yes or no on WrestleMania, there was some worry. Then the WWE Draft came about.
According to Daily Wrestling News, there was some contact with Undertaker and the WWE. However, it was done so that Undertaker could tell them that he was done and that he did not want to be included in the WWE Draft. However, due to the fact that he is still signed to a contract with the WWE, they would have been able to use his name in the draft anyway. The reason it was not used was because the company didn’t feel it was smart to draft someone when they didn’t know their future in the business at this point.
Now WWE added him to the free agent pool along with injured stars like Nikki Bella and Luke Harper as well as The Rock. Injured stars were not added to the draft for obvious reasons and despite The Rock being available, WWE did not draft him because he hasn’t worked a legit match in over 2 years. Meanwhile, Undertaker was added because McMahon wants him to work again.
The theory among most is that he would return, but for only one opponent, and that’s John Cena. Undertaker actually wanted to work with Cena this past year, but injuries to various stars seemed to shift the plans up a lot. That led to WWE actually planning John Cena vs. Roman Reigns, then Cena was randomly hurt as well, which put the main event of Triple H/Roman Reigns into position. The company really had no choice, and Triple H initially would have worked with Seth Rollins at the event if injuries didn’t get in the way so much.
Meanwhile, Undertaker had the chance to work with Shane McMahon with a stipulation added that if Shane won he controlled RAW, but if Undertaker lost, he would be forced to retire basically since he would never get to work another WrestleMania. That part of the match may always be lost to history, as the late addition to the rivalry was stupid in the end. Also, the fact that WWE went with Shane getting what he wanted anyway and saw Undertaker pretty much say he wasn’t returning makes the whole storyline useless looking back on it.
However, Vince really wants to have Undertaker back. They don’t care how they will use him at this point it seems, as Vince feels he can talk Taker into doing whatever when the time comes since he’ll be willing to work. The problem is that Undertaker felt he ended the best he could. This is why the match with John Cena is such a big thing, as it is literally the only person left that Undertaker always wanted to face at WrestleMania, but never could for one reason or another.
The Deadman has worked against some of the biggest legends of all time in his career, but he’s also had quite a WrestleMania resume. He took on Jimmy Snuka, Kane, Big Show, Mark Henry, Randy Orton, Ric Flair, CM Punk, Shawn Michaels, and Triple H just to name a few. The one name missing from the major list is Cena, which may be how McMahon is pushing it to Undertaker.
Most are under the assumption that if WWE tries to offer someone else, they won’t get him back. Interestingly, WWE reportedly will want to play hardball with Undertaker with his contract if he chooses not to work. He has a deal that claims he has to work once a year. He’s already done that this year, so he does not have to work the remainder of 2016. His deal expires next year reportedly, so to get the final bit of money on his deal and not have it frozen like others. This led to some speculating he would work next year just to get the money. However, it does appear he is done as of now. This could always change by 2017 when his body isn’t in as rough a shape as it was after wrestling the last time.
[Image via WWE]