The Undertaker’s WWE return was a huge moment on SmackDown Live and set him up for some big storylines leading into WrestleMania in 2017. During the Undertaker segment on this week’s show, the Dead Man said that he is not letting his career just be defined by WrestleMania appearances and is actually back as a regular WWE superstar, “digging holes and stealing souls.”
According to Wrestling Inc., Dave Meltzer noted that the Undertaker WWE return is basically just for televised events and WWE Network specials and that Undertaker will never do a full-time schedule again, meaning no live events and limited appearances on television.
This is really a no-brainer. The Undertaker is 51-years-old, and there is no way his body could withstand a full-time work schedule. It is not clear at this time how many appearances the Undertaker WWE return will include, but fans hope he shows up more than Brock Lesnar on WWE Monday Night Raw.
The WWE rumors going around now are that this is the Undertaker farewell tour and will culminate at WrestleMania in 2017 with his final retirement match. However, Undertaker has a lot of people he can help put over on his way out of the company.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, The Undertaker’s WWE return helped SmackDown Live get almost record ratings that were only beaten by an early episode after the show went live on Tuesday nights. The show pulled in a 0.95 rating among the 13-49 demographic and a total of 2.725 million viewers.
Ignoring the previous week’s collapse against the presidential election, this episode saw the show jump from a 0.67 rating in the same demographic on a show that saw 2.187 million viewers tune in. That is a huge jump, and The Undertaker’s WWE return likely had a lot to do with it.
The 8 p.m. CT hour on Tuesday night saw 40,000 tweets with the hashtag #SDLive900. The 9 p.m. CT hour brought in 6,000 tweets alone that used the hashtag #Undertaker. The Undertaker’s WWE return was a huge moment for fans, both old and news, of the company.
So, the next question is what is next for The Undertaker? Since his appearances will be limited to specific SmackDown Live television shows and WWE Network appearances, expect him to wrestle in at least a handful of special events, including The Royal Rumble and WrestleMania.
Likely opponents are wrestlers from the SmackDown Live team from the upcoming Survivor Series WWE Network event. Undertaker said they need to fear him if they lose. The expectations now are for Undertaker to start feuding with AJ Styles, with the two possibly fighting at Royal Rumble.
One mode of thought is that Undertaker wins his final world championship at that show and then puts his title on the line against John Cena at WrestleMania. It would be a monster main event that could see Undertaker put the title on the line against his own career.
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If John Cena wins, Undertaker retires and Cena matches Ric Flair’s record for most world title wins. It could result in the most watched WrestleMania in history.
Expect The Undertaker’s WWE return to also see the Dead Man make his presence known at the Survivor Series this Sunday on the WWE Network. From there, he has a lot of options when it comes to his future, and hopefully if this is his farewell tour, The Undertaker goes out in style.
[Featured Image by WWE]