For the first time in a while, there are multiple favorites to win the Royal Rumble, and The Undertaker now seems like the best option to win heading into WrestleMania 33. Most know by now that this is likely Undertaker's last WrestleMania. He may not officially retire, but it is believed that WWE will push for him to end the legacy this year similar to how they had to force Ric Flair into retirement.
Unlike Flair, however, The Deadman has multiple injuries in his past. He recently had to have hip surgery just so he could live a better life and actually get back in the ring. Now in his 50s, it may not seem like WrestleMania without The Undertaker, but WWE cannot continue to use him and hurt his quality of life. He has been working at a high level, so WWE has not really felt as if they had to push him into retirement due to bad in-ring work.
However, The Undertaker does not want his career to be over, and WWE may let him go a bit longer. His current WWE contract expires in 2017, but unlike everyone else, Undertaker only has to work one match per year to get all of his guaranteed cash. With the possibility of this being his final year, WWE may want to shift things toward his direction for the upcoming WrestleMania.
Now, according to Cageside Seats among others, WWE is considering having The Undertaker win the Royal Rumble, which would thrust him into the main event spot. Due to this, he could go after either the WWE Universal or WWE World Championship at the event. In the past, a Rumble winner could choose what title they went after at WrestleMania. Most of the time, they go after the title on the show they are on.
This has started a flurry of rumors regarding potential opponents. The most popular one is John Cena, which would make sense, as Cena is challenging AJ Styles at WWE Royal Rumble for the WWE World Title. On top of this, Undertaker is an official WWE SmackDown Live roster member. However, other rumors have Roman Reigns as his opponent and would go after the WWE Universal Championship.
Of course, he would not have to win the Rumble to face Cena as WWE could do a storyline to set that up if Cena does win -- seeing as they are on the same show. However, Undertaker would have to win the Rumble match to face Roman Reigns. WWE has been considering the Reigns match over the one with Cena because of what it could do for Reigns. The thought is that anyone facing The Undertaker at WrestleMania would be in a high-profile match that people will pay attention to.
Reigns would face a legend, and win or loss, it would elevate him to have the match like it did for others. This could even push for the heel turn for Roman Reigns that many fans have been begging for. However, it could do so for John Cena as well. The big match people truly want to see is John Cena vs The Undertaker in the main event of WrestleMania 33. This is not because fans are high on either man, but because it is a dream WrestleMania match where both men have a connected history.
Undertaker has faced off with almost every star from the OVW stand-out period at WrestleMania -- except Cena. He fought Batista, Randy Orton, and Brock Lesnar, and he even faced CM Punk to connect it a bit. Cena is the only major star from the Ruthless Aggression era to never face Taker in a major rivalry. He did face off with him the second year of his career in a small rivalry, but it was nothing of note and most don't remember it. The two are connected throughout history, and it would make sense for The Undertaker to face John Cena above anyone else at WrestleMania in 2017.
The funny thing about all of this too is that Cena/Undertaker do not need a title to make their rivalry work. However, it would be a nice end to Undertaker's career to have a World Title win in his last match. To set this up, though, WWE would have to push for Cena to win his 16th World Title at WWE Royal Rumble, and that just seems odd to say the very least.
[Featured Image by WWE]