Over the past few weeks, there have been a number of possibilities discussed regarding both the WWE Championship as well as the direction of where The Undertaker will land come WrestleMania 33. The initial idea penciled in has been a match between Undertaker and John Cena, where Taker would defeat AJ Styles at the Royal Rumble to win his first WWE Championship since 2002, and eventually lose it to Cena. This would make Cena tied with Ric Flair with the most major world championship reigns at 16, of course, you could count Jerry Lawler’s 28 USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship reigns between 1988 and 1997.
As many fans have seen throughout the years, WrestleMania plans are always subject to change, and this year is no different.
As seen on SmackDown Live, John Cena returned to anoint himself as the No. 1 contender for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble against whoever won the triple threat main event between AJ Styles, Dolph Ziggler, and Baron Corbin. Styles won the match, which sets up the rematch between him and Cena.
Since the WWE Championship plans have changed, this seemingly leaves Undertaker out of the picture, but back to his yearly marquee match against a formidable opponent. Recently, the discussions have been getting thicker that his opponent will be none other than Roman Reigns.
According to WrestlingNews, Vince McMahon has a logical reason behind this decision, and why it is being considered now more than ever.
The logic behind this match stems from McMahon still focusing on Reigns being a star. McMahon is set on him being the top guy for a considerable period of time, so a match against Undertaker would solidify him in that slot. Moreover, with Cena making more commitments outside of the WWE, a match against Taker would have less meaning than Reigns competing against him.
At this point, McMahon’s Undertaker match at WrestleMania is geared more around future implications than a simple marquee match that would benefit neither opponent.
Perhaps, WWE realized that Undertaker losing against Brock Lesnar was not the best decision. Not only did it do nothing for Lesnar other than give more ammunition for Paul Heyman’s promos, but it ruined an opportunity for an upcoming star to do the unthinkable and end The Streak, which would be an automatic boost to their career.
Sure, the argument can be that WWE does not have enough faith in the stars they are building to give one person the honor of achieving that feat. However, there are a few names that are primed and ready to go to the next level, and could have benefited from that achievement, or even the opportunity to end the streak.
For instance, the match between Undertaker and Bray Wyatt was very underwhelming. Not because the suspense behind Undertaker returning, and Wyatt carrying the feud throughout the weeks with his strong promos, but because nothing was at stake. If Wyatt was to beat Undertaker, it would have been his second straight WrestleMania loss, which would have made him look like weak prey for Wyatt.
Reigns falls in the same category. Since McMahon is so strong about him being the future of the company, a win versus Taker at the “grandest stage of them all” would have been an immediate catapult in his career, and even could have solidified a long-awaited heel turn.
At this point, any match against The Undertaker at WrestleMania is not nearly as potent and anticipating as it was before the streak ended. Although The Streak should have never ended, a match with Roman Reigns could have raised the stakes, whether Reigns won or lost. Instead, we are getting another match against Taker with nothing at stake.
[Featured Image By WWE]