Last week, Wrestling Inc. ran a story which suggested that The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels will appear on the January 9 edition of Monday Night Raw, despite the fact that neither of them were being advertised for the show on WWE’s live events page. But, just a short time later, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter confirmed that both WWE legends will appear next Monday night, and they were both added to the live events page shortly thereafter.
Back in mid-November, The Undertaker returned to SmackDown. It was the first time that we had seen The Deadman since his match with Shane McMahon at WrestleMania 32, and before he appeared, there was a rumor going around that he was actually retired. But, he decided to come back for what could be one last run, which will undoubtedly begin with an appearance in the Royal Rumble match.
When The Undertaker returned to WWE television, he made it quite clear that he was going to be a part of the blue brand, which has caused many to wonder why his next appearance will be on Raw instead of on SmackDown. Of course, we won’t know exactly why he’s returning to WWE’s Monday night show until we see his segment, but Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter has a theory as to why the company is bringing him back next Monday night.
“[The Undertaker] is such a big star that he can be on either show when it’s important for ratings. The January 9 show is going head to head with the college football championship, which usually does 25 million viewers. So, you need something big, and this thing about carefully defined Raw and SmackDown, and no one can be on both shows stuff — that goes out the window when you’re going head to head with a game like that.”
The question now is, what will The Undertaker do when he returns to Monday Night Raw next week? Well, according to Cageside Seats, he’s returning to announce that he’ll be a part of the 2017 Royal Rumble match.
It’s been many years since The Undertaker appeared in WWE’s annual 30-man match. But, with the show being in The Deadman’s home state of Texas, WWE needed him to be on the card. Originally, many believed that he was going to challenge AJ Styles for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on the show, but, if that was the plan at one point, things changed, and Styles will now defend against John Cena.
As of right now, The Undertaker is the favorite to win the 2017 Royal Rumble, and then he’ll go on to challenge John Cena, who will presumably defeat AJ Styles on January 29, for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 33.
It’s been 10 years since the Royal Rumble has taken place in San Antonio, Texas, and the last time the event took place there, The Undertaker entered the Rumble at number 30, and won the match. He then went on to challenge and defeat Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 23.
According to Cageside Seats, WrestleMania 33 will feature The Undertaker’s retirement match. Does that mean that he’ll lose to John Cena, or, whoever his opponent turns out to be, on April 2? Not necessarily, as WWE could, and probably should have him retire as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
It’ll be interesting to see what WWE has planned for The Undertaker going forward, and what they’ll do with him on the January 9 Raw show. Will he show up just to announce that he’ll be a part of the 2017 Royal Rumble? Or will he do something more than that? We’ll have to wait and see!
[Featured Image by WWE]