At WWE’s WrestleMania 33 pay-per-view last year, the main event match saw Roman Reigns battle the Undertaker and grab an unpopular victory. That particular match also featured what many fans believed was the last appearance for “The Deadman,” as he removed his legendary ring gear, including hat and gloves, and placed them in the center of the ring before he departed. With that thought in mind, it was also considered a disappointment by many wrestling fans. In a recent interview, Roman Reigns discussed the failings of that match and shouldered the blame for the issues.
The big match featuring Roman Reigns vs. the Undertaker clocked in at 23 minutes to close out last year’s WrestleMania PPV, and saw Reigns hit multiple Spear takedowns to ultimately gain the pinfall victory. The aftermath of the story was the bigger event there, as it involved Taker seeming to close the chapter, or put a nail in the coffin, of his longtime wrestling career. Despite that, there were all sorts of rumors running as soon as the match ended regarding “one more match,” which some fans felt was needed to give a victory sendoff. Other fans believed that based on his match with Reigns, Taker’s time in the ring should officially end.
On the latest episode of CBS Sports’ In This Corner with Brian Campbell, Reigns was the special guest on the podcast and gave criticism for his performance in that big match at Mania. Reigns mentioned that the position he was in with the match made it a tough spot, as it was the main event featuring an emotional situation where fans might be seeing Taker’s final match.
There’s also the fact that when someone is wrestling the Undertaker on a WrestleMania pay-per-view, it brings a lot of hype with it. Previous Taker matches have garnered heaps of praise from fans, while this one was met with some disgust due to the outcome and sloppy spots. Fans certainly felt let down by the fact that a wrestling legend such as the Undertaker lost the final match of his career, and not to mention that it was to Roman Reigns, a man a lot of fans love to hate.
Still, Reigns seems to have nothing but respect for his opponent and shouldered responsibility for those issues, per Pop Culture‘s report.
“I just feel like maybe I wasn’t good enough or maybe it could have been better on my behalf, but I always hold The Undertaker in so high in that regard that I just feel like maybe I could have done better.
“But I enjoyed it. I really learned a huge amount in the ring with him; you know, to being in the ring with him for one singles match and to have it be at that level, to be able to pick something up in just 30-40 minutes from another performer — it just goes to show how good he is.”
The good news for fans, and possibly the Undertaker, is that he’ll have a chance at redemption in the ring. Based on John Cena’s persistent call outs on WWE’s Raw over the past weeks, it seems Undertaker has every reason to show up at WrestleMania and show the fans he can go out with a win.
Meanwhile, Roman Reigns will be chasing the WWE Universal Championship, a title he lost out on two WrestleMania’s ago due to Seth Rollins’ Money in the Bank cash-in. This time around, the odds seem in Reigns’ favor to capture that elusive title, although it still may be another unpopular match with fans.
It’s certainly going to be interesting to see how the Reigns vs. Lesnar, and John Cena vs. Undertaker matches deliver on what will be a stacked card with WWE fans hoping this WrestleMania lineup delivers.