At the end of WrestleMania 33 on Sunday night, the end of an era took place as The Undertaker seemingly retired from WWE and the ring for good. However, there is still one more thing that needs to be done. Some believe he has accomplished everything in his career, and that does appear to be true. But with his in-ring career done, it seems to be a foregone conclusion that he should headline next year’s class for the WWE Hall of Fame.
Every single Hall of Fame class has deserving inductees, but there is always the one name that is seen as the headliner. No matter what year he would end up being inducted, it is completely and totally obvious that The Undertaker would be the headlining name.
Sunday may not have been his best match out of the record 25 matches he has had at different WrestleMania events, but his actions after the loss are what will be remembered. Upon his loss, The Undertaker placed his gloves, jacket, and hat in the middle of the ring to signify he was officially done and that his career was over.
While there has never been any official word from The Undertaker, WWE, or Vince McMahon to actually say the legend has retired, it is pretty much a given. He is 52-years-old, and his health isn’t the greatest. Wrestling Inc. has also reported that The Undertaker will undergo “more surgeries” now that he is retired, and he has needed them for a while.
The Undertaker may have only wrestled a few times a year, but he was holding off on having these hip surgeries until he retired. It is quite possible that these procedures would force him to retire anyway, so WrestleMania 33 was his chance to do it in deserving style.
Looking at the numbers throughout the career of The Undertaker, it is hard for anyone to say that he won’t be in the Hall of Fame. For those that may not be sure, let’s look at what he has done over the course of his 33-year career.
- Twenty-five WrestleMania matches with a record of 23-2
- Four WWF/WWE Championships
- Three World Heavyweight Championships
- Six WWF Tag Team Championships – Big Show (2), Kane (2), “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock
- One Hardcore Championship
- One WCW Tag Team Championship – Kane
- One Royal Rumble win
- Twelve Slammy Awards
The Undertaker has won the Match of the Year Award from Pro Wrestling Illustrated four different times, Feud of the Year twice, and the Comeback of the Year in 2015.
Anyone who is a wrestling fan can look at those numbers and say that the superstar deserves to be in the WWE Hall of Fame, but none of that really even matters. Even if he didn’t have any of those numbers behind his name, The Undertaker deserves to go into the hall right away just for one thing – being The Undertaker.
Looking through the history of the sport of wrestling, it would be difficult to name anyone else who is above him. Sure, people will throw out the names of Ric Flair, Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan, John Cena, and Shawn Michaels, but they should name-drop those men, as they’re deserving of being considered some of the top performers in wrestling history.
Still, The Undertaker may be the one who stands above them all and has the slight edge of being the best ever. He may not be the greatest technical wrestler. He may not have the largest move-set. He may have only wrestled 15 matches total in the last four years. However, he’s still The Undertaker.
He’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and if his time in the ring is officially done, Taker deserves to headline the 2018 class without question.
When The Undertaker does go into the WWE Hall of Fame, it will be difficult for anyone else in the class to get much attention. Still, he deserves to go in, and it needs to happen for the 2018 class if he truly is done wrestling and in the ring. There is no doubt that he deserves to headline the very next class in the Hall of Fame, but it will be interesting to see if he finally and truly breaks character to give his acceptance speech.
[Featured Image by WWE]