The WWE rumor mill is once again in overdrive over whether WWE superstar The Undertaker is set to make a comeback during the 2018 Royal Rumble PPV. If you are one of the few people who hasn’t followed The Undertaker’s recent history, here’s a reminder. The Deadman’s sum total of WWE appearances in 2017 came at the 2017 Royal Rumble and at WrestleMania 33. The Undertaker entered the Royal Rumble at No. 29 and lasted eight minutes before being eliminated by Roman Reigns.
At WrestleMania 33, The Undertaker faced Reigns again, this time in an event headlining singles match. Reigns won the match, and The Undertaker left his hat, coat, and gloves in the center of the ring as he headed off into a well-earned retirement, or so we thought at the time.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, no one has said outright that The Undertaker has retired, and we know that he will be appearing on the 25th-anniversary edition of Monday Night Raw on January 22. Keen WWE fans will be aware that the anniversary edition of Raw falls just days before the 2018 Royal Rumble. The Undertaker has used his Twitter account to tease a return to WWE. Several messages, including this one, have hinted that The Undertaker’s WWE career is not over.
Not Over! pic.twitter.com/QNWxacN3JT
— The Undertaker (@WWEMarkWCalaway) December 4, 2017
According to Wrestling News, a WWE insider has told them that The Undertaker “is not going to appear on that [Monday Night Raw] show just to wave and say hello. I’ll leave it at that.” The clear implication, they suggest, is that The Undertaker will be entering the Royal Rumble.
According to Uproxx, Jerry Lawler spent some time backstage with The Undertaker at the recent Survivor Series PPV. Lawler claims that The Deadman is “in great shape” and says that “there’s no way a guy as in-shape as Undertaker is right now is going to stay retired.”
If The Undertaker is fit, there must be a huge temptation for the WWE to enter him into the 2018 Royal Rumble, and the WWE universe would certainly revel in The Deadman’s return. However, it should be remembered that Mark Callaway will be 53-years-old in March, and 27 years of WWE wrestling has had an enormous impact on his body.
Injury has meant that The Undertaker has been little more than a bit-part player on the WWE roster for years. The Taker of Souls has undergone hip replacement surgery, so a new stint in the wrestling ring would almost certainly put his health at risk. Another return would also arguably undermine the work that the WWE has invested in promoting superstars like Braun Strowman, AJ Styles, and Roman Reigns since WrestleMania 33.
In many ways, the extremely popular Strowman is the ideal man to replace The Undertaker long term. Strowman’s rise during 2017 has been meteoric, his time is now. The Undertaker is rightly revered in WWE circles, but his time was yesterday. Of course, we would all love to see The Taker having a role to play in the WWE for years to come, but the risk to Mark Callaway’s wellbeing is too great for that role to include wrestling.
The Undertaker will be a fantastic ambassador for the WWE brand, but The Deadman’s future should be outside the wrestling ring.