SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
If Undertaker wrestles on WrestleMania 35 this year, would you like to see him wrestle?
Would you prefer to see him against another veteran or legend, another monster, a smaller young wrestler, or a main roster heavyweight?
Let us know your top pick and explain why you think it’d be either good for business or good for the Undertaker opponent or good for fans (or all of the above!). You can also list a few back-up candidates and also who you absolutely don’t want to see him wrestle! And if you DO NOT want him to wrestle again, explain why.
Below are the first batch of reader picks… After reading them, send your pick to email@example.com.
PWTorch reader David Henkin writes…
If WrestleMania 35 is the end of The Deadman, his final opponent should be (this will sound ridiculous, but trust me) Tommaso Ciampa. Tommy Entertainment is already the biggest heel in wrestling at the moment, and having him be the one to retire The Phenom would multiply his already nuclear heat tenfold.
However, if Taker plans on still wrestling after this year, there are two wrestlers I’d like to see…
1. Bray Wyatt. A ‘Mania 31 rematch, but this time ending with Bray coming out on top.
2. Dolph Ziggler. It gives both men a place on the card and, given both men’s credentials and Ziggler’s phenomenal selling, it would likely be a pretty decent match.
PWTorch reader Scott Partner writes…
PWTorch Raw & Smackdown Specialist Frank Peteani writes…
It’s funny that this question came up. To be truthful, I haven’t given much thought to whom Undertaker should face at WrestleMania because I just feel like it’s time to go. If you told me today he wasn’t wrestling ever again I would be fine and would look forward to his Hall of Fame induction, whether that be this year, next year or in the near future. I purposely did not watch Crown Jewel but I saw the match with Triple H at Super Showdown. While he held his own as best as a beat-up 50+ year-old could, all the bells and whistles thrown into the match indicated that WWE knew he couldn’t perform at a top level.
Don’t get me wrong. The Undertaker has been a staple of my wrestling viewership. Watching WWF since 1986, I have been fortunate to have seen his character at the beginning and evolve to what he became through the years. I could never have imagined watching Survivor Series in 1990 at 17 years old in my uncle’s basement that we were seeing a future legend. I think he shouldn’t wrestle, but let me make chicken salad out of chicken here and pick an opponent. It’s not a match that’s going to excite anyway, but at this stage of the game it makes sense at least to me. That’s because the Undertaker needs to go out on top one more time.
That opponent is Kane.
If everyone is done understandably rolling their eyes, let’s think about it. We’re past the point where somebody is going to get the rub by carrying the match but ultimately losing. Do I want to see Drew McIntyre work his rear end off only to take a token pin to the dead man? If you’re going to do that to someone do it to Baron Corbin. He’s unlikable enough (although sometimes unfairly so) that no one will care if he carries the match but loses. McIntyre to me is a different type of asset. He’s a future world champion, and can do so as a heel or as a babyface. Judging by what’s happened recently I’m not sure WWE sees it that way for some reason, but I’ll hold out hope. I though about Braun Strowman too, and honestly I go back and forth on him because I feel like he’s the “next Undertaker,” and a match like this could effectively pass the torch. I don’t now if Strowman can wrestle a good enough match to carry ‘Taker, so probably best not to go there unless all else fails. They’re in a weird spot with Strowman, but I know that’s another topic.
Kane is the safest route to go. I’m sure, even though he’s likely at the end as ‘Taker is, the two of them can figure out a decent enough match for 5-10 minutes tops (which is ALL the time they would need). While a ‘Taker win would be predictable, does it really matter? Wouldn’t fans want to see the tombstone piledriver, eye rollback, and pin one more time? By involving Kane you’re not hurting anybody on the current everyday roster and the two of them can one more nice moment on a big stage. I’m sure Kane wouldn’t mind doing the job, and after the match they can shake hands and walk out together.
Now, if you’re going to have ‘Taker do the favor on his way out, then you have some options. Drew McIntyre would be a good choice. It could take him to that next level as a performer putting down a legend. It would do what it should have for Roman Reigns had they turned him heel following the ‘Mania he beat ‘Taker. Going with my “passing the torch” theory I suppose you can have Strowman, but I worry about him being able to work a decent enough match. Strowman would have been a logical opponent for Undertaker 5-10 years ago, but it may be a stretch now.
A dark horse candidate which may sound crazy, but what about “The Demon” Finn Balor? Word was he supposed to face ‘Taker at the ‘Mania he took on Reigns, but because he was coming off the shoulder surgery at the time they weren’t sure he’d be ready for a match like that. I’m not 100% sure on that fact, but nevertheless Balor would get a HUGE rub from beating Undertaker. They can bill it “The Dead Man vs. the Demon.”
There are definitely options. I just hope one of them is not the debacle they did with John Cena last year. I’m not sure what was accomplished by having Undertaker squash what some and I emphasize some consider the greatest of all time. Perhaps it was Cena thinking “hey everyone hates me anyway, so let me make them happy by having their favorite squash me.” Who knows, but just don’t go there again.
PWTorch reader Marty Larkin writes…
I think it should be Eric Young. Eric is just the kind of psycho character who could draw major heat in a match with Taker. Add the rest of Sanity into the mix causing havoc outside the ring and it would make Taker a babyface underdog. The ending could be just as Taker is set to win some of the NXT roster comes out and beats him down. The story is they are tired of part time guys taking the spotlight and they’re taking it from these washed up bums. Have them beat the Undertaker out of Mark Callous. A new Nexus, I suppose. Maybe call them the legend killers and they could go after Randy Orton for the rights to the name.
Now it’s your turn… Who do you want to see wrestle Undertaker at WrestleMania this year, and why? Do you think it’d be best for WWE’s business, or Undertaker, or the wrestler he faces, or just your personal pick, or all of the above. Send your pick to firstname.lastname@example.org.