In today’s day and age it has become a trend to bring back things that fans once held so dear. From Power Rangers to Full House, older franchises are experiencing a new resurgence in popularity due to Hollywood’s inability to market anything totally original. Professional wrestling is no exception to this rule. But, there are some standards that have not gone away since days gone by for a reason, and that includes the Undertaker.
Mark Calloway’s ingenious characterization has evolved throughout time in order to cater to the more popular mainstream ideas of the audience. Fans have seen a dead man, a biker, a supernatural cult leader, and a grizzled veteran; each of these incarnations of the same character is undoubtedly a formidable opponent.
Now fans might finally be looking at the end of The Undertaker’s journey. Nobody knows how much time Taker has left to entertain the WWE fans, even in an extremely part-time sense.
The Undertaker entered himself in the 2017 Royal Rumble match a decade after he first won the annual battle royal. It is looking like more of a highly possible prospect that the WWE universe will see Taker win once more. But, for lack of better words fans don’t know what to expect at this point.
If The Undertaker is able to win the rumble, this very well might be the last run he has left in him. Fans that remember seeing him for the first time accompanied to the ring by Brother Love while being mesmerized by his presence will have to let go of something dear to them.
His ominous aura has not changed one bit, but actually compounded itself via every incarnation his character has experienced through the decades. At this point his characterization is a mixture of all things that he has experienced – and he is much better off for it.
If the Dead Man is able to pull of a Royal Rumble victory it will most likely set up an encounter with John Cena at what could be his last WrestleMania. This match has been talked about for well over a year now; and it is what Vince McMahon imagines at night while he sleeps in his lavish bed, kicking his legs back-and-forth like a puppy dreaming about chasing a bunny.
If the opportunity doesn’t present itself for one more title run, a grand send-off match against Cena would still allow fans to see the Undertaker honored by giving him one more strong run on top.
The genius surrounding The Undertaker is that he doesn’t even have to leave the house in order to make an appearance. All WWE has to do is kill the lights, throw a lightning bolt down, turn up the fog machine, fade in blue lights, and ring the gong. The crowd buys into the illusion that the Dead Man was there while Mark Calloway is actually poolside in Texas with his wife, Michelle McCool.
As the years go by some things change, and those things that don’t really cement themselves as being that much more important… and that includes the Undertaker.
When Brock Lesnar beat the streak at WrestleMania 30, he essentially destroyed childhoods. On the other hand, when WrestleMania 33 rolls around fans will understand the loss if it happens. The Undertaker is such an old-school company guy that he will probably put someone over like John Cena in his final match just because it is the traditional thing to do.
Don’t expect to see him come back for little advertisement skits in the middle of Raw – or even sit down for a Legends with JBL episode on the WWE Network (even though that would be epic). Expect him to ride off into the into the sunset after his inevitable Hall of Fame induction and live the rest of his life the way he needs to: taking it easy.
The Dead Man has given so much to us throughout his entire career and he deserves a good, long break. Besides, if he ever gets bored all he has to do is pop into one of the many wrestling schools around Texas (or Orlando) to give his two cents and he will receive way more than two cents for his guidance and legendary expertise.