The Undertaker is not officially booked for WrestleMania 35. It’s a sobering fact that many fans have accepted. After all, The Deadman is not what he once was and truth be told, WWE has really done very little with him over the past several months.
But while many are moving on from Taker with the understanding that he’s probably at the end of his career, many others are having a tough time dealing with reality. It’s not that they don’t realize that The Phenom’s best days are behind him. However, knowing and accepting are two very different things. But maybe they don’t have to accept it after all.
According to PWInsider, The Undertaker has arrived in New York. The Deadman is evidently going to be backstage at WrestleMania, which means there’s a good chance he will show up during the event. So what does this mean?
It’s likely not surprising news, as Taker was also not advertised for WrestleMania 34, yet he did appear. Undertaker answered John Cena’s challenge and the two had a quick match that saw The Phenom come out with the win. Cena had spent several weeks questioning Taker’s heart and also his motivations. Why wouldn’t Undertaker simply prove him wrong and just show up?
Watch Taker’s greatest Mania moments!
But Taker did exactly that and gave fans a very memorable moment. He looked better physically than he had in a long time and he moved extremely well in the ring. Taker and Cena had a good fast match and it was nearly flawless. The legend was back and he looked like The Undertaker of old.
Of course things didn’t go quite as well later on in 2018. The Super Show-Down in Australia featured Undertaker taking on Triple H in a losing effort. That match was perhaps not what many fans wanted, while others reveled in the nostalgia of it all. The two WWE icons definitely brought everything they had to the bout but in the end, it was not exactly the main event that it had been 10 years prior.
Had The Undertaker stopped after the Super Show-Down, then his legacy would have been just fine. Fans would have a lifetime of memories and the company would have had plenty of highlights to share for future generations. But then Crown Jewel happened.
The Saudi Arabia event left an incredibly bad taste in the mouths of the WWE faithful. The company’s refusal to change the event location, despite the government ordered assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, was perhaps inexcusable. Crown Jewel was a money grab and everyone knew it.
Watch The Undertaker’s legendary Mania streak!
The fact that Undertaker worked that show was enough to turn many fans against him. Both Cena and Daniel Bryan refused to work the show and they definitely garnered high praise from many as a result. But Taker was there, along with Kane, against Hunter and Shawn Michaels. It was a match that no one thought was possible in 2018 and when it was over, everyone could see why.
All four men gave maximum effort but the magic just wasn’t there as it had been before. Maybe the cloud of the location hung too low over the match. The visual of wealthy businessmen and their kids in oversized chairs was enough to guarantee that. But maybe there was something else there as well.
Maybe fans were actually deciding to give up on The Deadman. He’s still one of the most popular WWE Superstars of all time and he’s still a respected legend. But The Undertaker is just a man. The aura surrounding his character is still there, but it’s much thinner than it was before. Perhaps now the WWE faithful is indeed ready to move from him, just as he appears ready to move on as well. But is he?
Watch Taker at Crown Jewel!
The Undertaker is in New York, which means he will probably be involved in WrestleMania. Elias is set to perform during the event and that spot will likely bring Taker out and maybe even John Cena as well. Elias will be taken down, the fans will cheer and then it will be over. Taker and Cena may even shake hands before leaving the ring. But what if that’s not all?
Despite all of the negative press, WWE is heading back to Saudi Arabia this year and Undertaker will reportedly be on the card once again. So his actions at WrestleMania 35 could lay the groundwork for that appearance. Fans may get much more than just a feel-good moment at Mania. They may get Taker once again reliving his glory days in the ring.
The fact is that no matter what happens, The Undertaker is indeed one of the greatest of all time. For many pro wrestling fans, nothing can damage his legacy in WWE. For many others, he’s currently doing more harm than good to that legacy. Of course it’s his career and he gets to decide what he does next. How the fans will react to that decision is anyone’s guess.
Tom Clark can regularly be seen on Wrestling Rumors. His podcast, Tom Clark’s Main Event, is available on iTunes,YouTube, iHeart Radio, boinkstudios.com and live every Friday at 12pm EST on Wrestling Rumors Facebook Live