Of all of the superstars to ever work for the World Wrestling Federation or World Wrestling Entertainment, none have quite been as much of an icon as the Undertaker. Mark Calaway took what could have been a throwaway professional wrestling gimmick from the 1980s and transformed it into a character that not only survived but thrived for decades. When the gimmick began to become to a bit stale among viewers, Calaway and the WWF/WWE twice shifted it to mix things up and keep fans entertained, and thus the Undertaker remains a fascinating character who brings fans to his feet whenever he emerges from behind the curtain at a show.
Over the past decade, Undertaker has generated headlines each and every spring because of his famous undefeated at WrestleMania streak. That run came to an end in 2014 when he put Brock Lesnar over in a match that helped begin Lesnar’s run as the unbeatable beast, one that saw Lesnar eventually win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The loss to Lesnar was not the end of Undertaker’s storied career, however, as he returned at WrestleMania 31 to take on and defeat Bray Wyatt. No insider or anybody close to ‘Taker has suggested that he is considering retirement, so we should expect to see him at least once in a WWE ring in 2015.
The great equalizer catches up with all athletes and all performers, and that even includes the “Deadman.” There has been much speculation that WrestleMania 32 will be the final time that the Undertaker competes inside of a WWE ring as an active wrestler. That event will take place in Arlington, Texas, what some have referred to as the “backyard” of Undertaker (Calaway was born in Houston, Texas), and thus it is logical that he would prefer to hang up the boots once and for all after stepping out onto the stage in his home state one last time.
10. Undertaker vs. Kane
This may not sound like the most exciting final encounter for the Undertaker before he rides off into the sunset, and the truth of the matter is that the match probably would not be all that great. Everything comes full circle in certain aspects of life, however, and there is something novel about the idea of Undertaker taking on his storyline brother at a WrestleMania one last time. The WWE could even make it a double retirement match where, after Undertaker gets his hand raised, the two of them could walk up the ramp and to the back together as a united front.
9. Undertaker vs. CM Punk
I heard the podcast, I’ve read the stories and I know all that CM Punk has said about the WWE and the industry since he walked out on pro wrestling in 2014. I still remain unconvinced that he would not return to the company for the right price and the right program. Punk seemingly enjoyed his feud with Undertaker that led up to WrestleMania 29, and the company could, if the “Straightedge Superstar” was to once again work for the WWE, give Punk the rub this time around in an attempt to make him one of the biggest heel characters in the business.
8. Undertaker vs. Kevin Owens
All indications from the NXT brand show that the WWE will, in the future, push Kevin Owens as the next monster heel in the company. Owens, who went by his real name of Kevin Steen while working for independent promotions, is being booked as an unstoppable wrecking machine who is crushing babyface after babyface in NXT. It would, in storyline, be logical that Steen would want to be the man responsible for eliminating the Undertaker from the company once and for all, and the company could make him the man to do it if it is willing to go all-in on Owens.
7. Undertaker vs. Finn Balor
It has been widely speculated on podcasts and in reports that the WWE is high on Finn Balor, but that is not why fans should want to see him face off with the Undertaker at a WrestleMania or at any event, for that matter. The ring entrances that could be produced for these two leading up to a contest could be epic, two of the most memorable that the WWE has created in years. All would do well to make sure, if this match were to occur at a WrestleMania, that the sun is completely set and there is a pitch black background for these entrances. They otherwise would not be the same events.
6. Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns
The belief held by wrestling journalists and observers is that the WWE views Roman Reigns as the next big thing to hit the company. Linking Reigns with the Undertaker thus makes sense regardless of if Reigns is playing the role of a babyface or a heel at the time. Either way, Reigns would get booed out of the building just as he was when he took on Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 31. The best thing possible for all parties involved would be for Reigns and WWE to embrace the hate and for him to enter a program with the Undertaker as a heel, perhaps a heel who, like Lesnar, gets the job done at a WrestleMania.
5. Undertaker vs. Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan remains one of the more over babyfaces in the WWE even though the company has somewhat pushed him back into the midcard. The company could use the Undertaker as an opponent who could elevate Bryan, a former WWE World Heavyweight Champion who technically never lost that belt in a match (he had to relinquish in due to a real-life injury), back to main-event status. Both Bryan and Undertaker are beaten up these days, but both would be able to work a soft enough style to prevent injuries while at the same time having an entertaining and enjoyable contest.
4. Undertaker vs. The Rock
The Rock has seen it all and he has done it all in the world of sports and entertainment except for one thing: He has never defeated the Undertaker at a WrestleMania. WWE could easily incorporate this bit of truth into a storyline. Rock is busy with movies and television specials and with hitting up the gym on a daily basis, but he has proven in the past that he is more than happy to show up and cut promos and even work matches for the WWE. Undertaker versus Rock is one of a few dream WrestleMania contests that have not yet happened, but that could change in a few years.
3. Undertaker vs. John Cena
It has been many years since John Cena and Undertaker had a program, and that feud never resulted in the two icons of the industry meeting up at a WrestleMania. Critics of the leader of the “CeNation” can say whatever they want about Cena. He has been the biggest single draw of his generation, and he is one of the top overall WWE performers of the past decade at least. It would be odd if Undertaker were to retire without ever facing Cena at a WrestleMania just because of what those two performers have meant to the company since breaking onto the main roster.
2. Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
Lesnar remains the only wrestler to ever defeat Undertaker at a WrestleMania, as he pinned the Deadman following multiple F-5 finishing moves. Pro wrestling history and traditions suggests that it would only be right for Lesnar to “give that win back” and do a job to Undertaker at a WrestleMania down the road. Depending on how the WWE books Lesnar during the first year of his new contract, that match may not take place at WrestleMania 32. That is alright, though, as his limited schedule could allow ‘Taker to perform at multiple future WrestleMania events before he takes on Lesnar.
1. Undertaker vs. Steve Austin
It is no secret to anybody who follows the industry that “Stone Cold” Steve Austin would have already had a true retirement match inside of a WWE ring if he was able to do so. Austin’s body gave up on him long ago, but the whispers have been out there for some time that he could be up for one last match so long as it was not too rough on him. Neither he nor Undertaker would take too many risks in an encounter, both are from the state of Texas, and they have never faced off at a WrestleMania before. Put them in the ring at WrestleMania 32, WWE, and give fans one final goodbye to both.
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