This is essentially in reaction to a news article. Is it about Rey Mysterio being backstage at Raw this week to apparently discuss his future? No. Is it about the return of Vince McMahon to TV, and what that might mean? No. Is it about the shambolic frustration that has become the WWE Network in the UK? No. It’s about something that very few people have been talking about. It about Wrestlemania 31.
In case you didn’t know, tickets for next year’s showcase went on sale last weekend. And the poster was released alongside it. If you haven’t already seen it, here it is.
Now you might think that’s fairly run of the mill stuff, just about what you would expect. But looking at the poster, there is one thing that immediately jumped out at me, and has been playing on my mind ever since.
There’s no Undertaker.
The seemingly one constant in Wrestlemania isn’t being promoted for next year’s show. I’m taking that as the first clear sign that we won’t see the Deadman next March.
There has been a lot of speculation over Taker’s future since Brock Lesnar became the one in 21-1. Before that match, I subscribed to the theory that when the streak ended, so would Undertaker’s career. Then we got wind of Sting joining WWE, and it seemed only natural that we would get Taker-Sting at Wrestlemania 31. That was until the beast incarnate got in the way.
I wrote about that match and the range of emotions I went through here. When I wrote that I was still more than a bit in shock. But at the same time it’s probably my favourite article I’ve ever written. Just because it was raw, pure emotion.
In that article, I mentioned how Taker had to be taken to hospital. Vince McMahon accompanied him there, such were the severity of his injuries – and such was the respect the company had for the man. Who else would have prompted Vince McMahon to leave the biggest show of the year that early?
And his injuries were pretty bad. A serious hip injury, a concussion… at his age, any injury can be a career ender. And I have to ask: why would Taker risk going through that again? He has had a truly phenomenal career. He has a role in WWE for life if he wants it, and I can’t see him being the kind of person to waste all his money that he’s earned over the last 25 years. There is no need for him to put his long term health on the line any more.
I don’t know if Taker will wrestle again. In some ways I hope he doesn’t, in others I am desperate for him to return. We really don’t know what the future holds for him. So I’m just going to reiterate something I said back in April.
In my eyes, the Undertaker is the greatest wrestler and character in history. If this is the end, thank you Mark Callaway. It has been an absolute pleasure.