It’s seems likely that Undertaker will retire at WrestleMania 32. Vince’s comments about having two years to prepare someone tallies with this. The show is apparently being held at AT&T Stadium in ‘Taker’s native state of Texas. With WWE expected to set a new attendance record at that show there could be no better way for him to go out. And after, by that point, twenty-six years with the company and becoming one of their most successful wrestlers ever, he would deserve to go out in such a manner.
|They're pushing Reigns anyway. Why not give him The Streak?|
This would have given WWE two years to take a guy climbing the ranks. From the current crop of full-timers that’s basically anyone but John Cena, Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan. The obvious choice would have been to focus on the Shield guys, which is what they ended up doing. At the time of WrestleMania XXX, when Vince decided he couldn’t get anyone ready within two years, they were the company’s second hottest act behind D-Bry. They’d shown they could get over collectively. They looked like they could get over individually.
The summer split has confirmed that. Rollins is lead heel while Ambrose’s popularity has gone from strength to strength. Reigns has struggled to keep up, but his apparently legitimate Superstar of the Year Slammy win shows there may be hope for him yet. As do the rumours that he’ll be the man to defeat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 31.
Had Vince had a little more foresight he could have had ‘The Dead Man’ defeat ‘The Pain’ at WrestleMania XXX and continue his Streak at WrestleMania 31. He ideal opponent there would have been Cena. As stated in yesterday’s post, he was the man most people would have pointed to had they had to select a Streak ender from WWE’s current crop of stars. That the reason would be “Cena wins everything” isn’t important. What matters is that he, WWE, and Undertaker could have convinced a lot of people The Streak was coming to a close at Cena’s hands.
Which would have made it all the more surprising when Cena lost. Undertaker would have been free to head into ‘Mania 32 with a 23-0 record. That could have been advertised as his retirement bout, the last chance for someone to end his run of dominance at the biggest annual wrestling show in front of WWE’s biggest crowd ever.
That brings us back to The Shield. At time of writing all three are in positions that could lead them to a WWE title reign in 2015. Obviously if one man had to be picked over the others as the man who’d face Undertaker at ‘Mania 33 it would be Reigns, but for what I’ll suggest below it could have been any of the three.
What WWE could have done at the beginning of 2015 is assess which of the three Shield members was best positioned to go to WrestleMania 32 as champion to defend against The Undertaker. Ambrose, Rollins or Reigns defending the WWE championship against a still-undefeated-at-‘Mania Undertaker in his final match would have been huge. By that point whichever Shield member was facing him would have been in WWE for three and a half years, just about enough time to be settling in as a mainstay of the main event. The title being on the line could have thrown some doubt on the outcome, as would the fact that it was ‘The Dead Man’s’ last match and in his home state.
Let’s say it was Reigns versus Undertaker. They could have had a good match with Reigns working heel. Undertaker could have taken it to Reigns early on before taking a beating and the commentary team acknowledging that he may not have it in him anymore. ‘Taker getting his second wind could have blown the roof off the place (metaphorically speaking, obvs) and they could have had a great exchange of pin attempts and submissions based around their signature moves.
|This would've been better than Lesnar v Undertaker. Fact.|
Then Ambrose and Rollins could have shown up for a three-on-one beatdown of Undi’ (because a match like that would be no DQ). Ambrose could have given him Dirty Deeds. Rollins could have given him a Curb Stomp. Reigns could have given him a Superman punch (a way better finish than his ropey spear). And Undertaker could have kicked out. That would call for the triple power bomb to be busted out, finally putting Undertaker down for a three count at WrestleMania.
This would have accomplished several things. Firstly, Reigns would have been the man to end The Streak. A completely unique bragging right that could be brought up for years to come (because, unlike Lesnar, Reigns will be around for years). Secondly, it would have reunited The Shield after nearly two years of them being apart. It’s going to happen sooner or later, why not do it at the biggest show of the year and get some real heat on them by having them steal Undertaker’s Streak from him. Okay, so it wouldn’t have been clean. That’s not ideal but it would have been good for Reigns’s career and plot development, and would have allowed WrestleMania 32 to go off the air with a great visual of the reformed Shield doing their fist bump pose over the defeated Undertaker.
This idea won’t be to everyone’s tastes, obviously. But it would have done more for Reigns, Ambrose and Rollins than the ‘Mania XXX victory did for Lesnar. And that’s what WWE should want.