Happy Tuesday TJR Faithful! It’s been a little while since I’ve been able to write something for y’all. Thankfully not much has happened since then. I mean there was a little news story about WWE probably bringing in AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, and my personal favourite wrestler in the world Shinsuke Nakamura. While those developments have me so very excited about the future of the WWE, writing on them isn’t exactly my wheelhouse.
You see, I’m a story guy and/or character guy. I write when there are narratives that I find interesting. I write when I feel compelled to critique the stories being told to me. So as excited as the rumoured acquisitions excite me, it’s not something I can write a long piece about… yet. With that being said, there was a development last week that changed the narrative future (at least the immediate future) of the WWE. That was the new that John Cena is on the shelf for the next few months. This is interesting because we are so close to Wrestlemania. John Cena was obviously figured into a big match at the annual Showcase of the Immortals, and rumour had it that his opponent was to be The Undertaker.
With that match scrapped, I’m incredibly interested in where that leaves the Undertaker. A match with The Undertaker at Wrestlemania is a big deal. It is a slot reserved for the best of the best in the WWE. While this year was likely meant to be a poetic swan song, with the WWE’s biggest current star facing one of their oldest attractions in what would likely be his final appearance at the event that made him famous, the John Cena injury forces things to go in a different direction.
They can’t do Brock/Taker, they can’t do Bray/Taker, and they sure as hell can’t do Triple H/Taker. If I even hear the word Kane in association with a match with his narrative brother, I’ll hurl. As much as it’d be the only comparative draw to Cena, they can’t do Rock vs. Undertaker either. Maybe can’t is a strong word. I simply don’t think that option is realistically on the table for them. So this leaves them without a solid plan for The Undertaker for the first time in a long time. There are some interesting options coming into the company over the next couple months, but who will it be that challenges the dead man. Here are four solid (albeit not as major) opponents that can replace John Cena:
As much as my plans for Kevin Owens would involve him recapturing the Intercontinental Championship and going on to face Sami Zayn in a grudge match for the IC title at Wrestlemania, he is a suitable replacement for a match with The Undertaker. He’s a great talker that could sell the match on the microphone, which is a huge requirement when facing The Undertaker at Wrestlemania.
Furthermore, the match itself would be pretty kick ass. Kevin Owens rarely if ever leaves you wanting more out of his matches, and his brash/charismatic nature would make for a rather interesting Undertaker match on a grand stage. Unfortunately the allure of him facing Sami Zayn would be to big for me to pass on. I’d also be worried about how monstrous Kevin Owens would seem next to The Undertaker. He remains a solid option, but probably not the best (as he can be better utilized elsewhere on the card).
Dolph Ziggler is becoming more and more like Shawn Michaels every day, and I could see that kind of being built into a program with The Undertaker for Wrestlemania. Maybe he wants to follow in Shawn’s footsteps and steal the show and the Showcase of the Immortals with The Undertaker.The match would likely be great, and it would be a huge opportunity for Dolph.
Realistically, this is a pretty weak option. It wouldn’t be the big draw you’d want for an Undertaker match and besides the Dolph is morphing into HBK, there really isn’t much to sink your teeth into narratively here. It’s a shame because Dolph has busted his ass for years. He deserves a big singles match at Mania. It just shouldn’t be the Undertaker match in my opinion.
The New Day
I would actually really like the idea of The New Day, lovers of Unicorns and Positivity, going head to head with the dead man, The Undertaker. Idealistically, these men are diametrically opposed. New Day could set out to remove the Undertaker’s darkness from the WWE once and for all, and The Undertaker could accept their challenge for a gauntlet match at Wrestlemania.
The Undertaker could use his powers and mind games to scare The New Day, while also inspiring a more serious side of them. At Wrestlemania, they would lose, despite giving a strong effort, albeit with their unfair advantage. This would be a huge spot for all three, and is so much better than being relegated to a multi-man Tag Title match on the pre-show.
Alas, the WWE wouldn’t ever go for this. These guys aren’t seen as serious tools to be used in big time angles, even though they should be. If anybody has grabbed the brass ring it’s these guys, and they deserve to be rewarded with a big time Wrestlemania match.
This man is in all likelihood, the most qualified of the current WWE roster to handle the gravitas of a match with The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Given what he has done for the company since his debut, and how he has taken a back seat to Rollins and Reigns since the dissolving of The Shield, I really think he needs this to be his breakthrough year.
The story is a simple one. The Undertaker is looking for an opponent for Wrestlemania, when Vince McMahon comes to the ring and tells him that he doesn’t think that there’ll be an Undertaker match at this year’s Wrestlemania. As the crowd loudly boos Vince replies “I’m as upset as you are. The Undertaker matches are legendary, but his legend precedes him this year. The fact is, the boys in the back respect you too much now Taker… and the ones that don’t fear you. There’s simply nobody back there with the guts to step foot in this ring with you.”
That’s when Dean Ambrose’s music hits and he storms the ring. He grabs a microphone and says “I respect you deadman… but I don’t fear you. I’m not afraid of dying and I’m certainly not afraid of The Undertaker. I dare you Taker, try to take my soul at Wrestlemania. But fair warning, just like you said to Brock… you can’t kill what won’t die.”
That’s when Vince steps in and says no. This isn’t a match, he won’t sanction it, Dean Ambrose isn’t worthy of such an opportunity. Over the next several weeks Dean Ambrose has to prove he’s worthy, step by step falling deeper into lunacy. Finally Vince will give in and make the match saying “I was trying to protect you from yourself Dean. I could have made money off of you for years to come, but you seem to have this death wish. A match with The Undertaker at Wrestlemania is where careers go to die… we’ll add your name to list of his victims.” Ironically, it will be during this match, his first singles match at Wrestlemania, that his career is truly born.
There you have it, but as always I want to know what you think! Who should face Taker at Wrestlemania? Would Dean Ambrose be a suitable replacement for John Cena? If not him, what angle would be more interesting? Can you think of a cool match to put Ziggler in?
Until next time folks, I’m Matty J. Douglas saying Rest In Power David Bowie! You your incredible artistry will be greatly missed. Have a great week everybody!