Where, oh where, is The Undertaker?
The future WWE Hall of Famer has been has been completely absent from TV since his phenomenal match against Triple H at WrestleMania 27, and there have been no real signs that he’s coming back soon.
While some thought that Undertaker might be behind “It Begins,” those cryptic YouTube videos wound up being meant for Chris Jericho, thus reopening the debate about Taker’s whereabouts.
It’s now assumed by most that The Undertaker will be back within the next month or two in order to start the build-up toward his attempt to extend “The Streak” to 20-0 at WrestleMania 28, and barring any unforeseen circumstances, that should be exactly what happens.
Of course, no one really knows exactly where The Undertaker will fit in upon his return.
Taker is technically a SmackDown superstar, so if he returns on the blue brand, which SmackDown stars should be worried about being a target of the Phenom?
I think one man should be getting a little nervous right now. His name is Wade Barrett.
Since I’ve got a World Heavyweight Championship match between Randy Orton (the Royal Rumble winner) and Daniel Bryan (the champion) penciled in for WrestleMania 28, that means that Barrett could be looking to make The Undertaker the latest victim of the “Barrett Barrage.”
After all, Barrett helped Kane defeat The Undertaker in a Buried Alive match back at Bragging Rights in 2010, and given Taker’s struggles to beat Triple H at last year’s WrestleMania, you might say that he “hasn’t been the same” since Barrett attacked him. A return feud between Undertaker and Barrett could make sense if Barrett’s attack on Taker is used as the basis, as he looks for revenge against the bare-knuckle brawler.
I’d love to see that match happen because there’s no clear-cut feud waiting for Barrett once his rivalry with Orton concludes, and it would do wonders for Barrett to push Undertaker to the limit at WrestleMania. Plus, when you look at the current SmackDown storylines—Bryan’s gradual heel turn, Goldust vs. Cody Rhodes, etc.—things are certainly shaping up for a potential match Barrett/Undertaker match.
To be honest, though, I just don’t think that’s what’s going to happen.
While The Undertaker is listed as a SmackDown superstar, the WWE’s brand split means little to nothing these days, especially with the new Raw “Supershow” format. This is even more true now that WrestleMania is right around the corner because cross-promotion between the brands during WrestleMania season is incredibly common.
Therefore, The Undertaker doesn’t have to return to the SmackDown brand. In fact, I highly doubt that he will.
The return of a legend like the Deadman will not happen on a taped show like SmackDown anyway, and his return feud itself will get more of a spotlight on the WWE’s flagship show, Monday Night Raw. That means that Undertaker is likely primed for a return feud and WrestleMania rivalry with someone he’s very familiar with.
I’m talking, of course, about Triple H.
I, like many others, don’t really want to see another match between Taker and Triple H because I just don’t see them have any realistic shot at topping their match at WrestleMania 27. But the theme of the last several WrestleManias is that Undertaker puts his streak on the line against an established veteran.
His last four opponents on the grandest stage of them all? Edge, Batista, Shawn Michaels and Triple H.
These guys were not up-and-coming stars. They were all bona fide main eventers and former World Champions.
I think that the WWE’s philosophy behind putting The Undertaker up against another veteran is that the company doesn’t see any benefit in having Taker compete against a younger star when there’s a zero percent chance that he will lose. I can see the WWE’s view on this, but in my opinion, it would do wonders for a younger star to simply hang with Taker and give him one hell of a match at WrestleMania.
Regardless, WWE officials do not think the same way I do, and a match between Triple H and Undertaker seems almost inevitable at this point.
But if Triple H wins, I riot.