So, the Undertaker is back. Again. And, it looks as though he’s headed for a showdown with Triple H.
As I write these words, I find myself torn between both sides of the debate. It’s not an unusual position for me, to be honest. As a Featured Columnist here on Bleacher Report, I present my views and opinions, while exploring both sides of the subject I’m writing about.
Often, I see the point that each side makes, and sometimes it’s tough to either totally love what I’m seeing, or totally hate on it.
And, that’s where I am in regards to Taker vs. Triple H 2.
I was in the middle of writing a piece on how I felt that Undertaker should have been in the Royal Rumble, when Hunter was surprisingly confronted by the Deadman on Raw.
My view was that if Taker was going to return and put the streak on the line again at WrestleMania, then it had to happen soon. The clock was ticking, and if WWE were to get this thing going, and have ample time to promote it, then they needed to get started.
Okay, so I missed it by one day. Sue me.
To be honest, none of us should really be surprised that Undertaker chose Triple H for his WrestleMania match, as it’s very similar to last year. In fact, I believe that it’s somewhat of a statement as to where the company is right now in terms of making real main event Superstars.
It’s almost as if WWE creative said, “well, we have to give him Triple H. Who else do we have?
Shawn Michaels and Edge are retired. Stone Cold is likely not going to return, and the Rock is booked against John Cena. There has been no sign of Brock Lesnar since his departure from UFC, and Chris Jericho is probably headed for a face off with CM Punk. At the end of the day, who’s left?
It’s Undertaker. It’s WrestleMania. This guy needs a big time opponent, a name, someone to bring the star power that he brings to this match.
It has to be Triple H. It only makes sense.
If Taker were still a full time competitor, this would really have not been an issue, as most of the time, the veterans work within the company to help develop the younger talent.
Taker’s presence a few months ago, possibly in a feud with Wade Barrett, Sheamus, or Cody Rhodes, could have led to a WrestleMania showdown, and there would be no need for a Triple H quick fix.
But, as it stands, Hunter will always have some level of heat with Taker, not only because of their match last year, but because they have a long history together in WWE. This rivalry automatically generates interest due to the two Superstars involved. They consistently turn in great matches, and when they touch, it means big business for the company.
Again, makes perfect sense.
But, here comes the part where I take into account the opposing viewpoint, and begin to feel more than a little torn as to how I should see this match.
The truth is, that the opposing viewpoint right now is not very high on this rematch taking place.
Some have said that Taker vs. Hunter from last year’s WrestleMania felt like the end, from the way that the match was booked, to the startling way in which Taker was all but destroyed by the end.
It seemed a fitting way to wrap up Undertaker’s WWE career, as it allowed him to maintain the streak, but also allowed him to ride off into the sunset.
Yes, he looked tired. Yes, he looked defeated even though he went over. But, fans recognize that he has been the standard bearer in WWE for so many years now, and continuously poured his heart out into countless big time main-event matches.
For the crowd, they understood that he was likely nearing the end, because he just did not have anything left to prove, nothing left to accomplish. He had his run, and now it seemed all but over.
Then, there’s the notion that this last match did not really do much for either man. After all, Hunter is not that younger talent mentioned earlier, who is a rising star in the company. His stature was not improved in any significant way by facing Undertaker at WrestleMania, because he’s already at the top.
Undertaker was undefeated going into that contest, and he emerged undefeated at the end. Again, he may have looked beaten down, but not losing meant that he really lost no ground at all.
His reputation as the last outlaw, who had survived every challenge, remained intact. Since that match did not lead to Taker’s retirement, then his physical condition really had no bearing at all. So, why do it?
To set up the rematch with Triple H this year? Was that the plan all along?
It’s at this point that I sit back, and look at what I consider to be the selling points of this match.
Primary among them is the fact that Taker’s pride in his winning streak is so important to him that he’s willing to risk losing it all to the man who nearly defeated him last time.
Triple H’s character surely will not let that fact slip by him, nor would he ignore his almost certain belief that the Deadman is at the end, and all it will take is one more gunfight for him to be run out of town.
Of course, the other major point in this scenario is that fans are just are waiting for the streak to end. It’s not that they want it to, a good portion of them do not, but the anticipation of it grows more and more with each passing year.
It reminds me of Goldberg’s win streak in WCW. The longer it went, the more fans began to wonder when it would end. In Goldberg’s case, I believe his loss was handled very badly, and it never should have went down the way it did.
Big difference between WCW and WWE, of course, but I sometimes ask myself if there is a good way to wrap this all up. Will they really be able to bring the streak to a logical climax, in which it will work for everyone involved?
Will it even end at all?
Barring some unknown plot twist that has yet to happen, Triple H versus the Undertaker is the match that we’re looking at as this WrestleMania’s second huge main event. And, that’s a good thing, or bad thing, depending on who you ask.
Me? I’m still somehow stuck in the middle.