Year after year, we are treated to yet another awe-inspiring WrestleMania moment. And over the past few years, these moments have become the domain of The Undertaker.
But The Undertaker barely competes anymore, having been featured in just one match in 2012, at WrestleMania against Triple H. This same match was voted the best of the year at the Slammy awards this past week, and it stole the spotlight from the much-anticipated Rock vs. John Cena match. It is widely viewed as one of the greatest Hell in a Cell matches of all time.
The bottom line is that The Undertaker is making his last matches count before his retirement. He is the biggest box-office draw in the WWE when it comes to WrestleMania, where he is defending his legendary 20-0 streak.
The Undertaker is arguably the most over guy in the company, above the likes of Cena, Rock, Punk, Lesnar and whoever else might be competing whenever he shows up. The fans love the dead man more than any other star in the WWE due to more than two decades of excellent service and sacrifice. He gets a pure babyface reaction, the magnitude of which Cena has never been able to achieve.
On any other night, however, Cena is the face of the WWE. He gets without fail the biggest (usually mixed) reaction on every show. Because of his incredible drawing power with younger fans, he is nearly always featured in the main event of any given PPV.He has reached legendary status in the WWE and, like The Undertaker, will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer when he retires.
His support does seem to be waning a little, though. The portion of the WWE fanbase growing tired of Cena's act is becoming more and more vocal. He is being booed more frequently in matches where he is facing heels (such as Dolph Ziggler at TLC), let alone babyfaces.
Just because the vocal portion of the fanbase doesn't appreciate him doesn't mean the majority of fans are not Cena supporters— the prime example being Raw this past week when Cena was still voted Superstar of the Year by the fans despite having achieved little in 2012.
Indeed, it would probably have been the case that he would have been given the award even if he were absent for most of the year.
So, based on these facts, is there any better match to headline the 30th WrestleMania than The Undertaker vs. Cena?
But it goes further than mere popularity. Cena is probably the only guy left who could believably pose a threat to the streak. I'm sure that if the match were made it would cause a lot of people to feel uncomfortable because of the possibility of Mr. McMahon repaying Cena's decade of hard work by allowing him to end the streak. That would undoubtedly be the greatest achievement of his career.
That adds another dimension to the match. It will make even more people want to see what happens, which is exactly why it needs to happen.
Of course, the streak would not and should not end.
I honestly believe that WWE would never take The Undertaker's greatest achievement away from him after more than two decades of loyal service. To do so would be disrespectful in my mind and I would hate to see it happen.
But again, the fact that I have these strong views on the matter is the reason why this match is such a great idea.
It is not just the clashing of the two biggest names in wrestling over the last decade on the 30th anniversary of the greatest event in wrestling history, although that would be enough to sell out any arena. It is the air of unpredictability around the match that would make it the most must-see match in history.
This rivalry heading into the event would also be incredibly fresh. The two have not met in singles since they battled to a draw on Raw in 2006. They have a 2-2 record against one another, and this match at WrestleMania would be the perfect rubber match. The last time they were actually feuding with one another was between 2003-2004, a decade prior to WrestleMania 30!
Then there is the argument posed by a few that the match itself wouldn't be anything special. Are you kidding me?
The Undertaker always wrestles like he is in his prime at WrestleMania, and you can bet on him doing the same for this match against the biggest star in the company. The Undertaker will be sure to make Cena look a million bucks win or lose, like he has for so many others over the course of his career.
Cena's wrestling ability has been the subject of much criticism over the years. I agree to a certain extent, although he is better than a lot of people think. But there are two things which make this a non-issue for this match:
1) In a match this big, the mere occasion would be bigger than the actual content of the match, much like Rock vs. Cena at WrestleMania 28. That was a solid contest, don't get me wrong, but hardly the match of the year or even the match of the night.
You also wouldn't say that Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant was a terrific wrestling match, but that wasn't the point. It was the spectacle that mattered and made it a defining moment in wrestling history.
2) Cena is still capable of having brilliant matches. His wrestling ability aside, Cena has had some absolutely cracking five-star matches against the likes of HHH, Shawn Michaels and CM Punk.
What he lacks in variety he makes up for with heart and pure storytelling. Ultimately, a match can be a five-star affair without too much sound technical wrestling if the storytelling does its job. Again, look at The Undertaker vs. HHH from this past year. It wasn't a technical spectacle, but the storytelling with the kick-outs, facial expressions and emotion made it the match of the year.
I honestly believe that these two would have at least a four-star match at WrestleMania if they were given 30 minutes to tell the story properly.
Finally, my last point is that Cena would effectively be booed out of the building. It would be akin to his match with CM Punk in Chicago in 2011, and we all know just how great the atmosphere was there. It would be a fitting way to close out the 30th anniversary of WrestleMania.
It may even be The Undertaker's last match, which would make it even more emotional and special.
In my opinion, this would be the biggest match in WrestleMania history for many years afterward.
Some may say that Punk vs. Austin would be bigger. But the fact is that Austin has not competed for a decade now, so the match would need to be carried by Punk. It would not last that long with Austin's vast array of injuries.
It would be an incredible spectacle and I would love to see it at WrestleMania 30, I just think that The Undertaker vs. Cena is bigger and needs to close the show.
If I had to book the three main matches of WrestleMania 30 (and Steve Austin was available), they would be The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar, CM Punk vs. Steve Austin and The Undertaker vs. John Cena. Those three matches alone would make the event the best-selling PPV of all time.
Make no mistake about it, the history of The Undertaker at WrestleMania makes a match with Cena the best WWE could make to celebrate the 30th annual Super Bowl of wrestling.
All thoughts are welcome below!
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