The Undertaker must pay homage to the late Paul Bearer at WrestleMania 29, but not in the prototypical way that most WWE tributes are handled.
Bearer sadly passed away, according to WWE.com, and the legendary manager will undoubtedly receive a video package and moment of silence from the company. But the real honor of paying tribute to Bearer should fall on the shoulders of his closest ally in the business, The Undertaker.
The relationship between The Undertaker and Bearer goes beyond WWE, though, all the way back to 1984 when The Undertaker—then Texas Red—took on legend Bruiser Brody with Bearer as his manager.
That’s an almost 30-year relationship.
Add in the fact that, since 1991, Bearer and The Undertaker’s characters have been both allies and archenemies on WWE programming, and this unique on-screen relationship is one of the greatest in wrestling history.
In an interview with Ring Rust Radio, Bearer acknowledged that the friendship with The Undertaker went beyond the ring as well.
With such an untimely passing, a ring veteran with as much clout as The Undertaker will be permitted by Vince McMahon and company to pay any kind of tribute to his fallen manager that he’d like.
While having every superstar come out on Raw and orchestrating a moment of silence is the typical way WWE handles deaths (i.e. Eddie Guerrero's tribute), and there is nothing wrong with that at all, Bearer deserves even more than that.
How The Undertaker Must Pay Tribute
The Undertaker and Bearer's gimmicks, aura and intrigue in the WWE have been built upon the suspension of one's belief, supernatural tendencies and the notion of an afterlife. Not allowing The Deadman to pay tribute in a way that would live up to his character's reputation would be an injustice to the history both men built.
It’s clear that The Undertaker will have his entrance music play after his WrestleMania 29 opponent CM Punk is already in the ring (the streak doesn’t take a back seat to anyone), but instead of an elaborate setup on the ramp involving druids and fire, The Deadman must keep it simple.
The Undertaker must slowly enter the stage area through the smoke as he always does, but this time, he should have Bearer’s trademark urn held high above his head.
As The Undertaker approaches the ramp to the ring, a spotlight must focus in on the urn as the legend places it in the middle of the stage on an evil-looking pedestal.
The Undertaker should then begin his slow walk to the ring to put on what should be his normal amazing WrestleMania match.
After defeating Punk to move to 21-0 at WrestleMania, The Undertaker should not celebrate over his unconscious opponent. Instead of using the trademark tongue-out celebration over Punk’s body, The Undertaker should make the slow walk back up the ramp, turn to the ring and drop to one knee for his infamous pose with the urn in his hand.
The homage would feature no words and no official ceremony, but having a WrestleMania moment that features The Undertaker’s own unique tribute would be something the WWE Universe would never forget.
For all of the storyline insanity and chaos that these two men caused together during their long tenure in the business, The Undertaker’s final segment with the legend should be the one fans never forget.