Brock Lesnar is the leading candidate to collide with Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX.
The promise of a momentous match, requests from either his challengers or Undertaker himself and the word spreading across the Internet by way of backstage reports point to four other men having a shot as well. It's Lesnar, though, who is the favorite.
Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania has become the company's most valuable—and untouchable—prize.
Lesnar, John Cena, Sheamus, Daniel Bryan and Sting all have a chance to be the next Superstar offered the opportunity to end that streak, but how much of a chance does each man have? The following is a look at each man's odds of being chosen as Undertaker's next opponent at WrestleMania.
Sting may be close to signing with WWE—the deal is "imminent" in Nick Paglino of WrestleZone's words—but he's not officially with the company yet. The build for WrestleMania XXX is already beginning without him.
Still, fans won't drop the thought of his dream match until it happens.
Even Sting has visions of the two dark characters meeting on "The Grandest Stage of Them All." The Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t WrestlingInc.com) notes that "Sting himself was hoping for a match against The Undertaker at this year's event."
The report goes on to say that Sting is willing to go to Undertaker's house to work on the match before the huge event.
Even if "The Icon" jumps on board with WWE in the next week, his age is still holding him back as a contender for facing Undertaker. While "The Deadman" is no rookie himself, the idea of pitting a 54-year-old against a 48-year-old won't make WWE officials feel confident about the results.
John Cena: 25-1
Cena's name hasn't come up in backstage reports like those of the other men on this list, but his star power will always make him a candidate for the coveted Undertaker-at-WrestleMania match.
He is one of the last true megastars Undertaker hasn't faced at the marquee event.
Regardless of the story, Cena vs. Undertaker is instantly a huge match. It's a contest that doesn't seem all that likely, though.
The ever-shifting rumored WrestleMania card has one bout continually pop up. According to PWInsider (h/t WrestlingInc.com), it pits Cena against Bray Wyatt.
Wyatt attacked Cena at the Royal Rumble, ending his chances to dethrone Randy Orton and setting up a story WWE can head back to after Elimination Chamber. The company seems intent on pushing Wyatt, as evidenced by his big victory over Daniel Bryan at the rumble.
Battling Cena is a wise next step for him, a plan that puts the Cena vs. Undertaker contest on hold until perhaps WrestleMania 31.
Daniel Bryan: 12-1
Other than putting him in the main event for the world title, the best way to please the vocal and unhappy Bryan fanbase is to pit him against Undertaker.
WWE officials may or may not want that match to happen, but Undertaker certainly does. F4WOnline (h/t CagesideSeats.com) reports that "Undertaker asked to work with him at Mania this year."
With the clout "The Phenom" has developed over his long career, there's little doubt that his requests are earnestly mulled over. Undertaker pushing for Bryan ups the bearded one's chances of facing him, but it's no guarantee.
The company reportedly has other plans for Bryan.
Bryan vs. Triple H is a strong possibility now that CM Punk is gone. The other option is for Bryan to take on both Orton and Batista for the world title. F4WOnline (h/t WrestlingInc.com) reports that officials are discussing both of those matches.
There is no word of WWE giving much consideration to Bryan getting a shot at the Undertaker's streak. It's Bryan's old nemesis who is getting more buzz in terms of that spot.
"The Celtic Warrior" is not in a feud with The Authority like Bryan. He has little reason to hunt Wyatt the way Cena does. That could mean he ends up sliding into WrestleMania's most anticipated battle.
Lesnar's roughness and Undertaker's age help his case as well.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t WrestlingInc.com) reports the following:
Regarding Lesnar vs. Undertaker, there had been some concern because Lesnar works such a physical style and Taker is in really rough shape physically. This is why there was some talk of Sheamus facing Taker.
It sounds as if Sheamus is the No. 2 option. If Undertaker bucks against the idea of facing Lesnar, it's the Irish powerhouse who could get the opportunity of a lifetime.
He is a big enough star to warrant being a part of this bout and being in his prime as well as such a dominant force in the ring allows him to carry the bulk of the match—something Sting wouldn't be able to do.
As a former world champ and chest-reddening brawler, he comes off as a man who could put Undertaker's streak in jeopardy.
Another beast of a man does that even better than Sheamus, though.
Brock Lesnar: 4-1
If one has to place a single bet on who challenges the Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX, it's best to put money on Lesnar.
There is a ready-made story for these two foes to tell and their matchup is an intriguing one from a physical perspective. Undertaker's striking and Hell's Gate submission are the perfect complement to Lesnar's new MMA-inspired style.
Their confrontation at UFC 121 and history together make for great animosity, both storyline and real, to build on.
In addition, it's a logical narrative step for Paul Heyman to have Lesnar challenge Undertaker after Heyman's last client failed to stop "The Deadman" at last year's WrestleMania.
All that makes it easy to see why Lesnar vs. Undertaker was once considered "a lock," as touched on by WrestleZone.com.
It's the match that comes up most often in these kinds of backstage reports, including the one that referenced Sheamus. There have been whispers that maybe Batista and Lesnar would square off, but Lesnar is not booked to be in the Elimination Chamber match that is supposed to decide Batista's opponent.
He could of course steal someone's spot a la Edge in 2009.
Those doubts aside, it feels as if Lesnar vs. Undertaker is inevitable. According to PWInsider (h/t PWMania.com), The Phenom's rumored return date is Feb. 24. That happens to be on a night when Lesnar is scheduled to appear.
"The Beast" remains the favorite to be the latest man to attempt to best Undertaker on the stage where he has refused to be mortal.
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