Brock Lesnar is headed for a collision course with Undertaker at WrestleMania 30 on Sunday, April 6. WWE's yearly extravaganza will see the two big men rekindle their old rivalry in a match that could potentially see the end of Taker's undefeated WrestleMania streak.
But while many fans are undoubtedly anxious to see the match happen, the truth is that it has perhaps not connected with a majority of the WWE faithful. And the reason for that has to do with Brock's extremely poor booking going into the match.
The fact is that Brock and Undertaker have had virtually no physical contact since this rivalry began back in February. Their initial meeting on that edition of Monday Night Raw saw The Deadman chokeslam The Beast through a table after their WrestleMania contract was signed.
Truth be told, many fans likely expected that sort of spot to happen between the two men. After all, Taker had not been seen on WWE programming since The Shield put him out of commission in 2013. The crowd anticipated something big for Undertaker's return to the fold, and he did not disappoint.
But in the weeks that followed, Brock's advocate Paul Heyman had to keep the fires of the rivalry burning. Paul took his case before the fans, speaking on Lesnar's behalf and voicing his belief that Undertaker's undefeated streak was coming to an end on April 6.
The key issue with the angle at that point became timing. In much the same way they expected Undertaker to look good upon his return, fans expected Heyman to take the reins for Brock in the interim.
The reason for that is quite simply because WWE did not want to give away the match for free. Creating one face-to-face showdown after the other between Taker and Lesnar on TV would eventually begin to weaken the impact the actual match would have at WrestleMania 30.
Too much of a good thing is not always the right move, and it was understandable that WWE would want to save a bout of this magnitude for the WrestleMania stage.
But the problem was indeed the timing. Fans surely wanted to see the two men inhabit the same ring once again, if only to stare each other down. But it just did not happen. So when Undertaker made it known that he would be in Brooklyn for March 24's Raw, it seemed that perhaps the company would give fans more of what they wanted.
And what happened on that Raw was classic Undertaker. The house lights went down as the arena was bathed in the familiar blue light that illuminates The Deadman's entrance. As Brock and Heyman stood waiting in the ring, a host of druids wheeled a coffin down the ramp and laid it to rest next to the ring.
For any fan who has followed the WWE product for any substantial amount of time, there was no mystery about what would happen next. Undertaker emerged from the coffin and stepped into the ring. He and Brock exchanged right hands until Taker got the best of Brock, and Lesnar was soon making his retreat from the ring with Heyman in tow.
It was a moment the WWE faithful had seen many times over the years, and it was all part of making Undertaker look strong once again. However, the real question soon became where that left Brock Lesnar.
At no point in their feud has Brock looked like The Beast Incarnate that Paul Heyman regularly advertises him to be. Instead of looking like a fierce challenger and perhaps the man who will end Taker's WrestleMania streak, Brock has looked more like a victim.
Lesnar's expression after Undertaker attacked him from the coffin was that of a man defeated. Brock looked terrified of his Mania opponent as his character began to fully realize what was waiting for him on April 6 in New Orleans. While Lesnar played his part perfectly, he does not appear to be a threat whatsoever.
Taker has looked strong in the storyline, and he deserves to. But Lesnar has not been able to score even one small victory, one brutal moment of physicality, against The Deadman. Why would any fan believe Brock has even a remote chance of ending the streak?
Part of the drama surrounding Undertaker every year at WrestleMania lies in the possibility that somehow he will not be able to overcome his opponent. Though Taker has consistently been presented as the most resilient force in WWE, the years are catching up to him. At some point, the question of what WWE will do with him must be answered.
And every year, that answer could perhaps be tied into his match at Mania. Shawn Michaels, Triple H and CM Punk all took Taker to his absolute limit in the ring. Each man had a great showing against The Phenom, and each man had believable opportunities to legitimately end the undefeated streak.
But that is just not the case with Brock Lesnar. Brock has all the physical tools necessary to win and could likely beat any Superstar in the WWE locker room in a straight-up fight. But none of that has been seen against The Undertaker.
With WrestleMania quickly approaching, time has practically run out on this angle. If WWE wanted to present Brock as a strong and fearsome opponent for Undertaker, it most certainly could have been done by now.
But now it could be too little, too late. Brock Lesnar appears to be nothing more than Undertaker's next WrestleMania win. And there is no drama in that.