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Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns Announced for WWE WrestleMania 33

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 23: The Undertaker recovers during his fight against Brock Lesner at the WWE SummerSlam 2015 at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on August 23, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images)
JP Yim/Getty Images
Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2017

WWE ended the speculation Monday, formally announcing The Undertaker and Roman Reigns will face off at WrestleMania 33 April 2 in Orlando, Florida.

It will be The Undertaker's first singles match since his victory over Shane McMahon at WrestleMania 32. 

The Deadman returned to the ring in the 2017 Royal Rumble match, which set his feud with Reigns in motion after Reigns eliminated the seven-time world champion.

The two stars crossed paths on the March 6 edition of Raw, with The Undertaker chokeslamming Reigns:

Pitting Reigns against Undertaker appears at first to be a match created out of necessity rather than fulfilling any sort of long-term storytelling arc. The Undertaker needed a marquee opponent for WrestleMania, and Reigns already defeated Braun Strowman at Fastlane.

It feels a bit like Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XXX, when WWE essentially counted on their combined star power in lieu of doing the work with Undertaker and Lesnar to make fans interested in the match. As a result, The Undertaker's first-ever WrestleMania defeat was that much more deflating.

However, WWE could take things in a more intriguing direction if it fully embraces Reigns as a bad guy.

The reaction for Reigns' WrestleMania 32 win was tepid at best considering it was the main event of the biggest show of the year. And that's when he was wrestling WWE's top heel, Triple H.

When Reigns is going toe to toe with The Undertaker—perhaps the most universally beloved active star in the company—the bulk of the reception around Reigns will be a mixture of apathy and outright hostility. WWE might as well play into that and have him go full heel—a move for which many in the WWE Universe have clamored for years.

Beating The Undertaker is a surefire way to make WWE fans hate a wrestler.

A Reigns victory would be somewhat ironic after some argued he—not Lesnar—should've been the guy to eventually end The Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania.

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