Brock Lesnar, Sheamus, John Cena. All names that have been thrown into the hat to be the next man to challenge the Undertaker's legendary undefeated streak at WrestleMania next year in Atlanta, GA.
However as the title suggests, I believe there is another man that should be included and, in my opinion, is the logical choice.
This past Sunday night at Bragging Rights during the Buried Alive match for the World Heavyweight Championship match, The Undertaker was in control of Kane and looked set to win his eighth world title just a few short weeks before his unprecedented 20th Anniversary with World Wrestling Entertainment.
However, the family colours of Nexus appeared as all the group minus John Cena, attacked the Phenom, allowing Kane to recover and knock his brother into the grave and then bury him alive.
We're told by the dirt sheets that it was so 'Taker wouldn't look weak in his third consecutive defeat to Kane on pay-per-view, but why Nexus? They had their run in previously with the Undertaker but that was when they said they would be making a statement; this was most certainly just inexplicable and out of the blue. I believe it's laying the foundation for Wade Barrett to challenge Undertaker.
Signs may point to Undertaker returning either at, or just after, next years Royal Rumble and finally defeating Kane most likely at WrestleMania but with a match that we've not just seen for the past three events but twice previously at WrestleMania I don't think they'll go that direction. Especially considering the "another try at defeating the streak" was done just this year when Shawn Michaels fought 'Taker for the second year in a row.
So I think the reason that The Nexus interfered was so there is a route the WWE can take should their current plan of getting former UFC Champion Brock Lesnar to return to the company for a massive one night payoff and face Undertaker falls through. Which, despite how great it would be, isn't going to happen.
Let's face it, the majority of UFC aren't going to lower their standards for wrestling, as it may seem to fork out the increased pay-per-view charge for WrestleMania. One of the factors of Brock's departure in 2004 was that he had to enter a program with Undertaker following WrestleMania XX in which Lesnar would ultimately lose. He wasn't willing to put the Undertaker over as he thought it would weaken his character.
If he returns for WrestleMania 27, they aren't going to have Lesnar end the streak. Vince makes some questionable decisions at times but we all know when it comes to proper business Vince isn't a stupid decision maker. He won't pay over the top to bring in not just another company's star but another sport star to end the most prestigious record his company holds.
There's a reason why Lawrence Taylor went over Bam Bam Bigelow and not Diesel at WrestleMania 11. Brock won't go over 'Taker at 'Mania. If Brock returns to WWE, even if just for one night, it'll cheapen his image within UFC and if he loses it'll further cheapen his image but damage his ego, which is arguably more important to the former WWE Champion.
You can say that he'll do it if the money is right, it's a one night pay off for Brock - not a continuos one so any amount WWE will offer Brock won't compare to the amount he can make in UFC on a few dates.
So why Barrett? I think he's the most logical choice. Lately, John Cena hasn't been the John Cena we've seen for the past few years, he's been looking weak and vulnerable, it's only a matter of time before he restores himself to his usual "Superman" self and I don't see him losing whatever match he has at 'Mania next year.
Sheamus on the other hand, following his upcoming program with John Morrison he'll likely feud with the returning Triple H - a feud Sheamus will have to put The Game over in, so when it comes round to 'Mania I don't see Sheamus losing either. They've put a lot of stock in him to make him a cemented main evener and he's had two successful WWE Championship reigns so all that's left is a good 'Mania showing and that'll come next April.
So again, why Barrett? Last time WrestleMania rolled around he was a participant in the early episodes of Season One of NXT. He had showed promise from the beginning, obviously WWE had hopes for him by pairing him with Chris Jericho and by the time WrestleMania rolls around he'll no doubt have held the WWE Championship.
Most probably he'll walk out of Survivor Series in a few weeks with the strap, but I don't see him holding it until 'Mania, maybe they'll take it off him in the Elimination Chamber, a match where losing your title won't make you look weak due to stipulation at hand.
Undertaker will be face and following two years with Shawn Michaels will be looking for a heel opponent. Why am I so sure of that? Well if Shawn Michaels can't defeat the streak on two attempts no one can. So WWE have to make you want Undertaker to retain the streak. Michaels had his fans who wanted to see him win.
If we see a guy we despise challenging, we won't want him to win so when Undertaker inevitably scores the victory we got what we wanted and the streak doesn't turn stale.
So Barrett's the obvious choice, he's the only heel who losing to the Undertaker would do wonders for. Top heels like Kane and Sheamus don't need a loss at 'Mania to the Deadman. Barrett can look good in defeat and in his first 'Mania no one will fault him for falling short to the Deadman in his 19th.
I don't see Barrett beating 'Taker as the Deadman himself has said the only person he'd let end the streak would be Kane and the office didn't want that so in a time when we know the streak will never end, Barrett can be the start of the line of guys who we want to see fail in beating the streak.