Wrestlemania: Who I'd Like To See Face Off Against the Undertaker
Yesterday I reported that former WWE Champion Kevin Nash wants to face off against the Undertaker at Wrestlemania.
As of right now 357 of you have voted in the poll and 47.3% of you want to see it happen.
It is unlikely that such a thing would happen since Nash is way past his prime and the Undertaker can't move like he used to.
But it got me thinking. In a perfect world, meaning age and ability aren't a factor, who would I like to see verse the Undertaker in his farewell Wrestlemania.
So what follows are the matches I'd like to see at this years Wrestlemania.
I know I said this match has almost no chance of happening, but for this article I'm using the "perfect world" stand point.
So here's how I see it going down.
The Royal Rumble is in full swing, we've seen 29 wrestlers announced, just as the countdown strikes "0" the truck horn blares and Big Daddy Cool Diesel comes strolling out.
A couple of big boots and some close lines and the ring is empty except for one man, Diesel.
The next night on RAW he announces he doesn't care about the WWE title, it's worthless to him, all he cares about is ending the WWE career of the man who essentially ended his, The Undertaker.
For the next couple of months we go through some severe mind-games, much like we saw leading up to Wrestlemania XII, coffins, hell-fire, sneak attacks, you know the works.
After all of this The Undertaker sets the stipulation as a "Buried Alive Match".
Finally we come to Wrestlemania, even though there is no title on the line this is the main-event in everyones' eyes.
For the most part the match is back and forth, but Big Daddy Cool holds the upper hand for awhile. But the Undertaker fights back.
He walks the top rope and crashes down on Diesel's arm. The Taker then slowly draws his thumb across his throat and the crowd goes wild.
Just then the lights go out. When they come back on Shawn Michaels in his white hat and trench coat is standing behind the Undertaker.
He delivers Sweet Chin Music causing the Undertaker to stumble right into Nash who delivers a devastating Jack-Knife powerbomb.
Both Nash and Michaels bury the Taker and that is the last the WWE sees of him.
After Diesel delivers the powerbomb Taker kicks out. He then sits straight up. Both Michaels and Diesel try to beat him down but can't.
Taker delivers a double choke-slam to them and then tombstones Nash. After the 1-2-3 The Undertaker burries them both and leaves Wrestlemania and the WWE 19-0.
How could you not compile a list of possible opponents for the Undertaker at Mania and not include Kane?
Just like with Nash I'd see this one being a Casket match, either one fits the two morbid characters.
I'd also return this feud to it's old school roots from when Kane first appeared in the WWE.
Invoke the entire "fictional" Undertaker family, go back to Kane being Taker's half-brother (Paul Bearer being Kane's father) and the night Kane murdered their family. Just make the build up very personnel.
For the match I would want almost no technical wrestling, it would work best if the two just went after each other throwing hay-makers and big boots.
And even though the WWE is "friendlier" now, I don't see how this match couldn't have lots of blood.
Even though I gave two choices in the Nash match, there is only one way this match can end and that is with Kane shutting the casket lid on his brother once and for all.
Also to sell this match after the fact Kane needs to go on a monstrous winning streak and just devastating even the toughest opponents (I'm looking at you Cena) for at least a year.
This is one of those matches that we've all wanted to see and we know we never will.
Sting and the Undertaker at Mania would be fantastically creepy.
Both have a similar gimmick, dressed in all black, appear out of no where, go on tangents where the strongest man can't even hurt them, etc.
The way I would have it set up is that after what happened to Shawn Michaels last year no one wants to challenge the Undertaker at Wrestlemania.
The Undertaker is in the middle of the ring calling out the locker room, but there are no takers.
Suddenly the lights go out and then a lone spotlight shines to the rafters and we all see Sting.
Sting tells the Undertaker he's come to the WWE for one reason only and that's to end his streak.
For the build up to work the mind games have to hit an all-time high.
Every program and even house shows need something.
The Undertaker would of course deliver coffins to Sting and like he did to Diesel at least one needs a look-a-like and this needs to rattle Sting a little.
Also during one or or right after on of Taker's matches Sting needs to float down from the rafters and abduct Paul Bearer.
The type of match could easily be a Buried Alive or Casket Match (and honestly Taker's last Mania should be one of the two), but I don't want to use that for every slide, so for this one I'm thinking a Hell in the Cell.
Once again the WWE needs to go against their family friendly formula and give us a hardcore match with a lot of blood.
In the end the two find their way to the top of the cage (like always) and the Undertaker lifts Sting up for a Tombstone.
Sting kicks his legs and reverses it into a reverse DDT through the top.
Sting covers Taker for the 1-2-3 and after that a cable comes down from the rafters and Sting takes the Undertaker up with him never to be seen again.
Bret The Hitman Hart
Bret Hart and the Undertaker go way back and if he could physically do it I can't think of anyone else the Taker would want to face at his final Mania.
But like I said we're dealing with a "perfect world" stand point so Bret can go at Mania.
Since they're both faces now I can't think of a great reason for Bret to want to face Taker other than ending his streak (much like Michaels).
So the WWE can play off of the whole who's better Shawn or Bret angle and have Bret basically come out and say that he's going to do something that HBK couldn't get done and that's end the Undertaker's streak.
I think because Bret has that arrogance about him giving him a slight heel turn would work well. Not full blown bad guy, but him getting an attitude kind of like the build up to Wrestlemania XII where he was easily irritated.
As far as mind games by the Undertaker I'd keep them on par with what he did to HBK the last two years, for the most part mild because they're both faces and the crowd is going to be pretty split on who they want to see win.
In the end I give the match to the Undertaker.
Bret doesn't usually win matches without the Sharp-Shooter and you can't have the Undertaker submit, not even to Bret.
So Bret slaps the Sharp-Shooter on and like you would expect the Undertaker muscles out of it and gain control of the match and like so many before him Bret suffers a tombstone and becomes number 19.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
If there is one man in Wrestling that could make Taker's 20th Wrestlemania just as good or better as the previous two with Shawn Michaels it's Y2J Chris Jericho.
Now of course Jericho would have to be as brash as he's ever been. In fact if I were him I'd do something along the lines of his "Man with 1004 Holds" just find some way to mock the Undertaker and make himself look that much better. Honestly I don't know what that is, but Y2J would figure something out.
And of course with Jericho being the heel The Undertaker could ramp up the Mind Games to 11.
In fact from the moment Jericho challenges Taker there should be some sort of message sent to him every show he appears on.
Whether it's caskets, video messages, Taker appearing from out of no where, every time we see Jericho something creepy should happen.
Then of course when Mania comes we get a Casket Match.
The match is back and forth with Jericho using his athletisim to make The Undertaker look good. We'll see several finisher reversals, including Y2J reversing a Tombstone into the Walls of Jericho.
Of course the Undertaker would get out of it and the match would continue.
Near the end Jericho would deliver the Code Breaker and connect with the Lionsault and then cockily kick the Taker's seeming lifeless body into the casket.
Instead of closing it immediately and breaking the streak Y2J takes one last second to pose over the Undertaker and then Taker rises up and choke-slams Jericho and goes to 19-0.
Handy Cap Match Vs Edge and Christian
This one is a stretch and harkens way back in WWE lore, but I'd have Edge and Christian team up one more time to face off against the Undertaker.
Of course Edge has recent history against the Undertaker, I believe losing twice to him at Mania, but the history I'm digging up here goes back to the Brood.
Under the Ministry of Darkness Edge and Christian seemed almost brain-washed and the WWE can play off of that.
The two could claim they spent nearly a year under Taker's control and they've never forgiven him.
They could either be presented as heels or faces for this match.
This also allows for the WWE to officially make the Undertaker 18-1 at Mania but at the same time holding to tradition and having him lose.
He'd be 18-0 in singles matches if he were to lose to Edge and Christian.
The Match would again go back to being a Casket or Buried Alive match, we'll go with Casket match here.
Being an handy cap match you would have to give most of the dominance to Edge and Christian.
Near the end Taker would make a comeback and we'd see a double choke slam. However he can't get the pin.
In the end the two brothers hit the Con-Chair-To and toss the Undertaker's life-less body into the Casket sending him off to the great beyond.
Stone Cold Steve Austin
Remember that scene up there, you better believe Stone Cold Steve Austin does.
Also, let's face it, you can't have a "what if" article about wrestling matches and not include Austin.
Of course these two have had many memorable matches and feuds and this one would be no different.
Because Austin is the ultimate anti-hero in the WWE Universe the Undertaker could treat him like a heel with the mind games, and in typical Austin fashion it won't bother him one bit.
A show wouldn't go by without these two getting into it and Mania would be an all out brawl. Much like the match I described with Kane I wouldn't expect too much technical style here, just two men who hate each other punching and kicking and slamming.
I'd end it in one of two ways, both including multiple Stunners.
Have it be either a normal pin-fall match (stipulations can very) and after Austin gets the victory have him tie the Undertaker to a makeshift crucifix like what was done to him years ago.
Or have it be a Casket match and after Austin slams the lid shut he goes and gets his pick-up, gets the casket loaded on the back and drives off.
Since this won't be the main event the cameras can cut to Austin through out the rest of the night and when he finally reaches his destination, which could either be in the middle of no where with a grave dug (complete with headstone that reads Undertaker 18-1) and he pushes the casket in and then covers it with cement.
Or he comes to a river or lake and dumps the casket in and we watch it sink.
Either ending gives the impression that the Undertaker is gone for good, and if he does decide to un-retire then his comeback would be even more remarkable.
Just like Austin it's hard to have a "What If" matches without the Rock.
Also like Austin, the Rock has had many memorable feuds with the Undertaker.
This one would play out a little differently, like HBK and Hart this would probably be completely Face vs Face and would start with the Rock hosting Raw one night and being convinced by someone, we'll go with the fans or even the Undertaker to face him at Wrestlemania.
As far as matches go this would have the potential to even top HBK vs Undertaker.
Where the Rock isn't as skilled technically as Shawn Michaels, his matches are always electrifying and have a way of stealing the show.
Given the way the Rock left the WWE for Hollywood for such hits as the Tooth Fairy I don't see him coming back just to lose to the Undertaker at Mania.
But I also don't see the match being satisfying if he won.
So in this perfect world the Rock does comeback and loses to Taker.
It's a return to the Attitude era of matches where we see at least three different finishers from each of them.
The Rock giving us his Slop-Shooter, The People's Elbow, and of course the Rock Bottom, and the Taker giving us the Last Ride (oh yeah, I went there), Choke Slam, and he finishes the Rock off with a Tombstone.
In the end this is just a regular match and after the celebration of 19-0 is finished the Rock gets to his feet and shakes the Undertaker's hand, but does it in a way that makes the crowd think he's about to attack him.
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
Of course I was going to go here, who wouldn't?
Now that he is no longer the UFC Champion Brock is the talk of ending Taker's streak.
The way I would do it is not bring him (officially) back to the WWE right away.
Do a cross promotion with UFC and have Taker mysteriously show up at Brock's training camp and appear out of the darkness and fog at Brock's UFC match leading up to Mania.
Not have him interfere mind you since the UFC isn't scripted, but have him show up at the conclusion and have two different ways of dealing with it depending on if Lesnar loses or wins (pray for a win because if he loses he might be pissed enough to attack Taker for real).
Or not have a Lesnar match scheduled on the card but announced as an added match that night and have Taker attack him in the locker room and thus canceling the match that was never scheduled.
This is tricky since you don't want to hurt the integridy of the UFC but at the same time make a compelling story that gives Lesnar a reason to leave the UFC for one last night in the WWE.
This match has to be a Casket Match and has to be brutal with tons of blood, especially if the above scenario is used. Shoot make it a Hell in the Cell Casket Match.
In the end, after maybe the most brutal match in WWE history, have Lesnar hit the F-5 and with his last bit of strength he pushes Taker's body into the casket and slams the lid shut. Ending the streak and the Undertaker's career.
One Of The WWE Up and Coming Stars
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The whole reason behind the tradition of the exiting star losing his last match is to put over an up and coming star, which is why HBK and Flair (among others) losing to established stars didn't make that much sense, but oh well.
If you really want the impact of the Taker's streak coming to an end he should lose to a rising star in the WWE.
Now who that star is I don't know. You could throw in Shamus, Kofi, John Morrison, the Miz, or really any rising WWE future champion you want.
The point is ending the streak would be the ultimate push, but one the WWE can't take lightly.
If they went in this direction who ever it is that beats the Taker needs to go on a John Cena or Randy Orton like run.
Sure they'll lose every now and then to keep things interesting but they can't go to jobber status within two years of this.
So honestly the WWE needs to be careful who they choose for this honor, probably more carefully then they've ever chosen a champion.
Some honorable mentions could be Triple H, Mick Foley (or one of his personalities), John Cena, Randy Orton, Kurt Angle, or even HBK vs Undertaker 3.
Honestly, even being an HBK mark I don't want to see the last one (win or lose for Shawn).
So what do you all think?
Anyones I missed that you'd like to see?
Let me know in the comments section.