John Cena vs. Undertaker Will Thrive on Spectacle, Star Power at WrestleMania 34

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterMarch 22, 2018

Credit: WWE.com

John Cena and Undertaker's expected collision at WWE WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans will come years after it should have, but it will still be a rousing success, a massive marquee match befitting the proverbial grand stage it's on.

While not yet official for the April 8 pay-per-view, WWE has teased the clash in emphatic fashion. Cena has called out The Phenom in recent weeks, saying that despite company officials telling him the bout was impossible, he still badly wants it.


Maybe he shouldn't have said it... but, he did. @JohnCena just CHALLENGED THE #UNDERTAKER to a match at #WrestleMania! #RAW https://t.co/Usid6p5kvK

Cena has not received an answer yet and Undertaker has not shown up on Raw since the show's 25th anniversary on Jan. 22.

Cena vs. Undertaker will happen, though. WWE wouldn't do all this foreshadowing for nothing. And when it does, it will be great despite its limitations.

The reasons to doubt Cena vs. Undertaker will prosper are plenty.

Undertaker is closing in on 53. Cena is 40 with over 2,200 matches under his belt. The Deadman has been all too familiar with the surgeon's table in recent years, while Cena is a part-timer who hasn't been his crispest in recent performances. 

Undertaker's last match was a disappointing, plodding mess against Roman Reigns. He's now a year older and would face someone this time around not in their athletic prime as The Big Dog was. 

WWE Universe @WWEUniverse

SMACK DAB on the CHAIR goes @WWERomanReigns as The #Undertaker delivers another #Chokeslam! #WrestleMania https://t.co/hzwsfHCj3R

It won't matter. Undertaker vs. Cena will more closely resemble Sting vs. Triple H than Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage.

This won't be a five-star, breathtaking display of stellar work rate. It won't be built around high-octane offense, crafty counters or the kind of innovative action we see from the likes of AJ Styles or Seth Rollins every week.

It will be about two legends telling a story under the brightest of lights. Former WWE referee Jimmy Korderas, who has called his share of Undertaker matches, listed the elements we can expect to see in New Orleans:

Jimmy Korderas @jimmykorderas

Regardless of which version of the Undertaker we get at WM34, it will be a classic match with great psychology, story telling and drama.

Expect these two men to take their time, to milk every spot.

And they can afford to do that. Everything will feel bigger and mean more thanks to their star power.

These are two future first-ballot Hall of Famers, two wrestlers one could easily argue belong on the WWE Mt. Rushmore. They have nine WrestleMania main events and 23 world championships between them.

The opening moments of this dream match promise to feature a staredown on the level of The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania X8.

The crowd's response when Cena has talked up a showdown with The Deadman in recent weeks speaks to that.

Diehard fans may be tired of seeing Cena in such a prominent position. The guys in Bullet Club T-shirts will prefer to see Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura. But the casual fan is going to lose it over these two all-time greats slugging it out.

Fans have been wanting to see this. They have been making their own video packages for this match for years.

Now it's finally happening. And it's going to be memorable and majestic.

Bruce Prichard, who managed Undertaker as Brother Love, believes in the power of this bout.

He told Newsweek:

"I think it'll be an iconic match. It's taking the poster boy of the WWE for the last 10-12 years and putting him up against 'The Icon,' The Undertaker. It's something that hasn't happened on WrestleMania and with the iconic status of both of those talents, it's a huge attraction and can be a great match."

All those positives will outweigh what threatens to hold this battle back. 

Yes, Undertaker is better suited for a rocking chair on a porch somewhere right now, but we will forget that once he and Cena are face-to-face, once all the match's bells and whistles are going off and the magic of WrestleMania crackles in the air.


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