To the surprise of many in the WWE Universe, The Undertaker appeared on Monday’s post-WrestleMania edition of Raw to attack Elias.
While the segment was entertaining, booking The Deadman to appear just 24 hours after WrestleMania 35 without finding a role for him on the biggest show of the year is a massive blunder for WWE.
Undertaker has become synonymous with WrestleMania. Not only did his streak of victories on The Grandest Stage of Them All captivate multiple generations of fans, but his longevity also has made him one of the top attractions in the history of the business.
Few wrestlers in the world can still captivate the hearts and minds of wrestling fans with an old-school gimmick, but Undertaker is almost universally loved, making it a massive mistake to leave him off the advertising and marketing for WrestleMania.
If he was healthy enough to attack Elias Monday, there is no excuse why he shouldn’t have played a role Sunday night in New York City. Monday’s appearance was forgettable due to a lack of long-term ramifications, and to make matters worse, the unannounced nature of The Deadman’s arrival didn't help sell the product.
Undertaker was only booked on Raw for a nostalgia pop after being part of 18 straight WrestleMania events, and the WWE Universe deserves better.
The only hope for wrestling fans now is that Undertaker’s appearance Monday is setting the stage for a match against Elias down the line. The Deadman worked WWE’s last show in Saudi Arabia, and the company could be laying the groundwork for an epic encounter in the Middle East.
Even if a short match between Undertaker and Elias takes place at the next event in June, WWE officials could have easily booked the Deadman’s segment from Raw at WrestleMania instead to satisfy the fans.
Elias is one of the best in the company on the mic, and his gimmick is over with the WWE Universe. He is the perfect antagonist to combat Undertaker, as he will be able to carry the feud in the coming months on the mic and build genuine excitement toward their fight.
Finally, in the days before the next Saudi Arabia show, Undertaker can return to WWE programming and get the upper hand to prove he is ready. Since the bout will be slow and plodding anyway, officials will keep it short to protect Undertaker and give the people in attendance the happy ending they want.
While building to a match between Undertaker and Elias would be smart and something the WWE Universe can get behind, his appearance Monday doesn’t make sense when it could have happened one night prior at WrestleMania.
Instead of letting him sit on the sidelines during the biggest show of the year, WWE Creative could’ve had John Cena interrupt and attack Elias earlier in the show, only for the guitar playing Superstar to return later and say the next person to interrupt him will be a dead man.
Monday’s Raw return will be largely forgotten, and the Undertaker segment will be a footnote instead of going down in history as it would’ve if it had been booked for WrestleMania.
Consider The Deadman’s return Monday a massive opportunity missed for a Superstar on his last legs as an in-ring performer.
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