For the first time since July, The Undertaker is set to return to WWE TV this Tuesday on SmackDown Live. However, what WWE has in store for his special appearance at Madison Square Garden is not yet known.
Undertaker was last seen aiding Roman Reigns in his rivalry with Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre and beating the duo in a No Holds Barred tag team match at Extreme Rules. There was no indication at the time what was next for him in WWE.
Although Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t SEScoops) reported that he was not added to the upcoming episode of SmackDown due to low ticket sales, it's hard to believe that he'd be there for anything else. Besides, there's no storyline reason for him to be brought back right now, especially since SmackDown isn't making the move to Fox for another month.
In other words, while it's practically impossible to predict what Undertaker will be up to when he resurfaces on SmackDown this coming week, it's fun for fans to speculate what role he might have on the show.
Assuming he won't be involved in the week-to-week storylines going forward, Undertaker's appearance will likely be treated as a one-off. It could be as basic as him cutting an ambiguous promo and/or hitting someone out with one of his signature chokeslams or Tombstone piledrivers.
The MSG faithful are bound to be into whatever he ends up doing, but it would be much smarter to use him in an angle that either plants the seeds for a future match or gets someone else over. "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt would be the perfect person for such a spot.
Undertaker and Wyatt are no strangers to one another, having feuded for the better part of 2015. The Phenom conquered Wyatt in one-on-one action at WrestleMania 31 and again alongside Kane in a tag team match at Survivor Series.
As cool as it was to see the two mythical Superstars share the same ring, their program did nothing to benefit The Eater of Worlds whatsoever. If anything, Wyatt's losses to 'Taker merely did further damage to his fledgling credibility.
Of course, times have changed, and Wyatt is no longer the stepping stone he once was. If they do reignite their rivalry as soon as SmackDown this Tuesday, Wyatt must get the upper hand and leave The Deadman looking up at the lights following a Mandible Claw.
Wyatt attacking 'Taker could well lay the groundwork for a rematch between the two for a later date. Although WrestleMania 36 is too far off, SmackDown's big move to Fox is right around the corner on October 4, and it would be a great place for them to settle their score.
All eyes will be on that episode, and a win for Wyatt over the Undertaker would be huge for his career, especially if he ends up vying for the Universal Championship at Hell in a Cell as has been rumored.
If not Wyatt, Aleister Black is another individual who would make sense as a potential opponent for Undertaker at some point. The former NXT champion has been begging for a fight since his SmackDown debut many months ago, so perhaps The Phenom will answer the challenge and give everyone in attendance on Tuesday an iconic MSG moment.
Unfortunately, it has been years since Undertaker last elevated anyone. Although he lost to Reigns at WrestleMania 33 (in what arguably should have been his sendoff), The Big Dog was already a certified star and didn't gain much from the win.
His only other losses in singles competition over the past decade have been to D-Generation X, Brock Lesnar and Kane. None of them truly needed the boost, at least not in the same way up-and-comers like Wyatt, Black or Finn Balor do.
WWE has a major opportunity on SmackDown to launch someone into superstardom by having them put The Deadman down in the world's most famous arena. Then again, if his recent WWE appearances have been any indication, fans shouldn't expect him to deviate from the norm.
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, is an Endicott College alumnus and aspiring journalist. Visit his website, Next Era Wrestling, and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.