Another pay-per-view has passed without an appearance from The Undertaker, and the WWE Universe is starting to wonder when The Deadman will make his return.
Whether it's for a short-term run to put over a new champion or a long-term storyline meant to build a top star for the future, Undertaker still holds great value for the company and a place in the hearts of wrestling fans.
If Undertaker is returning for a short-term program, he should make his presence felt Friday on SmackDown. By showing up as soon as possible, he could set up a feud against the new universal champion, "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt.
Not only would the Deadman attacking The Fiend provide a marquee first challenger for the new champion, but the theatrical style of Wyatt's recent matches would also help to mask some of the in-ring weaknesses of the aging Undertaker.
The need to ensure that The Fiend is viewed as one of the biggest stars in the entire company could result in the Deadman returning to take his place as Mr. Survivor Series. With a long history at one of WWE's most important events, Wyatt would receive a rub from Undertaker by even stepping in the ring with the bona fide legend.
The Fiend beating the Deadman at Survivor Series, which runs Nov. 22-25, would undoubtedly cement his spot as SmackDown's ace.
On the other hand, the best long-term idea for Undertaker's return would be waiting until WrestleMania season next spring. After missing last year's big show and not being seen since a tag team match alongside Roman Reigns against Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre, why not wait until the Royal Rumble in January and give the Deadman a surprise return?
One of the challengers in his last tag team match was McIntyre, who would be the ideal partner for Undertaker at WrestleMania 36. As one of the best all-around talents in wrestling, the Scottish Psychopath could not only hide his opponent's weakness, but also carry him to one of the best matches he's had in years.
While McIntyre has been on the shelf injured, he should be pushed to the moon upon his return by beating as many of the top stars in the company as possible. Then at Royal Rumble, Undertaker can return to cost him a win, setting up their match at WrestleMania.
With a win over Undertaker, McIntyre would be the next logical world champion in WWE.
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