No WWE Superstar is as iconic when it comes to WrestleMania as The Undertaker. His undefeated streak is legendary to a scale that will never be equaled—he's won championships, main-evented and stolen the show for just shy of 30 years.
But over the past decade, each WrestleMania brings a curiosity that his time performing on The Grandest Stage of Them All is coming to an end.
At first, it was the constant threats of Superstars ending his streak. Then, Brock Lesnar did the unthinkable and became the 1 in 21-1 at WrestleMania 30. Three years later, in 2017, Roman Reigns handed The Deadman his second loss and symbolically took his yard.
Now, it's AJ Styles who threatens to make The Undertaker finally rest in peace at WrestleMania 36.
Is this it? Will this actually be his last ride?
Absolutely not. At least, it shouldn't be, nor should a single soul support that idea.
That's not to say a case can't be made for it. The Phenomenal One is among the best performers The Phenom could face, and they might have a better match than anyone else on the roster could do.
It would be good to go out with a bang, and there aren't many options who could deliver that potential next year. Then, The Last Outlaw could make his official retirement later this year with the 30-year anniversary of his debut from Survivor Series 1990.
But nothing about this match other than the two people performing in it has been up to par.
The feud's consisted of The Undertaker picking a fight out of nowhere with two random interferences to mess with Styles, who fought back by talking trash about The Deadman's wife, Michelle McCool.
That's hardly the most grandiose storyline to go out on, given the character has been buried alive, astral projected through the TitanTron, was resurrected multiple times and had three other retirement-like send-offs with The End of an Era match and his two losses.
A lackluster build is one problem, but an even bigger problem is that it won't lead to a match that feels epic, so the payoff won't work, either.
WrestleMania at the WWE Performance Center April 5 is a good show of tenacity on the company's part, but it's likely to be depressing, not thrilling. There won't be any special mood-setting entrance for The Demon of Death Valley. No crowd will react to anything during the match.
If the recent Performance Center shows are anything to judge from, it will come off more hokey than serious, which is not how this character works.
Even if they're lucky enough to have a fantastic match, it will be hindered by the atmosphere. It's just not going to be the same as if WrestleMania were taking place at Raymond James Stadium in front of thousands of screaming fans.
This year's WrestleMania is going to have many asterisks in the history books and be strange as it is. It doesn't need to also be the last time arguably the greatest Superstar in WWE history laced up his boots.
We'll all look back in hindsight and wish he would have called it quits any time before this, rather than be able to celebrate the culmination of his career.
No matter what it takes, The Undertaker has to make it to next year. At WrestleMania 37, he can have his final match after having been in the company for over 30 years and go out the way he deserves to, with the WWE Universe cheering his name and thanking him for all he's done.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.