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The Undertaker Confirms Retirement Was to Be vs. Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 17, 2020

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR WWE - Undertaker gazes at the crowd after what could be his final WrestleMania match on Sunday, April 2, 2017, in Orlando, Fla. (Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Images for WWE)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Many wrestling fans believed that The Undertaker had wrestled his final match at WrestleMania 33 in 2017, and the man himself confirmed Sunday that retiring after that match was indeed his plan.

The second episode of the Undertaker: The Last Ride documentary series entitled "Chapter 2: The Redemption" aired Sunday on WWE Network. During the episode, Taker said he had every intention of stepping away from wrestling for good after losing to Roman Reigns in the main event of WrestleMania 33 in Orlando, Florida.

The Deadman laid down his hat, coat and gloves in the middle of the ring after the match to signify retirement. Taker remarked: "That was 100 percent real, and me saying goodbye."

Instead, The Undertaker returned to the ring one year later at WrestleMania 34 against John Cena, and he has wrestled several more matches since then.

The Undertaker was 52 years old at the time of his match against Reigns, and he didn't look himself during that contest. One of the reasons for that was a hip injury that Taker got corrected with a surgical procedure shortly after the match.

Chapter 2 of the docu-series began with The Undertaker watching back his match against Reigns with his wife, former WWE Superstar Michelle McCool. It was obvious during the segment that Taker was embarrassed by his performance in the bout.

The Phenom said he looked like "bloated Elvis" and added that he felt bad for Reigns since the match wasn't up to their standards. After watching the match, The Undertaker said he felt the need to get redemption for his poor performance.

Taker has done that, although the road to redemption hasn't always been easy. The Cena match at WrestleMania 34 was essentially a glorified squash, while both his match against Goldberg and his tag team bout with Kane against Triple H and Shawn Michaels in Saudi Arabia were widely panned.

It was Reigns who helped The Deadman get back on track, though, as they teamed together at Extreme Rules 2019 in a winning effort against Drew McIntyre and Shane McMahon. That was arguably the best match of the night, and it restored some of the mystique Taker may have lost.

The Undertaker then put on one of the best performances of his career at WrestleMania 36 last month when he beat AJ Styles in a Boneyard Match.

The match wasn't traditional in that it took place in a graveyard and didn't end until Taker buried Styles alive. Instead of forcing The Undertaker to have a normal match, he was able to brawl talk some trash and ride his motorcycle, which made for an awesome experience for the fans watching at home.

Compared to a regular match, The Undertaker didn't have to take much punishment, which has led to some thought that WWE has found the cheat code or magic formula needed to extend the 55-year-old Taker's wrestling career even further.

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).

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