WWE and AEW Overreactions: Undertaker's Farewell, New Video Game and More

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistNovember 11, 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

Ah, overreactions and the wrestling world. They go hand-in-hand like peanut butter and jelly, chocolate and marshmallow, or Cody Rhodes and overblown entrances.

A reactionary business, fans are all too eager to jump to conclusions, making exclamations of best and worse without giving stars, feuds, events or announcements time to breathe.

Such was the case again this week as WWE announced a farewell to one of its most legendary figures, All Elite Wrestling revealed plans for its first video game, and both Raw and SmackDown continued the build to their battle for brand supremacy at Survivor Series.

        

Overreaction No. 1: WWE is Overdoing, Overexposing The Undertaker's Farewell

WWE announced last week that the 2020 Survivor Series pay-per-view will feature a special farewell to The Undertaker.

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This past summer, WWE produced The Last Ride, a five-part documentary series that gave viewers some insight into The Deadman's mentality regarding retirement before ending with him informally announcing his retirement from the ring following his Boneyard match against AJ Styles at WrestleMania 36.

While some would have been perfectly content with that being the last time we saw The Phenom on WWE television, particularly after the stellar end to the series set to George Strait's "Troubador," it is impossible for the company and the performer to pass up one last go-round on November 22.

Even if you've been chomping at the bit to wave goodbye to the veteran for years now.

The show is 30 years to the day of The Undertaker's WWE debut, a moment that launched him into Superstardom and resulted in one of the greatest and most iconic characters in professional wrestling history. 

He is the last cowboy, a gunslinger of a generation gone by. He broke his body, sacrificed personally and professionally, and made Vince McMahon's sports-entertainment empire better than he left it. If ever there was a performer who earned the right to go out with all of the pomp and circumstance, it's The Undertaker.

Yes, you should be worried that this is going to be an excuse to set up one last match, but there was a finality about the way The Last Ride ended and the inner peace Mark Calaway appeared to find at its conclusion that suggests this will be little more than an excuse for The Phenom to set foot inside the squared circle one more time and say goodbye to the WWE Universe.

Verdict: Yes, it's an overreaction! Pay homage to one of the GOATs in WWE.

        

Overreaction No. 2: AEW's First Video Game Will Be Fire

AEW Executive Vice President Kenny Omega announced Tuesday three new video game projects, including a console, general manager and mobile casino game as part of the AEW Games official launch.

There were screenshots and some gameplay footage to whet the appetite of the company's passionate fanbase, immediately creating excitement and anticipation for the official releases.

But was the excitement and early expectations that AEW will knock it out of the park too much of an early overreaction?

In short, no.

Omega has clearly taken his role in spearheading this project seriously. He is not the only AEW talent involved, though. Referee Aubrey Edwards—a PC, console and mobile developer before she joined the company—was also key in helping with the project.

Furthermore, recognizing what fans want out of a wrestling game in 2020 and working to provide that, the company brought in the acclaimed director of WWE's No Mercy game, Hideyuki Iwashita, to work on it.

The creativity of the launch itself, with Omega, Edwards, Cody Rhodes and Dr. Britt Baker dressing as the late Steve Jobs for an Apple-like reveal only served as further evidence of how much work and passion is going into ensuring this project will be everything the audience wants.

Verdict: If ever there was a sure-fire hit in AEW, it will be this video game. No overreaction.

          

Overreaction No. 3: Lack of Star Power, Stakes Diminishing in Battle for Brand Supremacy

WWE completed the formation of Team Raw Monday night when Riddle joined Sheamus, Keith Lee, Braun Strowman and AJ Styles. Immediately, though, the lack of genuine star power jumps out at the viewer.

Where is Drew McIntyre? Why isn't Jeff Hardy involved in this match?

Those two babyfaces alone are bigger and more prominent stars in the current landscape of WWE than Riddle, Lee or Sheamus combined, yet they find themselves with nothing to do come November 22.

Over on SmackDown, King Corbin, Jey Uso, Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins make up its squad, with one more name to be added this Friday night.

The blue brand's team is headlined by former world champion and workhorse Rollins, but it also lacks depth beyond that, no matter how red-hot Uso has been or how beloved KO is.

Add to the lack of star power the fact that there are no stakes, nor any rhyme or reason why Superstars would care about brand supremacy, and the idea of Survivor Series being a meaningless PPV takes on a greater reality than an overreaction.

Verdict: A legit overreaction, and a show WWE really must revamp in the very near future.