Wrestlemania 31 has long gone, but something is still on my mind. No it’s not the disastrous and completely uncalled for Triple H victory over Sting. That match was never Triple v Sting, it was WWE vs WCW, DX vs nWo, and on both counts, there was only going to be one winner. Anyway I digress.
It’s not that result that is bothering me, it’s the Undertaker v Bray Wyatt. Not the match itself [although it was distinctly average], but the reaction to it.
Over the last few weeks I have been reading people’s reactions to it. I’ve seen comments like ‘The Undertaker looked great out there’ and ‘The Undertaker proved he can still put on a great match.’ There have been suggestions that he still has a handful of matches left in him. Even the crowd at Wrestlemania were chanting ‘You’ve still got it.’ Sorry to burst your bubble folks but he hasn’t ‘still got it.’
I don’t know how anyone could have watched that match and seriously thought it was any good. Sure, it was 10 times better than the catastrophe that was last year’s bout, but that doesn’t say much. Last year’s match, as we well know [or should do, if we saw it] was possibly the worst match on the card [minus the diva’s mess] and a serious candidate for the worst Undertaker match at Wrestlemania. From that first belly to belly suplex Brock hit, right to the final three count, the audience were dead, and for good reason. It was clear that Taker was in no shape to fight and he obviously let Brock know that he was hurt early on. From then on we had a kick-punch fest and a lot of time spent at the turnbuckles. The only time the fans came back to life was when they saw Brock beat the streak, but even then they were in such shock that the silence we had throughout the match, continued after it.
There’s a reason The Undertaker’s match with Wyatt only lasted 15 minutes – he can’t go any longer. It seems we’ve gone from The Undertaker fighting tougher, more high profile opponents, to dropping a level and fighting guys that he can cope with in the ring. After his wins over Shawn Michaels, Triple H and CM Punk, it was becoming difficult to find legitimate opponents for The Phenom to face. By legitimate, I mean guys who the fans would believe had a chance of defeating the streak. Since Brock’s win, suddenly it has become much more believable. A guy like Bray Wyatt, who is still a fairly new guy in the WWE [at least when compared to the guys The Undertaker fought before him], seemed like he may have a shot at putting the final nail The Deadman’s coffin.
If one were to be honest, and I like to be, not only has The Undertaker not ‘still got it,’ he lost it about 10 years ago. If I was to be slightly less brutal I’s say that he still put on some decent in ring performances after 2005 [like the match against Shawn Michaels at Mania 25]. His last few Mania bouts were poor though. He even looked out of breath numerous times during his match against CM Punk at Wrestlemania 29. People say it was the best match of the night but quite frankly that was down to one man and it aint Taker.
This isn’t supposed to be an article bashing The Undertaker. I think he was [I stress the past tense] a great wrestler and a legendary character in the WWE. He’s an obvious Hall of Famer, but his time is up. Even bringing him back once a year doesn’t help him. He can’t cope in the ring anymore. I can count at least five separate occasions [that would be one every three minutes on average] where The Undertaker looked like he was done against Wyatt. He was tired, out of breath and often looked like the last move had burned him out. Credit where it’s due, he kept going and picked up the win the fans wanted to see, but this would be a good place to end it.
Of course the rumors have begun about a possible Undertaker vs Sting match next year [wasn’t that supposed to happen this year?]. It’s not a bad idea, although it would have been better if Sting had not already lost to Triple H. The event will take place in Texas so it would be a nice send off for The Deadman. In fact, two legends going at it, even though they’re both well passed their best, would be a great retirement match. Sting is not likely to hurt The Undertaker and Taker’s in no shape to do the Stinger any harm either. They should be safe in there with each other.
I love watching legends and have a lot of respect for them, but I’ve sensed that the WWE has been pushing them down our throats when their expiry dates have long since passed. Ric Flair was an example of this before and now it’s happening with The Undertaker. The WWE has to stop trying to cash in on the myth of this character by hoping his presence at Wrestlemania will bumps up the buy-rates. His mythical streak is over and his career should be too. It was a heck of a run but that day is done.
What do you think? Comment below with your thoughts, opinions, feedback and anything else that was raised.