Many who follow my wrestling coverage know I am not a huge fan of John Cena vs. The Undertaker at WrestleMania 34. No matter how wrestling websites try to spin it, make it look like the best thing for business, I find now value in a match like this. WWE can try as it might to avoid the elephant in the room, but it would appear the company is headed in this direction.
Have I said how much I do not like the idea?
John Cena walks out on Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live and whimpers to the fans about his lack of an opponent, how he has been the Clydesdale of the company and how his path to the biggest event in wrestling is not yet booked. He has even called out the Dead Man in an attempt to drum up support for a match of this magnitude – with a chance it might actually happen.
Have I said how much I do not like this idea?
There is a thought that while The Undertaker retired last year at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando, his alter ego “The American Badass” would make an appearance and accept Cena’s challenge. A man who has looked poor in previous WrestleMania matches the past few years would once again take a beating and try to put Cena to sleep or give him a tombstone piledriver. Cena almost appears to be a heel in his attempt to make this happen.
Don’t worry – we all know Cena won’t walk down that aisle any time soon. It would put the 16-time world champion over once again, but it won’t happen. The only logical solution to this bating is to have The Undertaker or the American Badass come out of the back, stand in the middle of the ring, look at Cena, say nothing and point to the WrestleMania 34 banner.
Fans would eat it up like cold popcorn and cold beer. I on the other hand, would laugh because it will be a terrible match. For everything The Undertaker is in this business, ready to sell his part in a “too late” type of match. Cena will look like a million bucks and will have to carry the 50-something performer. It’s a match that cannot last more than 15 minutes. And that’s stretching it.
My friend Mike Mooneyham, who has forgotten more about wrestling than most of us will ever know begs the question if this is match that has since sailed in popularity, or is it the right match at the right time. As he writes in his weekly column, WWE originally planned the blockbuster bout two years ago at WrestleMania 32. It was set to be Taker’s final match, a fitting sendoff for one of the greatest characters in WWE history.
It never happened. And have I said how much I do not like this idea? But as Mooneyham and everyone’s mother believes, it will happen in less than a month from now.
“Now this year, with little on the line, the 52-year-old Undertaker (Mark Calaway) and the 40-year-old Cena finally get their Mania match,” Mooneyham writes. “Calling Taker out of presumed retirement after having his road to Wrestlemania blocked at seemingly every turn, Cena is entering a match that doesn’t appear to mean as much as it would have a few years earlier.
“The Deadman, last seen delivering a cryptic promo at the 25th anniversary edition of Monday Night Raw in January, is battling Father Time. He underwent hip replacement surgery since his last match. He is no longer 21-0 at Mania, and his aura and mystique have taken a hit.”
Leave it to Cena to help make him look good in the ring, but will ultimately make his “retirement” from wrestling look a bit tarnished.
“Cena is devoting more and more time to his film and television commitments, and speculation has grown that his WWE ring days could be numbered,” Mooneyham added. “He’s been pretty banged up, on somewhat of a losing streak, and his dominance has declined as he approaches his 41st birthday.”
I don’t like this idea, but the wrestling business is just that – a business. Let’s get the theatrics over with. Let’s promote the match, let’s have the contract signing. Let’s do all the things WWE does with his kind of confrontation. But let’s get it done.
I don’t like it, I don’t have to like it. But whether I like it or not, it’s going to happen.