…The rumors turned out to be true: Wrestlemania 33 would be Mark Calloway aka The Undertaker’s last match of his career. The 52 year old Superstar was clearly given full control for what would be his final match on the stage that made him a legend. When it was announced Thursday that Jim Ross would be coming back to call one match, we knew it would likely be for one of three matches. It turned out it was ‘Taker vs. Reigns, which itself turned out to be the main event on the card (The other two possabilities being Lesnar vs. Goldberg and Orton vs. Wyatt). The clincher was when the match was made the main event over the 3 title matches before them in which a new Champion was crowned. (Lesnar, Orton and Naomi).
Anyone who’s followed The Undertaker’s career knows the laundry list of accomplishments credited to him name, most of which involve Wrestlemania. I won’t go over all of them but of course. ‘Taker holds two records that will probably never be approached: Most Wrestlemania matches (25) and longest Wrestlemania streak (21). His only losses were at WM30 vs. Brock Lesnar, who ended The Streak and this year at WM33 vs. Roman Reigns, who comes from a family of Wrestling Legends (Rikishi, The Rock and so on).
It would probably be accurate to say Vince McMahon allowed The Undertaker to choose his final opponent and where. He did pick Lesnar to be the one to end The Streak, after all. The Deadman had expressed a strong interest in working with Daniel Bryan a few years ago but due to a career-ending neck injury after Wrestlemania 31, D-Bry was off the table. Choosing The Big Dog was very symbolic.
As was the promo for their match, ‘Taker chose Roman Reigns to be the new cornerstone of Wrestlemania. While I don’t see Reigns donnning ‘Taker’s gear and coming out to his music, he will become the new standard of greatness at Wrestlemania.
Simply having competed against The Undertaker at Wrestlemania would raise his profile but actually winning the match? The Roman Empire will now rule Wrestlemania for years to come barring the unforseeable. While it’s doubtful Reigns will compete in 20 more Wrestlemania matches, he will have alot of big ones. Last year’s match vs. Triple Hfelt stale compared to his singles debut at Wrestlemania 31 vs. Brock Lesnar.
Speaking of: Alot of folks were apparently expecting Roman Reigns to Heel turn during this match just like last year vs. The Game. I don’t see him becoming another John Cena but I think he will Heel turn before the year is over.
The Undertaker had his last match but I doubt we’ve seen the last of him. I would not be surprised at all if he is inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame next year. It would be fitting. The WWE allowed him to go out in style and to retire with dignity. Who can forget how The Deadman had to be carted out of the ring after Wrestlemania 28? That was perhaps when The Deadman truly realized he was running out of time.
There were rumors his match with Shane was supposed to be his final match but due to post-show rumors about him, it’s likely WWE Officials wanted things to be more definite this time. Man, what a send off. The picture above says it all. The Undertaker is now free to disappear into the sunset.
…I will talk about other Wrestlemania news and results in two separate posts throughout today and tomorrow by brand. Later today, I will do one for RAW. Tomorrow, I will do one for Smackdown.