To Be or Not To Be: Is it too early for the Undertaker to be inducted into the Hall of Fame?
It’s that time of the year again when speculations arise of the Deadman rising for one more match at a PPV which has become synonymous with his presence for the past 22 years. And ‘The Undertaker’ is a name synonymous with the WWE. Ask anyone who knows about WWE but never watched the product or someone who’s just faintly heard about the WWE and The Undertaker is someone they would certainly have an inkling about.
Normally, a Hall of Famer is understood to have hung up his boots. There isn’t a superstar, or diva, who has been inducted into the Hall of Fame in recent times, who was also wrestling for the company on a regular basis.
The Undertaker coming back for Wrestlemania once a year makes him a part-time wrestler. A part time wrestler is still a wrestler, not a former wrestler.
It’s never too early to induct someone into the Hall of fame – be it Edge or Trish Stratus. It is never too late as is the case of Bruno Sammartino or Macho Man Randy Savage.
It isn’t a case of is it too early for Undertaker to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. He is a shoo-in.
But the question is – is it the right time to retire?
Once Upon a Time
There was this one story which took WWE 21 years to build. A stellar story which was a huge draw no matter whatever position it was on the Wrestlemania card. Each passing year, the story gained more and more prominence in stature. It became more and more compelling. Even if each passing year meant that The Undertaker’s body was a year older, his matches only got better in quality.
It was last year that concerns about his health started doing the rounds. He looked like he had aged a lot in the year that had passed after he defeated CM Punk and made special appearances on Raw and Smackdown to fight The Shield.
The discussions around the way he looked grew when his opponent was officially announced to be Brock Lesnar. How were they going to top their great matches from over 10 year ago?
They were two of the most prominent personas in the WWE. They were two people who had a really strong screen presence. If anybody embodied the larger-than-life persona or being different from the audience, it was these two.
Legend of Biblical Proportions
The build up to it began with Undertaker stomping his signature on Lesnar by stabbing a pen over The Beast Incarnate’s palms. Of course, both of them weren’t available every week that preceeded Wrestlemania but Paul Heyman was always there. And as is expected of him, he delivered every time he was to speak on the mike. This period involved some of Heyman’s best mic work. And that is saying something, considering the tall order of greatness that he displays on the microphone every single time.
The build-up was good but the match borderd on being average to below average. The Undertaker looked jaded and worn out and yet everyone expected him to conquer Lesnar. The rest is history, of course.
The most shocking moment of the year followed. And then the fan tributes, then the No. 1 trend on Twitter. Then began the speculation that the 49-year-old had hung up his boots.
Was the breaking of the Streak a metaphor for the end of his career? One could expect that given the fantastical nature of his gimmick. But if people still believe that CM Punk will one day return to the WWE, how fruitless is the hope of Undertaker returning for Wrestlemania?
Until then, let the discussion of him being in the HoF be put in standstill mode.