WWE Rumors: The Undertaker wanted to face John Cena at WrestleMania 33
The Undertaker had big plans for WrestleMania 33, but Vince McMahon may have had other ideas.
What’s the story?
Whilst official word is yet to break, WrestleMania 33 ended with The Undertaker symbolically announcing his retirement.
After losing a hard-fought match to Roman Reigns, ‘Taker removed his gloves, coat and hat and left the iconic gear in the middle of the ring, before leaving the ring for what may well have been the last time.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer has speculated that things may have worked out differently had The Undertaker’s personal request been granted, however. According to Meltzer, ‘Taker requested to face John Cena at the Ultimate Thrill-Ride, only for the Deadman’s request to be turned down by Vince McMahon himself.
In case you didn’t know
From the moment Roman Reigns eliminated The Undertaker from the 2017 Royal Rumble, a match between the two at WrestleMania 33 was all but assured.
That match ended up headlining the Show of Shows, and it was Reigns who came out on top after hitting The Phenom with a barrage of spears and Superman punches. Reigns picked up the win but it was The Undertaker who was given the final spotlight.
The heart of the matter
According to Meltzer, The Undertaker was lobbying for a match against John Cena at WrestleMania 33. A match between two of the biggest stars of all time is rumoured to take place every year, and this year was no different.
Here’s the Tweet by Meltzer:
No, just Vince has a different vision for the show and thinking longterm picture not short-term. https://t.co/mBU03in0JB— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) January 13, 2017
With this being his final ‘Mania, ‘Taker reportedly wanted to go out with a bang in one of the last remaining dream matches of his career, but the tantalising prospect of a WrestleMania match between Cena and Undertaker was shot down by Vince McMahon.
Vince pushed instead for Reigns to be inked in as ‘Taker’s opponent, with The Chairman’s reasoning being in regards to the long-term needs of the company as opposed to the short-term.
Cena’s role has clearly been stripped back in recent months, and Roman Reigns is considered by the top brass as an integral part of the present and future of the WWE.
Ever the company man, ‘Taker went ahead with what may have been Vince’s final request, laying down for The Big Dog and symbolically handing over the yard in the process.
The Undertaker left his gloves behind in the ring following his match at WrestleMania 32, but this year’s display came with a finality that cannot be ignored.
It is unlikely that ‘Taker will formally announce his retirement and get a televised send-off in the process, such is the low-key nature of WWE’s longest serving Superstar. It will be a huge surprise if we see Undertaker competing in a WWE ring again.
As for Reigns, a WrestleMania 34 main event against Brock Lesnar continues to be rumoured, and if that match comes to pass, both men will go into it as the only two to have defeated ‘Taker at the Show of Shows.
Those hoping for Reigns’ role to be reduced are clearly going to be disappointed.
Whilst the argument of Vince thinking long-term as opposed to short-term is an acceptable one on first glance, it has to be remembered that this was a show that saw Goldberg and Brock Lesnar do battle over the WWE Universal Championship and Randy Orton win his 13th world title at the expense of a first-time champion.
WWE’s interpretation of ‘long-term’ is puzzling, to say the least.
Reigns did well in the role he was given, but it is difficult to shake the feeling that a Cena match would have made for better viewing.
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