Although it has not been confirmed yet, the veteran WWE fans would have by now guessed that the long awaited Undertaker vs John Cena match is finally happening at this year's WrestleMania. This match has been in the making for almost a decade, yet it has always been out of sight.
But it is here now...maybe a little late but still happening. And while the WWE Universe is incredibly excited about this once-in-a-lifetime dream match finally happening, how does one go about deciding the outcome of a match of this magnitude?
The Undertaker is not in the same shape as he was in his prime, needless to say. His match against Roman Reigns last year was a testament to that. Last year, The Undertaker struggled to keep pace with the Big Dog, before giving in to a spear from Roman Reigns around the fifteen minute mark.
The outcome was pretty much predictable, given WWE's continuous attempts in making Roman Reigns the next big thing. But the match itself was proof that Mark Calaway has paid his dues after over 25 years of dedicated service to the industry, and deserves every bit of his retirement.
The loss against Roman Reigns also took a lot away from Undertaker's WrestleMania streak story line. The loss to Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 30 was an incredible event, sending shockwaves throughout the wrestling industry. The loss brought an end to the 21 win streak at WrestleMania for Undertaker, something many of us thought would never happen.
The win pushed an already over Brock Lesnar into the stratosphere, and marked the end of an incredible era, the era of the Deadman.
But the second loss to Roman Reigns meant less, much less. It did not feel as profound, as meaningful as the first. What we took away from the match was the ending; Taker taking off his hat, gloves and coat, leaving them in the ring as he walked off, signaling that the end of his career.
He walked off amongst thunderous "Thank You, Taker!" chants, even breaking character and kissing his wife before walking to the back from the ring. We all thought that was it, a meaningful end for one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.
And yet when John Cena called out The Phenom for another match, the wrestling world roared in anticipation, forgetting in a moment all about Undertaker's send-off at the last WrestleMania. And I get that, the excitement of getting this long-awaited dream match is palpable, almost tangible.
But a third loss against John Cena will be a devastating blow to the already diminished legacy of the Deadman. While there is still a passing-the-torch argument for Roman's victory, the results of which are debatable, such an argument makes no sense to the already 17-time World Champion John Cena.
Cena himself has merely suffered three losses in his WrestleMania record. A win against the Phenom will put him at a draw with Undertaker. This will be a major blow to Undertaker's legacy, reducing the WrestleMania streak from a phenomenon to merely a story line that happened to last a very long time.
But what would a loss mean for John Cena? Cena has been progressively distancing himself from the company, taking longer breaks to do movies and TV shows. His booking reflects his new role in the company, but his recent matches have resulted in many losses that have taken the surprise out of getting to view a clean John Cena pin fall.
In the recent times, Cena has been pinned by Shinsuke Nakamura, Seth Rollins, and even Elias, that too on free TV. Cena recently lost in the Elimination Chamber, eliminated by Braun Stwoman, only to go on to lose a six-pack challenge at the Fastlane main event.
A loss at WrestleMania for John Cena will further diminish his super-Cena allure, as the piling up of losses will tear away at the belief of big-match John being able to suddenly evolve and win the big matches.
A win for either doesn't make sense. A loss for either doesn't make sense.
Five years earlier, this match would have been so much better. But at the same time, as fans, we are extremely grateful that we are getting to witness this encounter in our lifetime.
Who do you think should win? Let us know in the comments below!
Send us news tips at firstname.lastname@example.org
We asked Stone Cold Steve Austin if he acknowledges Roman Reigns. Find out his answer here.