Two huge pieces of information came out from last week's Night Of Champions. One is that Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker will have their rubber match inside Hell in a Cell in October. The second is that Sting has suffered a potentially career-threatening neck injury.
If that is sadly true, then we won't be seeing the ultimate dream match at WrestleMania, and this year the only other name thrown into The Undertaker conversation for an opponent has been Brock.
If The Deadman ends up facing neither of these legends, then who will he be paired with come the biggest event in the history of wrestling? This could end up being Taker's last match, and WWE is trying to fill the 100,000 plus seats in the AT & T stadium, his home state no less. These are some of the options Creative may want to consider:
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When The Streak was still intact, Cena was a perennial candidate to challenge for it. He has been booked the strongest of anyone for the last decade and has accomplished everything; except that one great feat.
Of course, he can no longer break the Streak, but facing The Undertaker at WrestleMania has been a prerequisite of the top stars for many years. It seems strange that two concurrently active legends would set off into the sunset never having clashed.
The match would be a huge contrast of personalities: the dark, mysterious Undertaker and the loud, colourful Cena. Apart from this, Cena has become one of the best workers in the entire company and is one of a short list of people who could put on a match worthy of the soon retiring Taker.
Whether or not the feud on television would catch fire is hard to say. Many fans are ambivalent to Cena's schtick by this stage and Undertaker's routine is fairly weathered at present also. Their chemistry might easily be lukewarm and that would do neither guy any favours in the absence of the ultimate dream match.
It is traditional in wrestling to go out on your back. That's why so many people thought the Undertaker's career was over once Brock Lesnar beat the Streak. Clearly it isn't. Undertaker will want to give the rub to an up and coming star if this is indeed his final match and if anyone needs a leg up in the eyes of the audience, its Reigns.
Fans rejected his premature ascent to the main event, and the Creative team seem to have cottoned on. It is hard to know whether he will receive the same vilification once he inevitably re-enters that realm. One way to test the waters would be to turn him heel.
Fans enjoy booing him, so it gives them more reasons to do so. Going after The Undertaker in his home state would be a big one. Especially if he wins; he would become the top heel in the business.
Due to his good looks, large portions of the fanbase are never going to adore him like they do Daniel Bryan, but he can regain significant cool points by becoming a hardcore heel. He is underrated between the ropes and has the ability to work an excellent match with the aging Deadman.
Reigns is dominant and explosive on the attack, but can sell and put over the offence as well as almost anyone on the roster. With the blend of athleticism and experience, this match could surpass any realistic expectation of a clash with Sting.
Speaking of up and coming stars, Kevin Owens may not need any assistance on his way up, but toppling the 'Taker in Texas would be one hell of a way to get there. This would promise to be another outstanding matchup as both heavy hitters can provide plenty of impacts, and Owens can also showcase his uncanny athleticism; much like Undertaker in his heyday.
The build-up to this would be spectacular, as Owens plays a similar role to CM Punk before he attempted to break the Streak. He oozes disrespect, and when paired with a presence who commands it as strongly as Taker... entertainment ensues.
Whether management (and Undertaker himself) would have this amount of faith in Kevin Owens this early in his WWE career is in doubt. He might have years of experience elsewhere, but facing Undertaker at Wrestlemania is unlike any other proposition in wrestling.
Let's be honest, the main appeal of Sting versus Undertaker is the entrances back to back. The stare down in the ring and the mystique it induces. If Sting is no longer an option, there is no better replacement than the reigning NXT Champion.
Finn Balor as the demon is an intoxicating experience that is very much reminiscent of the Undertaker, though in a different style. Few characters are able to portray something so outlandish without breaking the suspension of disbelief. You'd have to figure that with a Wrestlemania budget something pretty special would be produced.
Also, Undertaker works extremely well with smaller guys (Shawn Michaels comes to mind) and Finn is seasoned enough to help craft yet another all-time great match.
The obvious baulk to this suggestion is that Balor is not even on the main roster yet. On the flip side of that coin is the monumental star-creating potential of debuting at Wrestlemania against the Undertaker. It would be mind blowing to even consider.
Finn is Triple H's project and clearly has plenty of backing to go very far in this business. Either this would be too much of a risk for someone with so much potential, or a stroke of genius.
It may not be likely, but I know that if this was the offering for Wrestlemania I would be sure to pay to tune in.
Who knows what WWE have up their sleeve for one of the biggest icons of all time at the biggest Wrestlemania of all time. One thing that is for sure is that even with as far away as the showcase of the immortals may seem, plans will already be circulating backstage.
Seeds may already have been planted on television for certain matches. Will WWE regret pulling the trigger on the Lesnar rubber match at Hell in a Cell? Will they regret having Sting perform on a minor show? We will only know once the dance partners for WrestleMania Texas start to pair up.
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