NOTE: This article is kind of a sequel to my piece on Brock Lesnar. To see that article, click on the link below…
The announcement that the third installment of the Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar rivalry would take place at Hell in a Cell caught many of us off-guard. Many of us were expecting the third match to take place at Wrestlemania 32. No better way for this rivalry to come to an then at the PPV that is responsible for this feud in the first place. Many experts predicted that the third match would take place at Wrestlemania 32 in Texas. However, Night of Champions gave us quite a shock with the announcement. The question is now, what are the Wrestlemania 32 plans for Brock Lesnar and Undertaker if they’re not facing each other? Just WHO will they be facing?
I’ve already looked at the reports from Wrestling Observer about Brock Lesnar. Now I’m going to look at reports for Undertaker. Three names have come out in reports that are linked to a potential clash with Undertaker at Wrestlemania. With this article, I’m going to run down each candidate and see which of these match-ups I’d like to see for Wrestlemania.
The first name is a big one. This man has never really faced Undertaker before in a big match situation. He’s wrestled him a few times before but never in a big angle. It’s a man that’s actually got an incredible Wrestlemania record himself, being 10-3 at the PPV…
Sorry, I had to really get that joke in somehow. Yes, John Cena vs Undertaker is reportedly being discussed for Wrestlemania. I’ve actually talked about this match before during my How I Would Book… The End Of The Streak special (I talked about Cena vs Taker at this link).
It’s probably been discussed many times before. John Cena has been a top main event star for WWE since 2005, when he first won the WWE Championship. So the fact that Cena has never once feuded with the Undertaker in the last decade is quite astonishing.
Cena’s had matches with the Undertaker and has encountered him a number of times before. Cena feuded with Taker in 2003, when he was still a rookie. Cena even picked up a victory over Undertaker on SmackDown! during the angle. General Manager Kurt Angle also booked Undertaker (who was being controlled by Paul Heyman at the time) against Cena in 2004… once again on SmackDown! The two of them even had a few matches on RAW together in 2006 and would face each other in tag matches leading up to Wrestlemania 23. John Cena and Undertaker even teamed up together in Madison Square Garden in 2009.
However, there’s one little incident that actually does provide us with a bit of content for Undertaker and John Cena to work with. This actually took place on the night John Cena made his in-ring debut in WWE against Kurt Angle. Following the match, a number of wrestlers came up to congratulate John for taking Angle to the limit. The man that showed up next was the Undertaker, who asks for Cena’s name. He then shakes Cena’s hand and says: “Nice job”.
In hindsight, this moment kind of seems like the passing of the torch. Many have jokingly theorised that this is the reason for Cena’s invincibility! Joking aside, this can actually be used to help the story and John Cena’s character. Cena can talk about how Undertaker went up to him on his first night and shook his hand. On that night, he made a vow to always show the respect that the Undertaker had shown a rookie like him. All he wants to do now is respectively give Undertaker the very best competition before he retires. This sets up Cena vs Undertaker for Mania.
I’m all for this match one day happening. This match is one of the last true dream matches Undertaker could ever have. It’s not like this could be a dangerous match for the Undertaker to wrestle either. It’s an easy match for the Undertaker to do and there’s a lot of potential there.
Cena’s a strong contender but let’s look at candidate #2… Seth Rollins.
Seth Rollins was actually in the first list of wrestlers speculated to fight Brock Lesnar. However, now we’re talking about Seth fighting the Undertaker. Wrestling Observer never specified whether this would be for the WWE World title. However, I think Undertaker fighting for the title one last time would be a classic story that both Taker and Seth could benefit from.
Everyone likes a good old Rocky Balboa storyline in WWE. Sting vs Seth Rollins was a decent program, with a great match at Night of Champions (even with Sting’s injury). From a booking standpoint, Taker’s actually the perfect opponent for Seth to face at Wrestlemania.
Seth Rollins vs Brock Lesnar would make sense from a continuity standpoint. Seth and Brock have got a little bit of history that stems from last year’s Wrestlemania. Other than a small program with the Shield in 2013, Undertaker and Seth Rollins have never really crossed paths. However, that’s actually a great reason for why this match should happen. Think of everyone Seth Rollins has defended his title against since his title reign began. Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Brock Lesnar, Neville, John Cena, Sting, probably Kane at Hell in a Cell. Seth would need to beat Undertaker in order to cement his legacy as having one of the greatest title reigns of all time. Seth needs to win to cement his legacy. Undertaker needs to win to have one last reign as champion. From a booking standpoint, it makes all the sense in the world for this match to happen.
Before we finish however, let’s discuss the final candidate…
Braun Strowman was the third man on the list. This one recently shouldn’t have surprised but it did kind of throw me off a bit. This fella has only just arrived on the scene in August and WWE already have big plans for him. These are big plans as its not like he’s up against some main-eventer at Mania. He’s up against the Undertaker of all people. This would be the follow-up feud for Taker after he’s done with Lesnar. That’s a tall order.
First of all, this would mean WWE would have make Braun look SO STRONG going up against the Undertaker. Braun would have to destroy everyone. He’s beaten everyone he’s been up against so far but that’s only a month into his career. I think Braun would be a fairly easy opponent for Undertaker to work with. He’s very green in the ring but it’s not like he’s a very hard hitting wrestler. He’s more like a brawler that’ll just punch you more than anything. The only issue I’d have with this match is that it’s already been announced for Undertaker’s October appearance in Mexico teaming with Kane, that he’s going up against Luke Harper and yes… Braun Strowman. If they’re doing this for a house show, why would you do it for a Wrestlemania match?
It could be to see just how Undertaker would do against Braun, but the chances are that Braun would end up doing the job alongside Harper. I think it’d be silly to do this and then throw Braun and Taker together at Mania.
My personal pick would be Cena, but Seth is actually an interesting choice too. However, the pressure is on for WWE to pull out a big match for the Dead Man at Wrestlemania.