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Dear Undertaker, Do Nothing. Please.

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John Cena.

Undertaker.

These two names are forever etched in the history of professional wrestling. Undertaker is arguably the greatest character in history. John Cena, love him or hate him, has carried WWE on his back for the last 10+ years in a way that no one else has since Hogan in my estimation. Cena vs Undertaker at WrestleMania is a dream match. 5 years ago.

John Cena is 40. He can still go and, with the right matchup (see AJ Styles), he can put on classics. While he’s evolved slightly beyond the “five moves of doom”, trying to show that evolution with a 53-year-old Undertaker is very unlikely.

Undertaker has already given his retirement speech I believe. If we operate on “actions speak louder than words”, I point to the folded jacket and laid down gloves at WrestleMania 33. If you need to hear words, I direct your attention to Raw 25. At the end of his promo (note him not wearing the jacket, hat, or fight gloves), he names big name after big name that he’s faced over the years and ends with this line:

“For all of those who have fallen, it is truly time you rest in peace.” Cue gong.

Even on commentary, they treated this like it was some kind of warning. Something ominous. I disagree. That’s a statement that says “I’m done.” It was a eulogy for his own career. In a way only the Undertaker could do, he said “I retire.”

If you’re waiting for those specific words to come out of the Undertaker’s mouth, you will be waiting a long, long time. Undertaker almost never breaks character. The two times I can think of he did: tip of the cap to Shawn Michaels and the kneel to Ric Flair and even those were with all of the pomp and circumstance as the Undertaker.

This match doesn’t need to happen. It’s going to be some strikes, a finisher counter to finisher counter, some signature moves, and someone goes over. It will not be Hogan vs Rock. Rock was in his prime, the top of his powers. Hogan was at the tail end of the WWE part of the nWo run and the crowd was ready to see to old red and yellow Hogan again. It was a clinic in crowd psychology and Rock and Hogan are two of the very best to ever do it.
Don’t get me wrong, Cena and Undertaker are also two of the very best with the crowd. Cena is working so hard to get the crowd into the idea of this match and even he has moderate success at best to even get them to do the “Yes!” chant, a chant the crowd will do about anything they feel even lightly positive about. The initial reaction was very strong. Since then, it’s more of a “Meh” chant. That’s not something the Undertaker should come back for.

These name value matches work two ways: one guy is in his prime and the other is the legend who can still go (Hogan vs Rock, Cena vs Rock #1) or two legends, one clearly at the twilight of his career and the other who is nearing the end but isn’t quite there yet (Flair vs Michaels, Undertaker vs Michaels) and a career is on the line. Cena vs Undertaker would easily qualify as the latter except for one thing:

Undertaker already retired. He already said his goodbye.

While it would be strange to have WrestleMania without John Cena, this is one situation where I really don’t need to see him. Maybe, hopefully, the idea if this match can rest in peace.

Alex Mihailoff is a WWE fan who loves a good storyline and overanalyzing the WWE. He doesn’t know everything but will readily give his opinion on anything.

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