My Two Centsss - The Undertaker Made The Perfect Return
By Super Chrisss
Feb 24, 2013 - 3:59:56 PM
Last night, The Undertaker shocked the world by returning to his home-state of Texas and wrestling in an unannounced tag team match.
Think about that for a second. The Undertaker - the living legend, who's wrestled only one match a year since 2011 - decided to show up out of the blue and work a house show on a Saturday evening, five weeks before Wrestlemania. How random is that?
Instead of rejoicing over the fact that The Deadman has returned to WWE and will almost definitely be working Wrestlemania 29 (I'm assuming his tag team match with Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett and Damien Sandow was a try-out/warm-up, to make sure he could safely compete on April 7th), people have already started complaining. People are upset that WWE 'wasted' 'Taker's return pop on a live event held in a non-major city like Waco. Others are complaining that the match was used to put over Sheamus, who doesn't need the rub. Some are angry that 'Taker's return implies a Wrestlemania encounter with CM Punk is imminent, which makes Rock/Cena II virtually a lock for New Jersey.
Calm down, people. Let's not rush to any conclusions. 'Taker's appearance at Saturday's live event could mean absolutely nothing. Nowhere was it reported that 'Taker grabbed a live mic and said "See you all on Monday". Not once did he make any indication that he would be facing Punk at Wrestlemania. Kayfabe-wise, it would make more sense for The Phenom to defend The Streak against Sheamus, Barrett, or Sandow, since those were the three men he was in the ring with last night. The "Punk vs. Taker" writing on the wall isn't quite there yet.
But the true beauty about The Undertaker's return is that in one night, WWE has restored the credibility and intrigue in house shows. More often than not, fans pass on attending live events because they know the title(s) never change hands, and so the outcome is rather obvious (at least for them). However, that all changed with 'Taker's surprise return, because we now get the feeling of 'anything can happen in the WWE', and not just at television tapings or Pay-Per-Views. Fans love being surprised and I have little doubt that when the lights went out and the gong sounded, the Waco fans lost their marbles. It was actually a brilliant move by WWE, as fans are already jealous that 'Taker didn't return at their house show.
Obviously, WWE can't pull off this surprise trick too often, as they don't have a locker-room of legends sitting around, ready to wrestle on any given night. The surprise factor would wear off quickly. Nevertheless, if they promote 'Taker's return correctly, they could really boost future live event ticket sales (a sector that has been suffering in recent years). Fans would buy tickets to house shows, thinking they might 'win the lottery' by having a huge star like 'Taker or Rock or Stone Cold (that's a bit of a stretch, but you know what I mean) show up in their city and wrestle a match. That's because 'Taker is no longer exclusive to RAWs and PPVs - WWE has planted the idea that he could show up at any venue, and now they have to capitalize on it.
But wait, there's more! 'Taker's return was even more awesome because nobody saw it coming. Ever since John Cena vs. CM Punk was announced for tomorrow night's RAW, everyone and their mother were predicting a 'shock' appearance from The Undertaker. Whether The Deadman returned to cost Punk the match or whether he waited until Cena won, it was set in stone that we would be seeing 'Taker on Monday's RAW at the very earliest. Boy, were we wrong. Suddenly, I can't help but have second thoughts. Would WWE really bring 'Taker in two days after his surprise return? What if the rumours have been wrong all along, and Cena vs. Rock vs. Punk has been the planned Wrestlemania main-event all along? WWE has so many top stars doing NOTHING with the big event only weeks away, including the likes of Randy Orton, Sheamus, Chris Jericho, Mark Henry, Dolph Ziggler, Wade Barrett, etc. Instead of taking a top star like Punk, who's already feuding with the two most over guys on the roster, and having him feud with another top star like Undertaker, why not have The Deadman face someone else instead? From my perspective, that would be the more logical route.
That being said, whether you're happy about Undertaker's return or running over cats, you have to admire WWE's ability to surprise even us, the "all-knowing internet wrestling community". We always complain that WWE is boring and predictable, but WWE keep pulling things out of left-field lately and catching everyone off guard. From The Shield's debut at Survivor Series, to Ric Flair's return at The Slammys, to 'Taker's return at Saturday's live event, WWE still knows how to keep their fans on the edge of their seats. They may make a lot of stupid decisions, but they will always hold the shock card above our heads.
What does 'Taker's unexpected return mean for Wrestlemania? I don't know, but I can't wait to find out. The Road to Wrestlemania is finally starting to pick up.
How do you feel about Undertaker's surprise return? Is his match with CM Punk at Wrestlemania still a lock, or could we be in for something different?
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