Craig Wilson, Kenneth Richardson, Brian Damage, Jamie Lithgow and Russ Morgan
After weeks of hinting at it, Bray Wyatt has finally challenged The Undertaker to a match at Wrestlemania 31. In this Sunday Sermon the team discuss what clamour there is for another match from The Undertaker on the grandest stage of them all as the countdown to Wrestlemania continues.
Craig: For me, it’s a no. Having recently watched The Undertaker’s match versus Brock Lesnar from last year’s event again it was clear that that bout was one match too many.
Another thing, much, if not all, of the mystique is gone now that the streak is over. It was a draw previously as we waited to see if the latest superstar could end the streak. If Bray Wyatt does win how does he benefit? All he’s done is beaten a, by all accounts, broken down wrestler who hasn’t competed in a year.
Am I alone in thinking this way? Am I the only one that isn’t fussed about this one?
Kenneth: No…not in the slightest. The draw for the Undertaker at Wrestlemania has been preserving the streak. Now that it’s over I think it’s time for him to ride off into the sunset. He doesn’t have anything to prove any more plus any chance of Bray being made with that win is dead in the water now.
Brian: I disagree with you both…there is still a market for the Undertaker. Did the streak elevate him to mythical proportions? Yes, but the Undertaker was and is so much more than a streak. A solid match and a passing of the torch to Bray Wyatt would do wonders for his young career.
Craig: I don’t think everything about The Undertaker was the streak but it was undoubtedly a big part and covered up a lot of his shortcomings in the ring, particularly in latter years. I also have severe doubts over the quality of the match with Bray Wyatt as well. I’m not totally convinced that Wyatt is the best man for a match with Taker in 2015. Maybe I’m just being overly pessimistic but I have very few positive thoughts ahead of this match.
Brian: I understand your concerns and to be honest…I have some concerns as well. He is considerably older and slower and probably couldn’t do some of the moves he use to do. With that said, if we base it on last year’s performance against Brock Lesnar…he was injured early in that match and Brock isn’t exactly the best seller in the business. If I was worried about the quality of a Wrestlemania match…I’d be more concerned about Brock Lesnar Vs Roman Reigns.
Craig: If you’re worried about the quality of wrestling at Wrestlemania, having these four matches as the upper midcard bouts isn’t going to alleviate your fears:
John Cena vs Rusev
Sting vs Triple H
Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar
That said, one thing that certainly isn’t lacking there is star power.
Maybe it’s just not a bad thing to be going into The Undertaker’s match with reasonably low expectations!
Brian: I still feel we’re selling the Undertaker short…he may be older and slower…but the man is still legit and better than many half his age. Wrestlemania has always been about star power rather than quality of match selection. Sure, I think they care about the matches…but they need to sell the seats and the show first and foremost.
Jamie: I doubt we’ll see Wyatt and Taker engage in a back and forth classic, but then again, they don’t need to do that to capture most people’s interest. WWE is more about story telling than wrestling matches these days, so I still expect to be entertained.
In terms of the existence of the match in the first place, I think it has to happen. Brock Lesnar ended the streak, but Bray Wyatt could be the guy who ends The Undertaker’s career. The streak was famous within wrestling, but The Undertaker transcends the business. We all know that The Undertaker is not the performer he once was, but what a great way to sell Bray Wyatt to the wider world than to call him “the guy who ended The Undertaker’s career”. Put it this way, even my mum knows who the Undertaker is, but she had no idea about the streak. End The Undertaker or end the streak…. which sounds better?
All of this is assuming Taker actually calls it quits that is…
Craig: You hit on a good point about ending his career. I am in the middle of reading Shawn Michael’s excellent new book and he’s just talking about the importance to him of walking away on his terms. I can understand The Undertaker not wanting his last match to have been last year’s and to go out in much better terms.
You’re also right about the storytelling aspect, the two guys will be able to tell a good story: of that, there’s little doubt and it’ll be that that carries the match-up that they have.
If nothing else, a Wyatt win would give his character the jolt in the arm it badly needs to take him to the next level. I take it we all think that this will be the last match from Taker?
Brian: I think it might be…with Wrestlemania 32 in his backyard of Dallas, Texas….I could see Undertaker going into the Hall of Fame next year. Then again….wrestling his final match in his hometown next year might be more appealing as well.
Russ: Mixed feelings here. The Undertaker losing his streak was absolutely huge, for me it was the last remnant of the “Attitude Era”. I believe the Undertaker will make his own decision to retire and that will be that. He won’t be like Flair, Terry Funk et al who retire and comeback soon after for another payday. Of course Undertaker is still a massive drawn, but he is at the very end of his career. Does he really need this match?? For me, no.
All previous Sunday Sermons can be read here.