I’m going to preface this post by saying that the Undertaker is my favorite wrestler of all time.
Speculations is running rampant on the Interwebs that The Undertaker will be making his return to WWE either at this Sunday’s Battleground PPV or the following evening on Monday Night RAW. These rumors are fueled by photos such as this one of Taker working out and candidly… looking better than he has in years.
This is a very very bad thing for the WWE. They need to stop living in the past and move forward with their current crop of talent. The WWE finds itself in a spot where television ratings are declining and subscriptions to the WWE Network aren’t what they’d hoped they’d be. This still baffles me. I simply CANNOT understand why more people don’t subscribe to the Network. (This is absolutely, positively, the best $9.99 / month that a wrestling fan could ever spend. But I digress.) They’ve got far too much regular programming available and not enough young stars on the roster so Vince McMahon and company are calling on the “old school” crew to pick up the slack.
To be fair though, If I’m in Vince’s shoes, I might be doing the same thing. I’m seeing declining numbers on my weekly show and I’m not seeing the numbers I’d expected for Network subscriptions. I might be making calls to my Attitude Era stars as well.
WrestleMania – Showcase Of The Immortals
Let’s say for argument’s sake that the WWE is building toward a WrestleMania card where they’re looking to sell 100,000 seats. As a matter of fact, they are doing just this. WrestleMania 32 will be held in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Let’s do some fantasy booking for a moment based on what we know about how they’ve been booking, etc. Some of these matches will change, but you can pretty much guarantee the players won’t.
Let’s say for that same argument’s sake we’re looking at a 10 match card.
- Undertaker (51) vs. Sting (53)
- The Rock (43) vs. HHH (45) – perhaps you throw Ronda Rousey & Stephanie McMahon into this match as well
Right there you’ve got 20% of your card filled with “old” guys.
- Cena (38)
- Big Show (43)
- Brock Lesnar (38)
- Jericho (44)
- Goldust (46)
- Kane (48)
- Seamus (37)
- Randy Orton (35)
These are all guys that you can pretty much guarantee will be on the Mania card. If those 8 guys are in one on one matches that’s 4 more matches. Now you’ve got 60% of your card made up of “old” guys.
That leaves only 40% of your biggest & best (IE the most people are watching it) card of the year for “young” guys.
What if they bring back HBK? Steve Austin? Hell Hogan or Flair?
Speaking of Austin who’s 50. If the WWE wants us to believe they’ve got confidence in their current crop of stars, why in God’s name did they put Stone Cold on the cover of their upcoming 2K16 video game? What sort of message is this sending? They’ve got young talent… they should USE it.
As for the “dream” match between Taker & Sting. It was a dream match that we were clamoring for… decades ago. Even from the biggest Taker mark you’ll ever find it’s a match that at this point I don’t want to see.
Don’t get me wrong… I love these older guys. But they’re not going to be around forever and if the WWE doesn’t build their newer guys now they’re going to be in world of hurt when they CAN’T call on these older guys.
All of that being said… I’m gonna mark out Sunday night if that gong hits.
Are you excited to see The Undertaker return?
This piece was inspired by a discussion in the Marks4Life Facebook group.
The Undertaker did in fact show up at last night’s Battleground (which was a great show by the way) and cost Brock Lesnar the title. And like I said in the last line of this post, even though I knew it was coming and didn’t necessarily want to see it… I marked out big time for the Dead Man.