WWE announced that The Undertaker will return to television for the first time since WrestleMania 32 on November 15th, just a few days before the SmackDown and Raw rosters faceoff at Survivor Series. It will be a milestone episode of SmackDown - the 900th since the show debuted in 1999 - and The Undertaker is arguably the biggest star in the show's history.
It seems unlikely that the 51-year-old WWE legend is coming back just to celebrate the occasion, however. Survivor Series is where The Undertaker made his debut in 1990, and we're just a few months away from the Royal Rumble, which will be held in the Deadman's home state of Texas. It's never too early for WWE to begin the build for WrestleMania, and many fans are hoping we find out who the Undertaker could be facing in Orlando next April.
The list of The Undertaker's potential opponents is short, but there are a select few on the WWE roster who could believeably share the ring with WrestleMania's greatest attraction. Here are six WWE stars that should be on WWE's shortlist, starting with the most likely candidates.
It seems strange that the face of the modern WWE hasn't already faced The Undertaker at WrestleMania, but Cena-Undertaker has never materialized despite the fact that it could be one of the most hyped matches of all time. A Cena-Taker WrestleMania main event would be in Hulk vs. Andre, Stone Cold vs. The Rock territory.
Cena has been missing from SmackDown recently and isn't on the SmackDown Survivor Series team, but he lost his (excellent) feud with AJ Styles and would be free to engage with the Undertaker in the current WWE storyline.
The Demon vs. The Deadman. It's clear that Finn Balor has the talent and presence to be a megastar in WWE, and the company clearly wanted him to be a huge part of Raw with his Universal Championship victory at SummerSlam. His unfortunate shoulder injury knocked Balor out of action just as he was about to explode, but he's expected to be back around the Royal Rumble. A Balor-Undertaker match could be a "passing the torch moment," and their entrances combined might last a half-hour. It would be epic.
The Brothers of Destruction have met twice already at WrestleMania (Kane lost both meetings). Kane (now 49, having spent the last 21 years in WWE) has denied that he's considering retirement, but whenever he does choose to step away from the sport, a farewell match against The Undertaker would be the perfect sendoff.
We're quickly getting into "huge longshot" territory here. The Miz reignited his feud with Daniel Bryan this past Tuesday on SmackDown, and Bryan once again criticized for being unwilling to get into a fight. Assuming WWE isn't heading toward a shocking Daniel Bryan comeback to face The Miz, the former Intercontinental champ could decide to prove to the SmackDown GM that he's willing to take on a challenge by confronting The Undertaker during his return.
Shane vs. Undertaker II is only really possible due to the way WWE essentially ignored his loss at WrestleMania 32 and gave him control of a show anyway. It's something The Undertaker could potentially have a problem with, but we're so far removed from that storyline that it wouldn't really make sense to bring it back up. Plus, there's no way Shane McMahon can top his performance in Dallas earlier this year, where he plummeted off the top of a 20-foot Cell.