The Undertaker made his return to SmackDown after three-and-a-half years and it looks like he is here to stay, so how should he be used?
The Undertaker made his much-awaited return to WWE this past week on SmackDown Live. It was also the Deadman’s first appearance on the blue brand in nearly 3 and a half years. It goes without saying that having him on SmackDown gives the brand some much-needed star power. The 900th episode which featured the returns of Undertaker as well as Edge had their third highest rating since the brand split, according to f4wonline.com.
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Taker made two statements during his return. The first was that Wrestlemania no longer defines him. The second was a warning to team SmackDown. As always, his messages were cryptic and one can find numerous takeaways from the Deadman’s words.
One can safely believe The Undertaker is here to stay on the blue brand. Moreover, this might be the beginning of his final run with the company. Taker might be a bigger part of SmackDown going forward until he decides to hang up his boots. With all that in mind, here are five different ways for SmackDown to make the best use of his star power and ensure that his potentially last run with the company is truly a memorable one.
Taker is possibly on one of his final runs with the company as there is no longer a Wrestlemania streak to protect. Perhaps now is a good time to use his incomparable star power to put the rub on one of the new generation of stars. Undertaker is such a respected name in the pro-wrestling world that even a nod of appreciation from him can instantly make an up-and-coming star credible.
Remember the interaction between Taker and John Cena on the night the latter made his debut? When you go back and watch that moment, you can help but feel that Cena was indeed going to be a big deal. WWE can easily recreate the magic of the moment with another new generation star. Take the case of Apollo Crews for instance. An exceptionally talented athlete is wandering the lower tiers of mid-card without direction or character. Perhaps, a backstage segment of similar nature with the Phenom can do wonders for him. Imagine the same scene recreated again after an impressive performance by Crews. The kind of rub he gets from this moment can be used to project him to something better on the roster.
If WWE can have the Undertaker work a couple of matches with some of the recent NXT call-ups, Baron Corbin would be a good opponent. He could make great use of sharing the ring with the Phenom. Moreover, being another big man, he would have much to learn from Taker. The kind of rub you get from getting in the ring with him is out of the world.
4. Conclude The Brothers of Destruction vs The Wyatt Family
Undertaker and Bray Wyatt have crossed paths multiple times in the past. Despite referring to himself as the New Face of Fear, it was Taker who always came on top. Perhaps now is the time to give Wyatt the rub.
While this wouldn’t be the first time this matchup has taken place, Kane and Undertaker haven’t faced the new Wyatt Family. The Eater of Worlds now has Randy Orton by his side, and the latter and Taker have plenty of history too. Losing to the trio of Wyatt, Luke Harper and Orton will not harm the duo of Kane and Undertaker. WWE already teased the possibility of the brothers reuniting once more after SmackDown went off the air.
Now would be the best time to conclude Wyatt’s rivalry with the Deadman. There isn’t much to do with it as far as the storyline goes. However, Wyatt could really use a decisive victory to catapult himself to bigger things. WWE can easily find a place for this feud somewhere between Survivor Series and Wrestlemania.
AJ Styles is the best wrestler in the WWE, at the moment. He can create a spectacular match with just about anybody on the roster. WWE has done everything right with Styles and has given him the world title as well. Why not let him face the Phenom in a feud that extends over multiple PPV matches?
The seeds for this are easy to plant as Undertaker already warned Team SmackDown this past week. If they fail, they would have every reason to fear the Deadman. That being said, if Styles were to somehow abandon his team or cost them the match, Undertaker would have all the reasons in the world to go after him. The fact that this would be the very first time in history would give the match a larger than life feel almost instantly.
Despite Taker’s age and condition, Styles would be able to create a well crafted match. A victory over the 51-year-old is something very few people can boast about. If Styles wants to be on that list, time is running out for him.
Despite being the company’s longest tenured in-ring performer, Undertaker has held the WWE title only four times. He has held the World Heavyweight Championship three times, which makes him a seven-time world champion in the WWE. There will not be a more fitting send-off for the Deadman than with one final title reign.
If Undertaker can feud with AJ Styles and eventually take the WWE title away from him, that would be the beginning of a new era within the company. Whoever dethrones Undertaker might just be ending his career as well. That moment has to happen at Wrestlemania. Regardless of the implications of his title reign, it is more about a show of respect towards the Deadman. Think of it as something he deserves for being loyal to the WWE and the fans for more than 25 years.
The man who dethrone the Undertaker and takes the title away from him will be creating history. One can argue that Taker may not be in a position to hold a title and defend it frequently. Regardless, giving the Phenom one final run with the greatest prize in sports entertainment is more about the moments and the memories that comes with it. For long-term fans, it would be a journey back in time. Now the question can arise as to who can be in line for a title shot against the Undertaker. Moving on to that in our next slide.
John Cena and Undertaker haven’t crossed paths ever since Vengeance 2003. It has been 13 years since then. Those 13 years saw the rise of John Cena to the very top of the WWE. Many have come and gone but these two legends have stood unshaken. It is now time to give the WWE Universe what they want and let Cena face the one person who noticed him from day one.
We already noted Cena’s history with the Undertaker. When fans go back and watch the video, you just feel a sense of nostalgia. That moment is an open book and it can not be closed until Cena and Taker collide in decisive fashion. Up until now, there was always the question of who would be the heel in such a feud. At this time however, neither Cena nor Taker needs to be a heel. Cena can target the WWE title that the Phenom possesses.
Creative can easily play up Cena wanting his 16th title win. Considering the historic nature of the moment, there cannot be a better person to stand in Cena’s way than the Undertaker. Let them collide at Wrestlemania. Have Undertaker issue a clear message to the WWE Universe and Cena that if he loses the title, he will hang up his boots. If done well, Cena and Taker can recreate the magic of Ric Flair Vs Shawn Michaels. Imagine the site as Cena apologizes to Taker before hitting him with an AA. In response, Undertaker puts on his signature “finish it” sign and asks Cena to end it once and for all. 3 seconds later, Cena is a 16-time World Champion and the Undertaker is no longer a part of the WWE. Truly historic indeed.