WWE WrestleMania Season Begins and Still No Sign of The Undertaker

Tom Clark@tomclarkbrFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2013

photo by wwe.com
photo by wwe.com

WrestleMania 29 is officially on WWE’s radar following The Royal Rumble pay-per-view this past Sunday night.  

The Rock vs. John Cena is sure to be the headliner once again, while many fans expect the return of Triple H, who will likely be seeking revenge against Brock Lesnar after his attack on Vince McMahon to end Monday Night Raw. While these two matches sound good to me, I cannot help but wonder: Where is The Undertaker?

It was back on Dec. 17 when Triple H gave his Slammy acceptance speech, that he told the world that The Deadman would be back in WWE.  And from the moment that statement was made, fans all over the world have been undoubtedly waiting, expecting to hear that familiar bell as smoke filled the arena.

So far however, there has been nothing.  

No flames, no eerie blue lights, no chilling organ music, and most importantly, no Undertaker. The Deadman has been M.I.A. since his short appearance on Raw 1000, and most of us likely did not expect to see him until around the first of 2013, when WrestleMania season gets fully under way.

Yet here we are, and still no Undertaker.

To be fair, we have not heard from the man himself.  The fact is Taker does not grant many interviews, so to assume that he is a definite lock to work WrestleMania is foolish.

But this is WWE we’re talking about there people.  This is The Undertaker, one of the most legendary Superstars that company has ever known.  And, this is the streak.  Remember that?

Every year like clockwork, WWE begins promoting WrestleMania and almost immediately the whispers begin.  Who will face Undertaker?  Who will be the man to step up and challenge the undefeated streak of the man who simply cannot be beaten on that grand stage?

Like clockwork.

But as we prepare for the Elimination Chamber, the debates surrounding Taker and who he could face if he returns are raging like never before.  The problem is, four of the biggest names in WWE are already spoken for.

Though nothing is guaranteed just yet, it is a safe bet that John Cena will face The Rock for the WWE Championship, and Triple H will square off against Brock Lesnar. Again, two good matches, involving four main-event guys, on WWE’s most important night of the year.

But there is a name missing from that group.

As we all know, CM Punk’s WWE Title reign ended on Sunday night when The People’s Champion walked away with the three-count and the gold.  

The sixth-longest championship run in WWE history solidified Punk as a major player in the company and I believe that he deserves an important role at WrestleMania 29.

So, I know you’re thinking it.  We all know it’s been talked about before.  Are we looking at The Undertaker vs. CM Punk?

It’s the last epic hurdle for Punk, to main event at the Granddaddy of them all.  Perhaps this year, challenging Undertaker’s undefeated streak, is indeed the way to go.  Though Punk had his share of critics while wearing the WWE Championship, I do not personally believe that his talent in the ring should be called into question.

Punk is a proven commodity in the ring.  He does nothing but turn in one consistent performance after another, and he was a fighting champion.  For me, there is no doubt that he would give his all against Taker, especially at WrestleMania.

But, he is no longer WWE Champion.  For Punk, there is nothing to lose.

To be honest, even if he had beaten Rocky at the Royal Rumble and eventually moved on to Mania to work Undertaker, are we to believe that the belt would have changed hands?  

It was somewhat of a tricky prospect, as so many fans do not want to see Taker be beaten at WrestleMania, yet are fully aware that he is not a full-time performer in the ring.

So, pinning Punk and leaving Mania as the new WWE Champion did not make much sense, unless The Deadman were to retire the very next night on Raw.  And, did we really expect that to happen?

But on the other hand, that match would mean so much more if Punk was still champion. Again, he would have had something to lose.  Streak vs. streak.  In that regard, it was a great idea.

Now, however?  Now, it’s even trickier.

Why?  Because Taker needs a big name to work, and Punk, at least at this point, could be the most logical choice, and he is the only one without a dance partner.  After all, who’s left?

Ryback would have been a good choice, until he began choking during big matches.  It’s not his fault, of course, but at this point, would he be a real threat to Taker’s undefeated streak?

Randy Orton has been on that mountaintop before, of course.  But, with no apparent reason to face Undertaker and considering he has not been near that level since returning from suspension last year, what are the chances he would actually be booked in this match?

There are other guys like Kane, Dolph Ziggler, even Wade Barrett, but are any of them on par with Undertaker?  And, is it believable that any of them could actually pin Taker?

It’s still relatively early here, so with any luck, there is still time to get something working for Undertaker at WrestleMania 29.  At least I hope so, as I just cannot imagine watching the big event without him. He is an icon in every sense of the word and deserves his moment in the sun.

Now if only we could find the guy.