As the lights dimmed on SmackDown's final episode on MyNetworkTV, I stared with joy and elation at what I just saw. Having been a fan of the World Wrestling Federation and World Wrestling Entertainment for what seems like a generation now, there are certain stories and certain gimmicks that hold the majority of my memory.
For those who have followed for as long as I have, words like Caesar's Palace, Yokozuna, and Casket Match bring back memories. Of course we're talking about the Undertaker, but the commonality shared by those three is one name—Paul Bearer.
The man holding the urn that controlled the Undertaker. Even though he ultimately "switched sides" when Kane was introduced, the long-time manager was a mainstay as Undertaker's keeper. His slurred and ghastly voice resonated throughout arenas in the early 90s as one of the most memorable ever.
If somebody told me that I would hear that voice again tonight—that I would see that man again tonight—I would have thought they were a lunatic.
Tonight, that happened. Tonight, everything came full circle.
The focus of a good number of my writings here has been on Kane, the Undertaker, and the relationship that has formed between them. When the Undertaker suffered his injury after Memorial Day, sparking the vegetation stories and ultimately Kane's rise to power, I did hail the story as well-written by creative.
The fact that creative chose to teach the Universe the history that spanned almost a decade-and a-half before their match at Night of Champions was certainly a nice touch in passing. With Undertaker losing at the last PPV, we were all left wondering how creative could possibly bring the Phenom out of his rut.
For most of SmackDown we found the Deadman sitting in a stairwell. But the final time we saw him, the door opened. Undertaker told whomever was there to "go away." But when he looked up, stood up, and had the eyes roll into the back of his head, my heart skipped a beat thinking that it could be Paul. Sure enough, when Kane standing on his pedestal with his holy grail—a casket came out containing the "Father of Destruction."
Seeing Paul Bearer tonight put everything into perspective—we have come full circle. But by coming full circle, we're posed an interesting question.
Paul Bearer brought The Undertaker to us, so will Paul Bearer eventually take the Undertaker away? Either way, the struggle between the Undertaker and his brother Kane has been given a lifeline. You can't just have Paul Bearer show up and then take him away after a pay-per-view. This is a story that'll last, and maybe until WrestleMania.
No matter what happens, I'm ready for it. As I've said, seeing Paul made me feel like a kid again and I'm not about to let those feelings fade away anytime soon. Let's have some fun with this.
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