Though he almost certainly won’t be doing much in the ring at any point moving forward outside your standard, run-of-the-mill “can’t be touched” celebrity appearance – what with him being retired and all – it would be unrealistic to assume that The Undertaker won’t at least make some sort of an appearance at WrestleMania 39, what with a 1 deadMAN Show already booked for Los Angeles and his song, Rest In Peace, still generating massive pops anytime it’s piped into an arena.
Whether tasked with driving down to the ring on his bike, shouting out a fellow Hall of Famer, or even shokeslaming a performer like LA Knight or The Miz for taking too long on the mic, the prospects of Taker making his return at Mania are about as good as the odds heading into RAW XXX, which, considering he had a passing of the torch moment with Bray Wyatt at the show, is very high.
Discussing all things WrestleMania 39 in an interview with Alex McCarthy of Sportsmail, Taker discussed one of the more controversial wrestlers booked for “The Showcase of the Immortals,” Omos, and he’s very excited about his future prospects.
“I’m really high on Omos,” Undertaker said via McCarthy on Twitter. “He’s still developing that talent and my gosh what a great human being he is. Actually, I’m killing him off cause he’s a bad guy right now, but he is a really nice human being and he is a sponge, he wants to get better.
Theoretically, The Undertaker is correct that few men can do what “The Nigerian Giant” can do in the ring, as fans will certainly see at WrestleMania 39 when he takes the ring against “The Beast Incarnate” in their big hoss match at “The Showcase of the Immortals,” but where things become tricky is the lack of buildup heading into the match. With just two matches on WWE TV and a third appearance as part of The Royal Rumble, Omos went from a performer who was barely being used to one of the three-dozen or so wrestlers booked for the biggest show of the year, with a potential star-making match against one of the biggest bads in the company with very little build-up.
If it works, great. And if not? Well, Omos’ star power will remain theoretical, much like it is now.
The Undertaker explains what went into his match with John Cena.
Elsewhere across his one-man media tour to promote his solo shows and WrestleMania 39, Chris Van Vliet asked Taker about his match with John Cena at WrestleMania 34 and “The American Bada**” explained why, despite the sky-high expectations from wrestling fans around the world, only earned a 1.25 stars rating according to Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer.
“Yeah, I didn’t know it was gonna be short till I got there that day,” Taker said via Fightful. “So, I’ve trained for a 45-minute war, right, and all right, here’s redemption. I’m gonna, man, I am going to light this place on fire, I felt good. And Vince calls me into his office and he goes okay, he says it’s just gonna be about five minutes, you know, you’re gonna squash him. I’m like, what? What? And, you know, Vince, he just thought that was the funniest [thing], because he knew how hard I’d been training. I mean, he, and I’m like, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I said, I’m going. I said, I’m doing 30 or I’m not going out. And he’s like, Mark, that’s not what we need.”
As crazy as it may sound, Cena actually agreed with Mr. McMahon’s opinion that the match should be short, leaving one of the most important wrestlers in WWE history to wrestle one of the worst matches of his career in one of the last high-profile matches of his career.
“And I’m like no Vince, I was like, Where’s John? Where’s he at? So John comes in he goes, Oh no. He goes I talked mad smack about you dude. Yeah, you need to beat me quick and get this over with. I’m like are you kidding me? It’s like we’ve never worked on pay-per-view are you [serious]? And this is WrestleMania, give me a break here. And they both, they ganged up on me. I was finally, I threw my hands up. I was like, I can’t believe [it], and Vince just thought that was the funniest thing because like I said, I trained like an animal, I was so unbearable at home. I mean, as far as my diet and the training and just all my protocols of you know recoup, rehab, I was a nightmare. I get there and yeah, five minutes. And it was like that was it.”
Was The Undertaker’s final legit match at WrestleMania a bit of a bummer? Sure, but hey, at least fans were given the Boneyard Match two years later, which provided the iconic character one last opportunity to ride off into the sunset, literally, on his motorcycle, as he left his hat in the center of the proverbial ring for good.