WWE recently revealed that The Undertaker will be appearing on the September 10th edition of SmackDown Live.
This will be the final episode of SmackDown before Clash Of Champions and will emanate from Madison Square Garden. Not only will this be a go-home show, it will also host a semi-final match of the King Of The Ring tournament.
Numerous iconic moments have taken place in MSG and WWE will be looking to add more to that list. It’s sure to be an eventful show, but what is the reason behind the return of The Undertaker?
Can a man who has done everything still have unfinished business?
The Undertaker is clearly past his prime, but he proved at Extreme Rules that he still has something to offer. Whether people like to admit or not, there is always a sense of intrigue when ‘The Deadman’ comes around.
With that in mind, let’s look at five potential scenarios for The Undertaker’s upcoming SmackDown Live appearance.
5. Boring, Bog-Standard Promo
Ok, let’s get all the pessimism out of the way early.
We could sit here and fantasy book a million dream scenarios for The Undertaker’s return. But there is a very real possibility that we will get a run-of-the-mill, predictable promo.
If recent history is anything to go by, that’s exactly what we will get. At Raw 25, ‘Taker appeared in the historic Manhattan Center and mumbled through a promo like a drunk, gothic uncle.
Then at SmackDown 1000, Undertaker had the closing segment of the show. Not only was he there to celebrate the show’s anniversary, but he also had a match to promote. He was there to build up the Brothers Of Destruction vs. D-Generation X match for Crown Jewel.
So, how did he mark this historic occasion? Well you can read the full transcript of his promo below:
“At Crown Jewel, I’ve got three words for D-X… rest in peace”
We can only hope this won’t be the case this time around. We don’t want to hear The Undertaker mumble about digging holes and taking souls. If WWE wants to bring him back yet again then give him a reason to return.
4. Announce His Retirement
Hold your horses, I’m not suggesting that The Undertaker retires from wrestling on a random episode of SmackDown Live. But perhaps he could reveal when his final match will be.
At this point, I think WWE or The Undertaker need to categorically announce his retirement. They’ve had the chance to do it symbolically, most notably at WrestleMania 33, yet he always comes back.
Another metaphorical farewell will not be definitive and there will continue to be speculation of one more match. If WWE wants to clearly move on from ‘The Deadman’, they need to announce a retirement match.
But where and when should this take place?
The Undertaker debuted at Survivor Series in 1990 and has embarked on almost three decades of destruction ever since. Retiring at this event could be a satisfying narrative and would see his story come full circle.
But then again, ‘Taker has become synonymous with WrestleMania and that is traditionally the biggest event of the year. Even without his undefeated streak, Undertaker still has an undeniable aura when he appears at the ‘Showcase of the Immortals’.
Either way, he needs to hang up his boots soon. People have been saying it for years but it’s becoming sad to watch him wrestle at times now. ‘The Deadman’ showed he can still pull something out of the bag at Extreme Rules. But how many of these performances does he realistically have left?
3. Crown Jewel 2019
If recent reports are to be believed, WWE will be returning to Saudi Arabia in October.
PWInsider.com revealed that the 2019 edition of Crown Jewel will take place on October 31st in Riyadh. I’m sure the people funding this show would love to have The Undertaker wrestle on Halloween. Could that be the reason for his return?
Rumours have also circulated that Vince McMahon wants Undertaker vs. Sting for the next Saudi show. While this rumour should still be taken with a pinch of salt, it doesn’t seem as farfetched as it wold have a few years ago.
It would be a shame to see this match take place at Crown Jewel. The genuine dream match would forever be tainted by the controversies surrounding the event.
Or could an Undertaker vs. Goldberg rematch be on the cards? Both men were disappointed with their match at Super ShowDown and have tried to erase the memory of it. Goldberg decimated Ziggler at SummerSlam whilst ‘Taker’s Extreme Rules showing reminded fans what he is still capable of.
Perhaps the two men would like to meet again to prove they can have a good match together. I’m not saying it’s a good idea, but it’s a possibility.
2. Confronted By Drew McIntyre
As mentioned previously, Undertaker’s appearance on September 10th will coincide with the semi-finals of the King Of The Ring.
Raw’s side of the bracket will already have taken place on the night before this SmackDown. Therefore, Raw’s representative will already have been revealed and will be preparing for the final at Clash Of Champions. So if you’ll indulge me in some fantasy booking, let’s say Drew McIntyre wins the Raw semi-final.
Drew could go to SmackDown to scout his opponent for the final and confront The Undertaker while he is there. The two men were on opposite sides of the ring from each other at Extreme Rules in July. ‘The Deadman’ teamed with Roman Reigns to defeat the team of Drew and Shane McMahon.
Although a rumoured one-on-one feud between Drew and ’Taker never materialized afterwards, fans are still wanting it.
A number of wrestling personalities, including The Rock, have pegged McIntyre as a future top star. Laying out The Undertaker in the middle of Madison Square Garden would certainly put Drew in the spotlight.
An angle like this could lead to a future match between Drew and ‘Taker at WrestleMania. Could McIntyre be the man to finally kill the legend of ‘The Deadman’?
1. Attacked By The Fiend
Without a doubt, the hottest thing going in WWE today is ‘The Fiend’. Everyone is talking about Bray Wyatt’s new alter ego and are wondering what he is going to do next.
In recent weeks, ‘The Fiend’ has been targeting legends such as Kurt Angle, Mick Foley and, most recently, Jerry Lawler. But there would be no bigger scalp to claim than that of The Undertaker.
There would also be a reason for this attack as Bray still has unfinished business with ‘The Deadman’. Two of Wyatt’s most damaging losses were to The Undertaker. Firstly at WrestleMania 32 and then at Survivor Series 2015 in a tag team match against the ‘Brothers of Destruction’.
Both of these high-profile losses were major factors in erasing the aura around Wyatt’s former character.
But with ‘The Fiend’, Bray Wyatt is back with a vengeance. He could right the wrongs of the past by targeting The Undertaker and defeating him at a future pay-per-view.
While Drew McIntyre would also be a good choice to retire ‘The Deadman’, Bray Wyatt would make more sense. The Undertaker has haunted the WWE roster for almost three decades. But now is the time to pass the torch to ‘The Fiend’ by giving Bray Wyatt the biggest win of his career.