One of the more underrated matches The Undertaker has had at WrestleMania was against Ric Flair. Their match at WrestleMania X8 in 2002 was a fun battle with a classic spot from Arn Anderson. However, this match was not the original plan.
Instead of wrestling Flair, the original idea was for The Undertaker to wrestle Rob Van Dam. The Deadman revealed this news on Broken Skull Sessions after Survivor Series. Here is the quote, courtesy of Fightful:
“Going into that year, I remember Vince pulling me into the office at TV and going, ‘Mark, I’m so sorry, I haven’t got you figured into Mania.’ I was like, ‘I kinda noticed. Everyone is deep into their heels already.’ He goes, ‘I have two guys for you, RVD and Flair.’ I don’t think he got ‘Flair’ all the way out before I said ‘Flair.’ He was shocked. Vince was shocked because he thought I was going to go with the younger guy.
RVD was on his way up and was doing good things, but I went with Flair. He was still like, ‘You don’t want to work with RVD?’ I said, ‘I have plenty of time to work with RVD, I want to work with Flair.’ Flair wasn’t one of Vince’s guys so he didn’t have the say like me or you [Austin]. I was like, ‘I have the choice, right? I want to work with Flair.’ He goes, ‘Okay,'”
Undoubtedly this match would have been very different had Rob Van Dam been involved. Instead, Rob Van Dam worked with William Regal on the show, defeating him for the Intercontinental Championship in the opening match.
The Undertaker and Rob Van Dam ended up working a program during the Summer of 2002. Despite this, their only singles match on pay per view came at Vengeance 2001 where they wrestled for the Hardcore Championship.