How to Make Undertaker’s ‘Last Ride’ with WWE Special


Considering health and age, the Undertaker should have his last match in the WWE at WrestleMania 33. But how can the WWE make it a special moment?

As a child, the Undertaker was easily one of my favorites. I wasn’t alone. Who could blame fans like us who were in awe watching the Phenom for nearly three decades?

The Undertaker was a supernatural character who stood tall among most of the roster at seven feet. Initially, he looked to be invincible. Over time, the Deadman would evolve his powers that built up his aura. Very few wrestlers cause goosebumps on your arm and chills down your spine when the lights go out.

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Take away the few years he spent with the American Badass gimmick during the Ruthless Aggression Era and there were very few flaws. In the world of professional wrestling where the athletes are often labeled “immortal,” the Undertaker character truly personified it through the course of his career.

But in recent years, it’s no secret that the Deadman might be falling victim to Father Time. Obviously, this presents a challenge for a character who has made a history of being supernatural. This leads to many questioning if 2017 is going to be the final year we see Undertaker compete in a WWE ring.

Honestly, I believe it should be. There’s nothing more for him to prove that he is one of the greatest superstars in WWE history. No need for another long championship run. No need to try and build another WrestleMania winning streak.

But he should get one more match to have that one “Last Ride.” It’s the sort of thing I’ve often developed a pitched to friends who are also dedicated fans. And now, I offer an updated version of that to you, the dedicated Daily DDT reader.

While the American Badass character wasn’t the highlight period of Undertaker’s WWE career, there was one moment that still stands out. During a June 2002 episode of SmackDown, a young John Cena accepted Kurt Angle’s open challenge. Long before he had the colorful t-shirts, the spinner championship belt or even the jean shorts, Cena had basic tights, ring boots and plenty of “ruthless aggression.”

Despite the losing effort, Cena gained a lot of respect from fans and his peers. In a backstage segment, Undertaker was one of the men who approached Cena to shake his hand. Back then, he was the WWE Undisputed Champion and was considered the top dog. Since then, the two have had singles matches a few times.

According to the Internet Wrestling Database, they’ve had four one-on-one matches; Cena has two wins, Undertaker has one and there was a draw in 2006. There are a few times thev’ve been on opposite ends of tag team matches. But those don’t really matter too much. A singles bout between Cena and Undertaker hasn’t been seen recently, but having them go one more time would have a different set of circumstances.

There has been a lot of talk about having the Undertaker face John Cena at this year’s WrestleMania. Even the fans at SmackDown Live chanted for the match when Cena returned a few weeks ago. The general feeling is that is the direction the WWE could be going for WrestleMania 33.

Having Undertaker face Cena as his final opponent makes sense because it does feel like things are coming full circle. In terms of a storyline, the Deadman could approach Cena to issue the challenge. There’s no secret that he’s aging and battling health problems. He can admit it in a promo with Cena. Undertaker could say that back in 2002, he met the man he felt was destined to end his career.

Even as a motorcycle riding “mortal,” Undertaker probably still had some of those supernatural powers to sense something like that. Cena would then have to face a big challenge of possibly ending Undertaker’s career. It makes sense because there’s a good chance Cena would face some heat from the fans for retiring the Phenom.

Would anyone really want that sort of heat put on an up-and-coming superstar? Besides, Cena has a history of remaining composed against tough crowds.

The stage at WrestleMania 33 would be a perfect setting for Undertaker to face Cena. The true end of an era where the Deadman would take one last ride in the ring. If done correctly, this could have an emotion ending similar to when Shawn Michaels delivered Sweet Chin Music to Ric Flair at WrestleMania XXIV.

A valiant veteran in the Undertaker would struggle to sit up in the final moments before doing the signature throat slash one more time; just before one final Attitude Adjustment for the final pinfall. It has to be a pinfall since having the Undertaker submit would just feel insulting to the Phenom.

It won’t have the same shocking feel as Brock Lesnar ending the streak at WrestleMania 30 a few years ago, but this can be where fans can deliver some of the loudest “thank you” chants we’ve heard in a while. A defeated Undertaker can silently bow to the fans one final time as the iconic bells toll and the lights turn dark for a few moments. As the lights come back on, we see the trench coat and hat sitting in the center of the ring.

I’ve always felt that the Undertaker shouldn’t have to deliver a touching farewell speech. For one, it’s not his M.O. Undertaker has never been a big talker through his career. Besides, a speech the night after WrestleMania would just put a damper on the WrestleMania moment itself.

The WWE could always do something that night like a video package. But Undertaker’s final act in WWE should be on the grandest stage of the WWE – where he made his presence known best. There are some who feel that Undertaker should face Cena for the WWE Championship. Even winning the title. But there’s not really a point for someone who has never needed a title to be the best in the business.

Next: Will 2017 Be Baron Corbin's Year?

It is truly better for their match at WrestleMania 33 to simply be a singles match with the stipulation that it is Undertaker’s final match – i.e. career-threatening match or career vs. career.