WrestleMania 33 is being pitched as the ultimate thrill ride. The card is all but set, save for a few minor tweaks here and there. There are a few matches that seem like they have predictable outcomes, but there is one match that remains a mystery to me.
That match, my friends, is Roman Reigns vs. The Undertaker. The Deadman vs. THE Guy.
Two big dogs fighting for their yard.
The opening salvo was back in January at the Royal Rumble. Reigns entered at number 30, much to the displeasure of the crowd, and eliminated The Undertaker fairly quickly. A staredown ensued. Undertaker paid Reigns back with a chokeslam on Raw a few weeks ago, and now we have a Mania match. Now this is an intriguing concept and makes for a pretty interesting feud.
Here is the first thought that came to my mind after the Reigns-Taker staredown: Why? Why is WWE doing this? Theoretically, the idea of this feud is good, but you have to think realistically here. Does WWE want the fans to hate Roman Reigns? I think that question is perfectly legitimate at this juncture. Reigns already gets booed, unjustly, louder than almost any superstar. Now you are putting him up against one of the most loved and respected wrestlers of all time…AT WRESTLEMANIA?! Come on. There are different ways to think about this match.
If the Undertaker wins this match, what good does it really do? It will make his WrestleMania record 24-1. Then he more than likely disappears for a few months. This outcome would be preferred by the droves of anti-Reigns fanatics. But a loss for Reigns would be ludicrous. Reigns is more than 20 years younger than the Undertaker and is supposed to be a powerhouse. A loss to a 52 year old man makes him look weak. Now you might say “Well what about Goldberg? He is almost as old as the Undertaker.” To which my reply would be, just look at the two men. Look at Goldberg and then look at The Undertaker. Goldberg is still in phenomenal shape and looks like a monster. The Undertaker…not so much.
Here is the worst part though: a Reigns win could be devastating to his career. You think the boos are loud now? Just wait and see how loud they will be if he beats the Undertaker or worse, potentially retires him. (Gasp) Oh, the humanity. Reigns may never be able to recover from that, no matter how many first class matches he puts on.
There is an absolute best case scenario here. Turn. Him. Heel. Give Roman the heel turn that he so desperately needs. The Undertaker can win a hard fought match and go for the post-match handshake. Then Reigns just snaps and absolutely destroys The Undertaker. The fans get their Roman loss and a heel turn that is ruthlessly overdue. There you kill two birds with one stone. However, I don’t anticipate the WWE listening to that idea, seeing as we have been waiting for a John Cena heel turn for what feels like a lifetime.
The only other way to justify a Reigns loss at Mania is to have Undertaker stick around for another couple of months and extend his feud with Roman. Then you could ultimately have Reigns come out on top in a best of three series. Does Taker even have that in him though? That is a tough call. The WWE has backed themselves into a corner here in what I see as a lose-lose situation for Reigns. I am going to hope for the best, but I am expecting the worst.