Wednesday 14 March 2018

Okay, now I want to see Cena/'Taker at Wrestlemania

He can smell what the Rock is cooking...
and it smells like Texas barbecue.

I wasn't sold on the idea before, in fact I was violently opposed to it. I did not like Reigns/'Taker last year. I get that Undertaker wanted to go out on his back and he deserved to go out on his own terms. I actually like Roman Reigns even if I think the company has been booking him with staggering incompetence for years and ignoring more over talent in favour of him (Braun Strowman most especially). Still, Mark Calaway got to go out the way he wanted to and I was one of those in favour of us never seeing him on television again except for his inevitable Hall Of Fame induction and maybe as a shadowy figure beckoning from the top of the ramp the day Kane retires.

Then Monday's Raw happened and John Cena cut an in-ring promo on the Undertaker that was, to be frank, the return of the Cena I adore. He stood there in the ring, worked the crowd like a champ and demanded the Undertaker get over his own ego, get up from his defeat last year and get back in the damn ring on the grandest stage of them all.

Cena is a master of the promo and he felt more engaged here than he did at any point in his recent feud with Roman Reigns. I particularly loved the bit where he whips up the crowd by asking them who wanted to see him get his ass kicked at Wrestlemania.

You've got to love a man who get a crowd violently calling for his blood at his own insistence.

So, yes, I want to see this now even if only to see a better final match for the Dead Man. Also, to be frank, this was the match I was hoping would be booked for 'Taker's retirement and I know I'm not the only one.

And, finally, the biggie: should Cena win?

The Streak is long dead, this would likely actually be the end for Mark Calaway in the ring as he'll be fifty-three when the match comes round. There's no pressing business reason that Undertaker needs to win: he's either disappearing properly after this or continuing in this one match per year schedule (and, no disrespect to the man, that's probably wise). Cena, meanwhile, is still the face of the company and an ongoing prospect because even if he is continuing only as a part timer he's still there a hell of a lot more than Undertaker.

But I still think 'Taker should win. I think giving the Streak away the way they did was a mistake, I think losing to Reigns in his retirement match was never going to solve the problems the company is having with getting Reigns over.

And from what I've read about him and seen in interviews, Cena's an honourable guy with a lot of respect for his elders in his industry. Maybe this is all about giving Calaway the retirement match he deserves instead of the one that serves the best interests of the WWE. Call me a bluff old sentimentalist but maybe the Dead Man deserves one last win on the grandest stage of them all against the biggest name on the roster.

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