Did you watch this week’s Monday Night RAW? I watched RAW. In fact it seems as though a lot of people might have watched this week’s RAW. If you did then you saw that the Deadman, the Undertaker, doesn’t look like he’s quite done yet. In fact it looked as though he’s ANYTHING but done as he came into the ring and decimated both Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre in the same old fashion he’s done to so many, brutal and to the point. Sure he didn’t perform a Tombstone pile driver or go Old School on the top rope, but there was a chokeslam and a big boot to the face before he made the statement that he was still here and he was still ready to dish out the pain. Thankfully he left an inert Roman Reigns alone as it seems almost like he came out to help the Big Dog, and perhaps get a bit of retribution for something that none of us can understand. But how much longer does the Undertake have before he has to hang it up?
I won’t go all the way back into his history since that spans a couple of decades and an untold number of matches that begin before the WWE, which when he came in was still the WWF. But rest assured, the Undertaker has been a massive force in the wrestling world and he’s been one of the few guys that can make or break a person’s career when it comes to the squared circle. When you think about it he’s had some of the biggest and meanest on screen feuds with some of the most influential people in the business. As John Nizinski of The Bleacher Report points out, he’s rumbled with the likes of Edge, Hulk Hogan, the Rock, Ric Flair, Kane, and numerous other wrestlers both young and old that have stepped into the ring with him. Some of his matches haven’t been all that great for various reasons, such as the most recent with Bill Goldberg, but others have been nothing short of epic, as was the case when he faced Triple H in what was dubbed as the End of an Era match. And of course we can’t forget about his feud with Shawn Michaels as it set the tone for a lot of other matches that have come since.
But is he ever going to stop? A lot of fans might give you a wild-eyed look for daring to suggest such a thing, but it’s been true that in recent years the Deadman does seem to be slowing down a bit, and it’s not too surprising to see since at this point he’s in his 50s and is likely wearing out. When you take into account what these wrestlers go through from time to time in the ring and how long it can take for some of their real injuries to heal, it’s reasonable to assume that one day the Undertaker will have to put up the gloves for real. A lot of people thought that this was the case when Roman Reigns came along and beat him, claiming ownership to his ‘yard’ as he’d put it a while back, but obviously that wasn’t the end of the Undertaker, as he’s come back again and again, though in a much more limited capacity than he did in the past. If anyone remembers in the 90s he was an absolute terror to behold as his Ministry of Darkness was both edgy and fringe even for the Attitude Era since he gathered to his side some of the most vicious and intimidating-looking wrestlers he could find. Of course when the 2000s came around he switched it up and became the big, badass biker that claimed ownership of the ring, or his ‘yard’ as he put it, and would gladly stomp anyone that disrespected it.
This claim worked on a lot of people since by that time the Undertaker had been there long enough to remind the young upstarts that were still making their way up the ranks that he’d been in the game for a while longer than they had, and he’d earned his stripes. As for the older generation, they still knew to fear the Deadman, but they too had earned the right to their own acts of bravado. But no matter who a person was, the Undertaker was, and still is, to be respected in the ring since he’s a big man, he’s undeniably tough, and there’s always a chokeslam left in the tank for anyone that happens to think that they’re tougher than he is. As to why he stepped in when Shane and Drew were beating on Roman though, it’s still kind of a mystery since it could be that he wants to team with Roman, or it could be that he was clearing the ring to remind Roman that the yard wasn’t always his. But unfortunately I kind of agree with Lennard Surrao from Sports Skeeda, it’s likely more about bumping up the ratings. As long a Vince can make use of him, especially if the viewers are looking elsewhere for entertainment, the Undertaker will keep coming back.