Archangel’s Message: The Undertaker’s Final Run
I have arrived, PWMania visitors. It is I, Archangel, whom the wrestling gods have sent… to save you. Or… at least, to offer wrestling columns for your enjoyment. This column is my debut on PWMania; big thanks to Andy for allowing me on board. I hope you all enjoy my thoughts, comments, and opinions. Feel free to comment on my work and even send /hate mail to me at firstname.lastname@example.org! Now, without further ado…
OH! One more thing to add before I begin: I am certainly aware of Undertaker’s buried alive match against Kane (which will occur at Bragging Rights). I wrote this column before the match was announced. This is my baby, and I think fondly about it. I know you will too… so enjoy!
How many twists and turns until the Undertaker-Kane feud will eternally rest in peace? WWE’s longest-running feud has been the main focus of Smackdown’s programming over the past few months, main eventing television shows and playing a role in pay per view upper cards. We’ve seen the return of the brothers of destructions’ father, Paul Bearer, who reintroduced Undertaker’s urn and its purpose to the PG generation. With that, we’ve seen Paul Bearer betray his elder son in favor of Kane by using the urn against Taker.
So what’s next for this feud? We all get the sense that Taker’s days are numbered in the company. He’s old, the gimmick’s old, and perhaps the senses it is time for a young gun to take Undertaker’s spot on the roster. We don’t want dinosaurs to take any spots that could belong to the young guns in the business, now do we *ahem*Bret Hart?
Many are expecting a buried alive match at Survivor Series to end the feud. Undertaker’s career with WWE as we know it began at a mere 20 years ago, when he debuted as part of Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Team. Indeed, a career having come full circle would make sense.
On the other hand, there are others predicting a grand exit at Wrestlemania 27 for the dead man. Giving John Cena the honor of facing Taker for his last match seems to be popular within the company, however I’d hope that John Cena has made his full-fledged heel turn by then. Plus, I’d much rather see a monster-heel Cena vs. Stone Cold Steve-Randy Orton with the WWE Championship and all the marbles on the line. Imagine all the CeNation kids’ enthusiasm as Orton RKO’s Cena at the conclusion of their superstar match!
Now, what I propose is match that will truly and officially bring the Undertaker’s career full circle, while also appeasing to Undertaker’s grand exit at Wrestlemania: a climactic Buried Alive Match at Wrestlemania 27 between The Undertaker and Kane.
Why not put it all on the line for Taker? His career-long feud, reputation, and undefeated streak would all be at stake at on the grandest stage of them all. If this match doesn’t make sense, I’m not sure what does. Hell, if Kane isn’t booked to face Taker at ‘Mania, WWE might as well bring Gillberg back in for a squash job to preserve the undefeated streak.
But a match with Smackdown’s top heel, albeit his brother, makes everything more interesting. Kane is on a bad streak the likes of which we haven’t seen since 2003 (when his mask was initially removed). His championship reign has been the most prolific of his career, as wins over Rey Mysterio and the Undertaker have made his dominance believable. Not only should WWE want this match for Wrestlemania—WWE needs this match, and I’ll tell you why…
There are a number of present and potential big heels on the Raw roster, but Smackdown must rely on Kane right now. Kane is at the point in his career where he could either really make a name for himself as a wrestler or fall back into oblivion due to poor booking. He’s clearly past his physical peak; no longer does Kane back flip over the ropes to exit the ring or hit spots off the top rope as he did earlier in the decade. Kane is now a big, powerful, evil, grounded monster that relies on the big power move to make his match interesting. He needs to be booked win now, or else he will never capitalize on his newfound momentum in the upper card. In addition, Kane must be made out to be a monster in the months leading up to the big showdown.
In contrast to Kane, it must be noted that Undertaker’s presence on Smackdown only weakens the show. His gimmick is old, and his wrestling shows his age. Younger talent needs to be showcased on this program, so why not make the fans wish and wonder about a final dream match between Taker and Kane that will provide closure for Undertaker’s streak (which would be inevitable) while elevating said younger talent? HE DOES NOT NEED TO BE ON AIR UNTIL WRESTLEMANIA FOR HIS LAST MATCH TO BE EFFECTIVE. This is why I believe that Undertaker must disappear from programming again for the aura of his Wrestlemania match to work.
With that said, we must now hypothesize just how Undertaker’s waning wrestling moments will play out. These moments are crucial since wrestling fans tend to reminisce on the highlights, debuts, and finales of wrestlers. Therefore, the grand finale of the Undertaker, WWE’s longest tenured wrestling employee, must be memorable. This is how I urge WWE to execute it:
Undertaker challenges Kane to an Inferno Match at Bragging Rights for the World Championship, rubbing his younger brother’s childhood misfortunes right in his face. Kane and Bearer accept, but Taker beats Kane by burning Kane’s face on the ropes.
Undertaker def. Kane to capture the World Championship for the last time
Now, Kane has a new mask, much like The now infuriated Kane and Paul Bearer will challenge Undertaker to a Casket Match at Survivor Series. Kane can still talk this time though, and vows to finally end the dead man’s career and avenge his burnt-again face (get it?); Kane promises to make Undertaker rest in peace.
WWE Championship Casket Match
Kane w/Paul Bearer vs. Undertaker (c)
Kane must vow to end Undertaker’s career where it started for the phenom: Survivor Series. With Paul Bearer in Kane’s corner, it should come as no surprise that Kane will defeat Undertaker here. Kane tombstones Undertaker for the umpteenth time and rolls him into the casket for the victory as Paul Bearer laughs and strokes Undertaker’s urn from ringside.
This will be the beginning of flirting with Undertaker’s long-predicted retirement. At this point, the lights will dim as druids walk out with their torches to the humming . Ringside announcers wonder if this is the end of the Undertaker and come to the conclusion that Kane has made good on his word. The druids walk Undertaker’s casket out.
Kane def. Undertaker; Kane wins title, and Undertaker is carried away
Having finally put the Undertaker to rest (so they think…), Kane and Paul Bearer celebrate next week on Smackdown. As I mentioned before, now is the time when Kane must be booked to win decisively in order to continue building his powerhouse credibility. Perhaps a feud with Big Show (who has a steady fan following at the moment, and is just coming off leading a Smackdown Bragging Rights team) at TLC in a Tables Match for the WWE Championship would make sense. This would put Kane over in a clash of the titans without exploiting his immobility. Also, tables matches between super heavyweights always provide.
Kane def. Big Show in World Heavyweight Championship Tables Match
Moving forward, Kane must drop the World Championship at the Royal Rumble for this storyline to work. Since Kane will obviously be left out of the Royal Rumble since he’s the champ, WWE must provide Kane the right opponent to drop the belt to. Maybe a strong #1 contender such as Edge would be just the ticket. Also, if Edge is still quarreling with The Miz at this point, Miz could cash in his Money in the Bank and take advantage of a battered Edge to win his first major title. Either way, Kane must become fed up with Paul Bearer after this loss and publicly dispose of him as his manager following this major loss. Paul Bearer must hint that Kane is not as powerful without him, and that the Undertaker was never laid to rest (buried)…
Edge def. Kane for World Championship; The Miz cashes MITB in & def. Edge
This leads to when things really get interesting. Between and Elimination Chamber, the bell toll and darkness will begin to occur again. This will drive Kane insane, but he will refuse to believe that the Undertaker will actually return. Remember the importance of Undertaker’s urn, because Kane may have beaten Undertaker, but he failed to destroy Undertaker’s lifeblood. This hints at Undertaker’s emergence from the casket.
Meanwhile, Kane imposes his rematch clause and is included in the Elimination Chamber match at that pay per view. His opponents will be The Miz (c), Edge, Big Show, Jack Swagger, and Rey Mysterio. During the match at Elimination Chamber, the bell tolls and darkness falls to interrupt the match. Out come the druids with the casket, and Paul Bearer walks out with… gasp! The urn. Bearer, upset with Kane for betraying him, summons the Undertaker one last time, who sits up to open the casket. Kane, who is distracted at the time, is either knocked out or choke slammed by Big Show, and is subsequently eliminated from his championship rematch.
Kane loses in the Elimination Chamber; Undertaker is back!
Bearer urges Undertaker to go for it all, to end Kane’s existence with a Buried Alive Match at Wrestlemania. In the month leading up to Wrestlemania, Bearer showcases the Undertaker’s regained dominance by summoning him to defeat any wrestler he faces. Kane, meanwhile, plots a way to defeat his brother, once and for all. In addition, Undertaker brings back his Ministry of Darkness for one last run.
So, with Viscera, Mideon, and Paul Bearer (W/URN, DO NOT FORGET) at his side during his last month in the WWE, Undertaker has all the momentum on his side to maintain his undefeated streak. Everything seems so sweet as Paul Bearer accompanies Undertaker at ringside at Wrestlemania once more…
After a brutal match between the brothers of destruction, Undertaker continues to sit up, and Kane decides to go after Bearer and Undertaker’s urn in desperation. Kane chases Bearer around the ring until Mideon and Viscera arrive for damage control. Psych! Mideon and Viscera were employed by Kane to put a swerve on Taker and Bearer, and they corner Bearer into giving Kane the urn. Kane takes the urn, as Mideon and Viscera force Bearer to watch on, and tosses it into the grave.
This is the turning point, and Taker appears down and out after a tombstone pile driver from Kane. But Taker sits up one more time, refusing to give up. Kane hits Undertaker with a Last Ride power bomb into the grave, and he begins to bury Undertaker as Mideon and Viscera continue to force Bearer to watch. Kane fills the hole in with dirt, and he defeats Undertaker, ending his streak, and presumably his career. Kane celebrates with Mideon and Viscera in and does his flame thing on the ring posts as Bearer cries over his buried son.
Suddenly, a hand reaches out of the dirt—Taker’s hand! Bearer hops up in delight, and Taker climbs out of the grave with his urn, hands it to Bearer, and heads to the ring. Taker begins performing his finishers on each of them, and after he beats them all down, kneels to Bearer one last time in the ring. This is when the bell tolls, and the druids come out with Taker’s casket, and Undertaker takes the mic and announces that since his streak is over, he must finally rest in peace. Bearer watches as Undertaker lies down in the casket, and the druids shut it. They carry Undertaker to the hole, which the druids have undug again during the madness, and lower Undertaker into it. They cover the casket as Paul Bearer creepily strokes the urn, and they reveal a tombstone with Undertaker’s name on it, his birth date ( debut), death date (WWE retirement), and an inscription reading, “Here lays the Dead Man, The Phenom, The American Badass, The Undertaker. Rest In Peace.”
It’s just a thought.