Whilst I’m sure many people were looking forward to the newly awaited call ups on the RAW after Wrestlemania, and I was too! I was also interested to see where things could potentially go with John Cena and The Undertaker after their clash at The Show of Shows.
Nowhere apparently. There was no aftermath whatsoever. We got nothing. We had Michael Cole announce on Monday Night RAW “The Undertaker has returned!” and that was it. Really? I expected Cena to come out, swallow his pride, admit defeat and congratulate The Undertaker on his 24th victory at WrestleMania. Either that or lay into The Deadman and his mind games and use poor excuses that he wasn’t prepared and was caught off guard. They’ve even announced Undertaker will be facing Rusev in a casket match at Greatest Royal Rumble, so it seems they’ve fully moved on from their match.
None of it really adds up. From John Cena’s build up on RAW to the actual pay-per-view match, it all felt a rushed mess. I genuinely believed The Undertaker would return as the American Bad Ass, as did many others but it wasn’t to be. Despite Kid Rock being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and Triple H and Stephanie’s bike themed entrance, no dice.
I don’t dislike The Phenom, not one bit! He’s one of my all time favourites. However, I do feel The Phenom persona has lost its edge and excitement in recent years, partly due to The Streak being beaten and The Undertaker’s decline in general. I just felt it would have made more sense to bring out somebody who was going to kick John Cena’s ass after weeks of being goaded and taunted. Given the length of their match at WrestleMania 34, the persona would have fit the bill nicely. A man who was sick and tired of Cena calling him out and embarrassing him. He’d make Cena pay, and whilst he did do that, it just didn’t feel great seeing it in the attire we’ve seen in recent years, for me personally.
As much as I enjoyed Cena sticking true to his word and sitting in the crowd as a fan, prior to being alerted that The Undertaker was in the building. This feud was booked extremely oddly with The Undertaker not even showing up until WrestleMania 34. A very bold move from WWE. It would have made sense to make their match official, it would have increased their ticket prices, which is no secret, weren’t sold out. The Undertaker was definitely coming, there was no doubt about that. I just didn’t understand why they were keeping him off their flagship show.
The only reason I felt they would keep The Undertaker off screen prior to WrestleMania would be to keep his long awaited return as the American Bad Ass under wraps until the night of the Pay-per-view. That would have made more sense. The Undertaker’s career status was in the dark as “retirement” was never confirmed since his defeat to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33. If the plan was to return as The Phenom all along, I think they should have built it up through RAW or even on SmackDown LIVE with Undertaker returning and confronting John. We saw him do that in the feud with Roman Reigns last year and those segments were great to watch.
The Undertaker made very quick work of Cena at WrestleMania, laying waste to him in just under three minutes. I imagine his entrance was longer than the match itself. ‘Taker looked better, fitter, stronger and healthier than he had done in previous years. The match, nostalgia fueled and as short lived as it was, was enjoyed and applauded by fans as the Dead Man steam rolled over Big Match John to pick up his 24th victory at WrestleMania, bringing his all-time record to 24-2. I’m not sure what I was expecting from this match but I definitely wasn’t expecting The Undertaker to return and simply squash John Cena on The Grandest Stage Of Them All.
They’ve dropped the ball on this match massively I think and it should have happened so much earlier and been handled a lot differently, even in 2018. 5 years ago they could have had The Streak vs The Franchise. At WrestleMania 34 they didn’t have either. I don’t see how this can be the end of their feud. It’s bizarre. I expect another match to happen between them, whether it’s later this year or at WrestleMania 35. Cena should issue a challenge The Undertaker once more in what should, and must be the Deadman’s Final Curtain Call.