JC’s Top Rope Report: Who Should Fight The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 32?
We are officially in the month of February, which means we are actively on the Road to Wrestlemania. Some of the card that has been rumored seems to be coming into place. But one of the top matches that has yet to take shape is The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania match. By this time, we usually have some idea as to who “The Deadman” is facing at Mania. Most people believe John Cena was going to be the guy this year. But his injury is more than likely keeping him out of Wrestlemania this year. (I say more than likely because you never know with Cena. That man recovers from injuries faster than most expect.)
So who does that leave for The Undertaker? There was a rumor last week that it was going to be Braun Strowman. But that would have been a huge trainwreck. Strowman is nowhere near ready for that big of a match. He’s way too green in the ring and can barely work. He gets maybe 2-3 minutes to work a match on TV. He needs more experience before he could even be considered for a match like that.
There are a handful of better options out there for The Undertaker to fight. Hell, I’d pick almost anyone on the main roster over Braun Strowman at this point. But I’m here to give you a list of the Top 5 people available to fight Taker at Wrestlemania.
5. Chris Jericho
It’s a match that hasn’t been done on the big stage before. They’ve wrestled one-on-one on Smackdown during Jericho’s run on that show. They have also been a part of multi-man matches for the World Title. Jericho isn’t the big name he was even three years ago. That’s mostly because his last few comebacks have been awful. But if Jericho were to get out of crappy “cool dad” mode and go into heel Jericho mode when he won the World Title then you could get a good program out of these two. Jericho looked a little slow last week in his match on RAW with AJ Styles, but Taker obviously wouldn’t work the quick style that AJ does. The problem with this match though? It really doesn’t do anything for either competitor and they could be used in better matches/programs against others.
4. AJ Styles
There’s an inherent risk here trying to do this match. The first is that Styles probably works too quick for Taker to keep up with him at this point in his career. The second is that the WWE is obviously trying to get AJ over as a face and this would put a wrench in those plans. The only way this works is if AJ does a promo saying he wants to prove he’s a top guy and calls out the biggest dog in the yard for a match on his stage. Even then it is still a risk, and you would have to put AJ over in the end. Another reason this match probably wouldn’t happen. I’d be interested to see it because it would be the WWE putting a lot of faith in AJ Styles this early in his career. But it is also why I think it won’t happen.
3. The Rock
Similar to the Chris Jericho situation, it is a match that really wasn’t done on a big stage. They had one PPV match during the Attitude Era stage that was the main event of a show, and they also fought at the DEADLY GAMES Tournament at Survivor Series. But they never really had a feud to speak of. If you want a big name marquee match-up for Wrestlemania this could be it. But The Rock’s movie schedule somewhat limits this match. And also, who plays the heel here? Do you really think Undertaker is going to have comebacks for The Rock’s insults? It is a match that would draw attention to the show, but again, there is really nothing beneficial for the long term success of the WWE with this match.
2. Kevin Owens
If I had wrote this before RAW and reading the Smackdown spoilers, Kevin Owens would have been #1 on this list. There’s a lot of money to be made in Kevin Owens as one of the top heels in the WWE. The guy can wrestle and promo. He may not have the look certain people like (*cough* Kevin Dunn *cough*) but he pretty much has all the tools to be a top guy. He gets reactions constantly when he comes out. And what better way to build up Owens and show he is the future of the WWE then to have him in a match with The Undertaker at Wrestlemania? It would have been a great match for both Owens and Taker and one that adds intrigue to the Mania card. But Owens has gone through a string of losses lately. That is not something the WWE would do if they were building Owens up to face Taker at Mania. This is a lost opportunity on the WWE’s part.
1. Roman Reigns
Perhaps the most unlikely of opponents on this list is my number one choice. So let me give you the reasoning behind it. No matter who Reigns fights at Wrestlemania, he is going to get booed. Hell he could even get booed if he fought the resurrected ghost of Chris Benoit. So the WWE is in a tough spot with Reigns. In most fans’ eyes he is clearly the third guy they want to see win at Fastlane behind Dean Ambrose and Brock Lesnar. We’ve all wanted Reigns to start showing more heel tendencies in his behavior, or possibly even turn heel all together. Reigns could lose at Fastlane, and get so fed up with the fans and everyone doubting him, that he wants to challenge the top dog in the yard at Wrestlemania in the Undertaker. Then for the next month, just have Reigns go on a destructive path of taking out anyone in his sight. Reigns/Taker is a very intriguing match at Wrestlemania, at least to me. And I think it could be the best option the WWE has to offer.
Of course, as most of my Wrestlemania columns tend to go, I fully expect someone to either get hurt or for the WWE to officially announce Taker/Strowman after I hit post.
Until Next Time,
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