Some rather large pro wrestling news dropped on Wednesday afternoon. According to the walking corpse himself, The Undertaker is going to return to the WWE on Nov. 15 for an edition of SmackDown Live.
It is a rather odd place to return. Not only because it is SmackDown and not the company’s flagship Raw, but because it will be in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — the home of the best-looking wrestling blogger in the world, for what it is worth.
There is other context for The Deadman’s “decision” to go to SmackDown on that specific date.
While we are only a few words away from reckless speculation, it can merely be a way for the WWE to promote SmackDown’s 900th episode. You know, get the ratings, spruce things up a bit, and make the kids quiver in fear at the thought of a near 7-foot zombie visiting an arena after Halloween.
Under the assumption he’s back to do more than just promote a singular episode, and the WWE isn’t going to hold off on utilizing him solely for WrestleMania (though, this can be the start to the build to it), let’s look at some possible angles that may be worthy of his greatness.
Note: We are limiting this to SmackDown talent, as he’s returning to that show. There’s obviously a chance he won’t be a brand-exclusive wrestler.
Redoing The Bray Wyatt Angle Correctly
Remember when Bray was touting himself as the new face of fear, then lost to Taker at WrestleMania? Yeah, about that… Bray still calls himself the new face of fear despite never actually beating him.
Also of note, Undertaker’s brother Kane has recently been kicked about the ring by this new variation of The Wyatt Family that includes Randy Orton.
To help make things relatively right, the world’s most beloved decomposing corpse can return to help Kane. It can set up some sort of three-on-two match at the Royal Rumble, which would result in The Wyatt Family winning. That, in turn, can also lead to a Bray-Taker showdown at this year’s ‘Mania.
Basically, this can be the way to help steer Bray Wyatt back in the direction he should have been sent a few years ago, which is as this modern era’s version of non-human-like wrestlers in the vein of an Undertaker or Kane.
The John Cena Rumor Comes To Life
Super Cena is going to be trotting about the world of reality TV for a bit, but that doesn’t mean the company can’t start the long rumored Cena-Undertaker WrestleMania build that’s been whispered about for a few years now.
For those unaware, Vince McMahon has wanted to do John Cena vs. The Undertaker at a WrestleMania for several years. However, those plans never got off the ground for a variety of reasons. Whether that was due to injuries or needing Cena in other spots, Vince’s dream never came to fruition.
With Cena transitioning more into a part-time role (at least we think), and Taker being older than dirt, time is running out to pull off this “dream” match.
The good news here, at least for anti-Cena people, is that this would keep him out of any and all world title pictures.
Baron Corbin Gets The Rub Of A Lifetime
If the WWE is doing something with The Deadman in the short-term, as in not ‘Mania-related fun, someone like Baron Corbin can benefit greatly by working a story angle with the future Hall of Fame talent.
Corbin doesn’t even need to win. Simply line him up near Taker, let him breathe in the same ring as him, and if he can help put on even only a decent match with the legend, Corbin’s star will become brighter than two suns.
Other folks like Corbin can fall in this umbrella, but the only other viable option is someone like Braun Strowman or Finn Bálor, but they’re on the Monday Night Raw roster. Unless the company forcibly puts one of them on SmackDown, or Taker’s roster eligibility isn’t limited to one specific brand, people from the red team are out of the conversation.
For now that is, as after Nov. 15 we will have more clarity as to what in the heck is going on.
Returning To Fight AJ Styles For The Title
Listen, I love me some Undertaker as much as the next guy, but his in-ring work has to be downgraded a bit at this point. If — and, again, that’s a huge if — he is returning to work a match, it should be with someone who can help carry it.
Enter: “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles.
A few good things can come out of this. Mainly, as already noted, Styles can help carry the match. Moreover, the idea of The Undertaker returning to fight for the WWE World Championship should send chills down your spine.
Hell, it can be argued that the WWE could do something tremendous here. Give Taker one last run at the title, have him win it, then have him retire on the very next episode of SmackDown.
An Announced And Formal Swan song
Are we ever going to get to say goodbye to Taker in earnest? I ask because the other option — him simply just not showing up anymore — is no fun.
Maybe The Undertaker comes out on Nov. 15 as Mark Calaway (real name) to address his future in the business. He can ramble about his career a bit, say he is about to hang it up, then someone from the back says he needs to say goodbye as The Deadman in one more match.
It can be any of the people mentioned above — or anyone else for that matter — but it can be a soft introduction to the end of The Undertaker, which would presumably culminate at WrestleMania.
Does this sound too far-fetched? Maybe. But remember: Many of the potential guys The Undertaker would wrestle, from either brand, might be injured (Finn Bálor) or unavailable (Cena) right now.
This would help to buy time until whoever returns, but also feed us our Undertaker medicine before we go through withdrawals.