Industry experts had pegged The Undertaker versus Brock Lesnar as one of the main events at WrestleMania 32 on April 3, 2016 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
It made sense. The pair had been entered into a trilogy, beginning at WrestleMania 30, with Brock’s shocking win over Taker to end his undefeated streak.
They met again in August at SummerSlam, with “The Deadman” getting the win back via an apparent heel turn. That set up the grand finale, which was planned to be Taker’s big homecoming in Texas at WrestleMania 32.
But it won’t be happening. At Hell in a Cell, The Undertaker was defeated by Lesnar after “The Beast Incarnate” hit him with a low-blow and delivered the third F-5 of the match. Afterwards, Undertaker was given a standing ovation by the crowd. He was then attacked and ambushed by the entire Wyatt Family, thus ending his feud with Lesnar.
The reasons for abandoning the showdown at WrestleMania 32 were numerous. The creative was befuddled and the feud didn’t feel like it was strong enough to carry all the way to April. Throw in the fact that WWE Network subscriptions and Raw viewership are down already in the always low fall season, and it clearly made sense to hold Lesnar vs. Taker sooner rather than later.
It’s possible that WWE higher-ups were planning on having Undertaker wrestle Sting at WrestleMania 32 before Sting was injured in his WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match against Seth Rollins at Night of Champions. But now, even though Sting hasn’t completely closed the book on wrestling again, it’s unlikely that we’ll see the long awaited dream match take place next year.
So, who will Undertaker end up facing on WWE’s “Grandest Stage” next spring? It is supposedly John Cena.
According to Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com, WWE has tentative plans for The Undertaker and Cena to battle it out at WrestleMania 32. Wrestling Observer Newsletter editor Dave Meltzer seemed to back up the rumor on his message board as he was thrown a “red herring” on Saturday when he was told out of the blue by a source in WWE that there are different plans in store for Cena and “The Deadman.”
The two have actually wrestled several times in the past, but it was mostly in 2003 when both WWE Superstars were exclusive to SmackDown. The two future WWE Hall of Famers have never faced each other at WrestleMania and not one-on-one since the October 9, 2006 edition of Raw – the match ended via disqualification due to outside interference.
Here is video of that match. It still is their only one-on-one encounter during’s Cena run as the face of WWE.
When you eliminate the possibility of Sting, Brock Lesnar and the injured Seth Rollins being Undertaker’s opponent at WrestleMania 32, and consider the fact that it’s unlikely that he’ll face Triple H again, John Cena appears to be the only guy left who could wrestle “The Phenom.”
There’s a chance that Roman Reigns could end up being Undertaker’s opponent if WWE ends up turning Reigns heel in the next couple of months. But, if they don’t, it’s unlikely that they would put Reigns in another situation where he’ll get booed out of the stadium.
There’s a strong possibility that WrestleMania 32 will feature Undertaker’s retirement match. Usually, when a top wrestler is going to retire, he’ll lose his final match, and Undertaker, being the wrestling traditionalist that he is, may want to lose his final match. If John Cena is the man to end Undertaker’s career, a lot of WWE fans will have more disdain for the 15-time World Champion than they already do.