Get ready for the ball to drop, make a New Year's resolution and guess The Undertaker's WrestleMania opponent.
It's that time of year again.
Some fans still doubt he will wrestle again. Some feel he shouldn't because of the way he exited WrestleMania after losing to Roman Reigns. Some feel he shouldn't because they think he doesn't look good in the ring anymore.
He is going to wrestle again.
Yes, his exit would have been appropriate if that was it, and maybe he thought it was it at the time, but it's pro wrestling and things change when it comes to retirement. See Terry Funk.
A 52-year-old Undertaker is still a bigger draw than most anyone half his age.
In recent months, I continue to think Braun Strowman could be the opponent for this year. If Strowman isn't Champion or in the title match at WrestleMania, then he needs an equally as important match. Working against Undertaker is the only realistic equivalent.
The downside to this is Strowman is really catching on as the monster people like to cheer to see how much destruction he can cause. Causing destruction of the most respected legend will kill this babyface momentum he's organically gained.
Simultaneously in the rumor mill is the question of who John Cena will work with on the big show?
For several years prior to this past year, Cena versus Undertaker was something I preached about on radio or on Chair Shot Reality as needing to see before it was too late. A huge money match and you don't leave money on the table.
The two have had very little interactions in their careers when you consider the length of their careers and always being top guys.
Another plus to this is Cena could work a match with Undertaker. that might be less physically taxing on The Deadman compared to Strowman slamming him around.
A showdown with Strowman still appeals to me a lot. Mainly because Undertaker has a made a career out of having to work with big guys and get the most out of them. More often than not, the big guys needed a lot of guidance from Undertaker. Strowman might be the most athletic big man Undertaker would ever work with and that's intriguing.
While I still appreciate seeing The Undertaker, the year to year guessing game of if he's done or not can't keep going on. Not because he doesn't deserve to make his own call, but because it would be bad business. As I said earlier, don't leave money on the table.
Promoting and teasing a match to be the last ride for The Phenom is selling point. Just as it was for Flair and just as it was for Shawn. You knew it was coming.
If the last match was with Braun, what an honor and rub for a guy who seems to be destined for great things.
If the last match was with Cena, bill the match as the loser must retire.
The Undertaker versus John Cena match with loser must retire would provide a lot of speculation. While betting odds would probably go with Undertaker being the one to lose, there would be a fair argument for putting a few chips down on Cena losing.
With his growing portfolio of projects outside the ring and he's turning 41 this spring — it could be teased in the build that would be thrilling to watch unfold between two future Hall of Famers.
I'm looking forward to being in the Manhattan Center for RAW25 in mid-January. I feel confident I'll see Undertaker. He was the main event in that building 25 years ago for the first RAW so it would be appropriate. I'm also confident that will be where we'll start to get a true understanding of what his WrestleMania plans will be.