WWE 24: WrestleMania Orlando premiered this week on WWE Network. The documentary series chronicled the WrestleMania 33 main event featuring The Undertaker, in possibly his last bout, and Roman Reigns, in quite possible his most important match ever. To one performer, the match may have been a career-ending. To the other, it could be career-defining.
Prior to WrestleMania 33, The Undertaker sounded withered and doubtful. Moreover, 'The Deadman' worried about overstaying his welcome with the fans and the next generation of talent.
"Running things through my mind," The Undertaker said. "They say fighters can grow old in one fight, so hopefully this isn't that fight. Dealing with the numerous injuries that I work around, I'm not prepared physically as well as I could. That's kind of the big issue, just making sure there's always enough gas in the tank. One of my biggest fears is kind of becoming a parody of myself. They happen to buy a ticket to see Undertaker wrestle, they should get the best Undertaker I can give them. You always wonder when you walk into the dressing room, 'oh, here comes the old guy again.' Yeah, just an old guy who's not afraid to put a size 15 [shoe] up your ass if you get out of line."
While 'The Phenom' was concerned with whether he could still perform to his own high standard, Reigns seemed to be looking forward to performing in front of the WWE Universe.
"This is the part where it's weird. Pinch me. It doesn't feel real. Am I still sleeping? We're about to go out in front of over 70,000 people and I'm going to be able to share the ring with The Undertaker. I'm going to live with this for the rest of my life." Reigns said, "you don't get many moments if ever in your life, so this is the third gigantic moment for me, but this is going to be the biggest."
Going into the match, Reigns did not know how he would feel afterward.
"It's going to be so emotional." Reigns explained, "if I win it might feel like a loss. Do you know what I mean, just because of who I'm in there with? Just the respect that I have and everybody that's in this doing it around the world. They all have respect for The Undertaker."
In Reigns' view, to have a pro wrestling career that rivals The Undertaker's storied run, he would have to give maximum effort over the long term.
"For the past 25 years, regardless of it was 20 people watching or you were on the biggest stage of them all, he had to be The Undertaker. In order to be as successful as him, you have to take every single day as it's WrestleMania and that's the hardest part."
Reigns admitted that he did not know how to prepare for a WrestleMania main event versus The Undertaker and possibly retiring 'The Last Outlaw'.
"This whole situation," Reigns said, "there's just no way to prepare for it. This is the top of the mountain as far as sports entertainment. He is that guy."
After defeating The Undertaker, Reigns seemed to take his victory as a passing of the torch.
"That's one of those moments where it's like, 'that's it.' It's like heartbreaking. It was his yard, but it's mine now and I swear to God that I'm going to look after it."
After the match and leaving his iconic regalia in the ring, The Undertaker appeared happy to call it career.
"It's kind of surreal, I guess, right now. 30-plus years of my life, but right now I'm pretty content riding off into the sunset. We'll see what tomorrow brings."
Watch this or any instalment of WWE 24 by subscribing to WWE Network here. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit WWE Network's WWE 24 with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: WWE Network