Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I Can't (Under)Take(r) Another Rematch

Triple H vs. Undertaker Wrestlemania XXVII
By Kevin Hunsperger

I don't know why it took so long for this to dawn on me, but it was 20 years ago that the Undertaker picked up his first Wrestlemania victory.  He pinned the now legendary "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka.  Twenty years.  Wow, that is a long time.  Through the years, Taker has had a variety of Wrestlemania opponents. Guys who we knew weren't going to end the streak (Mark Henry, Kane, and Edge) to potential threats (Shawn Michaels, Randy Orton, and Triple H).   I know it's only been 2 days, but some folks are already talking about a rematch between Undertaker and Hunter at Wrestlemania 28.  THIS CAN NOT HAPPEN. Please, allow me to explain.

Here comes the dead man.
First, I'm not hating on anyone.  I give the Undertaker huge props for being in the WWE for as long as he has and for near the top of the card for nearly two decades.  Men like him are far and few between.  At one time I thought I wanted the streak to come to an end, but I don't think the streak should ever end.  But I do think the WWE needs to develop someone who poses a credible threat.  Someone who has not already faced the Dead Man at two other Wrestlemanias.

Originally, I thought they'd go with John Cena vs. the Undertaker at 28, with Taker going over and retiring at 20 and 0.  But since it appears we're getting Cena and the Rock instead, we need a different opponent for Undertaker.  Trips and Cena right now are the only two guys on either show who pose a threat to the streak.  The WWE has less than a year now to change that.  And they can do it.  They need to do it.  Both Hunter and Taker are nearing the end of their in-ring careers or so it would seem.  Even if the new challenger to the streak comes up short, if he's promoted properly and puts on a stellar match with the Undertaker he'll skyrocket to the next level.

Here are some guys who the E should focus on for that task.  They're in no particular order.

Punk flyin' high
CM Punk: He's the best heel in the company right now.  I wasn't a big fan of his before he turned and formed the Straight Edge Society.  His character has really grown on me.  He's borderline crazy and can really get heat for it.

Punk also speaks the truth, especially during his feud with Jeff Hardy.  I still have trouble understanding why he got booed for it.  I'm not crazy about the way they've booked him with the Nexus. My guess is the group is over now, and Punk is back on his own.  I really would have liked for him to have beaten Orton Sunday.  That's two straight Manias that he's lost.  But with the proper buildup, I think he could be considered a threat to the Undertaker in less than a year.

Cody's version of the perfect plex.
Cody Rhodes: This one is a LONG shot, but I have really taken a liking to Cody Rhodes.  Not the "Dashing" verison or even the Legacy version of him.  This recent "my face is ruined" Cody I'm enjoying.  I like the way the WWE worked his program with Rey Mysterio.  Sunday he showed me that he can go.  I really hope they continue to give him some high profile matches. 

While he may not be in line for the World title anytime soon, I could see him up for the U.S. or Intercontinental titles in the coming months.  But even without a title, I think they could turn Cody into a more credible threat and make him one of the top heels SmackDown! and someone who could put an end to the streak.  It would be similar to the way they built Randy Orton up against Taker back in 2005.

Make him a monster again
Sheamus: Now that they seem to have stopped this silly depush of the "King of the Ring", it's time to build him back up to that monster heel status.  Sheamus has a lot of potential, but I felt like his rise to the top came way to quick.  He wasn't ready for a run as WWE champion, and the WWE didn't book him properly as champion.  That's all behind him now, and he needs a strong run as U.S. Champion.  Not sure where they're headed with him against Sin Cara, but I hope Sheamus (or Cara for that matter) doesn't get lost in the shuffle.  Right now, there's no big heel in the company who could dominate the Undertaker.  I would have to say Sheamus is one of the few who could go toe to toe with the dead man and pose a threat.

Yep, he's awesome...
Remember, these are just a few of the guys who I feel like COULD threaten the streak, not end it.  There are others I didn't mention.  With proper buildup and booking, Wade Barrett, John Morrison, and Dolph Ziggler could be threats.  Although I'd rather see JoMo and Dolph back in the hunt for the World or WWE championships. I purposely did not pick the Miz.  I like the fact that he's the WWE champion, and I hope the WWE builds him more in that role than as someone who is a threat to the streak.  Besides, he's now 2 and 0 and may be headed for a streak of his own.  What will Wrestlemania 45 look like? 

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