Whether you subscribe to absolute faith, are a complete non-believer, or get lost somewhere in between, everybody can agree on one thing: everything must die. All that we know, eventually, will expire. The old expression of “nothing lasts forever” is entirely true. Even the planet as a whole will someday cease to exist. This is simply the natural or spiritual (depending on your side) order of things.
Among other things in our personal lives that must come to an end, our career will someday be over. We may quit or move on to something new or even get fired but the comfortable and – for most people – ideal way to end ones career is by way of retirement. That time when regular and functioning citizens slither towards the distinction of “old folks” and are rendered useless by society.
In November 1990 at a professional wrestling event known as “Survivor Series,” twenty-five-year-old Mark Calaway would make his WWE debut under his given ring name: The Undertaker; a gimmick that truly could have failed but thanks to Calaway and his constant evolution of the character, has stood the test of time.
Twenty-five years later and Calaway is still employed by WWE while working a very limited schedule and enjoying a semi-retirement from the industry. However, The Undertaker character seems to be on or approaching its last mile in WWE and will soon be laid to rest following an illustrious career.
Obviously, the only way fitting way to go out would be with one last match which would surely take place at WrestleMania. However, who would be a fitting opponent for The Undertaker in his final match? That’s the question we are here to answer in this piece as we explore some opponent options for the legendary Superstar.
These are the top 15 possible retirement matches for The Undertaker:
Yes, it has been done before; numerous times over the years. However, sometimes its best to divert back to a place of familiarity. Such would be the case with one last battle between on-screen brothers The Undertaker and Kane.
Both of these men have devoted two decades worth of loyal service to WWE and one must believe that Kane is also nearing the end of his career. Think about “The Brothers of Destruction” going out and tearing each other apart in a double retirement match.
A fitting end indeed to story that began a long time ago.
14. Dolph Ziggler
All right, let’s not all freak out on this next entry as Dolph Ziggler could potentially prove an admirable opponent for The Undertaker. The biggest challenge facing Ziggler right now is that he has become stuck in character quicksand.
Dolph Ziggler needs a change in direction and soon. And who better to help a Superstar rise above new heights in WWE? The one man who has been the one constant in WWE for the past quarter century. And hey, different is better.
The Undertaker vs. Dolph Ziggler would certainly be different; an unexpected and fresh adversary for The Phenom.
13. Dean Ambrose
We get the whole on-screen friendship that seems unbreakable concept between Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns but how much longer can that last? Ambrose eventually turning on Reigns would place him in a better position and newfound heel role.
Building Dean Ambrose as a strong heel over the months to come could finally allow Ambrose to gain some proper recognition much like Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. This could be a way for Ambrose to finally break through in WWE.
Turn Dean Ambrose and then turn him lose on The Undertaker.
12. Finn Balor
Finn Balor is a well-known and beloved name among the hardcore fans of WWE/NXT. However, to the casual fan who doesn’t bother to watch the perceived WWE minor league, the name Finn Balor remains foreign and unknown.
The current NXT Champion has already reached his mid-thirties and has yet to see any main roster action. The time to bring up Finn Balor is sooner rather than later and what better way of introducing a phenomenal Superstar like Balor? Place him in the ring across from The Undertaker.
Finn Balor is an in-ring technician who could even make an ailing Undertaker look as though he has never skipped a beat.
There is definitely still hope for Sheamus. “The Celtic Warrior” could very-well be a future WWE World Heavyweight Champion should his Money in the Bank cash-in – whenever that may be – prove successful.
Despite his fluttering up and down the card, Sheamus remains a big, tough, forceful, fighting Irishman who can match any opponent in WWE in terms of pure brawling; a style much enjoyed by The Undertaker.
The Undertaker vs. Sheamus would certainly not look like a scientific wrestling match, as it would be presented more as a fight.
10. Roman Reigns
It would appear as though WWE refuses to give up on Roman Reigns. Which is actually strangely refreshing considering their track record with pushing younger Superstars in recent years. While Reigns is not the most over guy with the fans, he continues to grow.
There is definitely a missing element to Roman Reigns as a manager/mouthpiece would clearly enhance the character moving forward. This could make for some new and interesting situations for Reigns and make him seem less one dimensional.
The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns could prove to be very beneficial for the career of Reigns.
9. Bray Wyatt
It is fairly obvious now that The Undertaker will be seeing Bray Wyatt at this year’s Survivor Series event in some capacity. Wyatt is a great opponent for The Undertaker as he stands out as the only true psychological threat to the Master.
The Undertaker is not going to retire at Survivor Series; such a match is reserved for the grand stage of WrestleMania. And while Bray Wyatt and The Undertaker have already done the dance at WrestleMania, there is no reason they can’t meet again.
Prolong this current storyline – provide it with some old school feel – and have it play out with one final showdown at WrestleMania.
8. Randy Orton
When Randy Orton returns to in-ring action he is going to need something new storyline-wise. Orton already has a history with The Undertaker; a history that began in the early years of Orton’s career when he was more brash than ever.
Igniting old feuds has always been a go-to formula in WWE and there is no reason why Randy Orton can’t return looking to pick a fight with The Undertaker. Orton has been stuck in some sort of longstanding rut and could really use a change.
Randy Orton could attempt to exercise the demons of his past by finally getting even with The Undertaker.
7. Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho is such a great heel and in-ring performer that he could make The Undertaker’s last ride truly memorable. Jericho is a natural on the mic and in the ring and in order for him to take on The Undertaker, that old villainous side of Jericho would have to shine through.
The Undertaker and Chris Jericho have crossed paths in the past but never on a stage like WrestleMania where both men could easily put on a classic encounter. Jericho, being the consummate performer that he is, would find a way to make anything work.
This is the kind of match that would place two future Hall of Fame inductees against each other in a contrasting battle.
The Undertaker vs. Sting at WrestleMania has been floating around the rumor mills for a number of years. Prior to Sting actually arriving in WWE, “The Icon” would make his way into conversations every winter season.
In many ways, The Undertaker vs. Sting would be the match that finally placed the face of WWE against the face of WCW (Triple H vs. Sting did not provide that feel). Therefore, it would be something spectacular to witness.
This would truly provide the collision of wrestling legends, both of whom have carried a brand on their shoulders.
5. The Rock
Whenever The Rock does decide to stop by the WWE, “The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment” is always going to be a babyface; with his status in Hollywood and popular culture it is highly unlikely for The Rock to work as a heel.
On the flip side, The Undertaker is going to be cheered regardless of the opponent. Therefore, a match between The Rock and The Undertaker can not be built around any bad blood or personal animosity, which is where the respect factor comes into play.
The Rock has never faced The Undertaker at WrestleMania which would make it possible for The Rock to simply challenge The Undertaker to a match out of respect (Akin to Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair).
4. Kevin Owens
This is strictly a personal opinion but let it be said: Kevin Owens is the best wrestler currently in WWE. Nobody else quite does it likes Owens. There is a magic to his madness that the other Superstars cannot duplicate.
However, those who are excited about the arrival of Kevin Owens also remain weary as Owens is not the typical WWE Superstars. Owens looks different from the usual bodybuilder type and his French-Canadian accent makes him sound completely different from the others.
Pitting Kevin Owens up against The Undertaker can automatically take him to the next level in WWE; a place where hopefully Owens will be allowed to shine.
3. Kurt Angle
This would obviously require Kurt Angle returning to WWE but the thought of your “Olympic Hero” coming home to have one last match against The Undertaker is certainly exciting as the bout would provide that technically sound mat style of wrestling.
The Undertaker and Kurt Angle – like many others on this list – already have a storied history that could easily translate into a modern day storyline. The hope for this possibility now requires some interaction between Kurt Angle and WWE.
Who wouldn’t loved to see The Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle at WrestleMania? Especially those fans who were raised in the Attitude or Ruthless Aggression Era.
2. Seth Rollins
There may still be some time left in 2015 but the overwhelming feeling here is that Seth Rollins will be named “Superstar of the Year.” Who has done better than Rollins in WWE this past year? The new “Man” around town has certified himself as a main event talent.
When will his WWE World Heavyweight Championship reign end? Who knows. It come be soon, it could still be some time away. The fact remains that Seth Rollins has represented the company as its top champion since WrestleMania and has proved that he belongs at the top.
And what better way to really cement the legacy of Seth Rollins than to have him not only face but defeat The Undertaker in his retirement match?
1. John Cena
Does this seem like the obvious choice to face The Undertaker in his retirement match? Perhaps but with just reason. John Cena is currently the only major WWE Superstar. Yes, we have sung the praises of others throughout this list but they are still not at the same level as Cena.
Like it or not, John Cena is going to go down as a WWE legend. The Undertaker is going to need one last “big fight” feel if he is going to go out at WrestleMania and nobody else provide that feel quite the fifteen-time World Champion.
The Undertaker vs. John Cena: think of the atmosphere and the moments that this match could produce.
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