It also felt like the WWE was hinting that The Undertaker was retiring for good. He embraced wife Michelle McCool in the crowd and left his wrestling attire in the middle of the ring. It was easily one of the most emotional moments in the history of professional wrestling.
In promos, Reigns would then brag about “retiring The Undertaker.” But behind the scenes, The Roman Empire wasn’t feeling so thrilled and satisfied about taking down The Phenom.
WWE 24: WrestleMania Orlando recently appeared on WWE Network for the first time, and it gave behind-the-scenes footage on Reigns and ‘Taker as they prepared for the main event.
Here’s how Reigns described his emotions, leading up to the match:
“It’s going to be so emotional. 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 order to be as successful as him, you have to take every single day as it’s WrestleMania and that’s the hardest part. This whole situation, 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.”
And on the other side of the ring, Undertaker was also feeling a little uneasy about the match. At 52 years of age and nearing hip surgery, the wrestling legend wasn’t sure how he would perform in this one:
“Running things through my mind. 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…
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.'”
The match lasted a lengthy 23 minutes, but the match definitely lacked hype, intensity and excitement. Reigns dominated The Undertaker, and it was obvious throughout the match that he was going to be victorious.
Undertaker has never reported if he’s definitely retired or not, and many rumours have suggested that he and John Cena will clash at WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans. Many thought Cena would come out and challenge ‘Taker during the Raw 25th Anniversary show, but the latter instead came out and cut a very short promo about the history of his career.
We don’t know if Reigns’ was The Undertaker’s final match. But we do know that both men were able to overcome plenty of self-doubts and nerves – which may have spelled the end of a legendary career.
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