The Undertaker’s match against Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33 may be the last one of his career.
At least, that’s if you believe some of the rumors that have been swirling around WrestleMania 33, with many believing it will be the end of Mark William Calaway’s career as a professional wrestler. Officially, the WWE has not announced this as The Undertaker’s last hurrah.
So let’s take a look at the evidence for and against the idea that this is The Undertaker’s final WrestleMania.
One indication that Taker may soon be hanging up his hat is the various health issues he has recently been encountering. The 52-year-old reportedly underwent hip surgery this past September, according to Wrestling Inc, and around that time, a number of photos were posted online showing Calaway using crutches.
In January, after The Undertaker performed at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that Taker was in a lot of pain after the show.
“So Undertaker, he was hurting real bad last night,” Meltzer said, according to Comicbook.com. “I mean you could look at him and you could see that he wasn’t in shape, and you know… it’s the hip…I mean there’s nothing else to really say about it…But even that when he was backstage he was hurting a lot.”
Meltzer also said that The Undertaker came back too quickly after his hip surgery.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter also reported in January that The Undertaker needs full hip replacement surgery, but he’s hoping to put it off until after he retires, according to WrestleZone.
Last year, after The Undertaker’s match against Shane McMahon at WrestleMania 32, Taker reportedly said backstage that he didn’t think he could wrestle again, and Sportskeeda recently reported that Taker was originally meant to retire at WrestleMania 32 and that this decision was made around the time of WrestleMania 30. Obviously he changed his mind, but retirement is certainly on Taker’s mind, and with these new health complications, now may be the time.
Finally, PWInsider recently reported that WWE executives are planning this as The Undertaker’s final show.
“One of the biggest discussions backstage during Raw was the status of The Undertaker post-WrestleMania, as he was walking around in a great deal of pain. It was reported that he was not very happy at the event due to the level of pain he was in,” PWInsider reported, via Reddit. “As a result, the discussions increased that this year may indeed be the final WrestleMania for the Dead Man.”
That’s some of the most compelling evidence from off-screen, but even on-screen, the WWE has been repeatedly teasing that this could be The Undertaker’s retirement. In a recent episode of Monday Night Raw, Roman Reigns told Shawn Michaels, “Undertaker retired you, and I’m going to retire The Undertaker.”
The WWE also recently put up a poll on their website asking, “Do you think Roman Reigns will retire The Undertaker at WrestleMania 33?” The options were “Yes. The Big Dog will end The Phenom’s in-ring career,” “No. Reigns may win the match, but it won’t be the end of The Deadman’s career,” and “No. Not only will Reigns not end The Undertaker’s career, he won’t win the match.” At this time, the final option, that The Undertaker will win and that it won’t be the end of his career, has 52 percent of the vote.
On the other hand, there have been rumors that The Undertaker was going to retire heading into pretty much every single WrestleMania this decade. That was especially true in 2014, when everyone was pretty confident that WrestleMania 30 would be The Undertaker’s retirement match. However, even after he was defeated by Brock Lesnar and the streak was ended, Taker kept on going.
While there is a lot of evidence to suggest that The Undertaker will retire this year, then, there’s evidence pointing to his retirement virtually every year, and so fans probably should not be so confident that this is The Deadman’s final bow until the moment it’s officially announced.