Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt: Examining the Impact of 'Taker's WWE WrestleMania return

The match is expected to take place at WresteMania 31

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The Undertaker's expected return to WrestleMania puts WWE in a storytelling bind, writes Bleacher Report's Ryan Dilbert.

Every path WWE Creative can take with Bray Wyatt vs. Undertaker is lined with pitfalls. Choose the route of an Undertaker victory, and it weakens Wyatt. Choosing a Wyatt win instead diminishes the significance of Undertaker's undefeated streak, bloodletting one of the biggest pieces of WrestleMania lore. 

That hard decision looms; the match is on its way.

At Fastlane, Wyatt emerged from a casket surrounded by torch-bearing druids and called out Undertaker. WWE is not going to follow that up with anything but The Deadman accepting that challenge. It wouldn't pay to tease fans with something like that.

It's a bout with plenty of potential despite Undertaker's age. It has all the makings of a classic passing-of-the-torch bout, a way for WWE to crown its next dark prince.

Bray Wyatt impersonated The Undertaker at Fastlane

The victim of that coronation, however, would be the streak that Undertaker began back in 1991.

WWE had built up Undertaker's run of wins at WrestleMania as a supernatural feat, an accomplishment from an immortal. Every year it grew in power, each new victim making The Phenom look less human.

That's what made Brock Lesnar's win last year so shocking.

The success in constructing Undertaker as someone who became untouchable at WrestleMania led to his first loss at that event being one that froze fans' faces, that didn't feel real, even after Lesnar raised his hands, after Undertaker slunk out of the ring.

To follow that first defeat with another hurts both how special the streak was and how momentous Lesnar ending it was.


Having Undertaker lose two in a row after not falling for 21 straight battles will leave his streak feeling like more of a distant memory. Should he hang up his boots after that clash, it will be with an air of disappointment around him. 

That's the price of making Undertaker feel so godlike; revealing that he is only a man is a letdown.

Lesnar and Paul Heyman have to be rooting for an Undertaker win. Should Wyatt knock off The Deadman, Heyman can no longer brag about his client being the only man to have Undertaker taste defeat at WrestleMania. No longer is Lesnar forever carrying around the title of "The One in 21-1."

Of course, he would still boast the honor of ending the streak, but he would be relegated to being the first man to defeat Undertaker at The Show of Shows rather than the only man to do so.

What's WWE to do then? Bleacher Report's Big Nasty believes that Wyatt should destroy Undertaker, beating him in just seconds:That wouldn't most certainly propel Wyatt going forward, but it would be like WWE defecating on the streak.

The long-term purpose of bringing Undertaker back should be to make Wyatt a bigger star. It makes little sense to have this all be about a guy who is likely to walk away after WrestleMania 31 or at the very latest WrestleMania 32.

Streak broken or not, there are few guys with the name power that Undertaker has. Defeating Randy Orton is good for one's career. A win over John Cena is huge.

Lesnar pins The Undertaker at WrestleMania 30

At this point, besting The Deadman has more impact than those wins. Wyatt can jettison forward after felling Underaker with plenty of momentum.

That, along with the appeal of seeing Undertaker wrap his career up more poetically, is ample motivation to have him step into the ring once more.

To achieve the goal of elevating Wyatt without shredding the legacy of the streak, WWE has but one apt option. It comes from a fan who wrote in to PWInsider. The idea reads, "Wyatt has a close call with Taker, but after the match, Wyatt puts Taker in a casket [with] help from Harper and Rowan, and buries him."

In this scenario, Undertaker's streak doesn't lose it's magic, and Wyatt doesn't just become another in the long line of victims.

This would be a fitting sendoff for a legend. He adds to his impressive WrestleMania record, but heads toward the sunset in a casket. In his wake would stand Wyatt, armed with the image of sending Undertaker to the next world, a new Duke of the macabre to reign in his absence.

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