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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Last Ride
October 13, 2005 by Godfrey Gauci


I have been reading over a few articles, with varying ideas on what the WWE should do with the Undertaker. With all of us expecting the great man to end his career at next years WrestleMania, I have read ideas about him losing to John Cena or Batista, winning one last match and even leaving early at next months Survivor Series.

Now some of these points are valid, but I have decided to voice my disagreements and offer my own solution.

The thought that you could have the Undertaker lose at WrestleMania is just wrong. Undertaker has built a great legacy, but more importantly he has helped numerous wrestlers get over. Has anyone ever heard about the Undertaker refusing to put someone over, or that he stormed out of a live show because they asked him to do the J.O.B! NO! He has always been the ultimate MAN when it comes to his chosen profession.

To have Taker end his winning streak at a WrestleMania would be the wrong way for him to go out! He should end his career with a defining win! My thought would be for him to lose to Randy Orton at Survivor Series, be buried alive, much the same as Yokozuna had all the heels empty from the back and help put the Taker in the casket. Then Taker would again disappear and take sometime off. During this time you have Orton feud with Batista and win the World Championship. Then at Royal Rumble you have the Taker make his surprise return, winning the Rumble (A perfect thank you gesture by the McMahon's to their most loyal worker). Of course he would then challenge Orton at WrestleMania in a Hell in a Cell match! Taker wins after a bloody brawl, no run in's or anything. This is important because even with Taker winning, Orton would look even better. After Taker wins, the lights dim and that eerie purple glow fills the arena. Dropping to one knee with the belt in his raised hand, he would then "raise" the cell high into the rafters. Lightning would strike the ring and the lights would go out. When they came back on, only the belt would be left in the ring. It would be the most perfect and defining moment. The belt would then be held up for a tournament heading into the next pay per view, this would also be good because the draft is right after WrestleMania, and what better way to make it more exciting then a massive 20 - 30 man tournament on SmackDown! for the belt. Something like this would at least allow the Taker to go out on top and be remembered forever as one of the greatest wrestlers ever, not as that really cool guy who lost his last match!

Finally, there are very few entrances that make people unanimously go nuts! The L.O.D pop as JR calls it! Hogan, Stone Cold, L.O.D, The Rock, HHH, HBK, Flair and of course Taker! These are the people who transcend the sport which we all love so much! I live in Australia and last year we got to witness for the first time the Undertaker in real life. When that gong struck, the feeling that went through the crowd was pure euphoria! This man gave his life for the WWE. When other stars were jumping ship and demanding more money, he weathered the storm and did what he had to keep the WWE in. Where other wrestlers demanded WWE championships and held both WCW and WWE for ransom, he stood tall and did the J.O.B for the good of the company. It is only fitting that he go out on top!

When all is said and done, I feel that too many of wrestling's greats don't end when they should. We all love to see Hogan and Flair on TV, but really does anyone want to see them in matches. Physically they just can't do it anymore. In all seriousness, does anyone really believe that a 50 year old man could beat a 30 year old man in his prime! NO! Taker has endured time, he has done what was asked of him, he now only needs to step away with the same dignity and pride that his illustrious career has been created with. Allow him the great send off and then let him go. Let young children whisper about the Dead Man that haunted so many great wrestlers, let the marks and the internet kids dream forever about their current favorite superstar battling the Phenom! And when it is all said and done, let one of wrestling's great superstars have his Last Ride!

by Godfrey Gauci ..


GGlor369 wrote:
That's wrong that there going make the undertaker lose his winning streak at Wrestlemania. If you see the Smackdown roster there are no legends accept animal and the Undertaker. He actually made an impressive rivalry against him and Orton at most pay-per views. Also he is one of that makes us want to see SmackDown. If you think Randy Orton is the legend killer your wrong the ones that make the storylines are.
Zach Goldman wrote:
I agree with you on this idea espically how lighting would strike and he would be gone. But I think that instead of Randy Orton his opponent should be Kane.
Mathieu-Paul biron wrote:
Great column, But, me I see this : the same as you to wrestlemania but Taker don't disappear at the end of the show. He will rise the title above is head and keep the belt all the following year. so to wrestlemania 23 he will pin the Royal Rumble winner with a HUGE tombstone pildriver and then disappear in the dark leaving the belt to the chalenger with a perfect 15-0 at Wrestlemania
ELENA RIVERA wrote:
I think Undertaker should Randy Orton,John Cena,Batista,Shelton Benjemin,Rey Mysterio,Eddie Guerrero ina six man Ladder Match at WrestleMania 22.
helena ritz-unzueta wrote:
It would be foolish to have Taker go over Orton in that fashion at WrestleMania. It's seriously time for Taker to hang up the boots, sooner than later.
Superlyan wrote:
I think that the way you described what you'd like his last match to be would be great. Even his exit. Or they could have him rise up like someone else said. Either way would be spectacular. I however don't think that he should face Orton though. I think he should beat Booker T, Heidenreich, or JBL
Bishop92882 wrote:
Great minds think alike. Its funny i had thought of a similar idea with the Undertaker winning the title at Wrestlemania then disappearing and leaving the belt in the middle of the ring. But this was when after the No Mercy pay per-view when Brock Lesnar was champion and i figured since he lost the hell in the cell to Brock it would be a perfect set-up to take the title from him. I also didnt think Taker was gonna run for another few years after that. I definitely dont think that Orton should be champion and face Taker, firstly because he is still very young in this business and needs to feud with some of the other Smackdown stars as well, then lastly because its obvious that he is being prepped to have multiple title reigns in the near future. Better yet they should have Taker win the royal rumble then have Orton challenge him in a hell in the cell for the number one contender spot at No Way Out. Can you imagine the mind games that would be played on Smackdown until the PPV" To quote The Rock, "Simply Electrifying". If they hadnt turned Batista into a "Rock-meets-Goldberg" type of character and kept him similar to Leviathan in OVW, it would have been perfect for him to face Taker at Wrestlemania as a Old Phenom vs. New Phenom match. However, Batista has still kept that "nearly invincible" part of his former persona, so this match would still work and is probably their best bet. If not him, then either Cena (Mainly because he is the other title holder) or HHH, because for two people who worked such spectacular matches against each other their feuds were either cut short or overshadowed for Hogan, The Rock, or Stone Cold. Furthermore, UT said on the HHH DVD that if anybody would "run the yard" after him, it would be HHH. Perfect set-up. UT vs. Kane has been done to death (pardon the pun), and it is impossible for them to ever top their first encounter at WM. Hell, maybe I should have a column on here. Im sure that you can tell that I know my stuff. Vince, are you reading this"
statpride25 wrote:
Godfrey, I have lots of problems with your article.

1) You state: "Do we really believe that a 50 year old man can beat a 30 year old man in his prime"" No, I do not believe that, and Taker fits that statement.

2) You state: "Do we really still want to see Hogan and Flair on TV"" Yes I do, much more than I want to see Taker. Flair is still the man on the mic, and Hogan is the greatest.

3) Quite frankly, I have heard Taker refuse 13 times to put someone over. He does a good job putting people over during the year, such as Maven and Cena, but come the big time at WM, Taker won't ever job.

4) Shawn Michaels is 4-8 in his WM career (yes, look it up). This is evidence that you can lose at WM and still be a legend.

Nonetheless, I do agree with you that Taker has given his life for the company. I have been watching wrestling for 20 years, and I have not seen many come down the pike with more loyalty for the industry. Please Taker, just once, be willing to lose at WM, so then I could view you as the legend you really are.
Robert Franczak wrote:
ive always been a total undertaker fan but i will even admit that the dead man is heading for the 'past his prime' stage in his phenomenal career. however, i like the idea suggested. and i agree especially with what one of you guys said about having a 50 year old man compared to a guy aged 30, its general logic totally. however the person who suggest kane as his final match at wrestlemania....no. its happened twice now, featured in both ears of their characters, not a good idea. i think definetely randy orton should be his opponent, and the idea of the dead man returning at the royal rumble with him winning would just top it all, thats one thing he's never accomplished in all his years, i would recommend he would have to have a late entry because i dont think the taker as good as he is, go the whole length with the rest of todays raw and smackdown competition, realistically. and say he does go win and go on to wrestlemania for a title shot, i wouldnt chose a 'hell in a cell' or 'buried alive' march. how about combining them together and making it a 'buried alive in the cell', bit far fetched yes im sure but imagine it though, have the usual cell there, but do something inside the ring or even outside to make space for the dirt,soil,grave etc. imagine witnessing a man falling or being thrown, even chokeslammed perhaps of the cell and into the grave itself, anything can happen in the wwe, lets make it happen. rob franczak, - newcastle, england
Danny Donald wrote:
I have had a read at all your comments and I must say, I am not impressed what so ever. Mark (The Undertaker) has put more effort into this company than any other wrestler ever entered this buisness.

He has stuck by the WWE for so many years that he deserves to hold that record at WM!. The Undertaker is only 42 years of age. There is absolutly no need for him to retire just yet, I mean Hulk Hogan, Rick Flair are in their 50's and they are still as good as they ever were. Everyone grows older and then their bodies can't take as much presure and endure the pain and quickness as they used to.

As for The Undertaker's gimmick, Ok I agree it is an old gimmick but the fans love it and personally I thought it was a great comeback for the old style Undertaker. The "American Bad Ass" was a good gimmick and it was something fresh, Something we had never seen before but I admit it soon became boring and the fans wanted to see the deadman again. I mean the Undertaker became the American Bad Ass in 2001, By 2003 the fans were so sick and fed up they begged, E-mailed and had written to the WWE coperation to bring back the deadman because that is what the Undertaker was, He wasn't a fake texas biker that he was. He is and always will be as far as I am concerned the "Deadman, The Phenom" If you will and nothing will change that.

For Randy Orton, He has such great talent and he did a good job playing the "bad guy" in the WWE but I really liked him playing the good guy but the only way how he became the bad guy again is because The Undertaker makes the WWE so much money they didn't want him to become the bad guy so they let someone who doesn't bring that much money in (Randy) and let him become the villan. But the WWE has to think of new idea's for him because this feud with The Undertaker is becoming so old (9 months old I think).

But really The Undertaker should not retire just yet because that is an obserd suggestion and insane if you ask me personally. He is the one who is bringing Smackdown the rating's in!!

And for The Undertaker fans out there, He will indeed be returning to the WWE at Surviver Series so I hope they change his costume because that does not suit him one bit. And for the love of god, I hope they make a new feud with come better competition.
Britny W wrote:
i agree with you Danny, 'Taker should have a new gimmick. i was thinking a Gothic-Biker type role. i pictured it in my mind. He comes out on some tricked out motorcycle or chopper, and an entrance theme song by Rob Zombie, Marylin Mansion, or Ozzy. the gong still tolls at the begining, and the fog is on the ground. Mark still wears his leather of course but he has a leather jacket on with his symbol in rhynestones on the back. i think 'Taker should win the Royal Rumble and get his title shot at who ever's the champ at WM. he should grow his hair back to the length it was back in his American Badass gimick or what it was in'98.
Justin M Walkowiak wrote:
All you of little faith, I can't believe that some of you are even speculating that the Undertaker would lose on the biggest stage of them all. His undefeated streak at WrestleMania is part of his legacy, it is one of the defining moment of his career. Why would they honestly tarnish the record of one of the hardest working, most respected wrestlers they ever had. When the Undertaker decides to retire he will do so and with his record in tact. Lastly, if you haven't heard already his opponent for WM 22 is Mark Henry, if that is any indication he is going to walk out of chicago 14-0

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