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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Undertaker vs. Heidenreich
The Return of the Casket Match

January 9, 2005 by James Greasby


I am a fan of 'The Phenom', The Undertaker. My last article looked at the (then) forthcoming fatal 4-way match at Armageddon. I looked at each of the 4 participants and gave an analysis on how they would fair in the match. However I under looked the involvement of outside influences. The Smackdown! GM had barred John Bradshaw Layfield's faction form interfering in the match, but had not counted on Heidenreich making himself known in the match, costing the Undertaker the match, which has really brought home the impact of their rivalry, and with their match at Royal Rumble, looming, it has inspired me to look at their rivalry.

Heidenreich has been one of the strangest newcomers ever to enter WWE. His size, strength and intensity are undeniable, but the man is clearly unstable and a borderline phyco. Former Manager Paul Heyman has tried to control the lunatic, even using a straight jacket to help his cause. He began a major feud with Undertaker, which started at No Mercy. In a bid for Paul Hayman to get back at The Undertaker (for events earlier on in the year) he used Heidenreich as a pawn in their war, to finally put the Dead Man down for good, and at No Mercy we thought he'd done that, not only costing him the Championship, and not only putting him into the back of a hearse, but getting Heidenreich to plough his vehicle into the hearse in which The Undertaker was trapped. However, as we know, The Undertaker wasn't in the hearse, and the two met at Survivor Series.

At Survivor Series, Heidenreich and The Undertaker officially met for the first time. I'm sure I'm not the only one who found cheer delight in watching Taker defeat the newcomer at Survivor Series. After that, Hedenreich seemed to have a mental breakdown on the ensuing SmackDown!'s. However, Heidenreich returned at Armageddon to continue his issues with The Undertaker, by costing him The WWE Championship, which brings us up to date on this feud.

Royal Rumble

On the last Smackdown! of 2004, it was announced that the two will meet at the Royal Rumble, and its safe to assume the match will be under the stipulations of a Casket Match.

As with the fatal 4-way match at Armageddon, the winner of this match isn't easily predicted. Both superstars could argue a fair cause, however one has a distinct edge of the other.

Heidenreich stands at 6 foot 5, and weighs 275 pounds. This monster has the fire to beat anyone in the ring, however this fire can get the better of him and cause him to become distracted. Without Paul Hayman by his side, who knows if Heidenreich can control himself enough to get to the Royal Rumble, and if he can concentrate on winning the match" As resilient as The Undertaker is, a Swinging Sidewalk Slam by Heidenreich could seal the end of this match.

Undertaker on the other has an edge over Heidenreich in more ways than one. Taker is a lot taller (6 foot 10) and weighs more (328 pounds), also, more importantly; Taker holds a victory over Heidenreich, from Survivor Series, which will give Taker the confidence vote over Heidenreich. Also, don't forget the nature of this match; this is Undertakers Match, as chosen by the veteran himself. The experience is 100% in favour of The Undertaker, in the stipulations of a Casket Match. He has won 6 Casket Matches, starting at Survivor Series 1992, against Kamala, right up until an episode of Raw on 19th October 1998 (against Kane). As impressive as these stats are, it should be noted that, at the Royal Rumble The Undertaker hasn't performed brilliantly. Whether it's the chill in the air at this event, or whether its this time of year, but The Undertaker, is not only yet to win the Royal Rumble, but has lost every Casket Match at this event (2). The first time against Yokosuna, when it took the majority of the WWE roster to put Taker away, and secondly against Shawn Michaels. Who can forget this encounter, when Kane interfered, and set the casket (with Taker inside) on fire.

Conclusion

Given the evidence above, it seems 50:50, however if push came to shove, obviously I'd give the vote for Undertaker to win this match, providing it's a fair 1 on 1 match. The odds for Undertaker to win a casket match at the Royal Rumble are very slim, but each match should be looked at individually, and in this context, I think Undertaker shouldn't have too much problems in this match. Given the fact that Undertaker holds a victory over Heidenreich, and that The Undertaker is the more focused athlete in this match-up, it would be a safe bet to put on Taker. Leading into Wrestlemania, it would be great for The Undertaker to regain is top performance, and hopefully lock Heidenreich away for good. However, you never know, after JBL looses to Big Show, Heidenreich may make room in the casket for him as well.

Side note: its great to see The Odd Couple on Raw (Regal and Eugene) holding the Tag Team Championships, hopefully then can carry then up to Wrestlemania 21!

by James Greasby ..


BrakY2J wrote:
I'm sort of disappointed in the return of the casket match. These matches never bring anything new or exciting to the table; they're just like any other trap match. Last Ride, Ambulance, Dumpster, Casket, all of these matches are reletively the same, just with different traps. The only real difference is the Ambulance match and Last Ride match are in vehicles and Dumpster matches are usually on the Hardcore side since the Dumpster is usually a distance from the ring, unlike the casket where it just sits there next to it.
RuthlessGattman wrote:
I enjoy casket matches, they're never boring. Point said, no argument. As for the outcome, you really don't know what's going to happen. Taker's wins on Royal Rumble matches never really made anyone go "oooh!" However, he does have the experience necessary to dominate anyone. All he needs to do is freak out Heidenreich, make him lose focus and the match is said and done (if Heidenreich doesn't hightail it outta there.) The only way Heidenreich could win is if he has someone come out and help. Whether its a member of JBL's staff, Heyman, or a newcomer. Rumors are that Abyss is coming to WWE. Could there be a strange yet dominating team of Abyss and Heidenreich" Who knows" All I know for sure is that Taker has yet to fail good action on casket matches and that Heidenreich, well.. hm...
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