The Dream Match We All Woke Up From Already
The July 14 episode of WWE Monday Night Raw featured the official announcement that Sting, pretty much the only American wrestling legend to never have been previously associated in some way with WWE, will be a part of WWE 2K15 the franchise’s annual video game.
This has re-launched the speculation that Sting will wrestle in WWE. If Sting does wrestle in WWE, the common consensus is that he only needs to be in one match … with one particular man, The Undertaker. A match of this magnitude also could never take a place on any other stage than the biggest of them all, WrestleMania.
The reason this is a dream match is because in the mid-90s these two men had similar characters. Sting played the ultimate Goth while The Undertaker was portrayed as a mixture of an evil mortician and Death himself (with superpowers for a while in ’98). Also both of these men were the measuring sticks for their respective organizations and leaders of the locker room behind the scenes.
For most wrestling fans my age this was a dream match for us growing up. The keyword in that last statement is “was”. The Inconvenient Truth is that WWE wants to give top billing on the biggest wrestling show in the world in 2015 to a 1997 dream match.
Another large component about this match is obviously the venue of WrestleMania. The Undertaker has spent the last few years away from wrestling except for one annual match at WrestleMania. The reason this was allowed was because of “The Streak”. For over 20 years, The Undertaker was undefeated at WrestleMania. Even in a world of predetermined finishes, that’s a feat. A bigger example of why this matters is the fact that the last decade every wrestling fan knew definitively that The Undertaker would not lose at WrestleMania but were still fully invested into the match.
Last April, The Undertaker lost his first WrestleMania match. The circumstances around the loss (which could make a whole different post in itself) point to the strong possibility that The Undertaker’s body has given up on him and he’s officially done with wrestling. Honestly, the novelty attraction that was “The Streak” was the only reason for today’s wrestling fan to care about seeing The Undertaker wrestle. Now that it’s over, I can’t imagine any WrestleMania match including The Undertaker carrying the same weight.
By April 2015, when WrestleMania 31 will take place, the Undertaker will be 50 and Sting will be 56. Sting will have been out of wrestling for over a year. The Undertaker will have been out of wrestling for exactly a year. The match’s placement on the card will mean that current day, full time wrestlers will be, again, made to take a backseat to a one time attraction that has no significance in the WWE product outside of a quick nostalgic money grab.
If it’s not clear by now allow me to spell it out. THIS MATCH SHOULD NOT TAKE PLACE.
That being said, if you’re a current-day wrestling fan, “I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news.” This match WILL be a part of WrestleMania 31. That’s not me breaking a story. That’s me acknowledging that the WWE is all about quick nostalgic money grabs. The powers that be will again push aside it’s hard working, day in day out full time wrestlers for two part timers having a match we stopped caring about seeing ten years ago.