Which Legend Will Ride Off at Mania?

Kevin Kelly

WrestleMania in 2008 saw Ric Flair’s final WWE match… an emotional, epic story full of history, respect and symbolism against Shawn Michaels. This match I believe may set a trend where WWE legends may actually begin to wave goodbye as opposed to refusing to let it go like so many before them. Next up on the logical list of wavers are the Undertaker and Shawn Michaels, whose hourglasses are nearly out of sand but will either follow Flair at WrestleMania in 2009 in Houston?

Neither Shawn nor the Undertaker need to walk away from the ring because their skills have diminshed. But both can retire if they choose to because they’ve made tons of dough and have lives and interests away from the ring. They are the same age with birthdays four months apart and have given most of their adult lives to the McMahon’s and both have been linked to be considering retirement recently.

Both Shawn and the Undertaker have enough gravitas within the company to virtually call their own shots at this point and both would do what’s right for business. If both were to script their own ending, who would write a chapter to include WrestleMania?

It’s such a tough call for a couple of reasons. First, geography. Mania this year is in Houston and both Taker and Shawn are from the area and it would be nice to be able to go out in style in front of the home folks. It’s more a factor for Shawn than Undertaker because of their characters but I am sure it has been talked about within the walls of the WWE. But Shawn’s from San Antonio while Taker’s from Houston, so the real hometown edge goes to the Undertaker, who is timeless and equally popular regardless of what the GPS says.

Next is Taker’s Streak. Should he decide to retire and if Mania was the path he chose, who would beat Taker and end the streak? Or, would they let him go out a winner? While Ric Flair knew he was living on borrowed time and his best days were in the rear view mirror, there is nothing that says that the Undertaker isn’t as good as ever. Does he need to lose if he decided to walk away?

Also, what about Shawn beating Ric Flair last year to retire Flair? Wouldn’t there be some nice symetry in Shawn giving back the win he got over Flair also at WrestleMania? While Flair won’t be coming back to beat Shawn, who would get the honor of having Shawn’s last match?

But what if you could combine the Streak with Retirement? A true Retirement Match where logically any outcome could be satisfactorily digestible to fans of either man.

A pairing of two men who have never met at WrestleMania… two legends… the loser walks away from the ring forever while the winner continues on, only to answer questions about their own timetable of mortality sooner or later. Yes, this year at WrestleMania 25 in Houston, Texas, the best matchup possible that will be the most talked about “who will win” match in years in the WWE should be…

Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker

From their history in the first Hell in a Cell Match to the Casket Match at the Royal Rumble that nearly ended Shawn’s career with a back injury, Taker and Shawn are no strangers but strangely, they’ve never met at Mania. Good thing because fresh matchups between familiar names are so tough to find.

Not all of their history has been positive… Taker wanted to kill Shawn and the other Kliq members in May of 1996 at MSG for breaching ring etiquette in a public display of affection when Razor Ramon and Diesel were leaving the WWF. Taker was standing by at the Gorilla position at WrestleMania 14 when Shawn dropped the WWF Championship to Steve Austin just in case Shawn changed his mind about doing business with Austin in Boston.

But I believe that all has been excused over time and even so, as I said before, both are pro enough to do what’s right for business.

All I know is if they make Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker at WrestleMania 25 in Houston, Texas, I will watch with great anticipation as one WWE in-ring career will come to an end but I have no idea who’s career will be ending. That makes a great match in my book.

Thoughts? Questions? Agree or disagree? Email me at kevinfsu90@yahoo.com

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