WrestleMania 31 preview: Is Bray Wyatt the next Undertaker for WWE?

bray wyattBray Wyatt has been the hottest wrestler in WWE for more than a year, and yet he’s been suspiciously been left on the outside looking in as far as the various title chases have been concerned.

Which makes his booking with Undertaker for Sunday’s WrestleMania 31 make some sense. The Undertaker, a top of the card wrestler in WWE for more than a quarter-century, has long since transcended needing a strap for any sense of legitimacy.

Win or lose on Sunday, ‘Taker could be passing that mantle on to Wyatt, who has already taken on a quasi-Undertaker role over the past few months.

That’s not to say that WWE hasn’t given Wyatt his share of high-profile victories. Wyatt got a clean fall on Daniel Bryan at the 2014 Royal Rumble, three months before Bryan would win the WWE title in the main event at WrestleMania 30, where Wyatt lost to John Cena before getting revenge at Extreme Rules to score a rare pay-per-view win over the 15-time WWE champ.

So he has victories over Bryan, Cena and two PPV wins over Dean Ambrose, but wins and losses mean nothing for Wyatt, whose appeal to fans rivals that of Undertaker, a special attraction who has for the last several years been used exclusively on WrestleManias.

The shocking upset loss to Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 30 seemed to signal an end to the Undertaker-WrestleMania franchise, but it’s clear that this year is to be the end, and what better way for WWE to do so than to use ‘Taker to elevate Wyatt to the realm of the mystical.

Wyatt clearly is beyond over with fans, who light up arenas, thousands strong, when the lights dim for Wyatt’s ring entrance, in a scene that is haunting no matter how many times you see it.

Similar to how you’ve seen Undertaker walk to the ring a million times, and yet when the lights go down, and the bells begin to toll, yeah, wow, the hair stands on the back of your neck.

Undertaker himself carried on the special attraction role that was filled for two decades by Andre the Giant, who was booked brilliantly by Vince McMahon Sr. so as not to overexpose his act, which was pretty much to be a real-life giant, gentle as he might have been.

‘Taker is himself an impressive physical specimen, 6’10, right at 300 pounds, a power wrestler agile enough to walk catlike on the top rope. Like Andre, Undertaker didn’t wow audiences with chain wrestling, and Wyatt is a performer in the same vein.

You don’t leave a Bray Wyatt match confusing him for Bryan or Dolph Ziggler or Ric Flair in his prime, but you’re still entertained, because Wyatt, like ‘Taker, particularly, is a master of wrestling psychology, one of the better mic talents of the current century, who can also play to psychology at an elite level in the ring.

It would be appropriate for WWE to work out a finish for Undertaker-Bray Wyatt on Sunday that both elevates Wyatt and also allows ‘Taker to return to the underworld, in a manner of speaking, in victory, pyrrhic or otherwise.

If they play this right, then, we get Bray Wyatt as the next permanent semi-main event at ‘Mania for years to come.

– Column by Chris Graham


UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Feedback from buyers: “Got the Book in the Mail Saturday, and could not put it down! Great read and great photography as well! Love all of the books I’ve received, but hands down, this is my favorite!” – Russell

Buy here.

augusta free press news
augusta free press news
augusta free press news