When will The Undertaker return?

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December 19, 2012

“You have not seen the last of The Undertaker.”

Nine simple words from Triple H at the 2012 Slammy Awards that threw the WWE Universe into a frenzied, paranoid flux. Suddenly, all the assumptions, all the predictions and all the near certainties that The Deadman had walked his last mile at WrestleMania XXVIII didn’t nearly sound so ironclad.

“You have not seen the last of The Undertaker.”

Triple H called it the “million-dollar question” as he accepted the duo’s Slammy Award for Match of the Year, given in recognition of their timeless “End of an Era” Match at WrestleMania XXVIII. That win took The Deadman to heights many thought impossible: a 20-0 record on The Grandest Stage of Them All, a record that may stand forever. It seemed as fitting an end as any to The Phenom’s run, punctuated by the poetic image of The Undertaker, Triple H and Shawn Michaels, who served as the bout’s guest ref, embracing atop the WrestleMania stage. The destinies of those three men had intertwined so tightly the past few years — The Deadman ended Michaels’ career at WrestleMania XXVI — that it appeared only logical one would follow the other. HBK would retire; Triple H would take up the mantle of COO; The Phenom would return from whence he came, and life would go on. Until now. Now, it doesn’t seem so logical, and now it doesn’t seem so sure. Now it seems like it’s a matter of when, not if, The Deadman will rise again.

“You have not seen the last of The Undertaker.”

If anyone would know the answer to that question, it would be The Game. The current WWE COO took The Undertaker to the limit at WrestleManias XXVII and XXVIII, respectively, dismantling The Deadman in defeat at the 2011 Show of Shows in Atlanta (PHOTOS | CLIP) before suffering The Phenom’s reciprocation inside Hell in a Cell in Miami this year. (PHOTOS | CLIP) The King of Kings referred to Undertaker as the “benchmark” for a WWE Superstar — even though both men have climbed high enough that the label somehow seems too small for them now. They know each other so well at this point that the WWE Universe can’t help but take The Game at his word. Now the only question is when The Undertaker will make his return again? Will it be at the Royal Rumble, making a bid for a championship opportunity at WrestleMania? Or perhaps the Elimination Chamber, where a similar opportunity may present itself? The past two years, The Phenom resurfaced on Raw both to receive and to accept a WrestleMania challenge. Perhaps in his seclusion, he’s selected a Superstar as a potential opponent (POLL: WHEN WILL THE PHENOM RETURN?).

It could be tomorrow. It could be next Friday. It could be the week before WrestleMania. Either way, the promise is out there: “You have not seen the last of The Undertaker.” Now, all that’s left to do is wait.

 

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