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Most assume Undertaker will beat HHH at Mania, thus preserving his undefeated streak. I’m not so sure.
Taker is 47 and, by all accounts, badly beat up. He’s big, and worked a physical style for a long time. Rumors swirl that Mania is Taker's last match.
If that’s the case – even though NO ONE wants to see Taker lose – Vince is going to think about business, especially when his sensibilities in that regard may be compromised by having The Rock beat Cena.
The Undertaker spot is a big one at Mania. If Sunday is Taker’s last match, Vince needs to replace him with another icon who can come back, if only for Mania, and provide an extra jolt of star power.
That person could be HHH. But that’s unlikely because Trips, as an active part of WWE administration, is going to be omnipresent and likely on-camera fairly often. It would be tougher to make him special once a year.
So, that person could be Shawn Michaels.
Michaels, 46, has always said he wouldn’t be THAT GUY. But everybody comes back.
Perhaps Michaels, in his role as special guest ref, does something to anger HHH Sunday. Maybe it’s accidental. Or maybe HBK screws Taker and helps HHH win, but Trips is infuriated because he wanted to win clean. Michaels goes away, but the situation simmers. HHH-HBK at Mania next year.
It’s not what I’d do. I’d have Taker win. If Taker says he doesn’t want to come back next year, well, next year is a long time away. There’s always a chance you could talk him into it. I would have Taker wrestle one match per year, at Mania, and win, as long as he wants/can.
But if you’re SURE Taker isn’t coming back, you need a Plan B.