I wanted to talk about the Undertaker being 'back' on WWE TV lately, and considering his schedule the past few years, I've enjoyed his return so far. I don't know how long it will last, and neither do you, but whenever he disappears again he will have left us with another fun program. Without getting into my Wrestlemania feelings too much, I think most can agree that the show didn't have the best build up, outside of the World Heavyweight Championship match and Brock Lesnar versus HHH. Taker versus CM Punk was good on paper, and it delivered, but I think the build may have benefitted from William Moody's untimely death. That's not to say they didn't have something else planned, but the hatred between the two didn't really pick up until a few weeks prior to the show.
Getting back to the point, Taker made that match just as good as Punk did, and he does a great job making everything he's invovlved in special. The recent events with The Shield have been just as good, and it's even better that Taker didn't take a leave of absence like he did after the past few Manias. I get it, he's older and banged up, so I'm not demanding he works more, I just want to make a note that I appreciate and enjoy these appearances more because we don't know when it will be over. The Shield is over already, and working with Taker just puts the icing on the cake. If you want to talk about who the measuring stick is, look no further than the Undertaker. He's been around for 20 years, he's outlasted everyone else, and he commands respect. I know it was a lot of kayfabe talk during his last two programs with HHH, but Taker really is the last outlaw, and we won't see anyone else like him again.
The Shield's program with Taker may be shortlived, or it may be the expected bridge to a feud with Team Hell No, which is fine. I want a tag team feud over the belts, but it's always better when something else is the catalyst, and Kane 'saving' his brother is it. This feud wouldn't be just about the titles or who is better, and I hope they eventually go through with it. I would love to see a 'Freebird Rules' style reign from The Shield, which hasn't been seen since the Spirit Squad was around. The Shield works in this scenario more than say Nexus or 3MB because it fits their profile and doesn't let the opponent prepare for a specific combination. The Shield has been about justice and well-executed attacks, and a Freebird Rules championship team would just reenforce their gang style mentality and actions.
Like I aluded to, however long Undertaker's 2013 return lasts, it's been great, or was great, depending how much longer it lasts. I hope he took enough time to heal up enough and continue on, but I'm OK with it if it's over. I think there has to be plans for Taker to celebrate the anniversary of his debut at Survivor Series, and we should definitely get a good program at Wrestlemania 30. All signs point to John Cena being the opponent, but we'll dissect that when we get there. Right now, I'm just enjoying the ride now and acknowledging how much of a fan I've been. Taker is a perfect example of a guy who can put people over and still win or lose. He had an absolute classic with Jeff Hardy about ten years ago, and he won the match but he made Hardy a bigger star for taking him to the limit. Taker did the same for Punk even with a win, and I expect nothing less from this program with The Shield. No matter what, Taker knows what's good for business, and how to entertain the fans at the same time.