WWE SPOILERS AHEAD!!
For almost twenty five years, the wrestling world and the WWE has had it's own "silent guardian" or "watchful protector"...one might say they had their own "Dark Knight". Like Batman himself, this Dark Knight vanquished any of the foes that dared to threaten his "yard". And like Batman, this Dark Knight was always successful. Of course I'm talking about the greatest WWE Superstar of all time...The Undertaker. If John Cena is the company's answer to Superman, then there's no doubt that the Undertaker is their answer to Batman.
Rumours have been rife this week in the wrestling world surrounding the return of the Undertaker. With the strong possibilty that the Phenom may return as soon as Monday night on the company's flagship program WWE Monday Night Raw or even sooner...perhaps on Sunday night's Pay-Per-View Battleground and firthermore, these rumours suggest that the Undertaker may target a former rival, I have decided to look at how WWE programming might reflect the popular 2012 film The Dark Knight Rises.
For over two decades, the Undertaker defeated every challenger who threatened his yard in WWE while also defending his vaunted undefeated streak at the company's premier event WrestleMania ("The Streak"). Although as age and the wounds of war began to affect the man behind the Deadman, Mark Callaway, he stepped away from WWE in 2010, returning from the shadows only once each year from 2011-2013 to defend "The Streak". However, by the time 2014 had rolled around, a new conquerer had ascended the ranks in WWE. WWE's own version of Bane, in the form of the "Beast Incarnate" Brock Lesnar, who had returned from his stint in professional fighting organisation UFC to dominate everyone who crossed his path. And thus, during the build up to WrestleMania XXX in 2014, the Undertaker returned from the darkness once more to challenge Brock Lesnar with the 'Phenom's' 21-0 streak on the line.
After a physically gruelling, long-winded match, in a moment that would shock the entire world: Brock Lesnar defeated the Undertaker and ended the undefeated streak at WrestleMania - The Beast became the '1' in 21-1. A physically beaten and broken Undertaker managed to walk up the ramp (to the standing ovation of 75,000 people) but collapsed backstage and was rushed to the hospital, after suffering a concussion at the hands of Lesnar. The concussion was real...very real and left many people wondering if we had finally seen the end of the Undertaker. Just as Bane had defeated the Batman, the Beast had defeated the Deadman...and the Streak was no more. As many people cringed watching The Dark Knight Rises and seeing their hero destroyed, millions of WWE fans were in shock to see their childhood hero looking like a beaten old man and more "mortal" than ever before.
For months, Lesnar and his manager Paul Heyman have consistently reminded the audience how Brock Lesnar broke the Streak and fans waited and hoped for a reckoning. But none would come. There would be no gongs. No blackout. No revenge. The Dark Knight would not rise.
However, a year later at WrestleMania 31, a revitalized Undertaker returned to defeat "The New Face of Fear" Bray Wyatt and run his WrestleMania record to 22-1. Regrowing his hair and going back to his 2004 attire, the Undertaker looked 10 years younger and much better than he did a year prior. However, after the victory he disappeared once more.
Although, as recently as last week, images have surfaced of the Undertaker working out and looking even better than before, working with Triple H's trainer. He looks a far cry from the beaten, tired aged face that we all saw at WrestleMania XXX in 2014. Why would a happily semi-retired man be doing rigourous training during his off-time? There is one explanation.
This Sunday at Battleground, Brock Lesnar looks to reclaim the WWE Championship that was stolen from him by Seth Rollins. However, in the build up to this match, Lesnar's manager Heyman has referred to the Undertaker a lot more than usual, even referring to the Undertaker's (storyline) brother Kane as the "baby brother". Furthermore, Lesnar 'injured' Kane with the steel steeps, (storyline) breaking his ankle. Thus, if the rumours are to be believed, then the Deadman could make his presence felt and cost Brock Lesnar the match, seeking vengeance for his brother and redemption after the Streak ended. This would undoubtedly lead to Undertaker vs Lesnar II at SummerSlam. Just as Batman re-emerged from the darkness to fight Bane a second time and this time, defeat him, one may wonder if WWE will mirror that and if their Dark Knight (or "Grim Reaper of Justice") can defeat the Beast and silence the critics.
The monster that has decimated everyone in his path since defeating the legend. Sound familar? Well hopefully WWE will follow through and mirror the ending of the story too by having the Undertaker get redemption from a second battle with Lesnar by defeating the Beast Incarnate. When the Undertaker returns, lets hope WWE make the right decision and have him avenge the loss and defeat the Beast. It's time for the Dark Knight to Rise once more!