The Undertaker and Roman Reigns battled at WrestleMania 33 in a match for the ages, but some fans don’t have the best memory of it. As it would have it, The Deadman himself realized that he wouldn’t be ready for that confrontation.
Roman Reigns and The Undertaker’s WrestleMania 33 match was changed into a no-holds barred match earlier in the day before the show. That kind of stipulation can be added to help workers in a match who might be limited in a traditional setting, because it gives them more to do.
While speaking with Chris Van Vliet, The Undertaker brought up that WrestleMania program with Roman Reigns. He knew that he wouldn’t be ready by WrestleMania 33, but he had already committed to it. So, the program carried on with The Deadman vs Roman Reigns.
“Yeah, so I was extremely beat up. And, you know, I had toyed with the idea of hanging it up. I knew it that year when I got to the Rumble, I wasn’t going to be ready, I wasn’t gonna be ready for Mania, but I’d already committed to the program. Didn’t know that, didn’t know what we were going to do yet, I just knew that I was going to work with Roman, and we got there that day, and I was like man, I knew I was in bad shape. And my hip, my right hip, which I had surgery right after that, to have it, a Birmingham hip resurface done after that. You know, it was just the right thing to do.
Not knowing if I was going to be able to come back again, and work anymore. So, there I was, he was on the, you know, he was coming up, and he was going to be the face of the company, and it was the right thing to do. And I didn’t, you know, I’d already [lost], the streak had already been beat, so it was the right thing to do business wise, because I didn’t, like I said, I didn’t know that I was going to come back again.
I mean that all that hat, the hat on the coat, all that being placed in the ring was 100% legitimate. At the end of it, I was done, and that was my way of saying goodbye. And yeah, it wasn’t, it wasn’t a plan or staged thing. And then I get my hip fixed, I get a call, and they want me to work with Cena. I’m like oh crap, man. So, I trained, I know I’ve given you more than you asked for, but it was like, Okay, this is my chance for redemption. Because I was so just, if you watched The Last Ride, you know how disappointed I was in my performance, and that I put myself in that situation because I just couldn’t physically get to where I needed to be for Roman, and how important that was. And just as hard as I tried, I mean I trained like a like an animal, but I mean my hip just, it just, it held me back and I’m not making excuses, but that’s, that’s the extent of it. So now I’ve got a new hip, and I’m like oh man, and it’s Cena and I was like, oh crap. So, Vince called me and said what do you think?
I was like I don’t know, I don’t, I haven’t really, I’ve rehabbed my hip and I’m working out again, but I had no plans of getting back in the ring. And so, I said, give me, give me a few weeks. So, I get a ring shipped down here to Texas, and I rent a place and I build this, I put the ring in this building, and I start training and lo and behold, I can move again. So, probably the hardest that I’ve ever trained, not ever I trained, but the hardest I’ve been able to train in probably 10 years. And I was ready, man. I was, my cardio, I trained for like a 45 minute [match].”
It’s interesting to see what happened in that match when you look back at it. Since then, Roman Reigns used that platform to turn himself into an even bigger star, but some fans would argue that the last 3 years of tremendous booking for Roman Reigns had nothing to do with beating the Deadman at WrestleMania 33.
What’s your take on Roman Reigns vs The Undertaker? Who will be remembered as a bigger legend at the end of the day? Sound off in the comments section to let us know what you think!