Over the last two-plus decades, The Undertaker has been the one constant in WWE, specifically at WrestleMania. He’s been a part of the event in 24 of the last 26 years, having a match in each of the last 15 years.
With WrestleMania 33 set for April 2, 2017, many fans have assumed that The Undertaker would wrestle a top WWE superstar at the event. But there’s been recent speculation that an Undertaker match at WrestleMania 33 is no longer set in stone.
Rumors began to swirl last week about The Undertaker’s health when a picture surfaced of him using crutches. According to PWInsider.com, The Deadman recently underwent hip surgery, though it isn’t certain what that means for his WrestleMania 33 status.
While he usually doesn’t do much more than his WrestleMania match, The Undertaker has made sporadic WWE appearances in recent years. In 2015, he was more active than he had been in some time, showing up at WWE Battleground, then having matches at SummerSlam, Hell in a Cell and Survivor Series. Since he defeated Shane McMahon at WrestleMania 32 on April 3, however, he hasn’t shown up on WWE TV.
— Pro Wrestling & MMA (@ProWrestlingWW) October 12, 2016
Even if The Undertaker does have a match at WWE’s biggest event of 2017, there’s very little doubt that his career is winding down. He hasn’t been a full-time performer since 2010, and he’ll be 52 years old when WrestleMania 33 is finally here.
“Taker will retire when he's ready but I assume that well might be sooner than later. I could see one more bout at WM33 but I'm assuming,” WWE Hall-of-Fame broadcaster Jim Ross said in a recent blog post.
The rumors surrounding The Undertaker’s health might be a little more serious this time, but there seems to be speculation every year that an injury, as well as his age, could prevent him from performing at WrestleMania. It's not the first time that a picture of The Undertaker has surfaced on the internet, leading to speculation that his time in the ring could be over.
But every year The Undertaker finds his way into the squared circle at the year’s biggest event, often putting on one of the best matches of the night.
If The Undertaker does plan to wrestle, he’ll have no shortage of potential opponents. John Cena stands out as the most likely one, since it was the match that might have headlined WrestleMania 32, had it not been for an injury that prevented Cena from wrestling at the event. The often talked about “dream match” between The Undertaker and Sting might not be completely off the table, but an injury will likely prevent the 57-year-old from ever wrestling again.
The Undertaker is 23-1 at WrestleMania, suffering his first and only loss at WrestleMania 30 when Brock Lesnar broke “The Streak.”