Despite what looked like a pretty definitive - and very fitting - farewell to WWE at WrestleMania 33, talk of Undertaker returning to the ring for one or more more matches keeps popping up.
This being SummerSlam weekend, it started early thanks to reports of The Phenom and his wife Michelle McCool being spotted on a plane headed to New York ahead of the pay-per-view (PPV) Sunday in Brooklyn.
While it’s difficult to imagine anyone who saw his loss to Roman Reigns in Orlando this past April clamoring for more matches from a 52 year old with hip problems - when just the mention of his name still attracts attention, conversation and debate, it explains why the rumors won’t ever go away.
Hall of Famer Jim Ross, who called what currently stands as Taker’s last match at ‘Mania, makes that case at the same time he contributes to comeback speculation in this quote he gave WrestleZone:
“Until he says he’s done he’s not done. I think Vince McMahon is a marketing genius. He’s not going to miss any opportunity to monetize and maximize this amazing investment in this legacy of The Undertaker. Until The Undertaker says he’s done and it’s validated by the company and is signed off in that essence, for lack of a better term, I still say Undertaker is active and could return and wrestle at any time.”
Getting people to focus on your product by keeping the possibility of more matches or appearances from The Phenom is good business, so Vince and WWE aren’t going to discourage that until they absolutely have to. And Taker is such a company man - and probably still well compensated for his service and loyalty - that he has no incentive to definitively say he’s done and take a promotional tool out of McMahon’s toolbox.
So expect to hear whispers about The Dead Man around every big show.
And, like JR says, who knows? Maybe he really will show up and throw down again.
You’ll just have to subscribe to WWE Network to see if he does.