After a full month of John Cena calling out Undertaker and doing everything he could to set up a match between the two, we went into WrestleMania 34 without any idea if it was actually going to happen. We knew, but we didn’t know for sure, because it wasn’t official. Then Cena showed up in the crowd and it was clear something was going to happen, we just couldn’t know what.
He hung out with fans, was told something by a referee, ran backstage in glee, came out eager to wrestle the match, left disappointed, Elias came out, worked his gimmick, Cena disposed of him, and just as he was about to leave that’s when “The Deadman” finally showed up.
After a long entrance, Undertaker beat Cena in less than three minutes.
Edge’s reaction to all this, from the latest episode of E&C’s Pod of Awesomeness, was much like yours probably was:
“I’ll tell you one, the ‘Taker-Cena thing... I’m confused. Even the sitting in the crowd and the running to the back and then just like a, what was it, a five minute match or something? Who knows going into it what limitations there are or anything like that but man there’s an opportunity to have a dream match at WrestleMania and it felt lost somehow. I don’t know. It was just odd, I guess, is really what it was for me. It was just odd. ... Yeah, that just... I expected one of those Rock-Hogan type moments. There was some cool stuff leading up to it, and I actually like the idea of not getting the answer and things like that but, yeah, I don’t know, the sitting in the crowd and then the... I don’t know. It was different, I’ll say that.”
The latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports there were indeed limitations at play here, that WWE came to the realization Undertaker wouldn’t be able to have a normal match and that’s why the story played out the way it did. The idea, apparently, was to establish for the fans that they were going to get something between the two without setting up the expectation that a classic match was coming.
This, then, is the source of the confusion. It makes sense with that knowledge but it’s not self evident.
Still, Edge is on the mark.