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Chris Jericho is ‘100% certain’ we’re getting Undertaker, and not the American Bad Ass, at WrestleMania

This is difficult for me, because it’s one of my all-time favorite wrestlers coming out against the return of my all-time favorite Undertaker persona, but... as is usually the case when Chris Jericho talks the wrestling business, he makes a good, or at least an interesting, case.

On Sirius XM’s Busted Open Radio with Bully Ray and Dave LaGreca, Jericho offered his take on the thus far one-sided feud between Undertaker and John Cena, and what form Taker should assume when he finally answers Cena’s taunts at WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans this Sunday (April 8):

“American Bad Ass is a pretty cool character, and Taker loves it, but guess which character Vince McMahon loves? It’s the Undertaker, Vince’s greatest creation. I’ll be the devil’s advocate to you guys - I would feel a little disappointed if it was the American Bad Ass, because I love the Undertaker, and I love that entrance, and you’ve been out there when you hear that bell and the druids chanting - it’s second to none. There’s never been an entrance like that in wrestling, in my opinion, and we’ve been waiting for it, teasing for it, for so much I feel if it was the American Bad Ass it would be a little bit of a downer - for me.”

Not sure I agree there’s been much in the way for teases of a Dead Man appearance, although I guess Raw 25 counts. It’s when Ray, who’s obviously #TeamBikerTaker, tries to bring up fan response to a Busted Open Twitter poll which was 70/30 in favor of American Bad Ass, that Y2J makes what I found to be the most compelling argument:

“Your fanbase is a little bit more of a knowledgeable fan base, a little bit more of a hardcore fan base I would venture to say. Where you have 70,000 people in the Superdome where 60,000 of them don’t even remember what the American Bad Ass is? We haven’t spoken of the American Bad Ass, we haven’t had any video packages or any recollections of that guy, you would have a bunch of people going ‘What is this?’ in my opinion.

Once again, I think that it’s a really cool debating point if you know wrestling and you’re a giant wrestling fan and you’ve been watching since 2000. There’s a lot of people who just started watching over the last three or four or five years, a lot John Cena fans that don’t know what happened in 2000. So, once again, in my opinion, the hardcores would like to see it cause it’s something different, whereas your general, average wrestling fan will go nuts when the Undertaker’s music hits and I think, I’m a 100% certain, that it’s gonna be the Undertaker at WrestleMania, and not the American Bad Ass.”

Jericho probably overstates the percentage of “casual” and younger fans at an event like WrestleMania, and even the knowledge level of a lot of those members of the audience. But I think he’s right in that, considering opinion is pretty split even within the internet bubble of “hardcores”, a whole lot of people want the smoke, lightning and slow walk which follows the gong, not a revving motorcycle after some Kid Rock.

He’s also right that WWE hasn’t done much to show us a “Chekhov’s Gun” for Biker Taker ahead of a possible appearance this weekend. Of course, that would be more important if WWE was doing anything by the book in this feud, and once you’ve ruled “announcing the match in advance” out, we’re pretty much in uncharted territory.

Overall, I definitely still want the American Bad Ass come Sunday, largely because I think it makes the most sense for the angle. But with his arguments - especially a reminder Vince will do what he likes regardless of what I or anyone else may think makes the most sense - Jericho’s convinced me we probably aren’t getting him.

Thoughts, Cagesiders?

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