With as much as Undertaker has given to WWE over the years, he should be able to write his own schedule and essentially name his salary.
Beginning in 1990, Undertaker has battled and entertained as a champion, a monster and a legend. His 23-year tenure includes such consistent greatness that the company owes him the right to wrestle as little or as much as he likes.
The way that Roger Clemens skipped spring training and joined the Houston Astrosin the midst of the 2006 season, Undertaker works a less grueling schedule than his peers, one that is sure to invoke envy.
He deserves to do so.
Undertaker didn’t leave WWE when WCW seemed the better option in the late ’90s. Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan all did, but The Deadman stayed. He didn’t take off long stretches to be with his family or to go make movies. Instead, he toiled in the ring for WWE, slowly wearing down his body.
Now at 48, with nagging injuries aplenty, he owes WWE and its fans nothing more of himself. Still, he suits up and delivers classics at every WrestleMania.
He thrilled fans this year by adding a random WWE Raw match to his schedule, putting on a hell of a show in London against The Shield.
If Undertaker wants to wrestle twice a year, once a year or not at all, he’s earned that right.
He has never violated the WWE Wellness Policy. He has never been known as a guy who is unwilling to lose. In fact, a major part of his contribution to the company has been the number of guys he has made into stars.
Mick Foley would likely not be the beloved figure he is today without being in those startlingly violent matches with Undertaker. Try to imagine Batista’s career with his battles with The Deadman.
Take away Undertaker and there is no Kane, Edge doesn’t achieve the same iconic status that he did and Brock Lesnar’s WWE title run is minus one bloody crowning achievement.
When you mean so much to a company for so long, you can make your own rules.
The Rock has received plenty of flack for his part-time status, for having a similarly light schedule to The Undertaker.
The Rock is an invaluable asset who didn’t need to return to WWE, but gave the company a major financial boost. The fact that he gets heat for coming and going fromWWE and Undertaker doesn’t, is a testament to the respect The Phenom has garnered over the years.
If Undertaker wants to run his undefeated WrestleMania streak to 25-0, or if he wants to just wrestle one more time, no one will fault him. Entertain people for as long and as consistently as Undertaker has and the rules begin to shift to your will.