LaBar: Why is The Undertaker back now?
The Undertaker returned Sunday night at WWE Battleground and assaulted Brock Lesnar.
The appearance was well received by the crowd who had otherwise been sitting on their hands for much of the night. It made an impact. It cost Lesnar winning his title back from Seth Rollins. It was long enough to make a point, but not too long to dilute.
The Undertaker versus Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam in New York City will be a big draw. I won't act like I'm not interested to see this match again. It might be more voyeurism for me to see exactly how Undertaker holds up in the physical match, but nonetheless Lesnar and Undertaker are two great special attractions.
But I have to ask, what's the real point?
Lesnar beat The Undertaker and ended his WrestleMania streak 15 months ago. Since then, Undertaker has gone on to have another WrestleMania match that he won against Bray Wyatt. The timing of coming back for revenge seems a bit odd and forced.
Lesnar did just “break the ankle” of Kane, The Undertaker's brother, so I can see that being mentioned. But I doubt it's the catalyst and leading explanation for why The Undertaker is back now.
My guess is the simple cry of revenge will be used, despite the scratches of the head I've just presented. In the end, it will work. Ticket sales, ratings for the next month, social media chatter and WWE Network subscriptions will increase. That trumps true logic.
The other piece of business is ridiculousness on social media.
People are mad Kevin Owens tapped out to John Cena. First, as I wrote in my last column of predictions for this show, it made complete sense for Owens to lose. He's in the NXT main event the night before SummerSlam trying to win back the NXT Championship. WWE isn't going to have the United States Champion challenging for the developmental title the night before SummerSlam. It's just simple business.
The other issue people are having is that Owens tapped out to Cena. Never mind Owens got the call to the main roster and was thrust into a top program with the top guy that he beat in his first pay-per-view match. Never mind Owens has had strong booking for his first few months on the main roster. Never mind Owens is the first person to kick out of this many Cena finishers since The Rock at WrestleMania.
Complaints of Owens tapping out are laughable. It's from people who are in a tunnel of fanboy, which is fine, but then while in their tunnel they are making complaints and speaking as if they are more educated than they are. They don't get the X's and O's of what and why things need to be done. I still have the fan side in me who would love to see certain things, but I also understand that while briefly some of those things might be cool to see, they aren't smart or needed for the long-term picture.
Owens is a heel and he should tap out. He isn't Brock Lesnar. Tapping out isn't the end of Owens' career. He has been booked way better than any Kevin Steen loyalists ever would have realistically dreamed 12 months ago. He'll likely go on to win the United States Championship at SummerSlam in August. Be appreciative.
Overall, WWE Battleground was worth the viewing, but more importantly has set up interesting questions I want to see answered in the coming weeks on Monday Night RAW.
Justin LaBar is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7949 or email@example.com.