Let’s start with the booking. It mars and complicates Taker’s legacy to start a heel turn this late in the man’s career. With the limited schedule that Taker works, he relies on other people to carry his angles. And to be a believable heel, he has to be in people’s faces on a regular basis, which he won’t be. A heel C.M. Punk did most of the heavy lifting for Taker’s Wrestlemania 29 feud. A heel Paul Heyman carried both Brock and Taker for their Wrestlemania 30 feud. And as the babyface during both of these feuds, Taker had an easy schedule with few scripted lines; all he really had to do was stand there and looked pissed.

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But during his Wrestlemania 31 build-up against Bray Wyatt, the Undertaker didn’t show up at all. Bray had to carry the entire angle, alone, with a little help from some pyro effects. And after WrestleMania, where Taker won a match that did nothing to elevate Wyatt, Taker disappeared again, for months, and took all of the feud’s heat and excitement with him. Granted, a part-time babyface Undertaker can slip in and out of the storyline quite easily—nostalgia will always welcome him back with open arms. But a heel Undertaker cannot do this, lest the fans forget why they hated the guy so much to begin with.

Furthermore, the Undertaker is not even being booked as a monster heel, which might have made his silence and absence compelling. Instead he’s being booked as a chickenshit coward. His underhanded tactics are a total break from what we know about the character; even at his most evil, the Undertaker never relied upon low blows to finish a match. And the announcers did little to clear up the confusion. They acknowledged that Taker had cheated, but didn’t condemn him for doing so. The WWE only half-committed to his heel turn, and that’s no way to build suspense or investment in the characters. 

In other words: Go hard, or don’t do it at all.

There is not enough time, nor does the Undertaker have the mic skills, to convincingly put this cowardly heel angle over in the waning twilight of his career. It’s not what the fans want, and it’s not what’s “best for business.” Let the fans celebrate his legacy, instead of tying him up in plot twists and BS. The Undertaker deserves to retire as a dignified, elder statesman (or even a monster heel at the worst)—not as a weasel who screws others and cheats to win.