Don’t look for The Undertaker to make non-WWE appearances in the near future.
As noted earlier, he will be making an appearance later this month for Inside The Ropes in the United Kingdom and he is still scheduled for Starrcast but that is probably the last you’ll see of him in a non-WWE setting because, as reported on Wrestling Observer Radio, Taker has signed a new deal.
Andrew Ravens reported earlier Taker had to pull out of the Q&A portion of the Inside The Ropes event and he is being replaced by Mick Foley for the Q&A portion but he will still sign autographs. Taker was being offered a tremendous amount of money by outside entities to make appearances, including next month’s Starrcast II convention taking place during AEW Double Or Nothing weekend. It’s no secret that Vince McMahon was not thrilled about Taker doing things outside of WWE and a source told me that contract talks began as soon as McMahon found out about the Starrcast booking.
“Undertaker pushed really hard to keep the commitment in England,” Dave Meltzer said on WOR. Taker could have opted to completely pull out of the UK commitment and Starrcast but he didn’t. Meltzer added, “There were forces that wanted him not to go at all.”
Meltzer did not say who those forces are but it’s clear he is talking about people in WWE, specifically Vince McMahon.
For those of you wondering why McMahon doesn’t have the same issue with Kurt Angle taking non-WWE bookings, it’s because McMahon is more protective of The Undertaker character and he looks at him differently because he is one of the few major names that never left WWE and the character was created by McMahon.
Taker returned to WWE television on Monday Night Raw in an angle with Elias. The belief is that Taker will be facing Elias at the next Saudi Arabia show in June. Taker has been training hard and has altered his eating habits to drop 25 pounds. It’s clear that he’s in the best shape he’s been in many years so it would not surprise me to see more of Taker on WWE programming throughout the year and into WrestleMania 36.