WWE news: Roman Reigns reveals why he wanted to lose to The Undertaker at WrestleMania 33
WWE hoped the match would signal a passing of the torch and see Reigns truly establish himself as the top star while retiring The Undertaker.
That, of course, didn’t happen. Their bout went so badly that ‘Taker refused to walk away after and has wrestled multiple times since.
Meanwhile, Reigns is still not the ‘top guy’ in the eyes of many fans – so was that match at WrestleMania 33 – and the result – a bit of a waste?
Some will claim it was. Undertaker, of course, suffered only his second defeat on the grandest stage of all that night. But if it was up to Roman, The Deadman would have actually won.
“When Vince [McMahon] explained it to me, I was just in awe. It’s something that everybody who gets into the business wants, to get into the ring with The Undertaker,” Reigns told ESPN.
“I remember the first thing I thought was that I wanted to put him over. I wanted to lose. Immediately, that was my instinct.”
Reigns went on to say he wanted to put Undertaker over ‘out of respect’ and also didn’t know the bad shape his opponent was in leading up to WrestleMania.
“Out of respect [I wanted to lose]. I knew he was in pain, but I didn’t know he was going in (for hip surgery) soon after that or else I would have crafted that story a little differently.
“So I knew it was on me to try to help carry it. The movement of the match. Orbit around him. But I thought it would have been a better story if I was on my back at the end.
“Obviously, it didn’t go that way.”
When it comes to wrestling The Undertaker – there’s a common theme. All of his opponents just relished the opportunity to be in the ring with him and all of them wanted to put him over.