The Royal Rumble marked The Undertaker's first match since WrestleMania 32, but it didn't go so smoothly for "The Phenom." According to The Wrestling Observer, The Undertaker was in serious pain backstage after the bout.
The Undertaker, who will turn 52 just days before WrestleMania 33, underwent hip surgery in the fall of last year. Though he recovered to the point of being able to compete in the Rumble, rumors abound that he needs additional surgery - possibly even a full hip replacement. His health issues have apparently affected his conditioning and his athleticism, as Undertaker looked noticeably heavier and less mobile than he did the last time he was in the ring.
The Undertaker came into the Royal Rumble at #29 and lasted for 5:30, eliminating Sami Zayn, Baron Corbin, The Miz, and Goldberg. Undertaker was then eliminated by Roman Reigns in what was presumed to be the beginning of a WrestleMania program for the two men. Some rumors have suggested that "The Phenom" might even have to miss the show of shows, but as of now, the bout with Reigns is penciled in for Orlando.
Scott Fried is a Slammy Award-winning* writer living and working in New York City. He has been following/writing about professional wrestling for many years and is a graduate of Lance Storm's Storm Wrestling Academy. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/scottfried.
*Best Crowd of the Year, 2013