The Undertaker retired in 2020 at the age of 56, putting an end to a thirty-year career, although it should be remembered that the appearances of the Gravedigger had become much more sporadic in the last decade. The same goes for Goldberg and John Cena, who limit themselves to a few seasonal appearances and do not always enjoy the approval of the WWE Universe.
The 16-time world champion played his last match against 'The Fiend' at WrestleMania 36, only to reject his film commitments. Many will think of the return of Shawn Michaels, who came out of retirement to compete in a tag team match at WWE Crown Jewel in 2018.
The two-time Hall of Famer has joined forces with lifelong friend Triple H to defeat the mythical couple formed by Kane and The Undertaker. In a long conversation on Sportskeeda, former WWE and WCW writer Vince Russo raised doubts about whether some legends would return to the ring just for money.
“When you look at superstars like The Undertaker, John Cena and Goldberg, it's impossible not to consider them authentic legends. We are talking about guys who have been pulling the wagon of this business for decades.
We are really talking about decades. If it is a financial issue, it is also understandable, but if it is not, there is no sense in the return of these characters. I think it can even prove harmful to their image” - explained Vince Russo.
Vince Russo criticizes the return of WWE veterans for money
The latter used HBK's example to illustrate how returns can sometimes backfire. “There was a lot of criticism when Shawn Michaels returned to fight in Saudi Arabia.
I remember Shawn himself - sometime later - admitted it wasn't such a great idea. I think it depends a lot on how the individual feels,” Vince Russo analyzed. Michaels, who currently works for NXT, even went so far as to apologize to Kane, Triple H and The Undertaker for agreeing to participate in the contest.
Even when John Cena does return to WWE for a program, he isn't regular. For example, in the lead-up to his WrestleMania 36 match with The Fiend, Cena missed a handful of shows. There have also been numerous instances where the Champ was initially advertised but then had to pull out due to his busy schedule, as was the case with his absence at the 2019 Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
He also clearly explained why he couldn't do both simultaneously as the directors and producers weren't comfortable with him being potentially injured.