The Undertaker is quite simply the biggest name of them all when it comes to the WWE and to professional wrestling in general. The fact that almost all the reporting on last night’s WrestleMania 33 is about The Undertaker’s retirement speaks volumes about The Deadman’s popularity. Of course, many in the WWE universe will lament The Undertaker’s retirement. The “Taker of Souls” has been one of the WWE’s top stars for almost three-decades. As reported earlier by the Inquisitr, with time running out on the 52-year-old Undertaker’s career, it was perhaps inevitable, and appropriate that he should take his final bow at WrestleMania.
There is no doubt that The Undertaker has dominated Wrestlemania for 27 years. He made his debut on the “Show of Shows” way back in 1990. The Taker’s record of 21 straight WrestleMania wins means that he will be remembered as the greatest wrestler ever to grace the WWE’s most important event.
Few expected The Undertaker to retire on the back of a defeat to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33. The WWE universe wanted to see The Deadman bring the “Big Dog” to heel, but when he laid his hat, coat, and gloves in the middle of the ring, at the end of WrestleMania 33, it was clear that The Undertaker was passing the torch to younger men. The retirement of The Undertaker is undoubtedly a somber occasion, but fans should also celebrate his achievements. The Deadman has been involved in some of the greatest matches in WWE history, so let’s take a moment to celebrate just a handful of The Undertakers greatest matches.
What Were The Undertaker’s Greatest Ever Matches?
The Undertaker is synonymous with WrestleMania. The reason he is revered is largely because of his record at the “Show of Shows.” The Undertaker’s “streak” at WrestleMania is unlikely to be surpassed, but as Give Me Sport reports, every streak has to start somewhere.
The Undertaker’s streak began in 1991 when he defeated Jimmy Snuka at WrestleMania 7. The match with Snuka may not have been The Undertaker’s finest moment, but that win allowed The Undertaker to start to build his formidable reputation. A win at WrestleMania is a big event in any career, but at the time, no one could have forecast that The Undertaker would own WrestleMania for a further two decades.
No recount of The Undertaker’s career should overlook his WrestleMania 25 win over Shawn Michaels. Paste Magazine called The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels “an instant classic.” At that time, The Undertaker’s WrestleMania record had seen him record 16 straight wins. For much of the match, it looked like Michaels was about to end “The Streak.” It looked like The Undertaker was genuinely injured when a stunt involving a cameraman went wrong, but somehow the Undertaker recovered sufficiently to catch Michaels in mid-air after he had jumped from the top rope. The Taker ended the match with a huge piledriver, and The Streak remained intact.
In a match that had echoes of last night’s match, WrestleMania 18 saw The Undertaker snatch the WWE torch from the grasp of Ric Flair. The Undertaker was almost pinned by 16-time world champion Flair after Arn Anderson interfered and executed a spinebuster on The Undertaker. Flair almost pinned the Taker, but he recovered to end Flair’s resistance with a tombstone piledriver. The Undertaker had ended Flair’s career.
Shawn Michaels came to WrestleMania 26 determined to avenge his defeat by The Undertaker the previous year. The match was another classic, which lasted almost 24 minutes and saw The Undertaker end Michaels career. Both wrestlers had numerous opportunities to execute their signature moves, but The Undertaker finally won out after catching Michaels with a third jumping Tombstone Piledriver. He pinned the disorientated Shawn Michaels for the win and took The Streak to 18-0.
What Culture argue that The Undertaker’s finest WrestleMania moment came at WrestleMania 29. The buildup to WrestleMania 29 had been controversial. Fans saw CM Punk cement his heel status by apparently scattering the ashes of Paul Bearer, The Undertaker’s recently deceased friend and manager, in a disrespectful manner. The Undertaker was incensed and he took his anger out on CM Punk at WrestleMania 29.
Of course, everyone will have their own favorite match from The Undertaker’s long career. The Undertakers matches with John Cena and Triple H or throwing Mick Foley from the top of the cell during their Hell in a Cell battle will live long in the memory. Perhaps oddly, the dignified way The Undertaker dealt with his defeat and retirement at WrestleMania 33 is the memory of The Undertaker that anyone who saw it will never forget.
The sight of The Undertaker’s hat, coat, and gloves sitting in the middle of the Wrestlemania ring while The Undertaker saluted the crowd with his fist raised was perhaps one of the WWE’s defining moments.
Are you a fan of The Undertaker? If so share your favorite moments with us in the comments box below.
[Featured Image by WWE]