The Undertaker has been a featured portion of the WrestleMania spectacle for 25 years. When he first defeated Jimmy Snuka at WrestleMania VII, it was simply to further build his character as a mysterious monster. However, after the string of victories against Jake Roberts, Giant Gonzalez, King Kong Bundy, Diesel, and Sid, both the WWE and fans started to notice a trend of Undertaker being undefeated at the biggest event of the year. As a result, The Streak started to catch steam, and he commenced to proverbially dig the graves of more competitors. All of a sudden, Undertaker started to add many more names to his collection.
- Big Bossman
- Triple H
- Ric Flair
- Big Show
- Randy Orton
- Mark Henry
- Shawn Michaels
- CM Punk
After this incredibly impressive list, The Undertaker competed against someone who was his Kryptonite in both 2002 and 2003, Brock Lesnar. While many believe that The Streak was going to be untouched, Lesnar pulled one of the most shocking moments in professional wrestling history by defeating The Phenom at WrestleMania XXX. Many believed that following this match, The Undertaker would ride off into the sunset, especially after his somber walk up the ramp at the conclusion of his match.
However, on the road to WrestleMania 31, Bray Wyatt issued a challenge against Undertaker, which prompted a return after a year of being absent, and a bit of a surprise after losing his first match at the big stage. At the event in Santa Clara, Wyatt was defeated by the Deadman. However, with already a glaring blemish on his record, the anticipation of a WrestleMania match was not nearly as exciting as when The Streak was on the line. This was a similar case for the following year, as Undertaker as able to defeat Shane McMahon inside Hell in a Cell.
This year, Undertaker will be competing against Roman Reigns in a battle of whose yard the WWE is. After Reigns eliminated Undertaker at the Royal Rumble, a personal vendetta commenced between the two big men. This match has acquired so much steam that there are now strong implications that it will main event this year’s WrestleMania.
Sadly, WWE pulled the trigger too soon on The Streak ending. While Vince McMahon stated during his interview with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin that there was no one on the roster that had enough steam to defeat Undertaker, which is why Lesnar did for Undertaker to give back to the company, it was done prematurely. Moreover, in hindsight, many would agree that there is still no purpose in snapping the streak at WrestleMania XXX.
While The Streak should have never been broken, someone like Reigns would greatly benefit by defeating The Undertaker. Reigns has already shown that he is committed to the company, and despite fans jeering him as a babyface, he is the highest merchandise seller of a full-time WWE competitors in the entire company. As a result of the large level of reaction, Reigns is the future of the company, whether the fans like it or not.
Ultimately, The Undertaker should have called it a career after his Hell in a Cell match against Triple H. Not only did that match have a riveting storyline, but Shawn Michaels was the guest referee which added another compelling element to the match. At the conclusion of the match, all three legends stood at the top of the stage and embraced, signifying an end of an era. This is what should have been the culmination of Undertaker’s career. Especially, since what he has done at WrestleMania following this moment is relatively forgettable.
[Featured Image by WWE]