Since the Undertaker’s Debut at the 1990 Survivor Series, he has had one of the most notable and successful professional wrestling careers of all time. He has become a house-hold name and secured himself as a largely respected legend within the industry. However, his most notable and prestigious accomplishment is his incredible winning streak at the biggest show of them all, WrestleMania.
Throughout the soon-to-be 29 year history of WrestleMania, there have been many shocking, awe-inspiring, memorable moments, and traditions made. However, one of the most notable and focused-upon WrestleMania traditions is the Undertaker’s undefeated streak. The Streak began at WrestleMania VII when the Undertaker gained his first victory at the “Grandaddy of Them All” against Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. From there the Undertaker’s list of victims at the WWE’s annual mega show continued to add legendary names. As of now this is where the Undertaker’s streak stands:
WrestleMania VII – Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka (1-0)
WrestleMania VIII – Jake Roberts (2-0)
WrestleMania IX – Giant Gonzalez (3-0)
WrestleMania XI – King Kong Bundy (4-0)
WrestleMania XII – Diesel (5-0)
WrestleMania 13 – Psycho Sid (6-0)
WrestleMania XIV – Kane (7-0)
WrestleMania XV – Big Boss Man (8-0)
WrestleMania X-7 – Triple H (9-0)
WrestleMania X8 – Ric Flair (10-0)
WrestleMania XIX – Big Show & A-Train (11-0)
WrestleMania XX – Kane (12-0)
WrestleMania 21 – Randy Orton (13-0)
WrestleMania 22 – Mark Henry (14-0)
WrestleMania 23 – Batista (15-0)
WrestleMania XXIV – Edge (16-0)
WrestleMania XXV – Shawn Michaels (17-0)
WrestleMania XXVI – Shawn Michaels (18-0)
WrestleMania XXVII – Triple H (19-0)
WrestleMania XXVIII – Triple H (20-0)
As the Undertaker’s streak first grew into the double digits, it became more and more impressive; however, after time the streak has started to lose it’s luster and interest in many fans. The streak began for what seemed like a tool to boost the Undertaker’s character and mystique as an unstoppable monster. Lately I’ve found myself seeing the streak as nothing more than a PPV selling point rather than a tool to further interest into the weekly product or any Superstar’s credibility. The Undertaker’s streak for many years was a great way to build up Superstars that had just made it into the main event scene. This worked for guys like Randy Orton, Batista, and most recently Edge.
For the past 4 years the streak has begun to lose it’s meaning in the eyes of many. There have been fans that have voiced their concern that guys like Triple H and Shawn Michaels were facing off against the Phenom in this high-profile match rather than younger guys who could use a good boost to their career. I myself, found the two matches between Undertaker and Shawn Michaels to be classic match-ups that were an exception as far as that frustration goes. The biggest question in my mind when it comes to the Undertaker’s streak this year is: When is enough, enough?
I have always been a huge fan of the Undertaker and I am one of the first to get excited when I see him on my television during the, now, rare occasions that he does make an appearance. My only gripe with him now is that he is no longer putting younger talent on the roster over now that he is pretty much on a one-match-a-year basis. Through many of the rumors I have heard about this year’s WrestleMania, I have come to the understanding that the initial plan is for CM Punk to face the Undertaker. The only problem with that is that the WWE is still apparently waiting to hear from the Undertaker as to whether or not he feels he can work the event. In all probability, I’m confident that the Undertaker will be on this year’s card; however, if he doesn’t this poses a huge problem. What will creative do if he doesn’t end up working this year’s WrestleMania?
Look at the possible consequences of Undertaker not competing at this year’s event. Not only did CM Punk’s huge WWE Title reign of 434 days end, but now he is possibly in a creative limbo waiting to see what he will be doing at the biggest event of them all. The biggest hope as of now, is that the Undertaker gives his word on whether or not he will be on this year’s card fairly soon. If not then we will most likely end up with a last minute storyline that will be rushed right into the Road to WrestleMania. Luckily with Punk’s position in the company, I feel he would be an easy plug-in to the Rock vs. John Cena match to become a Triple Threat for the WWE Title.
My basic point here is, if the Undertaker is going to retire soon then the streak should be a tool to help a young talent break into the main event scene as a legitimate threat. Unfortunately, this seems like it may not happen seeing as the WWE seems to be affraid to put any faith behind someone who’s name isn’t John Cena or Triple H. The Streak doesn’t even have to be broken, as long as they put a fresh face in there and make it seem as though that Superstar is taking the Undertaker to his absolute limit then that is mission accomplished in my book.