WWE

How the End of Undertaker’s WrestleMania Streak Should’ve Ended

So few things ignite a passionate response from professional wrestling fans than talking about Sunday, April 6, 2014, WrestleMania 30, at the New Orleans, Louisiana Superdome (which Hulk Hogan accidentally called the “Silverdome”… repeatedly); the night that Brock Lesnar defeated the Undertaker, bringing the Deadman’s 21-0 WrestleMania undefeated streak to an end.

You can go to Twitter today and search for “undertaker streak” and you’ll still see people randomly dropping their opinion on how big of a mistake it was for Lesnar to defeat the Undertaker that night, especially during WrestleMania season.

My buddy Dwayne and I were in attendance that night; it was the fourth WrestleMania that we attended together. I often call WrestleMania 30 as my favorite live professional wrestling experience. Dwayne may feel a different way; he will tell you that my reaction to Undertaker losing almost got our ass’s whopped in the “Silverdome” that night! 75, 166 people were shocked and speechless as the referee’s hand came down for the three count. I swear I was the only person cheering and laughing as I realized what happened; it probably wasn’t the best place for me to start my own YES chant!

I fully support WWE’s decision to end the Undertaker’s streak on that night. If the streak ever ended, the 30th anniversary of the “The Show of Shows” was the best place to do so. I also believe that Lesnar was an appropriate opponent to beat the Undertaker. People get too caught up in part-time this, full-time that. Shouldn’t a win over the Undertaker be used to build a new star? Sorry, I can’t take you seriously if you believe a win over the Undertaker would single handedly make someone. What if you gave that win to a young guy and then he does nothing with it? Lesnar was believable and safe, and that’s not always a bad thing.

Before the streak ended, if you would’ve asked me if I would ever end the streak, the answer would’ve been no. It is something I never thought we’d see, so why give it energy? Let the Undertaker stay undefeated, and when he decides to retire, let it end with a win at WrestleMania would’ve been my view. After we saw it end, I started to think about how I would’ve done it. The key questions in ending the Undertaker’s streak are: Who, When, and How? That’s how I plan to approach breaking down how I would’ve ended the Undertaker’s streak.

When… When is a tricky question in professional wrestling? There are things that people want to happen, people want to see but everybody has a different opinion for the most part of when to pull the trigger. Some things fall into place perfectly… CM Punk winning the WWE Championship from John Cena the night one contract ends and he signs another in Chicago being a perfect example of things falling into place perfectly. Sometimes things seem to be perfect but the trigger is pulled and, on the surface, what seemed like a good idea, long term was a terrible one; a great example of that is July 6, 1998… Goldberg beats Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship in the Georgia Dome. The build the entire night was great and the match popped a big rating but for the long term success of World Championship Wrestling, booking that match on free television was a terrible idea. We know that the end of the streak has to happen at WrestleMania but what WrestleMania should it happen at? I’m not one of the ones that believes that the Undertaker losing at WrestleMania should be his last match; get that outta here! Because WrestleMania should be an event with multiple memorable matches and moments, I believe that WrestleMania 30 was a great spot for the streak to end. It being an anniversary shows contributes to that and because of the way I’m going to answer the next two questions, I wouldn’t want to alter future WrestleMania’s after 30 to put the end of the streak elsewhere. If the Undertaker’s streak was to ever end, WrestleMania 30 was the best place for it to end.

Who… Not Roman Reigns so let’s get that out of the way! Crowds were so wishy washy to Reigns then as they are now, beating the Undertaker and ending the streak would not have done anything for him. Most would’ve taken that as more Roman being shoved down their throats. We are fantasy booking here but what I won’t do is play the game of what if this person was in WWE at this time. In the last 5 years, there have only been 3 people in the WWE that I could see beating the Undertaker and ending the streak. I’m going to eliminate one off the bat because he wasn’t in WWE at the time, Drew McIntyre. If the Undertaker’s streak didn’t end at WrestleMania 30 and he was still capable of having above average matches today, I would have ended the streak this past year versus McIntyre. The other two individuals that come to mind are Lesnar and the current Fiend of WWE, Bray Wyatt. If I were booking, Bray Wyatt would’ve been my pick to end the Undertaker’s streak.

Bray Wyatt debuted on Raw the summer prior to WrestleMania 30. Wyatt defeated everyone, including Kane, Kofi Kingston, and Daniel Bryan upon engaging with John Cena at the Royal Rumble, costing him the WWE Championship and starting their feud. The Wyatt Family even scored a win against the Shield at the Elimination Chamber the next month. This eventually set up Bray’s first WrestleMania match vs. John Cena at WrestleMania 30, where we all know that Cena defeated Bray by pinfall. This was also Bray’s first single’s loss on the main roster; he’d lost tag matches with Harper and Rowan with one of them taking the fall previously. This would start a frustrating pattern of Bray Wyatt engaging in the big feuds which he always lost. By the time Bray won the WWE Championship, yes it was cool but the believability in him was lost; and sure enough, they jobbed him out WrestleMania 33 against Randy Orton. With a character like Wyatt, which most already dubbed as the next generation’s Undertaker, it would have done wonders for that to be his first WrestleMania feud and have the torch passed to him. Wyatt did face the Undertaker at WrestleMania 31 but we all knew coming off the WrestleMania 30 loss, that Taker wasn’t losing; plus it wouldn’t have meant much at that point. If Bray beat the Undertaker at WrestleMania 30, the rematch at WrestleMania 31 could’ve been huge!

How… I wouldn’t change much that happened that year in regards to the build. I would’ve had Bray to start cutting cryptic promos; you would know that he was talking about the Undertaker but he wouldn’t come out and say it. At the Elimination Chamber pay per view in February, you could have had the druids lead a casket out, have folks thinking that the Undertaker was there to address Bray but it’s actually Wyatt in the casket. Bray gets out, cuts another promo, this time specifically addressing the Undertaker and there he challenges him to a match at WrestleMania 30. Brock and Taker’s match at WrestleMania should’ve been built as No Holds Barred or something along those lines; the same should’ve happened if Bray was the opponent. I would’ve booked the match to go about 14-16 minutes; there would have been an early spot in the match with attempted shenanigans from Harper and Rowan but Undertaker would’ve got them out of there quickly. After a number of false finishes between the two; I would’ve had Bray hit multiple Sister Abigails on the Undertaker, cross his arms for the pin and win. At that point, you strap a rocket to Bray Wyatt’s ass and he’s your top guy in WWE; between him and Daniel Bryan, you have two talents that fans really want at the top of the card. Now would this outcome not deliver us the Fiend at some point? I don’t think so. I see Bray Wyatt in the mold of Chris Jericho; if anyone of the roster as the ability to continue to recreate himself, it’s him.

Yes, I said earlier that it was no guarantee that a new guy winning over the Undertaker would help to elevate them, but Bray Wyatt was a star the minute the character debuted on NXT. We were all just waiting for the next feud to be the one that got the character on track, yet the losses continued to mount, and more and more it looked like another wasted character/talent. Can you imagine where Wyatt would be, where WWE would be today if different choices were made?

I would love to hear your feedback. Do you agree or disagree? What would you have done? Comment below or hit me up on Twitter @ShaolinShoGunMA.

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