Wayne's World: 20-0 - A look back at The Undertaker's Wrestlemania Streak
Apr 3, 2013 - 9:29:42 AM
Welcome back one and all to a column that knows first hand how great it is to spend time with your family over Easter, my name is Wayne and you are now entering my world. We currently find ourselves at the biggest time of the year to be a wrestling fan, Wrestlemania season and as we all know noone has a better record at Wrestlemania than The Undertaker. Now I have not hidden the fact that I am an Undertaker fan and have been for the whole 20 years I have been watching wrestling. Over the years he has done many things that have made him one of the greatest wrestlers of all time but the one accomplishment that stands head and shoulders above the rest is his unbeaten streak at Wrestlemania.
As you all know last year Undertaker beat Triple H to extend the streak to a nice round 20-0. In commemoration of that feat the WWE released a DVD showcasing all 20 matches. I, as the big Undertaker fan that I am, went straight out and bought myself a copy of that DVD. On getting that DVD home I made the decision that at Wrestlemania time this year, especially if Taker was to have another match, I was going to do a column reviewing the 20 matches.
This past weekend when I wasn’t doing the family time with the wife and kids for Easter I sat down with my eldest son Zachery (10) and we watched the 20 matches that made up the streak (some of them the first time for him). From this viewing I have fulfilled my goal from last year and the following is a review of all the matches that make up the streak.
But we didn’t stop there. As we were going Zac and I also ranked each match (which surprisingly only had a couple of matches we had to debate about) in order from best to worst. Following the 20 match reviews I will reveal our final rankings of all the matches. So lets get this show on the road shall we, starting with Undertaker’s first ever match at Wrestlemania.
Match 1: Jimmy Snuka – Wrestlemania VII 1991 – 4:20
Who would have thought when this match happened over 20 years ago that it would be the start of history in the making. Honestly I can’t see how they would have known as the match itself is not something to brag home about. There really wasn’t much to the match at all clocking in at just over 4 minutes in action there was really no time to get anything done.
However in saying that this match served the purpose it had at the time. Undertaker at this time had only been in the WWE for half a year and was still being made into the star he would become. The purpose of this match was to give him one of the biggest threats he had had to his then unbeaten record (he did lose the Royal Rumble match that year however but the record they were concerned with was 1on1). Snuka was no slouch in the ring having been a main eventer in the past and his purpose was to go out and give a major notch to Takers winning streak at the time. By beating Snuka Undertaker was made into a slightly more credible star.
When comparing this with the 19 other matches that are still to come this match does slightly pale in comparison however it will not take away from the fact that this was the match that would start it all. If he was to have lost this match then the Phenom may have been stopped before he even got started and there is no denying that Jimmy Snuka is an impressive name to have in the list of wrestlers beaten at the Grandest Stage of Them All.
Match 2: Jake Roberts – Wrestlemania VIII 1992 – 6:36
This match was a slight step up from the year before but it was basically the same story all over again. A year later from his match with Snuka and we find Undertaker had only lost 1 singles match when he dropped the World Title back to Hulk Hogan at This Tuesday in Texas, just 1 week after he had beaten him for it. Roberts was another big name in his cap of what at this point was becoming an impressive list of people he had beaten and the whole purpose of the match was to continue to show how powerful Undertaker truly was.
This is not taking away from Roberts though as he put in a far better performance than Snuka had done the year before. While you didn’t really feel like Roberts could win he at least put up a fair fight. Also the match benefited from actually having a back story of Roberts turning his back on Taker and was at the beginning of Takers first run as a face.
Match 3: Giant Gonzalez – Wrestlemania IX 1993 – 7:33
Now this is an awkward match for me. There is the smark in me, who after 20 years of watching wrestling, knows how truly crap this match was. Giant Gonzalez is up there in the Great Khali area of large man that can’t wrestle for shit but looks big. Then there is the memories of the you kid about Zac’s age who was pure mark, no smark to be seen. Growing up Taker/Gonzalez was one of the greatest feuds I had seen. Here was my favourite wrestler, one of the biggest guys around, being dwarfed by this giant of a man, and yet he was still able to prevail. I mean this sort of thing is what made me a fan in the first place.
I probably love this match more than I should. From the mysterious entrance with the Vulture by his side to the fact that the urn was used to full affect to get Undertaker to keep getting up time and time again. In comparing my reactions to Zac’s I can see how much my opinion is affected by my past. In our discussion after watching the match we had to fight whether this match should be ranked higher than the previous one or not, of which in the end I had to put my emotion to the side and let the cooler head prevail.
In the end this match was hurt by too many factors. The fact that Gonzalez could not really wrestle a decent match was the first hindrance and the fact that the shady DQ finish further tarnished his victory. To think all it would have taken was for the ref to have his back turned and missed the chloroform soaked rag and again I will not be sitting here talking about the streak, a call that could have cost them some big money making matches in the future.
Match 4: King Kong Bundy – Wrestlemania XI 1995 – 6:36
For all those who believe that Undertaker’s streak was a continuous 20 well here is some proof otherwise as Undertaker had to miss the 1994 edition due to a back injury and thus did not add anyone to his tally that year. In 1995 however it was back to business as once again he faced someone on the larger than himself side of things.
In fact once again there was so much about this match similar to previous years. Bundy was there to do the job for Taker who had at that time only lost 2 1on1 matches, the before mentioned title loss to Hogan and another at the previous years Royal Rumble in a Casket Match against Yokozuna (yes it took most of the heel roster to accomplish but it was still a loss) which was also a World Title match. Bundy played the part of talent enhancer here, a credible threat to Taker but you always felt that Taker would win.
The one major difference though with this match and the previous three was the strength of the feud backing up the match. The storyline leading up to this match was the strongest yet and the urn (well a larger version than normal) played a major part in it. For all you who don’t remember while Taker was gone The Million Dollar Man brought in a fake Undertaker (played by Brian Lee/Chainz) which was eventually beaten by the real version. Taker would continue to feud with the Million Dollar Corporation which would eventually see IRS repossess the urn, thus them having possession at the beginning of the match. Eventually Bearer would gain possession again before Kama came down and took him out and running off with the urn. I still love the fact that Kama melted the urn down and making them into his chains which would eventually become a trademark of his Godfather character.
Match 5: Diesel – Wrestlemania XII 1996 – 16:46
At Wrestlemania XII the run of big-man opponents continued for Undertaker as he faced another person taller than him in Diesel (Kevin Nash for all you young-uns who don’t know). Watching this match I could feel how things at the time were changing. While only a loss to Mabel at King of the Ring the previous year marred his singles record (now 3 losses in just over 5 years) no longer was he being fed high name jobbers, Diesel was the first person who you could really believe to be a threat to the streak. Well at least that was my opinion watching the 20 matches this weekend, back in the day I could have sworn the Giant Gonzalez would have beaten him but hey I was naive then.
In all honesty Diesel should have won this match, he eventually dominated it enough that all he had to do was pin The Undertaker and the match would have been over. I really felt like Taker wouldn’t have gotten up from the first Jackknife Powerbomb let alone the second. I know the whole Deadman mystique and all that but honestly that move was one of the big ones at the time and noone got up from it. However Diesel’s arrogance led him to stand back and gloat that he had done major damage to Taker and thus give him time to recover and win his 5th Wrestlemania match.
That arrogance of Diesel is what hurt this match in my eyes. The match was an evenly balanced and entertaining match for a long time until Diesel took control. Once Diesel displayed his dominance however and started standing around that is where the match all went down hill. There was nothing happening in this time and time just dragged on and on. What could have been a high ranked match got reduced by Diesel’s failed attempt at appearing dominant.
Match 6: Psycho Sid – Wrestlemania 13 1997 – 21:19
Match 6 saw a few firsts for Undertaker involving his streak. This was the first time that he would not have the benefit of having Paul Bearer at the ring with him as the previous year his manager of 6 years had turned his back on him and sided with Mankind. Also this would be the first of 3 times that he would compete for a World Title, the first time he would compete under no-DQ rules and the first time that he appeared in the Main Event of the evening. Lastly this would be his first match to crack the 20 minute barrier, something I don’t think it really should have done.
To be quite honest with you all I found this match to be quite boring and feel like it just went on forever. There just never seemed to be anything worth getting into and it just seem to drag on and on and on. A lot has been said about how poor Pyscho Sid was between the ropes and I think that as evident here as these two just couldn’t seem to click together to do anything exciting.
The other major problem was while it was the Main Event of Wrestlemania it was treated more like a mid-year PPV main event setting up for a future major show. Before the match even started off we saw a now heel Bret Hart staking his claim on the next title shot by calling out both participants before being Powerbombed by Sid. Later on in the match Hart made his way back out and took out Sid, thus cheapening the victory that Taker got.
Now I understand that this was not the originally planned Main Event for the show but due to injuries and so on this match was the one signed at the end of the day. The thing is if you make this your main event of your biggest show of the year than you should treat it that way.
Match 7: Kane – Wrestlemania XIV 1998 – 16:48
1998 saw what would be the most emotionally charged match of the streak for the The Undertaker when he would take on his younger brother Kane for the first time. This was easily the biggest feud he had been part of in any of his Wrestlemania matches to date and was easily the most anticipated match of his career. Kane, with the help of Paul Bearer, had been tormenting The Undertaker for months trying to get him to fight him due to the torment he had dealt with from their childhood at the hands of Undertaker and the fire he had lit. Finally Taker gave in and thus they would meet for the first time at the biggest event of the year.
The match that would happen is one that will go down in history as one of the best matches of either of their careers and the one that helped start Kane’s lengthy run with the company. The match was another battle of the giants for The Undertaker and like the Diesel match from two years prior, was an entertaining contest. The main story though was that neither of them could keep each other down and no matter what they threw at each other they both kept getting up. The fact that it took 3 Tombstones for Taker to put away Kane said something phenomenal had just happened and it said in the stage for a feud which has entertained us off and on now for 15 years.
On a side note this was the first time I heard the commentary actually speak about Takers success at Wrestlemania. While there was no mention of the streak JR did mention though that he had had success at the show in previous years with winning the title the previous year and beating Jake Roberts, in if I heard correct, a mix-up from JR where he said Taker’s first Wrestlemania match.
Match 8: The Big Boss Man – Wrestlemania XV 1999 – 9:48
Following up from one of Undertaker’s greatest Wrestlemania Matches we come to one of his worst. Now as I said I have been a fan of Undertaker since I first started watching wrestling, one of the other guys who I was a major fan of in those early years was the Big Boss Man. To top that off this match was in Hell in a Cell, while at the time it was barely new, has turned out to be my favourite speciality match of all time. Everything pointed to me loving this match yet it was not to be, honestly I don’t know how anybody could have really enjoyed this one.
Nothing about this match was great. Where Hell in a Cell is normally classed as a third member of the match this match took it too far as they tried to shove it down our face that the Cell was dangerous. Using the Cell as a weapon is fine but there is no need for every second move to have it involved. Add to it things like the faulty handcuffs that broke as soon as Undertaker’s arm moved and you can understand why the fan’s had no interest in this match. In fat this match was so poor that it was the only match that was out at the time that was cut from the Hell in a Cell DVD that the WWE made a few years back, I really believe that says it all there.
What really made a bad match worse though was the aftermath, something that was not shown on the Streak DVD. I can remember reading it on the results all those years ago and shaking my head and even now rewatching it on a copy of it in my Wrestlemania collection I still shake my head. For all you who are unaware of what happened, what I am talking about is The Undertaker called down The Brood (Gangrel, Edge & Christian) who were lowered from the ceiling and broke a hole through it, through which they lowered a noose. Taker then put the noose around Boss Man’s neck and Bearer raised the cage, thus hanging Boss Man. Easily one of the worst booking decisions the WWE have ever made.
Match 9: Triple H – Wrestlemania X-Seven 2001 – 18:52
Here for those who thought the streak was one continuous streak is the second proof of the negative as Undertaker had to miss the 2000 edition due to a torn Pectoral Muscle. This match saw a different Undertaker grace the big event, as instead of the normal dark character that we had grown used to the previous decade, we got a new, biker style known as The American Bad Ass. Another new thing for this match was the fact that the commentary mentioned he was undefeated at Wrestlemania for the first time, even if it was only in passing.
Having Taker and Triple H in the ring facing each other you would expect a hard hitting fight and this match lived up to those expectations. However in saying that this match was marred by something outside of their control, the referee.
During the match the ref was knocked down and then a touch later while he was still groggy he was attacked by Taker and took the necessary bump to allow the competitors time to do what they will without reprise. The two wrestlers took hold of the opportunity and the fight turned to a more hardcore style including fighting into the crowd. The thing is the ref stayed down. I am not quite sure for how long but it seemed like a good 10 minutes the ref was knocked out. The amount of stuff the two of them got away with made the whole segment of the match ridiculous. What really made it worse for me though was the fact when Triple H was Chokeslammed from a heigh he was immediately attended to by officials yet the ref, who was supposedly knocked out for that length in time, was never once checked on at all. Hell the guy must have been in a coma not knocked out, alarm bells should have been ringing. A good match was soured because of complete silly booking here.
Match 10: Ric Flair – Wrestlemania X8 2002 – 18:47
At least in this match there would be no need for a lengthy down time like the year before as this match had a no-DQ stipulation but what it did have was a lot of compensation for the fact that this was only Ric Flair’s second match since his return to the WWE and he was nowhere near his peak condition inside the ring. The match was very much one-sided because of this with Undertaker having to take on the majority of the offence and thus taking a bit away from the match.
It was not all doom and gloom though as for what it was as it is still a reasonably good match. Both these guys now how to tell a good story no mater what they are given and they were able to do so here. Also it is always good to see the red of Flair’s blood going through his bright white hair, one of the greatest images in wrestling history.
On a side note this was the first time that it was continuously mentioned on commentary that Undertaker was undefeated at Wrestlemania.
Match 11: Big Show & A-Train – Wrestlemania XIX 2003 – 9:42
Yes this match was a handicap match, no it was not supposed to be. Undertakers partner for this match was supposed to be his storyline student Nathan Jones. The storyline reason he was taken out of the match was that he was beat down on Sunday Night Heat before the PPV started and thus too injured to compete, the real reason was that the WWE felt he was not ready to compete on the Grandest Stage of Them All as quite frankly he was as green as hell. The first thing that strikes me here is why book him in the match in the first place if you don’t believe he can perform? The second is have they not had people on the show with even less training as in their celebrity guests? This decision, along with many others, baffles me to no end. I believe it baffled Taker too as the story goes that he wanted no part in the match in the first place, he saw the writing on the wall that day.
While having Nathan Jones in the match might not have made the poor quality any better it might of at least made the match a touch more believable. Here you had Big Show, the Largest Athlete in the World and former World Champion teaming with A-Train, a man being booked as an absolute beast being totally owned by The Undertaker, one solitary individual, who while known for his supernatural powers in the past, was but a mere biker at this stage of his career. The dominance Taker had over these two was just way too over the top and the match suffered because of it. Then to top it off he still needed the help of Nathan Jones to win, making the match look even sillier than the match had already been.
Match 12: Kane (2) – Wrestlemania XX 2004 – 6:36
This match holds a special place in my memories as it took place at the first ever Wrestlemania that I ordered live on PPV and for the fact that it was the return of my beloved Deadman and the death of the American Bad Ass character, something that I had never really been fond of. This match screamed of the past with resurrection of the old feud between the brothers and the return of Paul Bearer as the manager of the Undertaker and the druids who lit the path to the ring. Yet things were still had the modern feel to it including the fact that Kane no longer had his mask and the fact that Takers hair had still not grown back from his days as Biker Taker.
In remembering what their match was like 6 years earlier at Wrestlemania XIV expectations were high for what this match could deliver with everyone hoping they would eclipse what they had previously achieved. It was not to be though as even though the storyline was personal leading into this match with Kane having helped bury The Undertaker alive some months before, it was not as emotionally charged as the first and they weren’t able to play off of that as much. The other major hindrance to this match was that it was only given half the time that the previous match had thus cutting short what the two men could accomplish with each other.
Match 13: Randy Orton – Wrestlemania 21 2005– 14:14
With Randy Orton we saw a change in the way Undertaker matches were booked as this was the first match that the main aspect of the feud was based around the Streak and quite honestly I think it was the most perfect fit for any of the matches that Undertaker has had at Wrestlemania. On one side you had the Legend that was Undertaker with his legendary streak, on the other The Legend Killer. The story wrote itself and only a fool could have messed it up (not taking into consideration that most of the writers are fools).
The match lived up to expectations too as the young Randy Orton was a great counter to the experience of Taker. The match felt like it could have gone either way with both men putting in a great showing. That is really all you could ask for in a match of the magnitude that the feud started to become at this time. Nothing beats a good back and forward match that you could believe either guy could win. Also while it could seem to have caused a hindrance to the match I actually quite liked the fact that Cowboy Bob interfered, it just made Undertaker’s win more special.
When you think of how young Orton was at this time and what he would come to achieve later on in his career you have to ask could they have done this match better if it had been done a couple of years later. I myself would have to say no. I think this was the perfect time to do this match and they did the best this pairing would have been able to achieve. I get the feeling that later in their career they would not mesh as good with each other as they did in this feud.
Match 14: Mark Henry – Wrestlemania 22 2006 – 9:28
There seems to be something that runs throughout the minds of all WWE writers that Undertaker needs to face someone bigger than him (in height or weight) to be a threat to him at Wrestlemania, which is not easy to find considering the size of Taker in the first place. Mark Henry marked the 8th opponent at Wrestlemania where Taker had to overcome the size odds (and would not be the last either) and that was exactly how the match was booked.
Mark Henry was on a rampage at this time of the career in what could easily be referred to as a precursor to his Hall of Pain character that we have had over the last couple of years. Again this was simple booking at its finest as all it really took was Henry manhandling Taker constantly that set up the intrigue for this match. In fact it was done well enough that I actually believed that this match would be the end of the streak and I predicted an Undertaker loss, the last time I ever have with a streak match.
However the match did not live up to any expectations that any one would have. While making it a Casket Match added extra intrigue to the match and the fact that at no time did Henry show fear of the Taker thus making it different than most other Taker matches it did not take away the fact that these two just didn’t seem to gel pretty good between the ropes and the match not really delivering on the excitement factor.
Match 15: Batista – Wrestlemania 23 2007 – 15:00
2007 was a big year for The Undertaker which is a pity for me as I didn’t get to see it all live because at the time I had no method to get my wrestling fix at the time (and wouldn’t for most of the next year either). This was the year that The Undertaker would win the Royal Rumble, the first to do it when coming in at number 30, and would go on to face Batista at Wrestlemania for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Once again Taker found himself fighting against a bigger man but at least this time he was able to pull out a decent match unlike the year before. In fact there was something special this year between the way these two connected as whenever they faced each other the match was a major success, with many people voting this as feud of the year.
This match had everything you would expect from a match with this calibre of wrestlers in it. It had great back and forth action which saw both men take the upper hand at times and had the necessary high spots like the Announce Table spot and Undertaker kicking out of the Batista Bomb. While not their greatest match of the feud it was still a worthy instalment of the streak.
Match 16: Edge – Wrestlemania XXIV 2008 – 23:50
Just one year after beating Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship, Undertaker found himself once again putting his streak on the line for a shot at the belt, this time against the Rated R Superstar Edge. However it was not just Takers streak on the line but also Edge’s, well his was somewhat different, but hey it was a streak all the same. You see Edge actually had lost at Wrestlemania but it was in a Money in the Bank ladder match so his record was 5-1. Edge’s streak was that he had never been pinned or submitted at Wrestlemania, thus making himself the same as Taker.
The match that we got out of these two was easily one of the better matches in the entirety of the streak. Like with Batista something just seemed to gel correctly when these two stepped in the ring together and it all seemed to go pretty well for them on this night. The highlight of the match had to be the numerous ways Edge found to counter Undertaker’s moves thus saving himself continuously from being beaten. I had to laugh though at watching Charles Robinson (the replacement ref) having to run down the lengthy ramp to get to the ring to count a pinfall, it seemed like he would never get there. Another nice touch was the finish, seeing Undertaker no sell the Spear and lock Edge in the Gogoplata.
One thing I did pick up though was the WWE’s selective memory that they love to have. The commentary team kept saying that The Undertaker had never beaten Edge due to the fact in the couple of matches they had had of recent times (a Triple Threat and a Tag Match) Edge had been on the winning side of the equation. All it took was me to go have a little search through the record to reveal that in fact it was the other way round when it comes to singles matches. They had only faced each other once before on an edition of Smackdown back in 2000, a match that Undertaker had in fact won.
Match 17: Shawn Michaels – Wrestlemania XXV 2009 – 30:41
Before rewatching all these matches I had this match in my mind as the best of the 20, after watching the match again nothing has changed my mind. Everything about this match screamed awesomeness. The first thing was the opponent Shawn Michaels. For starters he is not called Mr Wrestlemania for nothing. While Undertaker wins every time he sets foot in a Wrestlemania ring, Shawn’s performance quality rises to maximum, most years putting on the match of the night no matter where on the card he is put. Also these two had been known to put on a good show when in the ring with each other which helped add to the already high anticipation for the match. On a side note, this particular year the commentators actually got it right when they said Undertaker had never beaten Shawn as they had only met 1on1 3 times before in 1997-98 and Shawn had won all three times.
The next part was the feud, it was perfect. The whole black v white, dark v light thing was a perfect fit for these two, exactly like their entrances at the event showed.
The last part was the match itself. The match was a throwback to the era that they had started in. The match had a slow build starting with the old school method of wearing your opponent down through multiple submission holds. Both men were able to slowly wear each other down, building up towards the tail end of the match which just kept getting bigger and bigger until the inevitable happened and Taker got the win. To this day I am still surprised when looking up details of this match and see that Dave Meltzer only gave this match a 4 ¾ star rating, it is one match that really deserved the whole 5 stars
I have never really seen a better told story within a match. I remember watching it live on PPV with my Sister-in-Law. While I was watching the match I was also watching her reaction. While I was sitting back and enjoying the showcase in front of me she was on the edge of her seat jumping at each near fall. Like everyone else she flew out of her seat when Shawn kicked out of the Tombstone, I just sat there for all I could feel was the story wasn’t ready to be over. Eventually when Taker caught Shawn coming off the top rope and delivered the second Tombstone I calmly turned around to her and slowly raised my fingers 1, 2, 3. Never before or since have I had that feeling that I was so into the match that I just knew when it was over and not fall for the near falls. It is a great testament to two wonderful storytellers in the ring that they could just get something so right.
Match 18: Shawn Michaels (2) – Wrestlemania XXVI 2010 – 23:59
After their performance the year before I had no desire to see a re-match between Taker and Shawn. I felt like there was no real way they could live up to their performance from the year before, you can not better perfection. I also felt with Taker’s steak slowly building to a big number that another person should have the chance to beat him, not someone who had previously had a chance and lost. Eventually though the storyline that they used to build to the match won me over slightly but honestly I was still not happy at all.
While nothing really bad can be said about this match as the two put on a wonderful show worthy of their names and their placing as main event on the card I still have trouble with this match. I guess it comes down to my opinion of the match the year before but I still feel it was lacking in certain areas. The match just did not have the same feel as it did the year before and seemed to fall short in many of the area’s that the previous year succeeded. Also I still can hardly comprehend the point of having the match as a no-DQ, no countout match as the stips barely were used in the first place. The only reason they were added to the match was to try to differ itself from the previous year yet they failed to take advantage of them.
However the real special part to this match is of course this was Shawn Michael’s last match. While it would have been good to see him go out winning at lest he went out showing why he was called Mr Wrestlemania. It was also a nice touch for Undertaker to leave the spotlight after the match for Shawn to finish the show getting the respect that he deserved.
Match 19: Triple H (2) – Wrestlemania XXVII 2011 – 29:33
With the length of the streak getting bigger every year, to me the list of credible opponents who should maybe beat it grow smaller and smaller, back here Triple H was one of those names. By them signing this match some doubt crept into my mind that maybe this was the year that he would lose, and quite honestly while I wouldn’t be happy that Taker lost, at least it was to someone who I felt at least was a credible option. Lucky for me, and everyone else to, Taker in fact won this match or I would not be here writing this column for you today.
It was made quite obvious from the get go that this match was going to be different than the ones with Shawn Michaels. Where they had been more about the technical side of wrestling this one was going to be a more hard hitting encounter. Where the match from the year before hardly used the stipulations of the match, this match here almost immediately took advantage of the No Holds Barred stipulation and made it into somewhat of a hardcore style match. This played up to both Takers and Triple H’s strengths and therefore made for an entertaining match.
The real story of the match though was what Taker would go through to keep his streak alive. With Taker only being barely around now the streak has become his be all and end all, it has become his legacy to the wrestling world. It is a rare occasion indeed where you see someone take 3 separate pedigrees, multiple chair shots including one to the head and a Tombstone Piledriver and yet still manage to kick out every time and get the opponent to tap out, thus winning the match. If this was any other wrestler everyone would be bitching about how unbelievable the situation was, but not The Undertaker, especially at Wrestlemania.
Match 20: Triple H (3) – Wrestlemania XXVIII 2012 – 30:50
Just like the second Shawn Michaels match I was unhappy to see Triple H get another shot at the streak, I believed it should have been given to someone else who had earned it. My displeasure at the match being booked though only lasted a couple of weeks as Triple H ended up uttering those 4 simple words that changed my opinion to one of pure delight. Hell in a Cell. As I said before Hell in a Cell is easily my favourite speciality match and Taker and Triple H are easily the masters of it. The thing was these two had never faced each other 1on1 inside the cell thus making this match a dream match fulfilled for me.
While I understood these two were no longer in their prime and would not put on the performance that I had dreamed about for years inside of the cell I did go into this match with high expectations. While I enjoyed it watching it live on PPV, a lot of the match didn’t sit well with me and I wasn’t really happy with it. Then afterwards I thought about the match. I read what others had to say and I thought about it some more. In the end things started to fall into place and I started to see the match in a different light.
While watching the match in preparation for this column I sat and watched it as if I was watching it for the first time, leaving my expectations at the door and to be really honest, I damn well enjoyed this match to no end. While it was not the match that I had dreamed about for years it was done in a way that it was just as good. They both compensated for what they were no longer able to do yet still made an interesting story within the match. Shawn as the referee also added to the match due to the fact that during the massive amounts of down time we still had something going on that kept the match moving along nicely.
Also I will never forget the spot where Undertaker was given Sweet Chin Music by Shawn straight into a Pedigree from Triple H yet still kicked out before the three. This was a feat noone had been able to do before and once again proved how big the streak had become.
1. Match 17: Shawn Michaels – Wrestlemania XXV 2009 I think I summed up my feelings about this match above, easily the best match of the 20
2. Match 20: Triple H (3) – Wrestlemania XXVIII 2012 A classic of a match which only fails slightly in comparison to the number 1 match
3. Match 16: Edge – Wrestlemania XXIV 2008 A lot of credit has to go to Edge here who put in an amazing effort against Undertaker
4. Match 7: Kane – Wrestlemania XIV 1998 The massive storyline and the emotion used in this match make it one of the greatest matches of Taker and Kane’s lengthy feud
5. Match 19: Triple H (2) – Wrestlemania XXVII 2011 Rounding out the top 5 we have the second Triple H match, while not as great as the third was still a great showing
6. Match 18: Shawn Michaels (2) – Wrestlemania XXVI 2010 While I may have been largely disappointed in this match I will still admit it was still a good one.
7. Match 13: Randy Orton – Wrestlemania 21 2005 Something about a young Orton just seemed to click with the Undertaker
8. Match 15: Batista – Wrestlemania 23 2007 Same as the above comment
9. Match 5: Diesel – Wrestlemania XII 1996 Except for the downtime during Diesel’s arrogance section this was a good match
10. Match 9: Triple H – Wrestlemania X-Seven 2001 The lengthy ref bump took away from what was a good match
11. Match 4: King Kong Bundy – Wrestlemania XI 1995 Easily the best of the early jobber matches
12. Match 14: Mark Henry – Wrestlemania 22 2006 Just think of what this match would have been like a year ago
13. Match 10: Ric Flair – Wrestlemania X8 2002 A lot of people may disagree with this ranking it is quite honestly a match that I just coyuldn’t get into
14. Match 12: Kane (2) – Wrestlemania XX 2004 It is a shame this match had to come in so low due to the memories I have of it
15. Match 2: Jake Roberts – Wrestlemania VIII 1992 Jake put in a good showing even though you knew he was just there as jobbing material
16. Match 3: Giant Gonzalez – Wrestlemania IX 1993 I wanted this match higher but Zaccy made me see reason and put it down lower, he made me realise no matter how much I would like to be I am no longer just a mark
17. Match 6: Psycho Sid – Wrestlemania 13 1997 Wow, we actually had this match beat some
18. Match 1: Jimmy Snuka – Wrestlemania VII 1991While I would like to put the match that started it all higher, the fact that the match went less than 5 minutes hurt it immensely
19. Match 8: The Big Boss Man – Wrestlemania XV 1999 Quite frankly the worst Hell in a Cell of all time
20. Match 11: Big Show & A-Train – Wrestlemania XIX 2003 This match had no right to be booked the way it was, pure stupidity from the WWE
Well finally that brings us to the end. Please feel free to leave any feedback on my thoughts about the matches from Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak and any you may have yourself. Also if you feel like it you are most welcome to share how you would rank the matches. With all luck next year I will be able to add a CM Punk match to the end of this column when Undertaker goes 21-0 this weekend.
Thanx for reading,
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