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“The Streak” – Two Decades of Dominance by The Undertaker
The Streak”, 20 consecutive wins at WrestleMania by The Undertaker. “The Phenom” has taken on and defeated a staggering list of some of the greatest WWF legends of all time during it. And on April 7th, 2013, at WrestleMania XXIX, CM Punk will take on The Undertaker, attempting to end over 20 years of wrestling perfection.
The Urn has reappeared after several years, due to the recent passing of Paul Bearer, and is sure to come into play and “The Grandest Stage of Them All”. So with this in mind, let’s get retro and take a journey back in time and review how we got to 20 and 0.
WrestleMania VII – Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka (1-0)
OK, sure, Undertaker defeated a wrestling legend in less than 5 minutes, but this match wasn’t viewed as anything special. No one had a clue that this was the start of something special.
WrestleMania VIII – Jake “The Snake” Roberts (2-0)
For many years, this was arguably the best match from “The Streak”. Jake Roberts, a master of the mic and ring psychology, brought out the very best of The Undertaker. Taker withstood 2 DDT’s and closed out the match with his signature Tombstone Piledriver to Roberts on the concrete floor.
WrestleMania IX – Giant Gonzales (3-0)
Undoubtedly the worst match of “The Streak”, it was a match against Giant Gonzales, and what did you expect? The Undertaker won by disqualification, being knocked out by chloroform. He would return to the ring and pummel Gonzales mercilessly, however, though everyone was asleep at that point.
WrestleMania X – No Match as he was rehabbing a back injury
WrestleMania XI – King Kong Bundy (4-0)
This match was all about Paul Bearer’s mystical Urn, which had been stolen by Ted DiBiase and his Million Dollar Corporation. Bundy would fall to the Undertaker, but Kama Mustafa would escape with the Urn.
WrestleMania XII – Diesel (5-0)
This match was the finale of a long feud between these 2 behemoths. Numerous high impact moves wowed the crowd in Anaheim, but a Chokeslam and a Tombstone Piledriver put away Big Daddy Cool.
WrestleMania XIII – Sycho Sid (6-0)
In 1997, with an assist from Bret “Hit Man” Hart, Undertaker ran his streak to 6-0. While distracted by Hart, the Dead Man hit Sid with the Tombstone and won the WWF Championship, his 2nd time holding the title.
WrestleMania XIV – Kane (7-0)
This was the first of the two WrestleMania meetings against his brother Kane. “The Big Red Monster”, led by Paul Bearer would challenge Undertaker, taking everything he could dish out and answering with more. But when the dust settled, the Dead Man was again victorious.
WrestleMania XV – Big Boss Man (8-0)
The first “Hell in a Cell” match at WrestleMania, this was essentially Undertaker versus Vince McMahon’s Corporation, and, not to ruin it for you, but the Boss Man didn’t get the job done. Most only remember this for what happened after it ended. In a move many found startling, even distasteful, The Brood (Gangrel, Edge, and Christian) would descend into the cage and help Undertaker hang the Boss Man
WrestleMania XVI – No Match due to groin injury
WrestleMania XVII – Triple H (9-0)
This would be the first time “The Streak” was acknowledged, and the best “Streak” match to date. The “American Bad Ass” and “The Game” battled all over the arena. Blood was spilt; HHH’s trademark sledgehammer appeared, and the two left each other battered and broken in the ring, but with The Undertaker once again coming out on top.
WrestleMania XVIII – Ric Flair (10-0)
“The Streak” started to find its legs. Undertaker went head to head against “The Nature Boy”, and while it was decidedly one sided, it was wildly popular, due to the legendary status of the competitors. The roof nearly would come off the Toronto Skydome when Undertaker raised 10 fingers after the pin.
WrestleMania XIX – The Big Show and A-Train (11-0)
Originally scheduled a tag team event with Undertaker and Nathan Jones versus Big Show and A-Train, it would end up as the only handicap match during “The Streak”. Calling this match lousy is an insult to every Lex Luger match that ever occurred. The most memorable part of this debacle was Limp Bizkit’s live performance of “Rollin” for Taker’s entrance.
WrestleMania XX – Kane (12-0)
The 2nd battle against his brother, this match saw the return of Undertaker’s “Dead Man” persona, with Paul Bearer and his mystical Urn. Being buried alive at Survivor Series 2003 by Kane, how else was he supposed to return? Chokeslam, Tombstone, 12 and 0.
WrestleMania XXI – Randy Orton (13-0)
Ahhh yes, the “Legend versus Legend Killer” match at WrestleMania 21. This was one of the few moments in “The Streak” where fans believed that it could come to an end. It was thought that Orton would get the win to help elevate him higher into the main event, but “The Legend Killer” wasn’t enough to break the streak. Undertaker reversed Orton’s attempt at a Tombstone and carried on.
WrestleMania XXII – Mark Henry (14-0)
The Casket Match, and the only one in WrestleMania history. This is largely considered Mark Henry’s best match……….uhm, sure, why not?
WrestleMania XXIII – Batista (15-0)
This was one of the Undertaker’s finest matches ever. The emotions were there as he was able to win the World Heavyweight Championship from Batista. Plus, the match surprised a lot of fans in that Batista performed way better than expected.
WrestleMania XXIV – Edge (16-0)
The Undertaker managed to defeat Edge for the World Heavyweight Title. A very entertaining match, largely due to Edge’s in-ring ability, and the crowd being shocked by the debut of the “Dead Man’s” Hell’s Gate submission hold to win the Title.
WrestleMania XXV – Shawn Michaels (17-0)
The 25th WrestleMania! “The Streak” against “Mr. WrestleMania”. “The Phenom” versus “The Showstopper”. “The Tombstone” meets “Sweet Chin Music”. This is, without a doubt, the Undertaker’s finest WrestleMania moment. Fans, me included, were stunned at how strong the match was. Raising the bar again and again, it was like an ever building crescendo. Very rarely does a match this hyped actually live up to, much less, exceed expectations. I should go watch this again right now, be back soon…
…wow, that is still awesome! Now, where was I? Oh yes, of course…
WrestleMania XXVI – Shawn Michaels (18-0)
…The rematch billed as “The Undertaker’s Streak versus Shawn Michaels’ Career”. Initially, when Michaels asked for this match, it was declined. But after “The Heartbreak Kid” cost him the WWE Championship, he agreed on the stipulation that Shawn retired if he lost. Shawn would retire the next night on RAW. A very good match, but it felt weak by comparison to its predecessor in 2009.
WrestleMania XXVII – Triple H (19-0)
In Atlanta, “The Game” would take his 2nd attempt at breaking “The Streak”. One of Undertaker’s more brutal matches, like their 1st meeting, they left nothing out there, and when it looked as the HHH would end Undertaker’s run, he would fall to the Hell’s Gate Submission. However, only HHH would walk out of the Georgia Dome and the Undertaker would leave on a stretcher.
WrestleMania XXVIII – Triple H (20-0)
The “End of an Era” match. The Undertaker versus Triple H for the 3rd time. That should be enough….no? Ok, Hell in a Cell. What? Fine, with Shawn Michaels as the Special Guest Referee. The Undertaker would withstand multiple “Pedigrees” and a “Sweet Chin Music” and HHH even countered the “Hell’s Gate Submission”, but in the end, “The Streak” prevailed. The lasting memory of this night will always be Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker assisting Triple H out of the arena.
Well, there we are, 22 years in a few minutes. I hope these memories have you thinking of your own favorite Undertaker moment at WrestleMania. Tell me what they were, I’d love to know. And over the next 4 weeks, I’ll be doing nothing but talking WrestleMania! Keep your shoulders off the mat.