The breaking of The Streak.
Has there ever been a more shocking moment in the history of, well, ever? Other than Chris Evans (The Radio One DJ, not Captain America) marrying Billie Piper I can’t think of one. It has been discussed and dissected by people a lot more intelligent and articulate than I am but the prevailing wisdom seems to be this.
WHY WAS IT BROCK LESNAR AND NOT *Insert someone else here*?!?!?!?!?!
Today, to mark the first WrestleMania after The Undertaker’s retirement, I’m going to insert five ‘someone elses’ here and tell you who I think would have been better.
5. Kane – WrestleMania 27
Back at WrestleMania 27 Kane was stuck in a match with Big Show, Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov vs *Shudders* The Corre. As a middling babyface having, not half a year earlier emerged victorious from a feud with his undead brother, World Heavyweight Title in tow.
I know long term storytelling and The WWE don’t often mix but this feud was the culmination of 13 years of a story between the Brothers Of Destruction and where better to end it than at WrestleMania? In my storyline, ‘Taker would have defeated Kane for the title at Hell In A Cell and gone on one final run with the gold. Kane, disappearing from TV for a while, would play mind games a lá the lead up to Wrestlemania 20. Culminating in Kane laying his spooky sibling to rest for the final time. Killing the feud and the streak in one fell swoop.
4. Randy Orton – Wrestlemania 30
WrestleMania XXX seems like the logical stopping off point for The Undertaker’s streak as a general rule. Undertaker was well past his prime and had what is largely considered his last great WrestleMania match (Boneyard notwithstanding) the year earlier against CM Punk. It was time for the gunslinger to hang up his hat.
Does Randy Orton need beating the streak on his resumé? Absolutely not. Would it have taken him from the main event and minimised Daniel Bryan’s crowning moment? Probably not. Would the Legend Killer killing the biggest legend in wrestling history have been the biggest moment in Orton’s already illustrious career? Without a shadow of a doubt.
3. The Fiend – WrestleMania 37.
Yes, yes, I know, Taker is retired. But this is fantasy booking so in this branch of the WWE Multiverse, he’s still going strong. I am not gifted with the creative genius of one Bray Wyatt so I’m not even going to attempt to write a story for this but for a moment, just try to imagine what Bray could come up with for this, imagine WrestleMania 36’s Firefly Funhouse Match but add another supernatural force in there and the ante is upped to a Spinal Tap sized 11.
For their Wrestlemania 31 match, Bray carried the torch alone and developed a really good story and a huge sense of intrigue heading in, without so much as a video message from the Deadman. With this in mind, imagine what he could do with a present and available Undertaker? This would be a true passing of the torch moment between one of the original horror icons of wrestling to the current resident monster.
2. CM Punk – WrestleMania 29
I would change nothing about this feud, build up and the story heading into this match. I wouldn’t change anything about the match apart from one simple thing, and yes you guessed it, the winner.
Now I know there’s the issue of the untimely passing of Paul Bearer and using his death in the story and ultimately ending it with the disrespecting villain coming out on top would rub a lot of people the wrong way but from hearing the stories from his peers and friends, I could easily imagine that Paul Bearer would love the idea that he helped create the biggest heel in all of wrestling and who knows, maybe it would have helped make Punk stick around a while longer.
1. No one – WrestleMania Never
Ah yes, my personal pick. This is purely and unashamedly favouritism and bias on my side but The Undertaker debuted almost 2 years before I was born, for as long as I’ve been watching wrestling, 25 years at this point, there’s been The Undertaker. For the 10 years my wife has been with me and has suffered through my love of wrestling, there’s been The Undertaker, hell, even my oldest child knows and loves The Undertaker and for the majority of those years, there has been The Streak.
My forever fantasy booking scenario for Undertaker was to get to 19-0. Head into WrestleMania against absolutely anyone, WWE Championship on the line. The Undertaker wins the match and retires as champion because if anyone deserved to go out on top it was The Undertaker. Sadly, I’ll never get that but who’d have thought anyone would last in wrestling for 30 years? I don’t feel I’ve missed out on anything and we have now had the Final Farewell……..
…… Or have we?