Tag Archives: The Undertaker

My Displeasure with Ending The Streak

When I first started watching professional wrestling in 1999, I didn’t really know a whole lot about the “sport.” I knew characters from video games I had played and from those same games I knew the basic rules. Sometimes the rules varied depending on who was in the match or what the stipulation was set to, but it wasn’t too complex to follow. The more I watched the more I became enamored by statistics. Even though I knew far too well that these stats were easily manipulated if not contrived by the booker’s themselves to put their talent over, I still found them enjoyable.

I started watching wrestling via World Championship Wrestling, which means the two biggest statistics at that time were Goldberg’s undefeated streak and Ric Flair’s World Heavyweight Title reigns. Goldberg’s streak had just been broken a month before I started watching, but that didn’t stop the announcers from talking about it. Mostly because, in storyline, he was only defeated due to shenanigans outside the ring. However, Ric Flair’s title reigns continued to be promoted as a big achievement.

There were other things that I thought were important at that time too. Some of them were the total number of titles held and whether or not someone was considered a Grand Slam Champion. As WCW began to crumble and I began to watch the then World Wrestling Federation, titles slowly started to lose their value. Perhaps it’s because the company brought over all of WCW’s championships for the Invasion storyline. It seemed anybody could be any champion at that time. Of course you had guys who were Crusierweights, or Hardcore wrestlers, but if you threw one of Stone Cold’s beer cans into a crowded locker room you likely would hit a champion of some kind or another.

In addition to more titles than they knew what to do with, the WWF and now WWE went through several phases of hot-shotting title changes. Maybe they needed to pop a rating to help their television rights negotiations. Perhaps they were going to Mexico or the UK and needed a guy who is hot in that market to hold the title. Maybe the demographics were changing and we needed someone who could move numbers for children. No matter the reason, people started piling up title reigns left and right. Ric Flair’s prestigious 16 times as World Heavyweight Champion no longer seemed like this lofty number that made him unique. Not when you have multiple guys in their prime with several years left with 10 or more reigns.

It had devolved to the point where there was really one meaningful statistic left and it too was a Streak. The Streak as it had come to be known was The Undertaker’s winning streak at the Showcase of the Immortals, Wrestlemania. As it would turn out, I started watching WWF/E around the same time The Streak started being promoted every Spring. This time I was getting in on something at the beginning as opposed to the end. My first Wrestlemania was X8 in 2002. The Deadman would defeat Ric Flair to go 10-0. In the last 12 years WWE has taken many twists and turns to get to where it is today. Pushes have started and stopped, and the cast of characters has gone through many make-overs. But nobody could beat The Undertaker at the biggest show of the year.

I have gone on the record and stated that I don’t like the fact that John Cena wins all the time. It infuriates me. For a while he too had a winning streak at Wrestlemania, typically with championships on the line. I was annoyed year after year by his wins. I even had the same near fall reactions that usually accompanied The Streak.

So you might say: why were you a fan of The Undertaker’s streak? It’s actually two-fold and rather simple. First, The Undertaker was not always the main event nor was it always for a championship. Second, in the latter half of the last decade, The Deadman would return just for Wrestlemania. It’s far easier to get behind someone winning if you only see them win once a year – as opposed to them winning every month, or every week.

On April 6, 2014 at Wrestlemania XXX, The Streak was broken by Brock Lesnar.

If this was indeed supposed to be The Undertaker’s final match, I can live with it. I’m not thrilled about it but I can at least understand the intent. However, if they plan on having The Undertaker continue to wrestle his one match at Wrestlemania, then I don’t know what the point of this was. You could argue that a match against Sting could still be built up as one final dream match between a WCW Icon and a WWE Icon. But any other opponent would need something to actually feud with The Undertaker over and justify a match. Also, this now puts The Undertaker in the same position as other older wrestlers who return every year for Wrestlemania season. If he’s not defending The Streak, and not performing on other shows will people tolerate him taking someone else’s spot?

If I had my way, The Streak would never be broken. I would have had The Undertaker face Sting, John Cena, and one other individual, maybe Daniel Bryan or another young talent that the company can build around. Then he could retire with 25 wins on the company’s biggest stage.

WWE put over a lot of new faces at Wrestlemania XXX. The Shield decimated three Attitude Era main-stays. Cesaro body slamed the Big Show over the top rope to win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Lastly, Daniel Bryan defeated Triple H in the opener and then tapped out Batista to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event. If this is truly the dawn of a new era and ending The Streak was done by this design, then WWE has a lot of work to do in building up these new stars and others around them. We heard an awful lot about legacies at Wrestlemania. What will these new stars leave behind? What will we be upset to see end in the next 20 years? What stat will stand out? Will anything ever be as big as The Streak?

None of these things can be answered right now. As someone I know like’s to say, I guess we’ll have to wait… and see.

Andy’s Satellite of Love – Episode 26

We’re on the Highway to Hell on this week’s edition of Andy’s Satellite of Love! Andy and Jeff pump the brakes to stop short of crashing headlong into the movie monster titans that are Steve Austin and The Undertaker. The most notable thing on this show? Jeff and I disagree about something! It’s Summerslam 1998! Check it out!

Andy’s Satellite of Love – Episode 19

Andy and Jeff talk briefly about UFC on FOX 2, and then significantly less briefly (ie tons) about WWF Royal Rumble 1998! Stone Cold, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, and all your favorites… like, the Disciples of Apocalypse!