The Undertaker and the Streak
The Most Impressive Accomplishment in Sports Entertainment History?
At 21-0, The Undertaker is undoubtedly the most successful performer in WrestleMania history. To even compete in 21 separate WrestleManias is an accomplishment itself, but to come out victorious on all occasions cements his status as one of the all-time greats.
Is the streak the most impressive accomplishment in sports entertainment history, however? In my opinion, only one accomplishment is more impressive, with that being Bruno Sammartino’s 2,803-day reign as champion.
With that said, it leads one to wonder if the streak should be preserved, and also how it will be possible to send The Undertaker off in a fitting manner if he does end his WrestleMania career undefeated.
Should the Streak Be Ended?
Many have suggested that it would be selfish for The Undertaker to end his career with an undefeated WrestleMania record. Instead, some feel he should put over a young star in his final match to pass the torch, so to speak, to the next generation.
While there is certainly some validity to the argument, I am not necessarily buying into it. The primary reason the streak should be maintained is that it has become synonymous with his character. As one of the most iconic superstars of his generation, the streak is an important part of his legacy.
Think about it: Shawn Michaels is known as Mr. WrestleMania, Steve Austin is the face of the Attitude Era, Hulk Hogan transformed the WWE from a regional promotion into a nationally televised sport, John Cena has the most WWE title reigns of all-time. What will fans think of when they remember The Undertaker in 20 years?
Other than his unique character and being perhaps the only superstar to maintain a kayfabe persona in a social media era, the streak is one of the defining characteristics of his career. Therefore, I think it is important for him to retire with an undefeated record at WrestleMania.
How Should the WWE Send Off The Undertaker?
Assuming he retires undefeated, writers would have to come up with an interesting way to send him off in his final match. Simply having him win and walk out of the arena seems like a lame way to send off one of the most fascinating characters in the company’s history.
It seems highly unlikely that he will lose to Brock Lesnar this year, leaving maybe one or two years left before he is forced to retire. After all, he is approaching 50 years old and it is only a matter of time before his body can no longer hold up.
My guess is that he will compete at two more WrestleManias following this year’s event. That would allow for him to face someone such as John Cena or possibly Sting next year (assuming Sting decides to sign, of course).
In his final match, it would be possible to put over a new star while still preserving the streak. Imagine The Undertaker facing a young heel such as Bray Wyatt. The two could possibly face off in something like a casket match (I’d suggest a buried alive match but don’t see that happening in the PG era).
After The Undertaker wins the match, Wyatt and his family could decimate Taker and bury or set the casket on fire. Unlike previous contests where he usually does something like put his hand through the casket, however, this could be the true end to his career and the last time he ever appears. Voilà, Taker gone, the streak is preserved, and you put over someone like Wyatt by having him be the man who finally took out The Deadman.
Facts Related to the Streak:
Average Match Time: 16:29
Total Time Spent Competing: 5 hours, 46 minutes, 26 seconds
Longest Match: 30:50 (WrestleMania 28 vs. Triple H)
Shortest Match: 4:20 (WrestleMania 7 vs. Jimmy Snuka)
Most Frequent Opponent: Triple H (3 times)
Number of Headlining Appearances: 3 (WrestleMania 13, WrestleMania 24, WrestleMania 26)
Numbers of Titles Won: 3 (WWE Championship vs. Sycho Sid at WrestleMania 13, WHC vs. Batista at WrestleMania 23, WHC vs. Edge at WrestleMania 24)
So how do you feel about the streak? Do you think The Undertaker should go out on top, or should he lose in his final match? What is your all-time favorite Taker WrestleMania match? Let us know in the comments.