WWE: Power Ranking the Undertaker's 19 WrestleMania Matches
Now that the Deadman has returned, he has his sights set on another WrestleMania encounter with Triple H in his attempt to go 20-0.
The dominant force known as the Undertaker has become invincible for one night in late March or early April every year. Out of 27 total WrestleManias, the Undertaker has appeared and won in 19 of them.
That is a ridiculous feat.
Even better is the fact that his matches seem to get better with time. Once the focus was on taking down the Streak, the quality of Taker's latest contests at the biggest show of the year have been nothing short of excellent.
This is a list that has been done before and will be done again. Yet that is what makes it so fun to write and debate about.
Here are my rankings for all 19 of the Undertaker's WrestleMania matches.
19) King Kong Bundy (WrestleMania XI)
Apparently, Bundy was supposed to win this match.
WrestleMania XI was not exactly a glorious PPV. While the title match between Diesel and Shawn Michaels was good, the actual main event was between Lawrence Taylor and Bam Bam Bigelow.
While Taylor did well, considering he is not a wrestler, how does that match main event your biggest show of the year?
Anyway, this is Taker's worst match in what was a snoozefest of big proportions. And we are thankful that Bundy took the loss instead of ruining the best streak in sports entertainment in its infancy.
18) Giant Gonzalez (WrestleMania IX)
What in the hell are you wearing?
Chances are I would say that if I saw Giant Gonzalez backstage. Then I would get the crap kicked out of me, but that is beside the point.
Here is one word to describe WrestleMania IX: boneheaded. As in Hulk Hogan winning the championship in 21 seconds after Yokozuna won it after a hard-fought battle. As in the Roman mythology theme that was everywhere during the show.
The coolest thing about this match was Undertaker's entrance. The rest of it was pretty terrible, but Taker picked up the win against a much bigger opponent.
17) Jake Roberts (WrestleMania VIII)
The buildup for this match between Taker and The Snake was actually pretty good, but the match fell flat in a big way.
Roberts was on his way to WCW, and chances are he did not give this match much of a real effort. Because of that, it turned into an extended squash match, with the Undertaker getting the upper hand for the majority of the contest.
This match contributed to another disappointing WrestleMania. Savage and Flair had a great match, but they were once again overshadowed by Hogan, who hogged the main event and delivered a terrible contest against Sid Justice.
16) Jimmy Snuka (WrestleMania VII)
This was the first win in the Streak, and it came against a household name in the Superfly.
Unfortunately, it was a glorified squash match for the Undertaker, beating a man who was nearing the end of his career. Taker, on the other hand, was in the midst of a winning streak that would lead him to the WWE Championship, beating Hogan at Survivor Series that year.
It was the start of a Hall of Fame career for one of the greatest superstars of all time.
That night, however, the match was quickly forgotten about when Savage vs. Ultimate Warrior was the next contest.
15) Big Boss Man (WrestleMania XV)
Well, this was the best Hell in a Cell match ever.
Actually, not even close. Aside from the whole Kennel from Hell debacle on Raw years back, this was definitely the worst. So bad that when the WWE came out with a Hell in a Cell DVD, they conveniently left it out.
To help matters even more, Big Boss Man was lifted along with the cage in a very inappropriate matter.
Definitely not either man's finest performance on this night.
14) Big Show and A-Train (WrestleMania XIX)
This was supposed to be a tag team match, with Nathan Jones as the Undertaker's tag team partner. However, A-Train and Big Show took out Jones on Sunday Night Heat, making this one a handicap match.
With the second slot on the card and not a ton of time, this was not the greatest match ever. The Big Show is one of the best for a man of his size, but A-Train never reached that type of status. He hung around the company for years but always toiled around the midcard.
At this stage in his career, the Undertaker deserved a better draw than the one he got here. Although he did have a cool, live entrance.
13) Mark Henry (WrestleMania 22)
The WrestleMania 22 contest that should have occurred was the Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle.
If you ask Angle, it is because Taker wanted him to end the Streak, but the company had different ideas. Sounds like a load of crap to me.
Instead, that match happened at No Way Out, and it is one of the most underrated matches in recent memory. Angle moved on to Rey and Orton, while Taker was stuck with Mark Henry.
Lately, Mark Henry has been built up as a powerful monster, but he always toiled in the midcard before that point. He got a high-profile contest with the Undertaker, but the casket match did not deliver in the slightest.
Ironically, every single WrestleMania Streak match after this one has been, far and away, much better.
12) Sycho Sid (WrestleMania 13)
While this was not a very good no disqualification match, it is higher up on the list because the Undertaker ended the night with the WWF (at the time) Championship.
WrestleMania 13 should have been the rematch between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. HBK, however, could not compete, and no one knew whether he was actually injured or if he just did not want to wrestle Hart.
Ironically, this was a blessing in disguise for Stone Cold Steve Austin. He was the one to face Bret Hart at WrestleMania, and it launched his career to new heights. The main event, however, was Taker vs. Sycho Sid.
Once again, the trend continues for the Undertaker, with the matches farther down this list being earlier in his career. Amazing how the Deadman has only gotten better over time.
11) Kane (WrestleMania XX)
Nice haircut! If Taker took off that wig on Raw, maybe it would look like that.
The best part of this match is the entrance, like it has been in a couple of previous matches. Paul Bearer returned, and Taker reverted back to his Deadman gimmick.
Kane was tasked with building a feud for two months with the opponent practically nonexistent. Taker played mind games with his brother, but WrestleMania was the first time he appeared in person since Survivor Series.
This was another glorified squash match. Kane hit a chokeslam, and Taker sat right back up. Some are calling for a third WrestleMania match between the two. While that would definitely be more appropriate, Trips looks to be getting the nod.
10) Diesel (WrestleMania XII)
Although WrestleMania XII was all about the Iron Man Match, The Undertaker and Diesel still put on a good match that no one ever really remembers.
Diesel did all he could to keep the Deadman down, going as far as to hit multiple Jackknife Powerbombs on the Phenom. That still could not end the streak, and Taker prevailed in the end.
Other than the whole Giant Gonzalez-disqualification-stretcher debacle, this was definitely the closest Taker came to losing the streak early on. Diesel gave him a run for his money, but he fell just short in the end.
Shortly after this, Diesel would move on to make history with Scott Hall and Hulk Hogan in the form of the NWO.
9) Ric Flair (WrestleMania X8)
This one got personal, with Undertaker attacking Arn Anderson and Flair's son during the buildup.
While this match was slow at first, it got better as the contest progressed. Flair was bleeding early (shocker) and added the necessary color that the match stipulation requires, which is something that is lacking these days.
Despite the Figure Four leglock and a devastating spinebuster from Anderson himself, the Undertaker prevailed in the end with the Tombstone.
Once again, this is another Undertaker contest that is overshadowed by other matches on the card, particularly Rock vs. Hogan.
8) Randy Orton (WrestleMania 21)
This was the first time that the Streak was played up, and it showed. The quality of most matches going forward are based off of ending the Streak.
The highlight of this match is the awesome counter of the chokeslam into the RKO by Orton. The Legend Killer proved his worth in this contest and in the entire feud, which lasted all the way to December. Taker, however, would not be denied.
While the Undertaker picked up the win at WrestleMania, he would go on to help build Orton by giving him a win at SummerSlam and an excellent Hell in a Cell contest. So although Taker will not be denied at WrestleMania, he still knew how to help out young talent.
Most people believe a young star would be a better choice for Taker's opponent at WrestleMania XXVIII. However, with a Streak of this magnitude, the fact is it would be difficult for a rising star to bring that type of big-match feel.
Also, the Undertaker will not lose at WrestleMania, so it is better for an established superstar to take the loss at this point in the Streak.
7) Triple H (WrestleMania X-7)
Two guys with nothing to do around March are thrown into a feud together to keep them busy. It does not sound like a recipe for success, but it actually churned out a damn good match.
The Undertaker had no real feud around that time, and Trips had just finished a series of brutal battles with Stone Cold. Two established superstars just sitting around? Well, just put 'em in the same ring together and see what happens.
Actually, a good chunk of the match took place in the crowd. The referee was taken out early and apparently was unconscious for a long time. They battled around the crowd and eventually made their way back towards the ring.
HHH almost used the sledgehammer for victory, but he eventually lost to the Last Ride. Ten years later, they would battle at WrestleMania again.
6) Kane (WrestleMania XIV)
Now this was an awesome feud and a clinic in how to keep one going for months without actually having a match.
It all started with the appearance of Kane at the end of the inaugural Hell in a Cell contest the year before. The Undertaker refused to attack his brother, even after being on the receiving end of multiple beatdowns.
At WrestleMania, Taker finally unleashed his pent-up frustration on his brother, defeating him at the biggest PPV of the year. And it only took three tombstones to get it done.
When is the last time it took that much to keep an opponent down? HBK is probably the closest one. This match really showed the destructive force that Kane could be. Unfortunately, his mask was taken off after a few years, and even though it is back now, the original cannot be recreated.
5) Batista (WrestleMania 23)
These two did not care about the technical wrestling; it was a great brawl between two monsters that should have gotten a better position on the card.
I understand that the WWE wants to split up their championship matches, but having a World Heavyweight Championship match as the fourth of the night is bad. Having it lead off the show, like last year, is even worse.
Nonetheless, these two made the most of their time and position and delivered one hell of a championship contest. I watched this match recently in preparation for this list, and if JR was the one at the announcer's table, this might be higher. Michael Cole really ruined the match, and even JBL could not save this one.
The Batista Bomb could have most definitely been the end, but Taker kicked out and finished the match with a Tombstone. It is just a shame because it should have happened later on in the night.
4) Triple H (WrestleMania XXVII)
The most recent defense of the Streak came as a pleasant surprise, especially considering both men had not wrestled for months beforehand.
Triple H and the Undertaker came into a No Holds Barred match and went right to the heavy hitting, throwing away any ideas of an armbar or a sleeper hold. For almost 30 minutes, both men took some serious punishment, with the Undertaker especially dealing with plenty of pain.
Three pedigrees, a chair shot to the head and a tombstone still could not keep Triple H down. It is a good thing the Streak did not end in that ironic fashion, or the fans in Atlanta may have actually started a riot.
I ranked this match fourth because it became a finisher-fest for the final 10 minutes. Plus, the suspense of getting pinned by Taker's tombstone or Trips' pedigree were taken away by the magnitude of the match and the events of the previous years.
They will have to get pretty creative at WrestleMania XXVIII if they want to top last year's major bout.
3) Edge (WrestleMania XXIV)
WrestleMania XXIV was a great PPV, and this main event showed great chemistry between the Deadman and the Rated-R Superstar.
The one thing that stands out about this match is Edge's ability to counter almost every move Taker tried to perform. He seemed to have an answer for everything, and throughout the match, he always seemed one step ahead.
That is one difficult goal to achieve when facing the Undertaker.
Edge kicked out of the chokeslam, Last Ride and tombstone after a long run by referee Charles Robinson. For the first time ever, Taker won the match via submission and gained another World Heavyweight Championship.
While I would not say the match is underrated, it definitely does not get the attention it deserves. In a night that featured Ric Flair's "final" match, it was the best wrestling of the show. Edge and Taker would go on to have a series of great matches, ending in the Hell in a Cell match at SummerSlam.
2) Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania XXVI)
It was the rematch everyone wanted to see. But it would come at a price for the Heartbreak Kid, as he was forced to retire when he fell to a third and emphatic tombstone.
These guys deserve so much credit for going out there with so much anticipation and delivering with a bang. After the unbelievable match the previous year, it would have been very easy to have a letdown and an underwhelming contest.
With Shawn Michaels' career on the line and the no DQ, no count-out stipulation in place, we were able to see things that the previous year did not provide. The tombstone on the outside and the moonsault through the table are two highlights of a fantastic rematch.
One day, the Undertaker will go out with a bang in a huge WrestleMania match. The only difference is he will probably walk out the winner, with the Streak intact forever.
1) Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania XXV)
Not only was this the greatest match in the Streak, it is arguably the best match in WrestleMania history.
Some say the next year was the better match between the two, but for me, there is just no beating the original. The reaction everyone had when Shawn Michaels kicked out of the tombstone is something we will never experience again.
Aside from the cameraman being too far away, (to the unemployment line, Snuka) this was a perfect match. It was everything you could ask from a wrestling contest and a half-hour of beauty.
The buildup was fantastic, and I loved how they played off of the light vs. dark theme. The entrances were perfect, with Shawn coming down from the sky and Taker lifting up from under the stage.
What ensued was one of the best matches you could ever watch as a fan. Just like Cena vs. Punk this past year, weapons were not necessary. It was just two men going at it, and it does not matter how many more years the Undertaker defends his streak, this will stand as his best WrestleMania match.