The Holy Grail of any wrestler's career is to end the Undertaker's streak at WrestleMania. Where once the World Title was enough, ending the streak is an instant ticket to superstardom. In recent times, the challengers have been a who's who of wrestling and yet no one has been able to beat the "Deadman" at the granddaddy of them all.
In many regards, the Undertaker has now retired, but the promise of one marquee match per year is enough for the WWE to bring him back to the ring. The match must, however, be a classic. Fail to deliver and the wrestling community is in an uproar for having wasted one of the Undertaker's last matches.
The WrestleMania XXV match with Shawn Michaels is arguable one of the greatest matches not only at WrestleMania, but in wrestling history. The drama was written with extreme emotion and suspense and had every wrestling fan on the edge of the seat.
It is hard to top that match, but as has been proven by the past three years, it is enough to get close in order to satisfy wrestling fans.
Ever since the Undertaker and Brock Lesnar's crossed paths after one of Lesnar's UFC fights, talk has been rife that they would next meet in the squared circle. However as this slideshow argues, Vince McMahon and creative should perhaps consider another option.
Brock Lesnar is a big star but does he warrant a show on the biggest stage with the phenom?
Since his return Brock Lesnar has been able to write his own ticket. His pulling power not only in wrestling circles but also that of UFC has meant that he was heavily marketed by the WWE. His showdowns with John Cena and Triple H got fans intrigued, but as with the Rock's contract, he only has a limited number of dates to fulfill.
Brock Lesnar will thus not be featuring at any house shows any time soon.
The Undertaker's streak match should be an opportunity for a wrestling stable. Whether they win or not, the wrestler in question will get a bump and so build their character for the remainder of the year as the Undertaker goes back into hibernation.
After the pinfall is secured, Brock Lesnar will also be away, so why give him the opportunity?
He may be hated by at least 50 percent of the WWE universe, but John Cena is a superstar. He is a big name and loves wrestling like any diehard fan. He may not be the most gifted wrestler but he has given so much to the WWE.
A reward for such loyalty (and hustle and respect), is a showdown with the Undertaker. Perhaps consider it the battle of "good versus bad"—the phenom and the creatures of the night against the stetson-wearing hero of Thuganomics.
Ok, if not Cena, then why not someone like CM Punk, Daniel Bryan or even Sting?
The Undertaker may keep going, but if he were to retire, would you be happy for him to have retired and not challenged the likes of those mentioned?
With neither the Undertaker nor Brock Lesnar on a full time schedule, and the latter on a limited date contract, the change of a major WrestleMania being properly promoted or justified would be hard. Neither of Triple H's matches were really justified or explained, but he was at least able to appear in the three month period between the Rumble and WrestleMania.
Brock would not.
The importance of telling a build-up story is crucial but if Brock is unable to be at more than a few events between January and April, can a legitimate feud be created?
The Undertaker does not need to wrestle in order to be a presence. His ability to tell a storyline, and do so effectively, can be done in conjunction with any current superstar. However Brock either needs more dates to work or he won't be present in this crucial period. And for it to work properly, Brock needs match time practice; again something that his contract may not allow.
I for one, consider myself an Undertaker mark. I do not want the streak to end. And without sounding too melodramatic, if they were to end the streak, I would probably stop watching wrestling; albeit I already am disillusioned and don't watch every event. If Shawn Michaels could not end the streak, no one can.
The streak is meaningful. In the cartoon world of wrestling where everything but the bumps are fake, wrestling needs some history. The streak is just that.
However, as I have argued, a wrestler does not need to beat the Undertaker at WrestleMania in order to get a massive boost. And so pitting the Undertaker against a young gun in the WWE, and for them to lose, is a win-win for everyone else.
The young superstar becomes a star, the Undertaker slips into dormant mode, the streak lives and WrestleMania has another match.
The question remains as to who, however, and perhaps a Raw Battle of Royal to determine the combatant. I would imagine given his friendship with the COO, Triple H, that Sheamus would be a strong favorite but there are others who could use a dance with the devil.
The transformation of Brock Lesnar has been incredible since he debuted on our WWE screens. His ability to walk away from a lucrative market, try out for the NFL and then successfully move onto World Champion at the UFC, has allowed Brock the chance to write his own ticket.
The Undertaker is also a big fan of mixed martial arts and made not attempts at hiding the fact; even going as far to say that had he had the chance, he too would have gone to MMA had he been younger.
Any inevitable match between the two could in essence become a wrestling match that heavily relies upon MMA holds and techniques. If so, is that not a dilution of what we traditionally want to see in a WrestleMania match?
This type of match may have once worked when the Undertaker was the "American Bad Ass," but given his return to the darkside, is his character not owed another match that relies upon his awesome presence?
The humanization of the Undertaker has come and gone, and barring his retirement, I have always preferred him when he relies upon his mindgames and entrance. A match with Brock Lesnar will not necessarily allow us the chance to see him wrestle as we all expect; and in its place, boring, scripted MMA moves that are neither real nor relevant.
And so there you have it, five reasons why I believe that Brock Lesnar should not challenge the streak of the Deadman. It's fair to say that any match now with the Undertaker is going to be properly scripted and effectively produced, however the wrestling business needs to look after itself rather than sell out to make money.
The Undertaker's streak is too important and I can't help but think that when he retires and we look back and see that he did not compete against the likes of John Cena, The Rock, Steve Austin or Sting at WrestleMania, that we would be disappointed.
Those matches may never happen, but we have time. A match with Brock Lesnar can be great, but is it not arguable that other matches could be greater?
Why not tell us what you think with your comments below.
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