Undertaker's undefeated streak has taken center stage at WWE's grandest event, making him the true Mr. WrestleMania.
WWE fans have never seen anything like this 20-0 WrestleMania run and have never seen a star quite like Undertaker.
With or without a championship in his sights, Undertaker has made WrestleMania his event. Several matches at The Showcase of the Immortals are called main events, but until Undertaker retires, his match will be the event's biggest attraction.
CM Punk will join Hall of Famers, icons and giants in the quest to end Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania. Regardless of the outcome, the matchup puts him in the glow of the event's biggest star.
A Streak of Great Magnitude
Bigger than a championship match, more important than a grudge match, the annual attempt to knock off Undertaker has become WrestleMania's most important battle.
From Buddy Rogers to The Rock, 43 men have held the WWE title. Only one, if any, will be able to claim that he stopped the streak.
The prestige and power of this match builds with every win. Undertaker's immortality multiplies each time the streak is extended.
The originality and compelling nature of the streak now puts every one of Undertaker's matches above all others. WWE has marketed the streak masterfully, having its stature balloon over time.
Anyone given the opportunity to go after Undertaker's streak is now elevated to a level that no other match has the power to do.
Punk's career will benefit from this chance, even if he loses. If recent history is any indication, he'll likely be a part of a fantastic match as well.
Classics Along the Way
The Showcase of the Immortals has become Undertaker's playground.
Going back to WrestleMania 23, Undertaker has run off a string of classic matches at the big event. Were it not for the clunky Mark Henry casket match, that run of masterworks would have started with WrestleMania 21 against Randy Orton.
During that span, Undertaker was a part of three Pro Wrestling Illustrated Match of the Year award-winning matches, as well as two runner-ups.
Edge, Batista, Triple H, Shawn Michaels; it almost doesn't matter whom he faces. Each time out, The Deadman manages to steal the show.
His undefeated streak is a testament to his impressive longevity, but to pack the last half of that streak with such thrilling works is a phenomenal feat.
Fans now go into each WrestleMania expecting a classic from Undertaker.
This is especially true for WrestleMania 29. Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H should be a brutal battle with big names. The Rock and John Cena will grab all the headlines. It's Undertaker vs. CM Punk, though, that fans will be expecting the most from on April 7.
No single wrestler is as important to a wrestling event as Undertaker is to WrestleMania.
There will be future versions of The Granddaddy of Them All without John Cena, without The Rock and without Triple H. Their absences won't be as evident as Undertaker's.
With as important as the streak has become, as integral a part of the show as Undertaker is, WrestleMania without him is going to feel vastly different.
Take Al Pacino out of The Godfather. That's what WrestleMania will be like without Undertaker.
For as long as he performs at the event, he will be WrestleMania's highlight.