Following The Undertaker's shocking defeat at the hands of Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XXX this past Sunday, news has begun to emerge about the circumstances surrounding the loss.
In this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter (subscription required), Dave Meltzer notes that Vince McMahon was ultimately the one who made the decision to put Lesnar over. The WWE owner apparently felt that Undertaker should do the best thing for business and lose in what was likely Taker's last match:
Vince McMahon was going on the assumption that this was Undertaker's last hurrah, and he could either win, or lose. McMahon chose the idea that it was better to lose on your way out...One person close to the situation said McMahon talked Undertaker into doing it. Another, who would also know, described it as McMahon making the call and Undertaker agreeing and that he wasn’t talked into doing something he didn’t want to do. It was not his original call, but he was in on it and never protested the call.
In another fascinating tidbit, the reporter noted that only a small handful of people actually knew going in that The Undertaker would lose. Everyone else—from the announcers to even the referee—was totally in the dark and assumed “The Deadman” was going over as usual.
If you were wondering why absolutely everyone seemed so stunned and shell-shocked after the match ended, it's because they genuinely were.
(Please spare some sympathy for the poor ref, who likely thought for a horrifying few moments he had badly botched the most famous winning streak in wrestling history and that his career was probably over.)
Did McMahon make the right call in deciding the former UFC fighter should go over? I guess it depends on how you look at it.
On one hand, McMahon is absolutely right in thinking that Undertaker should put Lesnar over if this was Undertaker's last match ever. Lesnar simply has more to offer WWE and its business than The Undertaker does at this point.
Of course, whether or not The Streak should have ended coming after one of the flattest and most uninspiring WrestleMania main event buildups ever is another matter entirely.
Could they have made Lesnar look any weaker and more inept going into New Orleans?
If The Streak was going to end, it should have been the culmination of a fantastic, red-hot storyline that kept everyone on the edge of their seats.
It's a shame that, in the end, it didn't truly get that.