It's been nearly two weeks since WrestleMania XXX. The shocking end of The Undertaker's iconic streak unsurprisingly sent much of the wrestling world into a fury of rage, but now it's time to put our rational hats on.
Although there were certainly reasons to be upset, there were just as many to rationalize the decision, and more importantly, we are already seeing several positive effects stem from The Deadman's defeat.
The most common criticism from the one-two-three count heard 'round the world was the opponent. Brock Lesnar is a part-time Superstar who has already been built up as a dominant monster, and many believed that if 'Taker's streak was going to come to an end, then the moment should be used to give a massive push to an up-and-coming wrestler.
Certainly not an established star who is only going to be around for a handful of pay-per-views every year.
Still, in the grand scheme of things, this was The Undertaker's decision. In an interview with Gary Cantrell of More Like Radio (via Wrestle Zone's Nick Paglino) former WWE writer Alex Greenfield explained why he thought that was the case:
There is no pressure that is put on the Undertaker to drop the streak. This was the Undertaker's decision, I have no doubt about that in my mind about that whatsoever. Nobody, including Vince (McMahon) is going to go to the Undertaker and say anything other than do you want to end the streak? There's never going to be a (Alex impersonate's Vince here) "Goddamn pal, Undertaker, it's over, pal. You're dropping the streak tonight." That would never happen in a million years. He is and I think it's safe to say the most respected guy in the locker room. I suspect he went to Vince and said this is the year and Brock is the guy. Thinking about it from Taker's perspective as such of a fight fan as he is, if you're going to go down, going down to the guy who walked away from wrestling and became the UFC heavyweight champion would appeal to his ego.
After a long, illustrious career that saw him give over 20 years to this business, The Undertaker, one of the most legendary stars in the history of the sport, has earned the right to pick and choose his direction, especially at WrestleMania.
The man is approaching 50 and is clearly slowing down inside the squared circle. His health is also a question mark, so there is no room to criticize him for deciding to end the streak at what many saw as an inopportune time.
Moreover, while the win for Lesnar doesn't seem to do as much as it could for other wrestlers on the roster, it's already having indirect effects.
Most notably on Cesaro.
Paul Heyman, one of the best in the business on the mic, has been incessantly driving home the fact that he is "the advocate for the Beast Incarnate, the conqueror of The Undertaker's streak, Brock Lesnar":
Now that Cesaro is a "Paul Heyman guy," he is indirectly linked to the massive victory over 'Taker without taking on the immense heat.
By lifting Big Show over the ropes and winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, Cesaro got his "WrestleMania moment." But with this development, greater achievements are undoubtedly on the horizon (likely starting with the Intercontinental title), and with his unbelievable blend of strength, athleticism and technical ability, there's no doubt a Cesaro push is beneficial for the company as a whole.
Finally, there will now be more room on the main card at future WrestleMania events.
The Undertaker defending his streak was always regarded as a co-main event, and with the absence of that gargantuan draw, there will be opportunities for immense young talent such as Bray Wyatt or The Shield to step even further into the limelight and progress their burgeoning careers.
There's no question that the ending of such an iconic streak was disappointing.
But now that we've had some time to take a look at the current direction of the company, it's hard to be too upset.