Wrestlemania 26: Time to End The Undertaker's Streak
For the past couple of weeks, rumours have been swirling that at Wrestlemania 26, we will witness Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker II: The Rematch.
Last year, two men went into Wrestlemania and put on one of the greatest professional wrestling matches I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing. Can they do the same this year?
Can they recreate the magic, the electricity that the entire world felt in the Reliant Stadium last April or was the legacy of that match so great that it will be near hard to replicate it? I guess we’ll find out on March 28 at the University Of Phoenix Stadium.
17-0! One of the longest and impressive streaks in all of sports entertainment, A who’s who of professional wrestlers have tried each year to try and break it.
From legends such as Ric Flair, Triple H and Kane to the young lions such as Randy Orton & Edge. For 17 years, The Undertaker has battled to keep his legendary undefeated streak intact taking on all those who have decided to make a name of themselves by ending it. It truly is an impressive statistic.
For The Undertaker to wrestle at a high level for 17 years and not lose at the biggest and grandest stage in sports entertainment is a truly remarkable feat. A feat that nobody can replicate?
Over the years, people have disputed that the streak is the essence of The Undertaker’s character and it should never be broken?
Wrestlemania is where The Phenom is reborn yearly as he looks to cement his legacy but Wrestlemania also belongs to someone else. A man whose name is synonymous with Wrestlemania. A man who has provided us with some of the greatest and unforgettable moments in the history of the WWE...
Shawn Michaels! Mr. Wrestlemania. A truly fitting title for one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. HBK...The Heartbreak Kid has given us some of the greatest matches in Wrestlemania history and somehow continues to put on matches that rarely disappoint.
It was at Wrestlemania where he faced Razor Ramon in the classic Ladder Match, it was at Wrestlemania where he battled Bret Hart for over an hour to realise a boyhood dream and it was at Wrestlemania where an emotional Shawn Michaels had to end the career of his idol and best friend, ‘The Nature Boy’, Ric Flair.
If you want raw, visceral emotion look no further than those last two matches I mentioned. One: euphoric, the culmination of a dream, the other: heart wrenching, the end of an era. It’s this inherent quality that makes us appreciate the body of work that Shawn has amassed in the past 20 years.
Last year at Wrestlemania 25, these two individuals met for the first time at Wrestlemania and provided us with one of the most intense and unbelievable matches in the history of Wrestlemania. The moment Shawn kicked out of the first tombstone, I swear I nearly had a heart attack.
It's things like these that make me a wrestling fan. It’s the unexpectedness. It’s the emotion. It’s the rush of adrenaline. It’s the art.
It’s the appreciation for what these athletes do. I have no idea what’s going to happen at Wrestlemania but if I were a betting man, I would not count out these two stealing the show one more time.
I may get a bit of flack for this but if there is anyone that can end the undefeated streak of The Undertaker, it’s Shawn Michaels. I said the same thing last year. If Shawn can’t do it, I assure you no one will be able to.
For years people have proclaimed that an up and coming superstar should end the undefeated streak, but for years Vince has had the opportunity to do it but he never pulled the trigger. It seemed that each year, it was going to end.
Randy Orton was penciled to beat Undertaker at Wrestlemania 21 but Vince changed his mind at the last second. The same thing happened with Batista and then Edge. There will always be trepidation.
Wasn’t the same thing supposed to happen with Ric Flair? Wasn’t an up and coming superstar supposed to beat Flair and get the huge rub from it? It never materialised.
There will be a lot of expectations from whoever ends the undefeated streak and what happens if they can’t deliver?
Enter Shawn Michaels. Shawn’s legacy at Wrestlemania is unparalleled! Some people may say that The Undertaker shouldn’t lose to Shawn because Shawn doesn’t need it but what you don’t understand, Shawn doesn’t need it, The Undertaker does!
The Undertaker NEEDS to lose to Shawn Michaels. The Undertaker NEEDS to lose to the best. It’s the only way to further evolve the career of The Undertaker.
For years, people have given up on the idea that The Undertaker will lose at Wrestlemania and because of that whenever Wrestlemania rolls around there is always that feeling of no matter what happens, The Undertaker will always win and therefore his matches lose that sense of unpredictability.
Take last year's match against Shawn Michaels as an example. Maybe 95% of wrestling fans believed that Shawn would not end the undefeated streak but when he kicked out of the first tombstone, I can guarantee you that some people thought ‘Maybe, just maybe.’ Yet they would have still gone with The Undertaker coming out victorious and lo and behold, he did.
This year, The Streak needs to end, not only for Shawn Michaels but also for The Undertaker and also for the fans. We need to see something different and we need that unpredictability back.
It's evolution, The Undertaker has to take that next step in his life. If it does end, where will that leave The Undertaker? What kind of effect will it have on the rest of the superstars?
Could this be a chance for us to see another side to The Undertaker? What is The Undertaker without his streak? There are so many possibilities that it could lead to.
What would happen if The Undertaker wrestled at Wrestlemania next year knowing that he was no longer undefeated? I would really love to find out.
With the streak broken, the ideal solution would be for Vince to decree that at Wrestlemania, The Undertaker would not be fighting for his streak but for something more valuable, his career.
So then each and every year, for one night, he can fight for his career, only on Wrestlemania night.
This needs to happen to keep The Undertaker's matches at Wrestlemania more relevant but at the same time exploring a different side to one of the most dynamic characters in the history of the WWE.
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