WWE's Dead Man Walking: Power Ranking the Undertaker's 19-0 WrestleMania Streak
Two weeks ago, the Undertaker extended his undefeated streak at WrestleMania to 19-0.
The Undertaker laid it all on the line against Triple H and once again emerged victorious, despite being helped out of the arena by medical support.
Given the Undertaker's physical condition and age, I believe that the Undertaker's days at WrestleMania are numbered.
With that being said, I have undertaken (pun intended) the difficult task of power ranking the Undertaker's 19 performances.
Feel free to disagree with me and let me know how you would have ranked the matches differently.
Without further ado, let's take a look at the Undertaker's unprecedented streak.
19. WrestleMania IX: Giant Gonzalez
Starting off the list is the Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez at WrestleMania IX.
WrestleMania IX was one of the worst WrestleMania's of all time, and this match didn't do anything to change that opinion.
Giant Gonzalez was one of the worst performers in the history of the WWF/E and shows that they will give any "giant" superstar a chance.
The Undertaker won easily and there are no memorable moments from this match, resulting in it being the worst of the Undertaker's 19 wins.
18. WrestleMania XI: King Kong Bundy
Continuing with the run of bad WrestleManias, see WrestleMania XI.
WrestleMania XI was forgetful, mainly because it was headlined by Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Lawrence Taylor. While this was a big deal at the time, rewatching this event sheds light on the fact that it was one of the most poorly put together WrestleMania's of all time.
The Undertaker's match with King Kong Bundy was no different. Bundy was near the end of his time in WWE, and really lacked mobility, which lead to this being an extremely slow-moving match.
I actually rewatched this match a few weeks ago in preparation for WrestleMania, and fell asleep while watching it. That's just how bad it was.
What's ridiculous to think is that, based on reports that I have read, Creative considered having Bundy win. Thank God they decided to change that decision in the days leading up to WrestleMania
This will never be on the list of greatest WrestleMania matches ever.
17. WrestleMania XIX: Big Show and A-Train
The only non-singles match the Undertaker has been involved in at WrestleMania.
This was originally supposed to be a tag team match, but the Undertaker's partner, Nathan Jones, was deemed too much of a liability to be involved.
This was also in the midst of the Undertaker's biker gimmick, which I was never a big fan of.
Again, another slow-moving affair involving these giant competitors, which took away from the quality of the match.
There weren't really any memorable moments in this match, which is why it comes in so low on the list.
16. WrestleMania XV: Big Boss Man
Widely considered to be the worst Hell in a Cell match of all time.
This match was so bad, that it was not even put on the Hell in a Cell DVD released by WWE.
After doing some research, I learned that the Big Boss Man also had a winning streak of his own going into WrestleMania XV. But who really believed that he would beat the Minister of Darkness?
The most memorable moment of this match, and probably the main reason that it was not put on the DVD, is the public hanging of the Big Boss Man from the ceiling of the cell with the assistance of the Brood.
Yes, you read that correctly.
The Big Boss Man was hanged from the top of the cell by a noose.
Not exactly done in good taste, WWE, especially when Owen Hart died in the ring two months later.
15. WrestleMania 22: Mark Henry
WrestleMania 22 had a number of memorable matches: Edge vs. Mick Foley, HBK vs. Vince McMahon, John Cena vs. Triple H, Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton vs. Kurt Angle, and MITB II.
This match was not among the most memorable, mainly because Mark Henry is a subpar in-ring competitor.
Despite being a casket match, this match had very few memorable spots.
Furthering the disappointment of this match is the fact that the Undertaker had a phenomenal match with Kurt Angle one month prior at No Way Out for the World Heavyweight championship.
With a card featuring such great matches, this contest looked terrible by comparison.
14. WrestleMania 13: Sid
While many thought that we would be treated to a rematch of Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart one year later, we were instead treated to HBK "losing his smile" and Sid become the WWE Champion.
As a result, Bret Hart would go on to face Stone Cold Steve Austin in one the greatest matches of all time, while Sid would face the Undertaker for the championship.
This match was not very good, as Sid was never a great in-ring competitor, and he was carried throughout the match by the Undertaker.
If you notice, the Undertaker kind of rushes the Tombstone Piledriver for the finish. Many have speculated that Sid actually "soiled" himself at the end of the match, giving the Undertaker the unenviable task of having to work with someone who had crap in his pants (and was crap in the ring).
This match gets upgraded for the Undertaker winning his second WWE Championship. But it was apart of the lackluster WrestleMania 13 card, that if not for the Stone Cold-Bret Hart match, would be the worst WrestleMania of all time.
13. WrestleMania VIII: Jake Roberts
As we get to the middle of the list, we have reached the point of indifference.
These matches were nothing spectacular, but were not as bad as the previously mentioned matches.
Jake Roberts was always one of the top heels in WWE, and they put on a decent match.
The problem is, nothing really stood out as memorable from this match for me.
Jake the Snake was near the end of his run as a WWE competitor, where as the Undertaker was a top up-and-comer.
Looking back on it, this match could have been great, but nothing really stood out to me.
12. WrestleMania X8: Ric Flair
This was an interesting match to say the least.
Flair had been out of the ring as the "co-owner" of WWE and had yet to return to the ring full-time.
This was a decent match, but again was outshone by better matches on the card (The Rock-Hogan, Jericho-Triple H).
The match featured a few decent spots, but I never really liked the feud to begin with, mainly because I didn't like the fact that the Undertaker was stuck in the middle of the card at WrestleMania despite being one of the top competitors.
This was also during the time when the Undertaker would start fighting in hardcore matches, which I thought was ridiculous because that was being used to develop younger guys or to give fading stars something to do. This was not a place for the Undertaker.
Combine that with the biker gimmick, and this was a mediocre match for the Undertaker in the grand scheme of things.
11. WrestleMania VII: Jimmy Snuka
Where it all began.
The Undertaker's first match at WrestleMania holds significance for a number of reasons, mainly because it was the start of his phenomenal WrestleMania career.
While this was a very short match, it featured the Undertaker defeating a legend in Jimmy Snuka, and got the streak started off at 1-0.
Imagine how differently we would view the Undertaker's career if he had lost this match.
There would be no streak, and likely, the Undertaker would have retired by now due to all of the nagging injuries he has suffered.
As a result, this match comes in a little bit higher despite being so short.
10. WrestleMania XX: Kane
Kicking off the top 10, we have the Undertaker's second encounter with Kane at WrestleMania (the first appearing later on this list).
The Undertaker and Kane had numerous encounters over the years, and this was one of the more memorable ones because of it being at WrestleMania.
There had been some speculation that the Undertaker had hand-picked Kane to be the first person to end his streak at WrestleMania, but, as we all know, that did not happen.
While it was not a technically sound match and was kind of short, it lead to the Undertaker's reemergence after being buried alive at Survivor Series 2003.
It also brought back the original Undertaker gimmick, which is what we will all remember him for.
While it wasn't one of the greatest matches at WrestleMania, it still fits in near the middle of the pack based on its historical significance.
9. WrestleMania XII: Diesel
Watching this match a few weeks ago for only the second time ever, I had forgotten how enjoyable it actually was.
Diesel executed multiple Jackknife Powerbombs, which lead you to believe that the Undertaker could possibly lose this match.
Plus, the Undertaker was only 4-0 at the time, so it was not a foregone conclusion that he would win.
I enjoyed the back-and-forth nature of the contest, especially since it was Diesel's last WrestleMania appearance before he left to go to WCW.
This match was obviously overshadowed by the Iron Man Match between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels, but if you want an enjoyable match to watch between two huge combatants, I suggest you take another look at this one.
8. WrestleMania 21: Randy Orton
This was a part of the fantastic rivalry between the Undertaker and Randy Orton.
At the time, Orton had the "Legend Killer" gimmick, which lead many to believe that he would be the first person to defeat the Undertaker at WrestleMania.
It could have been an excellent build-up to making Orton an enormous superstar in WWE. But as the Undertaker has shown time after time, he can still win, and allow the other superstar to gain respect immensely for it.
Realistically, Orton became one of the biggest superstars in WWE because of two feuds: Evolution and the Undertaker.
By appearing on the same level as the Undertaker, this was one of my favorite matches at WrestleMania 21.
Even better is that it spurned a nearly year-long feud between the two, which is one of the better ones WWE has done in recent memory.
7. WrestleMania X-7: Triple H
I thought it was interesting that WWE told the announcers not to reference this match during the build for WrestleMania 27 because this was one hell of a match.
Two of the biggest superstars in WWE collided to create an epic encounter. Given Triple H's rising superstardom at the time, I'm surprised he didn't come out on top.
The only reason that this match is not higher on the list is because I don't really remember it as a standout from WrestleMania X-7, mainly because so many great things happened (TLC, Rock/Austin, Austin heel-turn, Vince vs. Shane, etc.)
Nonetheless, if this match occurred at virtually any other WrestleMania, it would have been remembered much more fondly.
6. WrestleMania 24: Edge
I'm sure this will get some backlash due to Edge's recent retirement, but I believe that this is just outside of the Undertaker's top-five WrestleMania matches.
The only reason that I believe that is because I never really thought that Edge would defeat the Undertaker at WrestleMania.
While Edge was one of the top superstars in WWE, I just didn't see him coming out on top, unlike the competitors I have ranked in the top five.
As the streak has continued, the one main attribute I look for in each Undertaker WM match is believability that he could lose. I didn't have that feeling going into this match.
Nevertheless, it was a phenomenal match, as the Undertaker won the World Heavyweight Championship for the second consecutive WrestleMania.
5. WrestleMania 23: Batista
Being in attendance at WrestleMania 23, I remember being severely disappointed that this match was in the middle of the card because I thought that this signified that Batista would definitely lose. If the Undertaker was going to lose at WrestleMania, it surely wouldn't be lost in the shuffle of the mid-card.
Despite being in the middle of the card, this match stole the show at WrestleMania 23.
Batista and the Undertaker battled back and forth, and made me believe that the Undertaker could possibly lose, especially after Batista hit the Batista Bomb.
The Undertaker would go on to win his first World Heavyweight championship at WrestleMania 23, which also boosts the lasting memory of this match.
On a card featuring John Cena vs. HBK, MITB III, and Donald Trump, this was the most memorable match of them all.
4. WrestleMania XIV: Kane
Now we are getting down to the wire for the best matches the Undertaker has ever had at WrestleMania.
The Undertaker's first encounter with Kane was epic. This was one of the greatest builds to a match in WWE history.
It started all the way back at Badd Blood in October 1997, when Kane was revealed as the Undertaker's brother during the Hell in a Cell match with Shawn Michaels.
This storyline built all the way to WrestleMania XIV, mainly because the Undertaker refused to fight his brother.
As a kid, I remember thinking that the Undertaker would lose because he would hold back against his brother Kane. But ultimately, I was wrong.
This was a fantastic match, and was part of one of the greatest rivalries in wrestling history.
3. WrestleMania XXVI: Shawn Michaels
Career vs. Streak.
While this match was not as good as their first encounter a year earlier, HBK and the Undertaker put on one hell of a match.
It had become widely known at the time that Shawn Michaels wanted to retire from in-ring activity, which downgraded this match slightly.
Still, it was an epic contest with near falls, multiple kick-outs of finishers, and a heartfelt moment at the end when the Undertaker congratulated HBK.
These two men meant so much to each others career, which resulted in the correct way to send HBK out of the company.
2. WrestleMania 27: Triple H
Yes, even though this match occurred only two weeks ago, I think it was the Undertaker's second best match at WrestleMania.
I was in attendance at WrestleMania 27, and to be honest, I thought the crowd was going to riot when Triple H hit the Tombstone.
Triple H made it extremely believable that he was going to win after hitting the Tombstone, right down to the folded-arm pin and the tongue sticking out.
The Georgia Dome erupted when the Undertaker kicked out, and from that point on, we all knew that he would come out victorious.
While Triple H would go on to tap out to the Triangle Choke, they put on one hell of a performance that featured all aspects that could satisfy every wrestling fan.
There was the high back body drop off the announce table. Both men crashing into the Cole Mine. Vintage Undertaker flying over the top rope. I could go on and on and on.
Possibly, most importantly, this match saved WrestleMania 27. Without this match, many would have left with an even worse taste in their mouths than they already had.
Years from now, the only two things we will remember from WrestleMania 27 are the Rock's involvement and this match.
1. WrestleMania XXV: Shawn Michaels
Widely considered to be the greatest match in WrestleMania history.
This match was a clinic for how to put together a great match.
Near falls, multiple finishers, high spots, it had nearly everything you could ask for.
Add in the fact that it was the 25th anniversary of WrestleMania, and that this match featured two of the greatest stars to ever enter a wrestling ring.
Much has been said about this match, and rightfully so. It truly was one of the greatest ever.
The only complaint I can muster up about it is that it wasn't the last match on the card.
Regardless, the word "WrestleMania" is synonymous with this match.
I hope you enjoyed this list and feel free to comment on how you would rank these matches.