Survivors: Wrestlers Who Could've Fallen to the WrestleMania Streak
The most famous streak in wrestling history is The Undertaker's undefeated WrestleMania streak. Many people have shared their opinion on how the streak has been the only reason to watch the event.
Every year, WrestleMania has its main-event title match, while on the side it has Taker's match with a wrestler ready to try to break the streak.
The streak has been involved within a title match only a couple of times, while it has been in the main-event slot only once.
People always look forward to watching the next victim fall to the Deadman. There have only been a few situations where people actually wanted the streak to end.
One thing that not many people think about are all the people that managed to escape the wrath of The Undertaker.
There are many legends who never had the chance to go face-to-face with Taker at the grandest stage of them all. Either the match never occurred due to booking problems, or the idea was never brought up.
Ladies and gentlemen, as a big Undertaker fan, many ideas for past opponents have come to mind, but the right time to write an article about it never arrived, until now.
I will now be rewriting history as I change some of the victims that fell to the Deadman. Not everyone will be replaced, just a few selection of wrestlers.
This article may make you realize how much more awesome The Undertaker's streak could have been.
Original Victim: Jake "The Snake" Roberts
Replacement: The Ultimate Warrior
In 1992, The Undertaker faced Jake Roberts, and defeated him to become 2-0. This marked the last match for Roberts in the WWE for a few years.
Taker turned face after he had enough of Roberts' tactics. Roberts almost attacking Miss Elizabeth with a chair was the situation that caused Taker's face turn.
If booked right, the face turn could've been held off for a bit longer.
Months before WrestleMania VIII, Roberts and Taker were wreaking havoc together. At one point, they had a feud with The Ultimate Warrior.
That feud was short lived after Warrior left the WWE due to problems with management. He returned at WM VIII, the same night when Taker defeated Roberts.
Just imagine if Taker never turned face, stayed aligned with Roberts, and instead faced Warrior. Warrior could've been written off television for a few months by getting beat up by Taker and Roberts, needing time to "recover."
Meanwhile, Warrior could've been working things out with management.
Once things were settled, the WWE could've brought him back in time for WrestleMania, and put him in a match with Taker. In order for everything to have truly worked out, Warrior needed to lose the match.
Don't know if Warrior would've agreed to lose; we all know how egotistic he was back in the day. If he did agree to lose to the Deadman, then his loss would've gone down in history.
Not in a bad way, but in a very good way.
Original Victim: Giant Gonzalez
Replacement: Hulk Hogan
The Undertaker's match against Giant Gonzalez at WrestleMania IX could easily be described with one word: terrible. This was the worst 'Mania match Taker had, and the worst opponent, too.
Hulk Hogan in 1993 was already on his way out of the WWE. There have been reports that Hogan was meant to face Bret Hart at the event, but Hogan didn't want to lose.
Instead, Hart faced Yokozuna, and Hogan teamed with Brutus Beefcake to face Money Inc. for the Tag Team Championships.
After Hart lost to Yokozuna, Hogan challenged Yokozuna for the title. In a matter of seconds, Hogan won the WWE Championship.
What comes to mind is one thing: What if Hulk Hogan instead faced The Undertaker?
Hogan was on his way out the door, so what was one loss gonna do to his credibility? He lost to Taker before, why not again years later?
The Undertaker vs. Hulk Hogan may have been the biggest match at the event. That is not really saying a lot since the show didn't have any good matches. This could've been the only reason to watch the event.
If only the WWE had brains back in the day to come up with this idea. Well, maybe they did, but plans fell apart. Who really knows.
Original Victim: Nobody
Replacement: "Macho Man" Randy Savage
WrestleMania X was the first WM that The Undertaker missed after losing a Casket match to Yokozuna at the Royal Rumble. If I'm not mistaken, Taker actually took time off to heal an injury.
WM X needed the Deadman in order to give it a little more star power.
Randy Savage that night fought Crush, and won. He basically left the announcer's table in order to participate in this match.
Now imagine this: The Undertaker never got injured and never lost the Casket match. He then turned heel and challenged Savage to a match at WrestleMania X.
If that sentence didn't blow your mind away, then I don't know what kind of wrestling fan you are.
1994 marked the last year Savage was ever in a WWE ring. What better way to go out than facing the Deadman on the grandest stage of them all?
At an event where Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon stole the show, Undertaker vs. Randy Savage would've come in second place.
Who knows, it could've surpassed the Ladder match.
Original Victim: King Kong Bundy
Replacement: "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase
In 1995, The Undertaker had his hands full with the Million Dollar Corporation, led by Ted DiBiase. At WrestleMania XI, King Kong Bundy represented the MDC as he took on the Deadman.
This is one out of the few bad matches that Taker had at a WrestleMania. The match ended the weirdest way after Taker performed his running-flying clothesline, pinning Bundy afterward.
Instead of Bundy taking on Taker, what if Ted DiBiase, leader of the MDC, took on the Deadman instead? I know DiBiase was retired by then, but if he had not been, that would've been the perfect match.
Undertaker had dealt with the MDC's members, yet never actually had the chance to go one-on-one with the brains behind the group.
Had DiBiase not been retired in 1995, a match between him and The Undertaker would've been special. Would it have been good? That is another thing to decide, but I pretty much think so.
Original Victim: Psycho Sid
Replacement: Bret "Hitman" Hart
Now this is actually going to be interesting. I actually have two people in mind that could've replaced Psycho Sid as The Undertaker's opponent at WrestleMania 13.
I will first start off with Bret Hart.
For those that didn't know, Hart was going into WrestleMania 13 with the WWE Championship. Unfortunately, Sid defeated him for the title a month before the show.
The Undertaker was the No. 1 contender for the championship, so it didn't matter who was champion, he was going for the gold. Actually, in some way, it did matter who was champion in this situation.
If Hart had not lost the title, and then feuded with Stone Cold Steve Austin again, he could've fought Taker at 'Mania. A match between both men was that close.
Without a doubt, a match between Hart and Taker would've been awesome. It would've stolen the show at WM 13. Then again, Hart vs. Austin would've never happened.
If Hart vs. Austin never happened, then that means Austin's popularity may not have taken off. Hart vs. Taker could've changed history—and in a very big way.
Original Victim: Psycho Sid
Besides the past possibility of Bret Hart being The Undertaker's opponent at WrestleMania 13 instead of Psycho Sid, Mankind could've been replacement No. 2.
In 1996, Taker and Mankind had a great feud. At SummerSlam, the feud took off even more when Paul Bearer turned on the Deadman, aligning himself with Mankind.
If booked right, the feud could've ended at WrestleMania 13. I know that maybe the feud may not have been great had it lasted that many months.
The possibility of taking Taker out of action for a few months could've been used.
The Undertaker could've been taken off of television for a few months, then returned months later, just in time for the event. He'd then set his eyes once again on Mankind as his target.
Everything would've been perfect. Instead, Mankind was in a tag team match at the event, while The Undertaker fought Psycho Sid.
Original Victim: Big Bossman
Replacement: Stone Cold Steve Austin
At WrestleMania XV, the first Austin/Rock match took place. That same night, the first, and so far only, 'Mania Hell In A Cell match took place.
The match between Austin and Rock was great, while the HIAC match between The Undertaker and Big Bossman wasn't. What if instead of Taker facing Bossman, he faced Austin?
I know Taker and Austin had a good feud in 1998, but a match between the two at WrestleMania XV would've been the icing on the cake.
By March 1999, The Undertaker was already in full force with his Ministry of Darkness stable, along with a new look. Things could've been different once Austin returned into the picture to feud with the Deadman one last time.
They feuded with one another down the road after the event, so it would've only been right if the WWE did the feud early on in 1999. Then again, the possibility of Taker losing was high.
Austin was huge in 1999, so I doubt the WWE wanted the face of the company to lose at the biggest show of the year.
Original Victim: Nobody
Replacement: The Rock
In 1999, The Undertaker took a brief hiatus to recover from an injury. He returned at the 2000 Judgement Day PPV with the new American Badass gimmick.
Basically, he missed WrestleMania 16, which means he could've been 21-0 by now.
If history were to be changed, one man I would've put The Undertaker up against at the event would have been The Rock. How awesome would that have been?
Simple booking would've had Triple H face off against Stone Cold Steve Austin. HHH ran over Austin the year before, so that match was basically the best way to go.
Of course, that would've meant Austin needed to either win the Royal Rumble (since HHH was WWE champion), or just face HHH in a regular one-on-one match.
In order to have booked the Rock/Taker match, either Taker or Rock needed to be the champ, and either Rock or Taker needed to win the Rumble match.
Then again, the HHH vs. Austin match could've been for the title, while Rock vs. Taker could have been a regular one-on-one match. Either way would've worked.
Original Victims: Big Show and A-Train
Replacement: Chris Benoit
WrestleMania XIX was the first, and only, handicap match The Undertaker was involved in. The undefeated streak was in serious jeopardy, as Big Show and A-Train were Taker's opponents.
Taker still defeated Big Show and A-Train, even if it did involve a bit of interference from Nathan Jones, who was supposed to be in the match. He didn't really need the help, but I guess Jones needed the push.
The handicap match wasn't that good, but the right booking could've had The Undertaker get a good challenge out of a wrestler on the roster. That wrestler could've been Chris Benoit.
Benoit was part of a triple-threat tag team match, in which he teamed with Rhyno. That was a waste of talent since Benoit could've done a lot more.
He could've taken on Taker in a singles match, and that would've seen Benoit at his limit. It would have had Taker at his limit as well since Benoit always brought his A-game every night.
Chris Benoit also could've replaced Mark Henry at WrestleMania 22, but I had another selection in mind.
Original Victim: Mark Henry
Replacement: Kurt Angle
As I mentioned before, Chris Benoit could've replaced Mark Henry in a match against The Undertaker at WrestleMania 22. I decided to put Benoit in the slot for WM XIX instead since I found a better replacement for Henry.
That replacement is none other than Kurt Angle.
Weeks before the event, Angle took on Taker at No Way Out for the World Heavyweight Championship. The WWE dropped the ball since they could've booked the match for WM 22.
Forget about Angle being involved in the triple-threat match. Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton in a singles match would've been fine with me, as long as Angle took on Taker at WM.
Taker and Angle had a great match at NWO, so just imagine how much more awesome their match could've been at WM 22. They would've surpassed all the other matches on the show by a mile.
Original Victim: Shawn Michaels
Replacement: Chris Jericho
At WrestleMania 25, The Undertaker had a great match with Shawn Michaels. Many people say that it surpassed Michaels' match with Bret Hart at Wrestlemania XII.
A year later at WrestleMania 26, Michaels challenged Taker once more. Michaels put his career on the line, while Taker, of course, put his streak on the line.
The Undertaker won the match, and Michaels' career came to an end. I know Taker was the best man to put an end to Michaels' career, but here is a different opponent Undertaker could've had.
Instead of Michaels being the man to challenge the Deadman, Chris Jericho could've served as a replacement. His battles with Taker the year before were awesome, so another match wouldn't have hurt.
I may get hate for this, but Jericho's match with Edge wasn't that great, like I expected it to be. Also, the build-up to the match wasn't that great, either.
The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels is not a match I would ever change. If the question to change the match ever came up, and I couldn't leave WrestleMania 26 the way it was, then I would replace Shawn Michaels with Chris Jericho.
Original Victim: Triple H
Replacement: CM Punk
The Undertaker's first match with Triple at WrestleMania X-Seven was great. Their match 10 years later at WM 27 was great, but not as awesome as their first encounter.
One person that could've replaced HHH at WM 27 was a man that already had a past with the Deadman. That man's name is CM Punk. And this would've been the best scenario.
The return of Taker occurred in early 2011, months after he lost a Buried Alive match to Kane at Bragging Rights. During that match, Nexus interfered and beat up Taker.
What if everything was changed, and instead of HHH returning, Taker swore revenge against the Nexus? Basically, his plan was to destroy the group, eventually getting to the leader.
Punk, at the time, was the leader, so his showdown with Taker would've taken place at WM 27. During the build-up, every member of the Nexus would've been beat-up by Taker.
The former members, who were part of The Corre, would've been targeted as well since they were involved at Bragging Rights. The Undertaker would've claimed that it didn't matter who was the leader of the Nexus—he would pay at WrestleMania 27.
There, ladies and gentlemen, is where CM Punk came into the picture. He was the leader, and if Taker didn't care who it was, then the match would've happened at the event.
Sounds awesome, doesn't it?
The Streak Will Live on
Overall, The Undertaker's streak is legendary no matter who has fallen to the Deadman at WrestleMania.
Below you will find the list of the original victims, along with the list of the replacement victims. The difference will make you realize that the streak could've been way bigger than it is now.
1) Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka
2) Jake "The Snake" Roberts
3) Giant Gonzalez
4) King Kong Bundy
6) Psycho Sid
8) Big Bossman
9) Triple H
10) Ric Flair
11) Big Show and A-Train
13) Randy Orton
14) Mark Henry
17) Shawn Michaels
18) Shawn Michaels
19) Triple H
1) Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka
2) The Ultimate Warrior
3) Hulk Hogan
4) "Macho Man" Randy Savage
5) "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase
7) Bret Hart/Mankind
9) Stone Cold Steve Austin
10) The Rock
11) Triple H
12) Ric Flair
13) Chris Benoit
15) Randy Orton
16) Kurt Angle
19) Shawn Michaels
20) Chris Jericho
21) CM Punk
History can never be changed, but we ourselves can have fun doing so. Whether it be speaking it, or writing it, we wrestling fans always find ways to make the past feel a bit more special with our ideas.
Our opinions won't change anything, but we all can rest easily knowing there are people right now reading our work and enjoying what we write.
As a fan of The Undertaker, this article proved that. My article cannot change his streak, but it is good knowing we can write articles that can make people giggle like little girls as they try to imagine how awesome it could've been like.