Ending Undertaker's Streak with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 30 Was Smart Move

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistApril 7, 2014

WWE Superstar Undertaker during WrestleMania XXVII at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia on Sunday, April 3, 2011. (Paul Abell/AP Images for WWE Corp.)
Paul Abell

As hard as this will be for the majority of the WWE Universe to comprehend, the WWE and The Undertaker made the correct decision Sunday night at WrestleMania 30 to end the streak and give the ultimate rub to Brock Lesnar.

In the heat of the moment, it’s hard to think rationally about why Undertaker took the loss and ended his 21-win WrestleMania streak, but there is a method to the madness.

When Undertaker was ready to end the streak, he was always going to do it his way.

Undertaker is a 30-year veteran in the business—he debuted in WCCW in 1984—and he's proven during his legendary career that he has an old-school approach to wrestling. The decision to end the streak was likely his, and giving another talent the rub on the way out is a classic wrestling trait.

Just look at Shawn Michaels retiring Ric Flair or Rey Mysterio sending JBL out with a loss.

No one was ever going to tell Undertaker how and when the streak was going to end, and after watching Sunday’s PPV, it was clear that he had added another chapter to his legendary career by stunning the entire wrestling world. His loss to Lesnar was unexpected and unfathomable to many fans, but that moment of awe it created was something only The Undertaker had the power to create.

WWE insider Wade Keller and Hall of Famer Jim Ross were among the fans stunned by the match outcome:

Wrestling is all about getting the crowd to feel the emotions and live vicariously through the performer, and The Undertaker gave the WWE Universe a WrestleMania moment that will live forever.

Undertaker’s loss at WrestleMania 30 will go down as his most memorable WrestleMania match.

The in-ring work between Brock and Undertaker wasn’t as impressive as it had been when the two men feuded a decade earlier, but at 49 years old, the match was all about the storytelling, and it accomplished its purpose. Undertaker did look like he had lost a step at times during the bout and was not the same man he had been in years prior, but that’s the price a man pays for performing through injuries and pain for so many years.

Jonathan Bachman

And for those complaining about a part-time wrestler getting the ultimate rub, there was no better option than Brock Lesnar. Not only is Lesnar a bona fide tough guy who fans can believe has the power and raw athleticism to beat Undertaker, but WWE also knows that Lesnar will not drop the ball now that he will be reviled by the fans. While many members of the WWE Universe will complain that a guy like CM Punk didn’t get the rub last year, Punk is only one year younger than Lesnar, and the former UFC world champion is a much bigger star.

Paul Heyman spoke to Jonathan Snowden of Bleacher Report before WrestleMania about what the match means to the sport and what a victory would mean for Lesnar:

I think it's more than special. I'm very blessed. I get the best seat in the house for the match that has the most historical significance and the longest-ranging ramifications in terms of what happens after the match is over. This is Brock Lesnar's chance to truly step into immortality. From my perspective it's a match that Brock Lesnar doesn't have to win but that The Undertaker must not lose.

While Brock doesn’t work the amount of dates many fans would like from a wrestler who just beat Undertaker and ended the streak, the aura that Lesnar carries now makes him one of the biggest stars in wrestling history.

Lesnar was already a serious PPV draw for the WWE, but after beating The Undertaker, his value as one of the company’s top heels has been cemented for his entire career. The key will be ensuring that Lesnar will be booked correctly moving forward.

As important as Lesnar’s booking will be in the coming months, how the WWE handles Undertaker following the loss is the pertinent issue right now. While there are many fans who hope this is the end of the road and we never see the Deadman again, the loss at WrestleMania could be building to something much larger.

Sting vs. Undertaker at WrestleMania 31.

With the streak a thing of the past, the possibility of a legend like Undertaker squaring off against another legend like Sting in a dream match would be the perfect culmination to his storybook career.

The two men’s careers have run parallel to each other, but a bout between them has never come to fruition. Just like Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao in boxing, fans of the sport are clamoring for the battle before it’s too late.

There will be fans who believe it’s already too late after The Undertaker lost at WrestleMania, but the magnitude of Sting stepping in the ring against the Deadman would create a moment that trumps the loss.

With no streak on the line and both men acknowledging that the once-in-a-lifetime matchup would be the last chapter of their careers, their stare down in the center of the ring would have the potential to be one of the greatest moments in WrestleMania history.

Regardless of whether Undertaker fights Sting next year or the WWE Universe never sees him again, allowing the streak to come to an end the way the Deadman wanted it was the right decision for the company.

It may have been the correct move, but that doesn’t make it easier for wrestling fans to comprehend.

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