X

Roman Reigns Beats Undertaker at WWE WrestleMania as Deadman Appears to Retire

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2017

Photo credit: WWE.com.

The Undertaker's unmatched WrestleMania record fell to 23-2 on Sunday at WrestleMania 33, as he was defeated by Roman Reigns.

Having beaten The Undertaker down throughout the match with multiple spears and Superman punches, Reigns delivered one last spear to put The Phenom down for good:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Roman Reigns defeats the Undertaker at #WrestleMania https://t.co/tl2z0twu8O

WrestleMania shared a photo of Reigns securing the final pinfall:

WWE WrestleMania @WrestleMania

SPEAR #4 puts The #Undertaker away as @WWERomanReigns does what only ONE other man has been able to do in nearly 3 decades! #WrestleMania https://t.co/bUewcFLPet

Bleacher Report's Ryan Dilbert experienced conflicting emotions following the action:

Ryan Dilbert @ryandilbert

This is sad and beautiful, a tremendous story and a stumbling dance all at the same time. #ReignsVsUndertaker #Wrestlemania

ESPN.com's Dan Rafael felt underwhelmed:

Dan Rafael @danrafaelespn

Garbage finish to Reigns-Undertaker at #Wrestlemania A spear and a pin as Reigns wins ho hum. Worse that May-Pac.

After the match, The Undertaker appeared to retire from WWE. He took off his hat, trench coat and gloves, leaving all three in the center of the ring—a symbolic gesture often associated with a wrestler retiring.

ESPN.com's Arash Markazi showed the gear remained untouched even as the ring was torn down:

Arash Markazi @ArashMarkazi

Everyone is gone. The Undertaker's gear is still in the ring. https://t.co/EhErrt4z6S

In addition, The Undertaker raised his right fist as he lowered down into the entrance ramp, courtesy of WWE:

WWE @WWE

Vintage #Undertaker as the lights go out at #WrestleMania... https://t.co/CEV8rUIbMQ

As WWE Creative Humor tweeted, it was an emotional moment for many fans:

WWE Creative Humor @WWECreative_ish

The Undertaker walking up the ramp one final time as we get to see 70,000 grown men cry #WrestleMania

The Deadman always resurfaces in the weeks and months leading up to the Showcase of Immortals, and this year was no different, as he entered himself into the Royal Rumble match in an attempt to vie for the Universal Championship.

Taker looked to be in dominant form, but Reigns entered the bout as a surprise at No. 30 and eliminated The Phenom.

That set the stage for their WrestleMania encounter, although The Undertaker was absent from WWE programming for several weeks while The Big Dog was embroiled in a feud with Braun Strowman.

A few weeks prior to WrestleMania, however, The Undertaker made his presence known by interrupting an encounter between Reigns and Strowman, which resulted in Reigns getting laid out with a chokeslam.

The Undertaker's gong hit during Reigns' match against Jinder Mahal the following week on Raw, and while Reigns still managed to win despite the distraction, Shawn Michaels warned him that he needed to focus.

As seen in this tweet courtesy of WWE's official Twitter account, though, the former Shield powerhouse was confident he could end The Deadman once and for all:

WWE @WWE

"The #Undertaker retired you, and I'm the guy that's going to RETIRE HIM!" @WWERomanReigns is ALL CONFIDENCE going into #WrestleMania. #RAW https://t.co/aurdJjgd4K

Reigns and Strowman main-evented Raw the next week, but their bout was cut short when the lights went out and The Undertaker appeared in the middle of the ring.

Taker chokeslammed Strowman, but the decision to turn his back on Reigns was a poor one, as the veteran was dropped by a devastating spear.

The Undertaker was eventually able to sit up, but Reigns vowed to put him down for good on the Grandest Stage of Them All:

Roman Reigns @WWERomanReigns

You keep sitting up Deadman. And I'll keep putting you down. #MyYard #BigDog

Although The Undertaker has entered nearly every WrestleMania match of his entire career as an overwhelming favorite, that wasn't necessarily the case Sunday.

After main-eventing both WrestleMania 31 and WrestleMania 32, it was abundantly clear that WWE viewed Reigns as its next major Superstar.

Joining Brock Lesnar as only the second man to beat Taker at WrestleMania is a huge feather in Reigns' cap, and it speaks to the idea that he will continue to receive a monster push coming out of the event.

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player above (warning: some language NSFW).

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.