Monday, February 14, 2011
The Undertaker's Streak Is Over Rated
Much like Goldberg's streak is over rated, so is the Undertaker's streak over rated. This is not always talked about, but let's not get ahead of ourselves and say that the Undertaker's Wrestlemania streak is that legendary. Truth be told, some of the matches were completely terrible, and no one talks about that. Yes, it's been building since 1991, but let's not just say that every opponent was in his prime, Undertaker beat a good handful of terrible wrestlers on his way to getting some quality matches in the latter years.
Before you start throwing tomatoes, consider his matches at wrestlemania below:
Wrestlemania VII 1991 - The Undertaker defeated Jimmy Snuka - Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka was on his way out. He was not in his prime in 1991, and I would know. I was in the live crowd for this match, and while I enjoyed the match up, this was obvious that Snuka was on his way towards retirement, even back then. Remember, Snuka tried a few character tweaks in the 90's and this was not his best moment. He was a huge star in the 1980's but in the 90's? He started to wear boots, he started to grow facial hair, and would just bow out eventually. This match wasn't great, and Undertaker no sold a lot of the offense and evetnually buried his foe.
Wrestlemania VIII 1992 - The Undertaker defeated Jake Roberts - The Undertaker came back in Wrestlemania 8 as a mid-carder and buried a tired and older Jake Roberts. Roberts not only lost here, he left the WWE completely and showed up in WCW to be a top villain. In one of the most embarrasing match ups later in the year, Roberts faced off in the infamous "Coal Miner's Glove" match against Sting, and it was just awful. Roberts was huge at one point, and his downward spiral continued after losing to Undertaker at Mania. Once again, not a 5 star classic by any stretch of the imagination.
Wrestlemania IX 1993 - The Undertaker defeated Giant Gonzalez - Terrible, terrible match. Giant Gonzalez in a body suit against Undertaker was just a terrible piece of crap match. The streak stayed alive via disqualification! What a lousy match.
Wrestlemania XI 1995 - The Undertaker defeated King Kong Bundy - This was a stupid match too. King Kong Bundy was NOT at all in his prime here and shouldn't be considered a great wrestler in 1995. What a terrible Wrestlemania anyway.
Wrestlemania XII 1996 - The Undertaker defeated Diesel - Finally, a good Undertaker match. I remember marking out huge for this one. Diesel hit the Jacknife and I thought for sure taker was going down. Diesel would eventually fall to the Tombstone piledriver as everyone else would eventually, but this was no burial. Diesel did not go down easily, even though later on in the year he'd make one of the biggest moves in Wrestling history, when he showed up at the Great American Bash to beat the crap out of Bischoff with help from Scott Hall.
Wrestlemania 13 1997 - The Undertaker defeated Sycho Sid - Sycho Sid put up a fight against the challenger here and saved an otherwise lackluster event. I didn't think this event was huge, and while I enjoyed three of the matches, the rest of the night was forgettable to say the least. The Undertaker would finally get the title for an extended reign and it was awesome. I loved his matches this year, as he would take on all comers for the extended period of time. He fought Austin, Farooq, and then lost the title in a great match against Bret Hart at Summerslam.
Wrestlemania XIV 1998 - The Undertaker defeated Kane - I've never been a fan of Kane, and I've never liked his matches with Taker. This match was a boring big man match and it ended terribly. I didn't like it.
Wrestlemania XV 1999 - The Undertaker defeated The Big Boss Man - The worst Wrestlemania in WWF/WWE history. This match was terrible and ended with Boss Man being hung from the Cell as it rose. I hated this ppv, it was the worst.
Wrestlemania X-Seven 2001 - The Undertaker defeated Triple H - This was a great one, as both men fought hard to make the match memorable. One of the best wrestlemanias of all time. The two fought through the crowd, to the stage, and eventually Triple H looked like he'd had the Taker's number but nope, Taker wins again.
Wrestlemania X8 2002 - The Undertaker defeated Ric Flair - A very bloody Ric Flair took on Taker here and Taker buried the guy. I loved it, a great overall night, but Taker took it to an aged Flair. Flair in his prime would've put a much better fight.
Wrestlemania XIX 2003 - The Undertaker defeated The Big Show and A-Train - Another low point for the Dead Man. The Undertaker buried two guys here when Nathan Jones couldn't make it. Nathan Jones eventually showed up, but this was a low point in the night in Seattle.
Wrestlemania XX 2004 - The Undertaker defeated Kane - Another boring match up. I can't stand these two together, their matches are never fun to watch.
Wrestlemania 21 2005 - The Undertaker defeated Randy Orton - I was there live, and this match lived up to the hype. Randy Orton nearly had Taker with a surprise RKO and the whole crowd went nuts, and I almost spilled my drink. I remember this match vividly, which had some great moments, and Taker took out the Legend Killer with great momentum.
Wrestlemania 22 2006 - The Undertaker defeated Mark Henry - Another big man match that I didn't care about, and if you did, you're dumb.
Wrestlemania 23 2007 - The Undertaker defeated Batista - A good overall match here, and The Undertaker really put the boots to an up and coming Batista. I liked Batista as a heel and not being afraid of the Dead Man. I liked this one.
Wrestlemania XXIV 2008 - The Undertaker defeated Edge - Edge tried to take out Taker here, but no matter what he did, he just couldn't put the dead man away. This is where the matches really started getting good, with Undertaker looking to start topping his previous matches.
Wrestlemania 25 2009 -The Undertaker defeated Shawn Micheals - This match stole the show, it was a stellar match with both men putting everything on the line, and Shawn Michaels nearly winning several times.
Wrestlemania XXVI 2010- The Undertaker defeated Shawn Michaels - This was another great one, not as good as the one from Wrestlemania 25 but it was a solid match with a great ending for Shawn Michaels. I really hoped Michaels would win, but it was his last match and Undertaker didn't slouch.
So there you have it, the streak, loaded early on with jobbers and then getting better with age. Like I previously said on this blog, I'd love to see Undertaker take on Sting at Wrestlemania. If his opponent is going to be Wade Barrett, I'm going to be saddened, because that is not a big name match, unless they really build Wade to take out Undertaker, but I just don't see it.
Check out The Undertaker in action with the following:
WWE Tombstone History of the Undertaker DVD
WWE The Undertaker's Deadliest Matches Dvd
WWE Undertaker - He Buries Them Alive DVD
WWE The Best PPV Matches 2009 - 2010 Dvd