Looking back at The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania Streak
Mar 11, 2011 - by Steve Gerweck
(credit: The Bleacher Report)
FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS…..
by Josh Dishon
Eighteen times the Undertaker has walked down the aisle at WrestleMania, and eighteen times he has emerged victorious. With WrestleMania XXVII just weeks away in Atlanta Georgia I would like to look back at all his victories and his victims .
WrestleMania VII would see the Undertaker make his debut on the Grandest Stage against a man who was called the Phenom , a future Hall of Famer “Superfly“ Jimmy Snuka. In just under six minutes ‘Taker Tombstoned Snuka pinning him claiming victory and the moniker of Phenom .
The next year Jake the “Snake” Roberts would stand in his way of victory. The Hoosier Dome would be the sight of this battle between two men who were allies just months before. The Undertaker delivered a Tombstone on the floor exorcising the demonic Serpent and burying victim number 2.
The Undertaker would face perhaps his biggest challenge both literally and figuratively to date in the form of Giant Gonzalez. Gonzalez dominated the match for the most part with ’Taker getting in very few damaging offensive moves. He knocked down Paul Bearer with a head butt, and smothered Taker with a rag soaked in chloroform rendering him unconscious. Referee Bill “Fonzie” Alfonso declared Undertaker the winner by DQ after issuing a five count for failing to release the Undertaker. The Undertaker was wheeled to the back on a stretcher. As Gonzalez gloated about what he had done the gong sounded and the Undertaker returned to the ring hitting two clotheslines one of them a flying clothesline that sent him to the floor . Security takes Gonzalez away as the Fink announced ‘Taker the winner of the match. Another note of interest is that this was Jim Ross’ first WrestleMania .
Undertaker would face King Kong Bundy a man who holds the record for fastest pin (9 seconds) in WrestleMania history. IRS “repossess” the urn from Paul Bearer at the Royal Rumble while Undertaker and Bundy battled .Which brings us to WrestleMania, Bundy clotheslined ‘Taker over the top rope and he landed on his feet right behind the Million Dollar Man and when DiBiase turned around Undertaker snatches the urn from his grasp and hands it back to Paul Bearer. DiBiase then Kama comes down and takes it back saying he will melt it down and make a chain out of it. Taker wins after being one of the few to ever knock Bundy off his feet with a big body slam but wasn’t able to keep a hold of the urn.
After both men cost each other the chance to win the WWF title they faced off at Mania with Taker looking to go 5-0 . Diesel would dominate much of the match as he was one of the few that matched Taker in size and strength. Diesel wore down Taker to the point of delivering the Jackknife Power Bomb eventually hitting another . Undertaker would raise up once again and grab Diesel by the throat . After a Tombstone Pile driver the Undertaker ran his WrestleMania record to an impressive 5-0 .This would be Diesel’s last appearance at ‘Mania as Kevin Nash left the WWF to work for rival WCW later that summer .
This would mark the first time that the Undertaker would compete at WrestleMania for a championship. Across the ring yet another behemoth would be there to stare him in the eye WWF Champion Sycho Sid. Bret Hart comes to the ring before the start of the match running his mouth to Shawn Michaels(doing commentary ), Undertaker, and Sid. Sid power bombed Bret and the match began. The two men would trade power for power being evenly matched in a smash mouth contest . The number 13 would prove to be very lucky as Undertaker would claim yet another soul and the WWF Title.
Throughout history sibling rivalry is very common, Cain and Abel, Peyton and Eli Manning , Rick and Scott Steiner . At the Badd Blood PPV in October 1997 Paul Bearer introduced the world to ‘Taker’s little brother during his Hell in the Cell match against Shawn Michaels. Bearer and Kane harassed the Undertaker for months with Undertaker seemingly not wanting to retaliate against them. At the Royal Rumble Kane placed ’Taker in a casket doused it with gasoline and lit it on fire ! After returning to RAW he told Kane that hr would walk through the fires of Hell to get revenge. Undertaker faced his younger sibling Kane at WrestleMania ultimately hitting no less than three Tombstones to pin Kane and run his record to a perfect 7-0.
The Undertaker entered WrestleMania XV to face Big Boss Man in a Hell in the Cell, the first time it was held at the premiere Sports Entertainment Event . Big Boss Man was doing the bidding of Mr. McMahon as he felt that the Undertaker was trying to control him and the company that McMahon built by threatening him and his family. The Boss Man delivered vicious blows with his night stick busting the ‘Taker wide open after cuffing him to the Cell. However Undertaker fought back on this night just as he had at every previous WrestleMania. After hitting the Tombstone , Undertaker lynched the Boss Man with help of the Brood (Gangrel, Edge, and Christian) hanging him from the top of the Cell. Paul Bearer raised the Cell in effect executing not only the Boss Man but Mr. McMahon’s Corporation as well.
Due to the threat of legal action as part of the revisionist history of WWE this entry has been removed sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.
At No Way Out co owner of WWE Nature Boy Ric Flair kept the Undertaker from hitting the Rock with a lead pipe during their match. Undertaker later confronted Flair telling him he wanted him in the ring at WrestleMania . When Flair answered with a no ‘Taker said “Well we’ll have to see what we can do to change that”. So the Undertaker then assaulted those closest to Flair namely his long time friend Arn Anderson and Ric’s oldest son David. Ric Flair then told the Undertaker that he had his attention and that he had the Nature Boy at WrestleMania. During an episode of Smack Down Flair attacked ‘Taker and as the two battled among fans an errant punch struck a fan at ringside. At a meeting of the Board of Directors CEO Linda McMahon asked Flair if he intended to proceed with his match at WrestleMania. Flair answered , “Yes beyond a shadow of a doubt“. The board then moved to grant Mr. McMahon a vote of confidence and full authority to act, but they reserved the right to review the situation after the event. Mr. McMahon then informed Flair that his match would be a no disqualification match .There were very few holds in this match and the two competitors spent very little time in the ring. The Undertaker busted Flair wide open and bled profusely , but in true Nature Boy style refused to stay down and kept coming back for all the “Taker could dish out .Flair beat on the Undertaker with a lead pipe, put him in the figure four and Taker broke the hold by him and then Choke slamming him down to the mat. Arn Anderson came down and delivered a spine buster to the “Taker, but he absorbed the blow as it didn’t have the effect that it once did. The Undertaker then disposed of Arn and turned his attention back to Flair attempting to dish out a Last Ride, but he fought out of it only to suffer a Tombstone and become the 10th person to taste defeat at the hands of the Undertaker during WrestleMania.
Originally scheduled to be a tag team match as the Undertaker was set to team with Nathan Jones against Big Show and A-Train. However the FBI member Nunzio helped Big Show and A-Train put Jones on ice forcing the Undertaker to go it alone marking the first time that he faced two opponents in a match at WrestleMania. During the match it appeared that the Streak was in serious jeopardy due to the numbers game, however just as any good fighter will tell you if you just keep punching that there is always a chance at victory . Just when it looked like the streak would end Nathan Jones made it down to the ring to even up the sides delivering a spin kick to Big Show and a big boot to the face of A- Train setting up the Tombstone and preserving the Streak for Big Evil running his record to 11-0 .
This would mark the first time that the Undertaker would face an opponent he had already faced at WrestleMania. This would also mark the return of Paul Bearer to lead the Man from the Dark side .
Kane buried the Undertaker at Survivor Series during his Buried Alive Match with Mr. McMahon.
The Undertaker then came back from the other side stalking Kane first at the Royal Rumble then during various WWE programming leading up to Kane accepting a match with his brother. As the Undertaker made his way to the ring Kane kept saying “I buried you, you’re dead!”
As the bell rang Kane cautiously reached out towards ‘Taker and the fight began all out brawl between the Brothers of Destruction. Every time Kane thought that he had bested his brother ,but the Undertaker kept coming back for more leading ’Taker to Tombstone Kane and 1move to 12-0 at WrestleMania .
The Undertaker would square off with the “Legend Killer” Randy Orton, a man who literally spit in the face of the history and legacy of the WWE and its’ legends. Orton tried to intimidate and go punch for punch with ’Taker a strategy that backfired. However a missed time big boot in the corner caused Undertaker to go over the top rope landing on the ring apron, Orton then delivered a standing dropkick right to ‘Taker’s chin sending him sailing into the barricade giving Orton momentum.
‘Taker reversed momentum back into his favor by hitting a big swinging DDT, but just as he was about to deliver Snake Eyes in the corner Orton rolled in mid air and went back on the offensive .
Orton just wouldn’t give up at times running on instinct , but the experience of the Undertaker would prove to be just too much for Orton to overcome even though Cowboy Bob Orton hit him with his cast. Undertaker set up Randy for a choke slam which he reserved hitting ‘Taker with the RKO and then attempted to hit him the Tombstone which was reversed and the Undertaker moved to 13-0 !
This would mark the first time that a Casket Match was held during WrestleMania. The month before on Smack Down the Undertaker was just about to win the World Heavyweight Title as he had hit the Tombstone on Kurt Angle, but Mark Henry hit the ring breaking up the pin attempt and costing the Dead Man the Championship. Which then lead to a confrontation seeing Henry splashing ‘Taker through the announcer’s table setting up this confrontation. As the Undertaker made his way to the ring it was evident that Henry wasn’t intimidated by the entrance of the Phenom.
Henry got the ‘Taker into the Casket, but he fought his way back out only to be hit with a big power slam.
The Undertaker delivered a modified Last Ride to Henry and then threw him outside and then launched himself over the top rope onto Henry sailing over the casket in the process. Undertaker then delivered a Tombstone to the 440 lb Henry rolling him into the casket slamming the lid on yet another victim raising his record to 14-0 !
The Undertaker won the Royal Rumble for the first time in his career earning the right to go to WrestleMania to face his choice of one of the three Champions in the WWE at the time, ECW Champion Bobby Lashley , World Champion Batista , or WWE Champion John Cena. ‘Taker chose Batista setting up a battle between two of Smack Down’s biggest Superstars. Batista claimed that he would not be intimidated the Undertaker simply replied with “We’ll see.”
As the Undertaker made his way to the ring Batista stood near the ropes on the aisle side awaiting his opponent showing no fear or intimidation. Batista speared ‘Taker just as the bell rang, and didn’t let up with the two of them trading punches even after the two of them fell out of the ring . Batista whipped ‘Taker in to the ringside steps doing some damage to his knees. ‘Taker wore down Batista with a splash in the corner . Undertaker then attempted a choke slam, Batista powered out of it whipping ‘Taker who reversed and delivered a big boot to the face of Batista. The two fought back outside once again with Batista flinging ‘Taker in to the timekeeper’s table, Batista kept rolling back into the ring to break the referee’s count so he could inflict more punishment culminating with a running power slam from one announce table to another.
Back in the ring Batista set up ‘Taker for the Power Bomb but ‘Taker shoved him back into the corner Batista then delivered a belly to belly suplex narrowly ending the Streak. As Batista clubbed the ‘Taker in the corner he blocked it and sent Batista crashing to the mat with the Last Ride ,Batista kicked out of the pin attempt then hit a spine buster, spear ,and a Batista bomb but ‘Taker didn’t stay down. Undertaker claimed the World Championship and his 15th victory in as many matches at WrestleMania!
For the second year in a row the Undertaker would challenge for the World Heavyweight Title, but this time against a man that he had never beaten the Rated R Superstar Edge .
Edge would cash in his Money in the Bank contract defeating the Undertaker on an episode of Smack Down following a bloody cage match against Batista. The two feuded much of the early part of the year leading to WrestleMania with Edge claiming that he would be the man to end the Streak .Edge did everything he could to fulfill his prophecy including working over ’Taker’s legs to keep him from being able to stand. Undertaker threw everything he had at Edge including a Tombstone and the Last Ride and it wasn’t enough to put him away. Edge had a counter for just about every move the Undertaker dished out he countered all the ‘Taker’s signature maneuvers . Edge even went so far as hitting Undertaker with a television camera while the referee was down ,Undertaker hit the Tombstone making the cover as another referee raced towards the ring . Hawkins and Ryder then came down distracting ’Taker long enough for Edge to hit a spear which ’Taker
also kicked out of .Undertaker finally defeated Edge with a submission hold causing him to tap out. The Undertaker defeated Edge for the first time and etched yet another name on his Streak list running his record to 16-0!
The 25th Anniversary
The Undertaker looked across the ring at a man who made his name on the Grandest Stage, Mr. WrestleMania Shawn Michaels. Over the years Undertaker gained advantage of his opponents by intimidating them, but none of his actions would scare Michaels . Both men picked a body part and focused in on them with Undertaker working over HBK’s back and Michaels working over ‘Taker’s legs .The Undertaker and HBK both laid it all on the line in this one each man hitting the other with all their signature moves any one of which would fell a normal man, but these two and not on this night. Michaels attempted to hit a moonsault on ‘Taker as he stood on the floor, but he swatted HBK away like a fly. Undertaker then dove over the top rope at Michaels ,a referee, and a cameraman. Michaels pushed the referee out of harms way and at the same time pulled the cameraman into the path of the ’Taker. Undertaker laid on the outside until the count of nine with Michaels on his knees in the opposite corner begging the referee to count ten. Back in the ring HBK was tuning up the band looking to play a little Sweet Chin Music but he met with a choke slam from the ‘Taker getting a two count . Undertaker went for another choke slam but Michaels countered with Sweet Chin Music this time nailing ‘Taker also getting a two count. A double count started as both men lay prone on the mat Michaels made it to his feet first and after two counters the Undertaker hit the Last Ride getting another two count. Undertaker missed a big elbow drop from the top rope. Both men fought to get back to their feet and ‘Taker threw Michaels over the top rope then as Michaels was skinning the cat to get back in the ring Undertaker hit the Tombstone which HBK kicked out of again. Undertaker went for one last Tombstone and Michaels caught him with a Tornado DDT ! Michaels then slowly tried to climb to the top rope hitting a flying elbow. Using the ropes to get back to his feet HBK went to the opposite corner to tune up the band as ‘Taker fought to his feet getting nailed with a big time Sweet Chin Music kicking out after another two count! Both men used each other to get back to their feet then they traded straight right hands and knife edge chops until Undertaker landed a huge right hand gaining a momentary advantage. Michaels made his way to the top rope to attempt a moonsault ,but he was caught by the Undertaker who hit a Tombstone and finally gaining a three count and a victory over Mr. WrestleMania raising his record to 17-0 !
One year later HBK wanted to make up for what he called one mistake, he became obsessed with ending the Streak. Michaels kept Undertaker from winning the Elimination Chamber, telling ‘Taker that if he wanted revenge he should face him at WrestleMania. Undertaker agreed but one condition HBK had to put his career on the line. Michaels agreed, saying that if he couldn’t stop the Streak and beat the Undertaker he didn’t have a career . Early on in the match Undertaker injured his knee which became the focus of HBK’s attack, and of course ‘Taker’s game plan was to take advantage of HBK’s weak back . Undertaker delivered a Tombstone to Michaels on the outside of the ring, but Undertaker couldn’t take advantage of the move because of his leg being injured after Michaels had him in an ankle lock. Back in the ring Michaels climbed to the top rope going for an elbow drop, but ‘Taker countered by getting his kneed up. From out of nowhere HBK
hit Sweet Chin Music getting a two count ! Michaels attempted a second one the Undertaker countered hitting the Last Ride getting a two count of his own .Undertaker threw Michaels outside in front of the Announcer’s tables setting up the Last Ride, Michaels reversed it and sent ‘Taker sailing onto the table after Sweet Chin Music. Michaels climbed up to the top rope and delivered a Moonsault driving Undertaker through the table! Michaels rolled ‘Taker back into the ring and hit yet another Sweet Chin Music, but couldn’t keep the Dead Man down for the three count! HBK tried a third super kick but Undertaker blocked it nailing Michaels with a choke slam and then a Tombstone which he kicked out of ! As Michaels rolled around on the mat trying to get to his feet ‘Taker told him to stay down , but HBK gave Taker the slashing throat symbol and then slapped him across the face causing the Undertaker to deliver one last Tombstone getting the three count , ending Shawn Michaels’ career and extending the Streak to 18-0!
Wow what a ride I can only hope that the match in a few weeks between HHH and the Undertaker lives up to the hype . It should be fun to see how it all plays out leading up to WrestleMania XXVII in Atlanta.
Thanks for reading and THANKS to Gerweck.Net for giving me the opportunity to write this !