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What Does The WWE Do With Sting Now That The Streak is Broken?

April 18, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

According to several sources, Sting will be signing or has signed with the WWE. The original plan was to sign Sting to a deal that allowed him to be used in a non-wrestling role in several capacities while wrestling very part time similar to The Undertaker.

For years, the one wrestler who Vince McMahon could not make part of his circus up north was the missing piece to a WCW puzzle that was never complete. Now that appears to be no longer an issue.

The first rumor going out about Sting was that he was signing for only one match at WrestleMania 31 against The Undertaker. The thing is, this type of deal does not help the WWE as it would only allow them to use Sting once. The set up alone would be great and people would get the match they wanted. However, if WWE could sign him to a legends deal, he would be able to enter WWE’s Hall of Fame next year along with having a huge role with WWE Network and wrestling from time to time.

Now that Taker lost to Brock Lesnar and the “Streak” is over, the company must now develop new storylines that keep the 55-year old entertainer as part of their top tier promotional package. Now that a battered and beaten Dead Man appears to be at the end of his career, where does “The Icon” and the WWE meet in terms of entertainment value.

Could Triple H, Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton or Batista be the right elixir for wrestling magic? And who would he align himself with should he battle Evolution in the near future?

Sting is a fifteen-time World Champion, having held the NWA World Heavyweight Championship twice, the WCW World Heavyweight Championship six times, the WCW International World Heavyweight Championship twice, the WWA World Heavyweight Championship once and the TNA World Heavyweight Championship four times. He is a WCW Triple Crown winner, has held 21 total championships between WCW and TNA, and is the only man to hold the NWA, WCW, and TNA World Titles in his career. Sting has headlined many major pay-per-views since the late 1980s.

Perhaps most notably, he closed the 1989, 1990 and 1997 editions of WCW’s premier annual event Starrcade, in singles matches and won the Battlebowl main event of the 1991 edition; as well as headlining the 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 editions of TNA’s premiere annual event Bound for Glory.

The problems with Sting signing now with the company are specifically related to the veteran talent that recently signed with the WWE. Batista’s win at the Royal Rumble and immediate build soured the fans and made a villain of The Beast. Would that be the same situation with Sting, who the wrestling fans, the WWE Universe and the IWC have waited for years to see in the WWE rings?

And with the signing of an “older” talent, what does that mean to wrestlers like Orton or a rising Roman Reigns, Cesaro and even John Cena? Does he step over the current rising talent to make his mark in the only major promotion he has eluded?

It really depends on who the company brings to the table as a solid opponent for the Stinger.

I love the idea of Sting feuding with someone like Wade Barrett, Orton or maybe even Jack Swagger – three brawlers who can not only go the distance with Sting but also put him over.

Ryback, Curtis Angle, and even CM Punk could be interesting if Punk was still in the company.

The best thing about the Sting signing is that the company now has more options. The WWE needs to understand just how important their new employee really is and how much he means to his fans in order to deliver what is best for business.

Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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The Undertaker’s WWE Career: Survivor Series 1990 & The Birth of The Streak

April 18, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

It was the Dream Team against The Million Dollar Team. Dusty Rhodes and Ted DiBiase were in the midst of a good-old southern style blood feud. DiBiase first lured Sapphire away with money and luxuries beyond her wildest dreams. DiBiase then did the unthinkable on national television and would violently attack Dusty’s son, Dustin. DiBiase would leave Dustin a bloody mess, setting up Rhodes and DiBiase to lead teams for the upcoming Survivor Series PPV. Rhodes would tab The Hart Foundation and Koko B. Ware and DiBiase would recruit Rhythm and Blues. DiBiase promised a mystery partner, and just who would it be? DiBiase entered the ring and would address the audience:

“Without further ado, I’ll introduce to you my mystery partner. Lead to the ring by his manager, Brother Love, weighing in at 325 pounds, from Death Valley, I give you The Undertaker. *DiBiase Laughter*“-Survivor Series 1990 (November 22nd, 1990)

With those words, the wrestling world including the 16,000 fans at the Hartford Civic Center would turn their heads to the entrance. Just what exactly was this so called Undertaker and why was he associating himself with Brother Love of all people? As the funeral March played a man walked out wearing a black coat, hat, gloves and boots. The man wasn’t a weakling or some fat guy; this guy looked like a monster. In an era in-which workers wore flashy colors, a man wearing all black was something different. He walked with a purpose every step towards the ring drawing the interest of the crowd. While we had wrestlers who did the same thing, there was something different about this guy. As the bell rang, he just stood there showing no emotion, a cold emotionless killer. What we were witnessing was the beginning of something special.

From there, The Undertaker was more or less booked perfectly as he never left his feet. Bret Hart went at him first and he cut the Excellence of Execution down with ease. Jim Neidhart couldn’t knock him down and Taker slammed him with ease. Koko B. Ware tried going to the air as he simply moved out of the way and Ware hit the ropes throat first. Ware would be the first of many victims that would feel The Tombstone Piledriver for the first elimination. The Undertaker would eliminate Dusty Rhodes with a top-rope Double Axe Handle. Taker would get counted out assaulting Rhodes, but the impact had been made.

For the rest of 1990 and into 1991, The Undertaker would rampage through the lower section of the WWE roster with Brother Love at his side. His squash matches were short and brutal, with the reactions of the children in attendance shown. Kids were either placing their faces in their parents to avoid seeing him or just sit there frozen in fear. This might come off as crazy, but I thought that The Undertaker was much scarier with Brother Love. There was just something about the bombastic Brother Love leading this monster in black down to ringside. Alas, the relationship was not meant to last, as Brother Love would introduce the new manager of The Undertaker: Paul Bearer. Bearer, who looked paler than Sheamus was a ghoulish owner of a funeral parlor and added another dimension to The Undertaker character. Bearer was in possession of an urn that seemingly controlled The Undertaker. The matching of both men would work, both guys would click together and Bearer would be by The Undertaker’s side until 1996.

From here, The Undertaker would more or less squash the ham and eggers on television, and being matched up with lower-midcard guys on the house show circuit. He really hadn’t made much of a splash so far, eliminating three people in the Rumble but not much else. The Undertaker would get a coveted spot at WrestleMania VII, facing Jimmy Snuka. It wasn’t much of a match, Taker vanquished Snuka in four minutes, but it was the start of something special. While many people would automatically forget the match minutes after it ended, it was the birth of something special.

The Streak: 1-0

After this, The Undertaker would receive a push that would launch him into the main event scene, feuding with the two biggest faces in the company.

Up Next: The Funeral Parlor Attack, An Alliance Forged and The Gravest Challenge

Robert Goeman has been writing for CamelClutchBlog since 2014 and has written for FiveOuncesofPain and What Culture. Follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/RobertGoeman. After every article, Robert usually does “Talking Points” on twitter, bringin up points that didn’t make the article.

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WrestleMania 30 meets Weekend at Bernie’s

April 16, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

It has been just over a week since the streak of the Undertaker officially came to an end, and I am still in a bit of shock. Like many in the WWE Universe I was expecting the Undertaker to continue his ridiculous streak of only wrestling once a year for many years to come. I know that I am in the minority but I was ready to see the streak end once and for all. Let’s face it, the Undertaker should have walked away after he failed to walk out of the arena after his first win against HHH.

I don’t think it was work and if it was it didn’t make any sense. It would have made for a perfect moment. There were no more legends from the Undertakers era left to beat, and he could have retired on top of the mountain. I guess maybe there was a little more money to be made so instead of doing what was best for fans, young talent, and probably the Undertaker’s long term health they did what was best for business which was make more money off a guy who was already dead.

The WWE and the Undertaker (he has some creative pull) decided to show Weekend at Bernie’s instead of an epic match between two superstars. The dead man being thrown around the ring looking very alive at certain points of the night, but really just being held up by a few strings. There were moments where he looked like the Undertaker, just long enough to make you believe what you were seeing was the real thing. However it was a façade because the Undertaker has been dead for a while now. What we saw on Sunday was a memory of time when The Deadman ruled the ring. The worst part about it for me was I think that the WWE wasted an opportunity to end the streak in real epic dramatic fashion. As much I have wanted to see an end to the streak, this ending left me feeling empty and unresolved.

Brock Lesnar is crazy good and pound for pound might be the best wrestler in the company. Brock Lesnar is the prototype of what the WWE wants. There is no other wrestler like him, he is the Lebron James of the WWE. Sure there are other behemoths like Batista and Big E, but they are still second to Lesnar. So in some ways it is not that farfetched that Lesnar could defeat the streak. You might be asking yourself, “If Brock is so good, what is the problem?” Well from my vantage point I see couple.

  1. Brock Lesnar is a part time wrestler who doesn’t deserve to have “defeat the streak” on his resume. The streak represents the Undertakers longevity of dominance and it should be broken by a guy that fans believe can match that longevity of dominance. It shouldn’t just be who the best is right now, but who one of the best is of all time. I am not saying that Cena is the perfect match but he has the longevity and the battle scars to be able to go to the limit with Taker. It is a believable story and even though fans would be upset, Cena is the type of superstar that deserves to have that on his resume. Cena is there every week, even though he is the top dog. He even comes to Smackdown. Brock Lesnar beat the Undertaker, bragged about it on RAW and then walked out of wrestling for a while. As a fan, why would I want that guy to be the man who broke the streak?
  2. It was really poor story telling all the way up to the match which happened to be extremely predictable except for the Undertaker losing. There are a lot of other superstars that Brock could have challenged at WrestleMania that would have made more sense and made for better matches. Big E or Batista might have made for compelling TV, in a match that is defined by incredible strength. Mr. WrestleMania vs The Streak was a great story and it made totally sense from start to finish and when it ended there was closure. There was a reason for that match, just like there was a reason for a match with HHH and even a reason for a match with CM Punk. There was no reason for a match with Brock Lesnar, but the WWE forced it anyway because it was WrestleMania XXX and the Rock wasn’t competing.

I guess to wrap it all up I am just really confused still in complete shock. Brock didn’t beat the Undertaker. He beat an old guy who looked a lot like the Undertaker and then he grabbed his bag and left. I know that the company likes to throw the fans for a loop and maybe that is what happened here. I just think they got it wrong and tried to for something that wasn’t there. I bet the WWE can still hear the sound of defining silence from the crowd after that match and I think that are going to hear it for a while.

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Inside The End Of The Undertaker’s WrestleMania Streak

April 15, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The pro wrestling world continues to remain in a state of shock at Brock Lesnar ending the streak. Yet now that a week has passed, what may be more fascinating than the end of an era may be the details surrounding this shocking result.

Over a week later and most wrestling fans are still in shock over the end of the streak. There is almost this sense of denial among those fans, some who believe that the result was more of a mistake than something planned. Unfortunately for them and any other doubters, the end of the streak is real and it was absolutely planned going into Mania.

Dave Meltzer of F4Wonline.com has done a tremendous job in peeling back the layers of this story and providing his readers with all of the juicy details that led up to this moment in history. I am not going to repeat word for word what Meltzer has reported, but I will take a look at some of the more interesting aspects of his investigation.

  • As of the last Monday Night RAW prior to WrestleMania known as the “go-home show”, the plan was for the streak to continue. The decision to put Lesnar over happened sometime between the end of RAW and the start of the match. This probably explains the criticism behind the build to the match. Many including myself thought the build was weak, made even more unimpressive when you put it into perspective with how the match played out.
  • Vince McMahon mandated that the Undertaker not be touched during the build to the match. It wasn’t until that final RAW where Vince lifted that decree and allowed Lesnar to get heat on the Undertaker. The cynic in me thinks that Vince changed his mind about the finish sometime over that weekend and changed his mind to allow Undertaker to get heat on Lesnar, knowing Lesnar would be the one going over.
  • Very few people in the company knew about the finish of the match including referee Chad Patton. I understand why this would be such a highly guarded secret but not telling the referee may be one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. The finish could have been an absolute disaster if the referee didn’t rely on his instincts and count to three. Strangely enough the oddsmakers (yes there are WWE odssmakers) shifted the odds in favor of Brock being the favorite over the weekend so someone leaked the result. The idea that the referee was given the wrong finish of one of the most historical matches of our lifetime is ludicrous.
  • Meltzer believes that the only way Vince would have booked this finish was if he felt that the Undertaker was retiring after the show. Nobody has confirmed whether or not the Undertaker has indeed retired, although it was certainly alluded to by the announcers after the match. However, Meltzer feels that something must have given Vince this vibe in order to make the move. Looking back I wonder if the same finish would have been booked last year if Vince felt Undertaker was wrapping it up at 29?
  • The Undertaker personally picked Brock to end the streak in 2011. Remember when the two shot an angle at a UFC event in which Lesnar and Taker had a confrontation? Vince, Lesnar, and Taker were all on board with the move but it was UFC president Dana White who refused to allow Brock to wrestle while under contract.

I found all of these tidbits interesting, especially the idea that the finish was changed a week before the show. The inside stories and the in-ring result will make this one a hard one to beat for the biggest pro wrestling in-ring story of 2014.

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21-1: Dissection of the Undertaker’s Streak

April 15, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The Undertaker’s Streak, WrestleMania’s greatest attraction has come to an end, and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. I’m not outraged like a lot of fans are, even though I understand their sentiment. I’m not sure if I’m satisfied with how it ended, but I can certainly live with it. When I broke down this match on the Bodyslam Podcast, I said I wouldn’t be surprised if Brock Lesnar won which was the opposite opinion in the studio. I would have bet the farm on the Undertaker getting his hand raised but something about the buildup to the match told me it might go the other way. When Lesnar delivered that third F-5, I knew it was over. Instead of looking at the TV screen, I looked at my friends in the living room as the referee counted 1-2-3. The room was pin-drop silent, and my friend’s jaws were on the floor, which mirrored the fans inside the Superdome.

So, why Brock Lesnar? It’s been reported that it was Taker’s call to make him the guy, but what were the circumstances that lead to this decision? Was this Undertaker’s last match? Was this a designed to make Lesnar matter again? Or, was this simply done to give WrestleMania 30 that shocking moment that has everyone talking? We may never know the real answer behind this heavily debated decision.

The general consensus is that Lesnar was the way wrong guy to end the streak because he is already a big name player and is only wrestling part-time. Plus, his cantankerous reputation outside of the ring makes him hard to like thus he is undeserving of this accomplishment. I have a different opinion on the matter. If you look at wrestling through the prism that it is real and ignore all the internet rumors and backstage crap, It makes sense that Brock Lesnar ended the streak. His character has accumulated more titles and won more significant matches in a faster amount of time than most WWE Superstars. When he traded theater for combat, he won the UFC heavyweight title in his fourth professional fight by dethroning the seemingly un-beatable Randy Couture.

I was perusing the Camel Clutch Blog and found a fascinating article covering the backstage urban legends of WrestleMania. The word is Undertaker was in serious jeopardy of losing two of his WrestleMania matches before Sunday. A loss in either match would have dramatically altered the deadman’s career and killed the streak before it began. Now that Brock Lesnar has made history, the question remains, was he the right guy or was there a better choice along way to 21-1? Let’s take a look.

The Undertaker vs. Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka WrestleMania 7 - Taker was the new monster on the block and Snuka’s best days were behind him. There was no logical reason for outcome to go any other way but a Tombstone piledriver for the 1-2-3.

The Undertaker vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts WrestleMania 8 - Roberts was on his was out of the company so it made no sense to put him over. Plus, Undertaker had just turned, so losing his first big match as a babyface would have stifled that endeavor.

The Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez WrestleMania 9 - It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if at one time, Taker losing to Gonzalez was on the books. Vince McMahon saw a lot of money in the 7’ 6” Argentinean at one time. However, history shows that the right guy won that night.

The Undertaker vs. King Kong Bundy WrestleMania 11 – This is one of the matches that Eric talked about in his article. Bundy had just returned to the WWF and Vince probably believed he would be the top heel again like he was against Hulk Hogan years earlier. The right call was made considering Bundy, in his second run, came off as more a caricature of his former self.

The Undertaker vs. Diesel WrestleMania 12 – I understand the thought process behind Undertaker losing here. Shawn Michaels was getting the title and Diesel was set to be his first program as champion. You want a title challenger coming off a big win so the people will buy him as a threat. Luckily, Big Daddy Cool was headed for WCW so it was a non-issue.

The Undertaker vs. Sycho Sid WrestleMania 13 – Nothing to worry about here. Shawn Michaels lost his smile, scrapping the rematch with Bret Hart, and the call was made to put the belt on the Undertaker and push him as the top star in the company.

The Undertaker vs. Kane: WrestleMania 14 – Like Undertaker was eight years earlier, Kane was the new monster in town and looking for revenge against his big brother. As a non-smartened up fan who was oblivious to the internet, my jaw would have hit the floor if Taker lost since that was rare. Now that I’m a little more enlightened, Kane winning wouldn’t have been that big of a surprise and might have been the right call?

The Undertaker vs. Big Boss Man WrestleMania 15 – This is another streak match where the outcome was academic. The Attitude Era was in full swing and the Ministry angle was just gaining momentum.

The Undertaker vs. Triple H WrestleMania 17 – Thinking about it now, Triple H could have easily walked out of the Astrodome with the win. He was one of the top stars in the company and a mainstay in the world title picture. For a while, this was considered their greatest WrestleMania match.

The Undertaker vs. Ric Flair WrestleMania 18 – Ric Flair was on the back end of his career and more of an attraction than a serious contender. There was no reason to have the Nature Boy conquer the Dead Man. *Side Note* This match would be the last time we would ever see the famous Arn Anderson Spinebuster.

The Undertaker vs. Big Show & A-Train WrestleMania 19 – This was supposed to be a tag team match. However, Nathan Jones was so horribly bad in the ring that they filmed an angle, having him assaulted in the locker room, which removed him from the match. Even under handicap rules, Show and Train were too far down the card to be taken seriously as a threat.

The Undertaker vs. Kane WrestleMania 20 – This is the least likely time the Undertaker would ever lose at WrestleMania. Fans were tired of the American Bad Ass Biker gimmick and wanted the Deadman back in the worst way. That’s exactly what they got.

The Undertaker vs. Randy Orton WrestleMania 21 – This marks the first time the streak was used as a part of the story. Randy Orton was quickly rising through the ranks as the “legend killer” and some had him pegged as the future of the business. It would have made sense to end the streak here but Orton’s backstage attitude didn’t instill the confidence need for the company to go all the way with him at that time.

The Undertaker vs. Mark Henry WrestleMania 22: Before Mark Henry was sending opponents to his Hall of Pain, there was a fifteen year period where he couldn’t get heat if he was on fire. Vince gave the big man quite a few start and stop monster pushes in order to capitalize on his multi-million dollar investment. At the time, the streak was a deal but not a big deal. In the end, I think the powers that be were building Henry to make him credible for a match with the Undertaker with no designs of an upset.

The Undertaker vs. Batista WrestleMania 23 - Taker was coming off of his first Royal Rumble win and Batista was the world heavyweight champion. At the time, some felt Taker should have passed the torch to the younger superstar. However, ending the streak wouldn’t have increased Batista’s already popular status enough to justify such an accomplishment.

The Undertaker vs. Edge WrestleMania 24 – Edge was an amazing performer in any role, and while ending the streak would have served him well, telling a good story takes precedent over elevating talent who doesn’t necessarily need the boost. The Undertaker was in the unfamiliar role of underdog since he was going against a foe he had never bested and was also undefeated at WrestleMania. Redemption was required.

The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels WrestleMania 25 –Not only did this match make the streak famous but we really had no idea who was going to win. This babyface vs. babyface encounter between two wrestlers who are in the GOAT discussion not only exceeded expectations but shattered them. The result produced the definitive pro wrestling match of the modern era.

The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels II WrestleMania 26 – Streak vs. Career is all you really need to say. This match also produce that “who’s going to win” factor because Michaels’ retirement was a well-kept secret. I remember thinking Michaels would win and that would set up the rubber match with Taker wanting revenge for the loss.

The Undertaker vs. Triple H II WrestleMania 27 – A great story is not always about the end but how you get there. We knew Triple H wasn’t going to end the streak, but that didn’t matter. Undertaker losing in victory made us wonder if the tank was finally empty.

The Undertaker vs. Triple H III WrestleMania 28 – Proving that a win wasn’t a fluke is all the motivation one needs. Especially when the person you beat is unapologetically convinced that he has your number. Again, we knew Triple H wasn’t going to win but the end result proved he was the right guy across the ring that evening.

The Undertaker vs. CM Punk WrestleMania 29 – Before he walked out on the company, I believed that CM Punk could have been the right guy to end the streak. It was a fresh match up in a sense that their previous bouts took place before Punk was a main eventer. However, with Paul Bearer’s passing being used as a part of the story, there is no way Punk was going over in that situation.

The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar WrestleMania 30 – We all know what happened here.

Many feel the Undertaker’s streak should have only ended at the hands of a star on the rise in order to make them into a main event player, but WWE’s proclivity to start and stop pushes makes giving the win an un-established star a fool’s errand. Roman Regins and Bray Wyatt are being groomed for main event success, and having one of them win might have been too predictable which is what you don’t want when trying to entertain an audience. Plus, Brock Lesnar is now special again after losing his je ne sais quoi when he put over John Cena in his first match back with WWE. So, in essence, the streak accomplished its desired intent. It made someone.

I’d remiss if I didn’t talk about the elephant in the room. The match itself was horrible, and that fact is now dwarfed the enormity of the moment. If what we saw last Sunday was a mirage, all we would be talking about is how slow and lethargic the Deadman looked. He was hurt during the match, still, the intensity was missing, and the magic is gone. I don’t think any of us want to live in a world where a poor performance is our last memory of the Undertaker. He’s earned better than that, and at 49 years old, I think he believes that too which is why he ultimately made the decision to put over Brock Lesnar. Along with Bret Hart, the Undertaker is my favorite wrestler of all time. If WrestleMania 30 was his last hurrah, I want to thank Mark Calaway for making me believe that a bad ass doesn’t have to be bad guy.

Atlee Greene is a contributor to Camel Clutch Blog and host of the Bodyslam Podcast. His other work can be found at Gerweck.net, ForcesofGeek.com, and his own personal blog. He can be found on Twitter at @MidnightLogicGo.

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The End Of The Undertaker WrestleMania Streak Was Best For WWE Business

April 07, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

If your jaw did not drop at the conclusion of the Undertaker and Brock Lesnar match than you were either not paying attention or flat out lying. In the most shocking conclusion in WrestleMania history, the Beast Brock Lesnar ended the greatest streak in Sports history, not just Sports Entertainment at 21-1.  The former WWE and UFC Champion made history and his name will be cemented in WWE folklore as the man who laid to rest the Undertaker at WrestleMania.  The decision for the WWE to end the streak and thus effectively send off the Undertaker in the sunset was truly what was best for business and to say otherwise is just plain silly. Let me explain why….

The Streak should never end

For many years we have heard fans, insiders and many within the Sports Entertainment business voice that the Undertakers WrestleMania streak should never be broken.  The streak has been labeled as many things including sacred, untouchable, legendary and bigger than the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.  For many years the label was exactly on the dot as the Streak has been consistently been the aforementioned match each and every year coming out of WrestleMania, not the title match.  The point of WrestleMania is for all the yearly storylines to reach their climax at the biggest stage of them all, with the road to WrestleMania and ultimately the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at the forefront of it all.  If the streak never ends, how is the WWE World Heavyweight Championship highlighted as it’s supposed to be? What is the point of having the Royal Rumble winner survive 29 other men to capture and earn the main event spot of WrestleMania? What is the point of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship being up for grabs in the Elimination Chamber two months before WrestleMania to defend the title against the Royal Rumble winner?  For the integrity of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and WrestleMania the streak needed to end for the benefit of the WWE AND the Undertaker.

When your time is up you do the right thing

It was made apparent that the Undertakers career is winding down and that this may have been the final match of a legendary and Hall of Fame career.  With that being said the traditional and right thing to do is to bow out gracefully and pass the torch or put over whomever the WWE sees fit, whether you agree with it or not.  Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels and just about every respected name in the business has done what was best for business and passed on the torch with the exception of Bret Hart, whom was selfish, egotistical and felt he was bigger than the business, which justified Vince McMahon screwing him to keep the integrity of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but that’s for another blog….

The Undertaker just turned 49 years old and was limited to one match a year at every WrestleMania for the past several years retiring Shawn Michaels, defeating Triple H twice and defeating CM Punk. If he knew his clock was ticking than he had no other choice than to end the streak and put over a big name and a young name that still has plenty left in the tank. Brock Lesnar was the chosen one and was the right man to end the infamous streak. I’ll explain why….

Use the streak to build up another star

In theory it sounds like a sound business idea and passes the torch to a deserving individual within WWE.  In reality though who is really deserving of a rub of that level? A man who hasn’t won a World Championship? Someone from NXT? The only option is that someone already established should have that honor bestowed to them.  In that scenario then who is the man you choose to beat the Streak? The Undertaker at 49 is still perceived to be the better man against CM Punk, Triple H, Randy Orton, and Batista and so on. Brock Lesnar is a former UFC Champion, WWE Champion and a legitimate badass at the still young age of 36.

Before the match I was having a conversation with my party guests that realistically Lesnar would beat the Undertaker in no more than three minutes, but the streak has suspended our beliefs so much that we continue to buy in to the fact that so many men before Lesnar would have legitimately beat the Undertaker and failed in the Sports Entertainment setting of WrestleMania. That combined with the lackluster efforts of the WWE Creative team to creep doubt in the mind of the streak ending at the hands of Brock Lesnar, made the three count after the third F5 so unbelievably shocking. It was getting to the point that the streak was actually getting dare I say it: tired and boring. During the match the crowd looked tired, bored and uninterested in a slow paced match with a senior citizen hall of famer and the former UFC and WWE Champion going at half-speed for the sake of the Undertaker. When the most memorable part of the streak ending is the surprising three count out of nowhere and not the match itself, you know WWE did the right thing for business.

The ending of the streak will negatively affect interest in future WrestleMania’s.

WrestleMania will never and I mean never suffer any shortage of interest and fanfare from fans of all generations, athletes, celebrities, media outlets and sponsors. The streak will never be forgotten in the minds of fans who have witnessed 22 memorable matches from the Dead Man. The WWE will continue to honor the streak on a yearly basis in every facet of WrestleMania history, promotion and show in some fashion. WrestleMania will continue to draw bigger crowds each year in bigger and better venues around the nation and potentially worldwide someday.

Enjoy the memories of the legend that was the streak and the man who helped make the streak the biggest story in Sports Entertainment and Sports history, the future first ballot Hall of Famer The Undertaker. Give him a much deserved applause. Bravo Mark Calloway, may the streak rest in peace but the legend of The Undertaker live on in the minds of fans and the WWE Universe forever.

Roberto Padilla is a Radio Talk Show Host in Denver, Colorado. He is originally from Springfield, Virginia and has been in Denver since he was moved as a young child during the Redskins Super Bowl XXII season, one that saw the Redskins defeat the Denver Broncos 42-10 in Super Bowl XXII. You can follow Roberto on Twitter @The1RealRoberto or send questions and feedback to [email protected]

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Goodbye Deadman

April 07, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

This isn’t about whether or not it was right or wrong to end the Streak, but this is more of a thank you for the Streak.

The unthinkable has happened folks, on April 6th, 2014 the Streak has ended. For twenty three years (Barring two missed events), the one constant of WrestleMania was the Undertaker. Whether it was facing the monsters like Bundy and Gonzalez or two epic bouts with Shawn Michaels and three with Hunter, you knew that The Undertaker was going to be at WrestleMania. Did the quality dip from time to time to the point on unwatchable bouts? Yes, but the last few years saw The Undertaker putting on top level matches like never before against Edge, Michaels, Haitch and Punk.

That is no more, the streak has died and it seems to be on the level of Superman dying. I was sitting on my chair, watching on my Kindle Fire HD as Brock hit the last F-5. When the bell rang and Heyman ran in, I honestly thought that it was a screw-up or something like when the phantom victory during Andre/Hogan. All that was missing was Howard Finkel in a booming voice announcing that Brock Lesnar had indeed won. I presume that the WWE expected heat to be downright nWo-like. They might have envisioned garbage pelting the ring in droves and the sound of the announcers being drowned out by hatred from the crowd.

In reality, there was a stunned silence by the fans expecting for some type of ruse (Thank god for season four of Archer) and the match would continue. Brock would stand over Taker and Taker would grasp him in Hell’s Gate. Brock would pass out and the streak would be preserved. Instead the 21-1 graphic came up and the bullshit chants began. Fans began leaving in drove according to many in attendance; grown men were crying according to some. The internet has reacted in the way you’d expect, anger towards the machine and those who worked for it.

In all of that what was ignored was what might be the last match of a stalwart of the Hulkamania, New Generation, and Attitude Era. It has always been said that when the Streak died, that at this point the Undertaker would retire back to Texas. Think about it like this, The Undertaker started wrestling back when World Class Championship Wrestling still had four Von Erich kids alive. He worked Memphis back before the presence of wrestling on Monday night slowly killed wrestling at the Mid-South Coliseum. He took a trip to Atlanta and WCW that saw what will probably the first and only match with Sting, a wrestling tape artifact that might be on the level of the Last Battle of Atlanta right now. Then, he came to the WWE and the rest at they say is history.

Tonight’s Monday Night Raw will be a large indicator as to what direction the Undertaker will take. Will he stay on television or will this be it. Heck, we’ll probably know before this article is even posted in our social-media driven wrestling news cycle. It could be that The Undertaker is still a regular character on television, or the character might be retired all together.

All I want to say is thank you to The Undertaker for The Streak and everything he has contributed to pro wrestling. He made my dad who was adamantly anti-Attitude still a guy who would watch a show or a PPV if the Undertaker was wrestling. The Undertaker was the first wrestling figure that I ever gave my nephew, Christmas Day 2010. So, thank you Undertaker for all the memories, the great matches and memorable moments. You’re presence in this industry in the ring and the locker room will truly be missed and I believe that nobody can fill your boots.

Thank you.

Robert Goeman has been writing for CamelClutchBlog since 2014 and has written for FiveOuncesofPain and What Culture. Follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/RobertGoeman. After every article, Robert usually does “Talking Points” on twitter, bringin up points that didn’t make the article.

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WrestleMania 30: A Stunned Writer Reacts to Undertaker’s Loss

April 07, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The “STREAK” is over! I am still in disbelief. As the Undertaker lie on the mat and then gathered his senses, it had come to me that another one of my wrestling heroes was about to retire. We don’t actually know that yet, but the “STREAK” that wrestling and WrestleMania live and die by was just broken.

Brock Lesnar on the other hand – just hag his legacy cemented with the win.

Twitter messages, photos and social media abroad told the story – no one really thought Undertaker’s last stand would be in New Orleans. And in my heart, I am a little saddened by the turn of events. The match itself was awful, and you could see a laboring Undertaker, a man who was in condition but not conditioned for the event. The silence of the crown in the Superdome said it all, but should the “Streak” and a career that spanned 22 WrestleMania event stop just like that?

Sean Waltman and Konnan took to their Twitter pages, telling the world they thought the loss should be to a wrestler like Roman Reigns or another upstart who could take the win and build on it. Brock Lesnar, the winner and “criminal” in the crime committed cannot be blamed for this. The WWE may have decided to move forward. ‘Taker could have been the one to pull the plug on record. Tired of being beaten on, small cameo appearances for a month or so. A new life and children with Michelle McCool. It all factors in. But for now, I want to be the grieving one, the one who is sad. My hero lost tonight and with it the questions of his future abound.

When we think of athletes who “stay too long” I know Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, Hulk Hogan, Jake Roberts and Scott Hall first come to mind. We have seen them deteriorate before our eyes. In retrospect of only a few minutes, we have seen the same thing from this performer, who Jerry Lawler and JBL called the “Greatest performer in WWE history,” and rightfully so. There won’t be another one like him. And with the slower pace of Kane in and out of the ring, and his recent feud to help put The Shield over, it is more and more apparent that his future is slowing down.

Come to think of it, Cesaro was put over by Big Show Sunday night as well – possibly signaling the near end of his career as well.

The WWE inducted Razor Ramon, Jake Roberts and Carlos Colon into the Hall of fame on Saturday night, three wrestlers I watched growing up. It is unavoidable that things like this happen, that time moves on and we get older and lose some of that childhood feeling when we watched Hogan run down the entrance ramp or heard Flair yell “Woooo!” It comes with the territory.

In other sports, Joe Namath overstayed his welcome. Willie Mays looked awful in a Mets uniform. We all waited for Brett Favre to run off into the sunset and Larry Bird finally let injuries retire him. It’s a fact of sports life.

But in this case, I really did not see it coming. Neither did the 75,000 fans in New Orleans. The WWE better know what ti is doing, but in all seriousness, we never saw this coming. The pain will take some time getting used to and we will wait to see what happens on Monday night. But for now, the biggest answer we wanted from this event was given to us in a loss rather than the win we all were hoping for.

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WrestleMania 30: The Undertaker Will Win the Battle, Paul Heyman Will Win The War

April 03, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

There are a few things you can count on come Sunday at WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans.

There will be a few surprises. Tamina will win WWE Divas gold and Paul Heyman will walk out of the “The Crescent City having been the highlight of the battle between he WWE’s longest tenured wrestler and the man they call “The Beast.” While this may be the biggest chance that Undertaker finally sees his record of 21-0 far, it still won’t be enough to unseat The Dead Man.

And after last year’s performance, the verbal assault by both Heyman and CM Punk, you thought Taker couldn’t walk out of New Jersey under his own power. So much is at stake in this match, that you cannot help but think the Streak ends in the cultured south.

You can guess again.

When it comes to “The Streak” and ‘Taker and his confrontation with Lesnar, like I have said in other posts, the wrestling will live up to its billing because both men will push each other to the limit and then some. You figure Heyman is somehow involved in the match and you also figure the verbal confrontation and the in ring confrontation has been built properly like a master plan. While CM Punk came within an eyelash of winning the match last year, both wrestlers will sell this like it was the greatest battle of all time.

But when all is said and done, Heyman will still have the last laugh and here is why.

Heyman is the central piece in this puzzle. Each of the wrestlers involved – ‘Taker and Lesnar – are part-timers, they come and go like the wind. The poor booking by the WWE of Lesnar makes it hard to get behind a player like this – face or heel – because we all know he has a short shelf life.

Undertaker is a little different in that he us a character with defies time. Fans know his pace, his schedule and when to expect him. They know he comes in on the red eye and leaves before the end of the school year. His booking is not an issue because he does a few spots, puts wrestlers over then leaves for higher ground to heal.

Until we see him again.

The Internet, the IWC and all the top wrestling writers have been teasing this confrontation for months. WE first thought it would be John Cena. Then Roman Reigns’ name popped up. I have been pulling for Kane in one final match. But this all makes too much sense to allow the fans into a crazy sense that yes, the Streak could come crashing down because of Lesnar’s size and ability.

And yes, we have all been fooled before. In this case, size matters because it has been a long time since Undertaker has met someone with the size alone to stand toe to toe with him. Lesnar towers over almost everyone in the WWE with a few exceptions. Same holds true for ‘Taker.

Vince McMahon loves with big men beat the hell out of each other. On Sunday, that is what is going to happen. Undertaker will win his match. Heyman will win the verbal confrontation, and move on.

Disclaimer: For the next 30 days, this will be an ongoing series of stories as we move down the Road to WrestleMania. Follow Camel Clutch Blog writer/blogger David M. Levin as he talks about the history, the pageantry and the success and failures of the past when it comes to wrestling’s biggest events. The views of the writer are not necessarily the views of Camel Clutch Blog, and this series is intended to ramp up the excitement that is associated with WrestleMania XXX and the Crescent City of New Orleans. Please enjoy this new feature and any comments are most welcome.

Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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