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Shawn Michaels Reveals Timing Behind Decision To End Undertaker’s Streak

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

The biggest story of the year thus far remains the end of The Undertaker’s WWE WrestleMania streak. Jim Ross and Shawn Michaels are the latest to offer up their insight, with HBK unraveling a big piece of the booking mystery.

Michaels is probably only second to Mick Foley in arguably being Undertaker’s greatest rival in his WWE career. Michaels knows him well inside and outside of the ring. Michaels solved a big piece of the puzzle on Jim Ross’ latest podcast when he revealed exactly when the decision was made to end the streak.

You know as well as I do that one person and one person alone makes that call. As much as everyone wants to think other people have some say so in that, they don’t. I was stunned like a lot of people. I was there when it all happened. I know what happened. I make the calls around here in my house. That’s the way things go. I’m sure in Vince’s mind, he’s got a reason. That’s just a decision that’s made. One person makes it. And everyone has to abide by it. The reasons for that, I don’t know. I don’t know, you don’t know. I’m sure he does. Like Mark said a number of times, ‘I’ve got the worst record with that man’.

That paints a whole new picture on the match. Maybe the biggest question coming out of the match was exactly when the decision was made to end the streak. Dave Meltzer revealed many details coming out of the match but he never reported exactly when the decision was made. Meltzer has remarked that ending the streak was not the original plan going in, something that HBK now confirms.

Michaels’ timeline brings into the question of the final RAW before WrestleMania. Meltzer reported that up until that RAW, Vince had a strict edict that Undertaker was not to be touched by Brock Lesnar in angles building the match. Brock certainly touched the Dead Man on that final RAW so it was always my hunch that the decision to end the streak actually came on that night.

Looking back on it and accounting for this new information, I would not be surprised if Vince booked the angle on RAW to get an idea of how Undertaker could handle the physicality of Lesnar. Maybe Vince wanted to see how Undertaker looked after some action? Many remarked about how much older Undertaker looked when he returned on RAW to kick off the angle. Maybe Vince felt the same way and started to rethink the booking at that point, not necessarily making the official call until the event.

I am still not entirely convinced that we have seen the last of Undertaker. I wrote a blog last week pondering the idea of a Taker vs. Lesnar rematch. Most fans thought I was crazy but I still think that if Taker could go, that is the match to book. Otherwise I am not sure why you’d want Undertaker wrestling at Mania. Of course this is all contingent on his health which will likely be the determining factor in the equation.

Listen to the entire podcast, which is fantastic right here.

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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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WrestleMania 30: General Thoughts after a Night of Excellence

April 08, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Daniel Bryan is best for business.

In the end, WrestleMania delivered on its promise to make wrestling matter. From the beginning when The Rock, Hulk Hogan, and Steve Austin were all in the ring together, the WWE took it up a few notches for the good of the company and the good of business. The new “Era” that I spoke of over the weekend is about to begin, and not a moment too soon.

There are certain definable moments in sports, entertainment and life that shape what we witness. The loss by Undertaker was the right move at the wrong time with the wrong wrestler. How the writers are going to use this move as a stepping stone for a part-time wrestler is beyond me, but as someone pointed out to me over the course of the last 12 hours, you could see Bryan try to take the WWE World Title from Daniel Bryan at Extreme Rules, a pay-per-view event that is designed for The Beast to divide and conquer.

The only way defeating the greatest performer in WrestleMania history is to have him take over the company and destroy everyone in his wake.

Unfortunately, Daniel Bryan – the man who divided and conquered The Authority, is his first conquest in this approach. The new Attitude Era in the WWE is alive and well and we have Paul Heyman and a very unlikeable beast to thank for it.

The defeat of Undertaker wasn’t the only thing that made this pay-per-view event one of the best, but it was the most dynamic. Here are some other thoughts now that I have had sleep and I can process what I saw Sunday night…

The match between Triple H and Daniel Bryan was the best match of the night

The COO of the WWE and the new WWE World Champion put on a display for the ages. There have been shows where Triple H comes out and wrestles – but this is one where the forty-something legend came out and performed. I was worried when this was the first match it may become a squash match for Triple H to get to the main event. It was brutal and it was AWESOME.

Cesaro was the big winner

Not that he just won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, but the fact he changed his name, looks like he is separating himself from Zeb Colter and the fact the fans love watching his brute power. Cesaro is the best pure athlete in the WWE right now. I would love to see him in a program with Sheamus or Dean Ambrose. There is so much potential in this guy – a throwback to how wrestling should be done.

AJ Lee and the Divas Title

It’s a joke. Next question, please.

What happens to Randy Orton and Batista?

Not really sure on this one. I thought Batista would win the World Title then lose on Monday night to Bryan. Now, I see a reformation of Evolution of sorts between the two men and Triple H and Brock Lesnar possibly being the fourth member. Lesnar wins the title at Extreme Rules.

What happens to John Cena?

We now know a few things. Cena would not put Bray Wyatt over. WE know he is a selfish prick when it comes to doing honors. Cena may never headline WrestleMania again, but he will continue to fight the good fight for the good of the company that still uses him as its cash cow. It should also be interesting to see if the WWE now uses other stars (Cesaro, The Shield) to market the product. And when all else fails, there is always The Miz to help market the WWE.

Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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WrestleMania 30 Winners and Losers

April 08, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE WrestleMania XXX is now in the history books, and while it was an overall disappointment (worth the $9.95 on the WWE Network but not the $50+ on pay-per-view), there were more than a few memorable moments. There were big winners and even bigger losers.

Because it would take a tremendous amount of time and space to go through each good point and each bad point of the latest “Clash of the Immortals,” I will whittle it down to four topics – the biggest push, the end of a push, the biggest winner and the biggest loser.

The biggest push
The push of the night had to be Cesaro winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.

Everyone called The Big Show a heavy (no pun intended) odds-on favorite to win the inaugural event because he always had been likened to the immortal Andre. But in the end, it was the “Swing Man from Switzerland” that wound up carrying the trophy out of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Cesaro’s immediate future should see him break from the Real Americans and strike out on a solo career as the company’s newest babyface. He could wind up the top babyface on the midcard by the end of the summer and playing an even more prominent role in WrestleMania 31 next March.

Did anyone else besides me notice the similarity between the end of that match and the end of the famous Andre-Hulk Hogan WrestleMania III match decades ago? In that match, Andre – who had never been bodyslammed before – let Hogan pick him up and drop him in the middle of the ring.

The Andre battle royal ended with Cesaro picking up Big Show and not slamming him but depositing him over the top rope. Big Show has been slammed before, but I sensed this one was a special one because it happened in a contest memorializing Andre and conjured up images of that famous slam 27 years ago.

The end of a push
This award goes to Bray Wyatt. Even though he had a pretty good match with John Cena, the fact that he came out on the short end of the stick should signal a drop in his rating, maybe not down to the midcard but no longer near the top of the uppercard heel

Cena is the second face character after Daniel Bryan to stand up to Wyatt’s mind tricks and beat him down. While no one really expected to think Wyatt would actually win, there always was the possibility that this feud could have carried on for several more weeks, maybe even into one of the summertime pay-per-views. With minions Erick Rowan and Luke Harper at ringside, everyone could have rightfully expected to see either or both of them charge the ring and cause a disqualification. As it stood, their intervention in the match was relatively minimal.

WWE Creative does not need to tear Wyatt down and rebuild him because the character still is one of the most unique heels to grace the ring since Kevin Sullivan.They might, however, want to insist of having Wyatt keep at least his upper arms covered while in the ring. It’s hard to believe him as having any type of Messianic complex when he clearly has a tattoo of Jesus’ crucifixion on his left arm.

The biggest winner
Hands down, this has to be Daniel Bryan. Bryan’s character overcame all kinds of odds and roadblocks thrown at him by The Authority and emerged victorious as the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

It will be interesting to see how WWE Creative handles his storylnes from here on out. I knew he would beat Triple H in the “qualifying match” at the beginning of the night because WWE would not have thrown three heels into the main event of its signature PPV. But I was surprised that Triple H did not invoke executive privilege and turn the main event from a Triple Threat into a Fatal 4-Way.

That leads to almost certainty that the feud between The Authority and Bryan is not quite over. It will simmer over the next few months and probably culminate with a Bryan-Triple H main event for the championship at SummerSlam 2014 in August. That would bring the feud full circle since it began at SummerSlam 2013.

I was disappointed, though, that WWE did not send out Brie Bella to celebrate her fiance’s victory to close the night.

The biggest loser
It is easy to pick The Undertaker as the night’s biggest loser because The Streak came to an end. We all knew it had to come to an end sometime, but I honestly thought he would have to eventually face John Cena before The Streak died.

The fact that it ended at the hands of a goon like Brock Lesnar was the most shocking part. Reports have circulated that even though Undertaker may have been injured during the match, it had no effect on the outcome. WWE is known for its storyline swerves, but this one has to rank at the top of that list.

But there also was another biggest loser Sunday night…and he did not even wrestle. Sting was supposed to be coming to WWE for one match only, and that was against The Undertaker…preferably in a WrestleMania match involving The Streak. Now that The Streak has gone by the boards, one cannot help but wonder if Sting’s career with WWE will follow suit.

Bill Atkinson is a contributor to Camel Clutch Blog and the owner of WrestleWatch, a family-friendly wrestling web site. Follow Bill on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963 and visit WrestleWatch at www.wrestlewatch.com.

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WrestleMania 30 Firmly Turns The Rusty WWE Wheel

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

The braintrust at World Wrestling Entertainment probably wouldn’t know literary symbolism from an Irish whip reversal, but sometimes, their presentation magnetically drags the pieces into place for a picture of change.

Or maybe WWE intentionally painted the strokes they painted at WrestleMania, hoping that we’d tilt our heads, and see the same meaning that they’d brushed on that canvas.

When WWE Network launched on February 24, you and I and millions of others (after enough lags to win the Network a job working for a transit authority) were besieged with a maelstrom of yesterday. WWE makes their money off the past. As ESPN Classic, The Angry Video Game Nerd, and every production company that lives to pump out remakes can tell you, there’s dollars and cents in yesterday.

WWE knows this, but at WrestleMania XXX, they flipped the calendar forward for a change.

For one thing, did you know that WrestleMania XXX is the first Mania since 2000 (fourteen years!) to have nobody over the age of 40 win? Undertaker turned 40 in 2005, so you can write off 21 onward through 29. 20 had Flair win, 19 had Hogan, 18 had DDP, 17 had Iron Sheik (in an old-timer’s match, but still).

Just how many 40-year-olds did this year’s show throw out there?

You can start with the super-duper-mondo-extended intro in which Hulk Hogan couldn’t remember the venue’s name (though his favorite 1980s sitcom is still Super Spoons). He, The Rock, and Stone Cold shared the stage, WWE’s three greatest stars of all time, in a surreal love-in that, while excessive, was still more fun than Rock’s “when I say Yabba!” bit three years ago.

Hogan, Rock, and Austin jerking the curtain. Sure, it wasn’t a match, but other than one comedy bit with Hogan later on, the three took their bow, and exited stage left, as they’ve done to end eras prior.

As for the elders that donned tights (or ‘work slacks’, in the case of a certain pencil-pushing demon), I count Triple H, The Undertaker, Kane, Road Dogg, Billy Gunn, Goldust, The Big Show, and Mark Henry. You can also add Batista and Great Khali, but for this point, they can take a seat.

Those first eight names, do they look familiar? Maybe you were like me, sitting there in junior high and high school, watching them on Monday nights as they shoveled coal into the furnace of the locomotive that demolition derby’d WCW into oblivion.

Yep, Attitude relics, all of them. None of them were victorious.

The King of Kings laid down first, performing in his best non-Undertaker match in at least six or seven years. Daniel Bryan needed the rub if he was going to take the torch, and a great match was had. As much as Stephanie irks me, I was glad she was at ringside, chewing the scenery with her last obnoxious nerve. Reminded me of 2000 WWF.

Then Bryan ripped that page off of that dingy wall.

Kane and the Outlaws didn’t get a fraction of time Hunter got. The Shield, all of whom were in elementary school at their opponents’ apexes, dispatched the trio in about three minutes.

Then strongman Cesaro wins the Andre battle royal, outlasting Henry and Goldust, ultimately slamming Big Show over the ropes in a way that would make Hulk’s slam of Andre look like a school-yard foot-trip.

You don’t have to tell a Rec Center devotee that the first three matches were won by Bryan Danielson, Tyler Black, Claudio Castagnoli, and their Cage of Death cohort, Jon Moxley. All at the expense of the hangers-on of time.

Then Cena beat Bray Wyatt after a long, psychological war (had Wyatt won, you could say Luke Harper was the fourth ROH alumnus to stand tall), but even Wyatt going down wasn’t as shocking as the ultimate defeat following.

Nobody expected Undertaker to go down, outside of the know. When Brock Lesnar landed the third F5, I said to my viewing party, “is Taker really kicking out of a third?”

Then the hand dropped a third time. And the astonished faces in the crowd said it all.

You expected Kane and the Outlaws to be crushed. You expected Bryan to go over. You kinda figured a young gun would get the Andre trophy if one-time purported son Big Show didn’t.

But Undertaker losing at WrestleMania? That’s bleeping crazy.

Then Lesnar beat him. It felt as though an unbreakable chain snapped with one mighty pull, and that chain was the restraint that kept ‘yesterday’ from falling over.

Tim. Ber.

Method actor Paul Heyman couldn’t believe his client pulled it off, pulling the black and purple sword from the stone. The hush was louder than any catcall could have been. The last thing from our past that felt real, without artificial propping, finally cracked and crumbled to the Earth, and even us jaded dweebs who say, “yeah, it’s fake, but…” double-taked with eyes bulging out like silent film comedians.

When Triple H promised a ‘reality era’, it may well have been Paul Levesque promising a ‘different’ era. Nostalgia is fantasy, after all, gussied up by our memories, and we roll in those memories like a flowery meadow.

When the rug was swept out from under Taker’s calling card, what was left?

The new era. The literal, actual, 100% certified Reality Era.

Once the Diva clusterfack subsided, Daniel Bryan took center stage, in effect becoming what fans had wanted him to be all along: the main man.

With the floor his to save the day, Bryan was booked to come through against Randy Orton and Batista (the era after Attitude, though Brock and Cena are of that cloth too, but eh, go with it). With Bryan standing tall, YESing the arms up with a belt in each, WrestleMania XXX became his show, and the WWE became his yard, to borrow a phrase from a departing icon.

WWE will still present their nostalgia for the quick dollar, and they do it better than any. Still, it’s refreshing to see an era give way to another, because that’s how it should be, right?

I’m pretty sure I can get a yes on that.

And another.

YES!

Justin Henry has been an occasional contributor to Camel Clutch Blog since 2009. His other work can be found at WrestleCrap.com and ColdHardFootballFacts.com. He can be found on Twitter, so give him a follow.

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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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