Hello there loyal readers. You are my loyal readers, right? In this series I attempt to provide an alternative view point to a specific topic. My subject this time is none other than the WWE “The Phenom” himself, The Undertaker.
With WWE WrestleMania 26 fast approaching I began thinking about the Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels rematch. A lot of speculation is going on as to whether HBK can end the Taker’s 17-0 streak, or will this be the last hurrah for the Showstopper. To me, there is no doubt how this one will end. This match is being booked as a test of wills. And when it comes to imposing his will, in my opinion, the Undertaker stands alone.
For nearly twenty years now, the Undertaker has been one of the driving forces in the WWE. From his days as the Dead Man, to “the conscience of the WWF”, to leader of the Ministry of Darkness, to the American Bad Ass, to Big Evil, to WrestleMania legend, one thing has remained the same. The Undertaker looks out for the Undertaker. Other than the fact that he portrays a dark persona, I don’t see the attraction that people have for him. I am not an Undertaker fan, can you tell, and here are my top reasons why.
#5 – He Never Ever Breaks Character
#4 – He Never Loses A Feud
Name me one feud he has had that he has lost. The closest he has come is with Mankind back in 1996, almost fifteen years ago. Even when he loses individual matches, they are quickly followed up by Taker getting his revenge and rendering the previous victory all but irrelevant. I know the fashionable thing is to bash Triple H for all the people he has supposedly “buried”, but please tell me just who has the Undertaker ever elevated. Who has ever gotten the last shot in with him? Because it is so rare for Taker to do the job for an opponent, when it does happen it seems somehow grander and more epic. Part of the reason that the series of matches he had with Batista in 2007 were so good was that an opponent was finally allowed to hold his own against him.
#3 – In Ring Work
Let me clarify this one right away. When he wants to, the Undertaker has some of the most impressive moves and agility for a man his size that has ever been seen. WHEN HE WANTS TO. He basically took off the first part of the last decade and was sleepwalking through matches. He was out of shape, injury prone, and lazy in the ring. How many careers did he almost end by not being able to cleanly execute his “Last Ride” finisher? For the last few years he has improved his work rate to a much more consistent level, but still takes nights off in my opinion. Say what you will about the limited move sets of a John Cena, or the backstage politics of a Triple H. One thing you cannot slight them on is the consistent effort they put out in the ring.
#2 – He No-Sells Like No Other
#1 – The Streak
17-0. It sounds so absurd to me to even write that. Could any other wrestler get away with being undefeated on the biggest stage of the year for that long? Triple H catches hell just for being in the main event every year, which by the way he is not this year. John Cena is vilified for, well, just being John Cena. And yet Taker is built up for his extended run of excellence. If you have read any of Justin Henry’s amazing WrestleMania recaps you’ll see that most of the matches Undertaker has had at WrestleMania have been mediocre to downright awful. Yet year after year he goes over whoever is put in front of him.
Well there you have it. Another myth debunked, another fraud exposed. I hope HBK wins to end the Undertaker’s streak , I really do. But I just don’t see it happening. Because when it comes to protecting the aura of the Undertaker, Mark Calaway will never rest… in peace.
Vince DeHoratus lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two kids. He has been a life long wrestling fan and he has passed that love onto his son. Though not quite yet “middle aged and crazy”, he is fast approaching it.