It is like when I found out Santa Claus wasn’t real.
I loved WrestleMania XXX. It was my favorite WrestleMania in the past five years. The fans mostly got what they wanted from the show: surprise legends, great matches, new stars and Daniel Bryan winning the WWE title. It was a night when a lot of fun things happened. But we were also shocked. The streak was ended.
It is one of the things we have come to expect from every WrestleMania: Undertaker overcomes another pretender to the crown and adds another number in the win column. It is was a safe bet in and otherwise unpredictable WWE. These last few years, as the Undertaker was aging before us, he still managed to put on the highlight of the last couple of WrestleMania’s. I know I had marveled the last few years in watching the Undertaker put on classic matches despite the fact he only wrestled once a year. It was amazing and as if time could stand still for one night a year. Then in one shocking F5, it was all over.
I don’t think I have ever seen a more shocked crowd in WWE history. Looking at the reaction on the Internet and social media, we are still shocked. Undertaker was never going to lose. It was truly the end of an era and one that will take some time to process.
The question I ask myself is: was it the right decision? I am not referring to the Undertaker’s Streak actually ending. I personally thought it should have ended years ago. The Undertaker is 49 years old and so beat up that he can only wrestle one match a year. It was likely beyond time to pass the touch.
However, I am questioning the choice in the winner. I know very few would have bet on Brock Lesnar to be the one to do it. He has only won once at WrestleMania and was a part timer who wrestles around three matches a year. What will be the long-term benefit to Brock Lesnar? There is likely little since we won’t see him again until around Summerslam. It seems strange to have one of your important moments be given to a guy who won’t be around much to enjoy it.
Who would have been a good pick to end the streak? Let us examine some possibilities:
I have to admit I was shocked this match never happened. Maybe the WWE was worried about pitting two of its biggest stars against each other at a WrestleMania. But putting Cena, who has carried the company for the last decade, versus Undertaker who has been the leader for nearly two decades, seems like a no brainer. It seems like you would be printing money.
It is somewhat a shame that Cena didn’t get a chance to wrestle Taker at WrestleMania. The idea of putting two stars that rarely lose would have been a fun one. After all, Cena can carry a quality match and he certainly would be around for years to come to maximize the impact of ending the streak.
Well, he was kind of busy making himself a star at WrestleMania XXX anyway. However, rumors were floating that Daniel Bryan and Undertaker almost met up in New Orleans. It would have been a fun to watch with such contrasting styles. We know the Undertaker can go with a smaller, more athletic wrestler as witnessed by his match with CM Punk at WrestleMania 29.
It would have however put Daniel Bryan in a tough position. Would fans have hated Daniel Bryan for ending the streak of the beloved Taker? That is not a good place for Bryan to be as they are developing him as a future star.
A lot of fans complain that a young up and comer wouldn’t “deserve” the WrestleMania win from the Undertaker. However, this seemed like a solid option. It would have a tremendous benefit for establishing a brand new star in the WWE. I especially thing this would be true for a young star in the making like Roman Reigns.
The WWE is clearly very fond of young Reigns and what better way to establish his star then have him beat Undertaker. It is the young lion taking the over the pride from the old lion. It is an old tale in sports and one that would benefit the upcoming generation of the WWE. Undertaker wasn’t getting any younger and it would benefit the next thirty WrestleMania’s to have a new star to watch.
A Past Opponent
I look back at the past WrestleMania opponents of the Undertaker and imagine the benefit ending the streak would have had on their careers. How would CM Punk, Batista, or Randy Orton been looked upon if they ended the streak? Would we view Shawn Michaels differently if he was the one who ended the famous streak? Would we think as highly of the Undertaker if it ended at say 10-0?
Only in the world of the WWE could we be shocked that a 49 year old man lost a match to a former 30 something former UFC heavyweight Champion. Maybe we have stretched this streak as far as it could plausibly go and missed the true chance to end it at a more fitting time. It is always tough when one of your favorite athletes hangs around too long.
Sometimes you simply let things end on top. Undertaker had won so many amazing matches that “The Streak” took on a legend of its own. No one would be the right person to end this amazing 21-year streak. It would simply be better for the Undertaker to vanish with the streak intact. I don’t know if I think this would be the best option but I know a lot of WWE fans would have been quite happy if this was the final choice. It could have been this mythical mark that other WWE stars could aspire to and the WWE could mention for decades to come. But alas, it wasn’t to be.
One hopes for a happy finish and some surprises at their WrestleMania. This pay-per-view certainly fit that category quite well. I love seeing fans online vowing to “never watch wrestling again”. I think that is quite absurd but I hope the choice in who ended the streak was the right one. I have some doubts but I have been proven wrong before and hope to be again.
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, I have my Twitter account, WWELasher as well. I hope you will read me again soon. What do you think about the streak ending?