10 reasons why The Undertaker's WrestleMania streak won't end
This Sunday, The Undertaker puts his 19-0 WrestleMania winning streak on the line against Triple-H inside Hell in a Cell. And while the match is being billed as “The End of an Era,” I am confident it will not be the end of the Taker’s vaulted streak. Here’s why:
10. WWE will want to reach 20-0: It’s a nice, round number—the kind that would look great on a T-shirt or DVD cover. It would make no sense to come so close to a milestone like 20 wins only to fall short by one.
9. Triple-H is the last guy who should end the streak: Kevin Nash still hasn’t been able to shed the resentment he caused when he booked himself to end Goldberg’s winning streak 12 years ago. As one of the most influential executives in WWE and the likely heir to Vince McMahon, fans would always question the motivation behind having Hunter be the one to end the streak. Yes, it might create some heat if Triple-H decided to turn heel, but it’s more likely the kind of heat that drives away fans. It was for Kevin Nash.
8. An Undertaker loss would kill the crowd dead: It was a much smaller deal, but I remember how bummed I was for the rest of the night when Lex Luger was disqualified in his world title match against Yokozuna at WrestleMania X. After such a major downer like the streak ending, it would be tough for nearly any match that follows it to have the crowd’s full attention. And with so much invested in The Rock vs. Cena, WWE is not going to risk distracting fans before the night’s main.
7. There are still some big WrestleMania matches awaiting The Undertaker: The long-anticipated Taker-Cena showdown would be epic enough to headline any WrestleMania, and WWE would be crazy to leave that money on the table. As well, Brock Lesnar is said to be willing to return to the WWE for one big money bout, and given their memorable staredown at a UFC show a couple years back, a Lesnar-Taker showdown is a logical pairing.
6. A Triple-H loss sets up a huge potential match: Any good booker will tell you that one of the most important parts of booking a match is laying the groundwork for another match. It seems unlikely we’ll get a fourth installment of Taker-Triple-H at WrestleMania. But with Shawn Michaels as special referee, a Triple-H loss could set up HBK’s return match against his best friend at next year’s WrestleMania.
5. It’s not the main event of the show: An event as huge as the end of the streak is not about to be wasted in the mid-card of a WrestleMania. And with the gigantic Rock-Cena match booked on the show—and in front of the Rock’s hometown fans, there’s no way Taker-Triple-H will be slotted last on this card (although I do wonder how they’ll set up and tear down the Cell in the middle of the show.) If WWE and/or the Undertaker ever did decide to end the streak, they’d be sure to do so under the brightest spotlight imaginable, and not have it upstaged by something bigger on the same show.
4. It’s bad for business: There’s simply too much money to be made in continuing the streak to even fathom putting the kibosh on it. For one, it’s a sure fire way to add several tens-of-thousands more buys to any WrestleMania. And even after ‘Taker retires, a perfect record at WrestleMania will be an important legacy that adds to mystique of the WrestleMania brand, and can also be used to market T-shirts, action figures, DVDs and Taker’s eventual entrance into the WWE Hall of Fame.
3. Triple-H wouldn’t want to end it: “In my opinion, it’s a streak that should never break.” Those were the words of a candid Triple-H in last year’s WWE documentary DVD release, “The True Story of WrestleMania.” For all the valid criticisms there are about Triple-H, in the end he truly is a student of the business, and would want to do what’s in the best interest of WWE—especially considering that he’s going to be running the place some day.
2. Ending the streak would hurt a wrestler’s career tremendously: It’s a myth that whoever ends the streak will have his career made. In this day and age, most fans understand the worked nature of the wrestling business, and wouldn’t at all be impressed that a wrestler was able to “beat” the Undertaker. It’s far more likely that fans would resent a wrestler for being chosen to put an end to something that gives them tremendous joy come WrestleMania time each year. What’s more, the expectations for the career of a wrestler who was picked to finally end the streak would be so high that it would be nearly impossible for anyone to meet them.
1. The Undertaker isn’t going anywhere: The only way the streak would ever end is if the Undertaker was sure he wouldn’t compete at WrestleMania again (Defending a 19-1 streak just doesn’t have the same gravitas.) Yes, he’s 47 and has been wrestling for nearly three decades. But having his schedule reduced to just one match a year, the Undertaker could conceivably keep defending his streak for years to come. And why not? He hasn’t shown much interest in acting or any other career. And, after two divorces, he could probably really use the money. What’s more, with a year of rest in between his matches, he may be in better shape than we give him credit for—enough so to be willing to step inside Hell in a Cell.