Another year, another round of speculation as to who the Undertaker's next
victim opponent for WrestleMania might be. After his third defeat (second consecutive), of HHH at last year's WrestleMania, Mean Mark is now a perfect 20-0 at the biggest show of the year.
The streak has become the focal point of the last few 'Manias, with people openly questioning whether it should end, or if it would live on eternally as an unblemished record, to be fawned over by future generations.
The streak itself, in terms of drawing power, is usually good for second-most important match on the card behind only the WWE Championship match. But as time moves on, and Taker gets older, and subsequently more susceptible to injury (not to mention the longer it takes him to recover from said injuries), the likelihood of it continuing on much longer grows dimmer by the hour.
Many times I have said on this site, "if Undertaker really has become a liability in the ring to perform at the level required of the second biggest match on the biggest show of the year, then it is time to hang it all up".
That said, we still don't have his potential opponent for WrestleMania 29.
The early leader in the clubhouse is CM Punk, who after seeing his 400+ day reign as WWE Champion end, is currently opponent-less and likely to be on the outside looking in, as Cena and Rock fire up the "Twice in a Lifetime, lol" story line. There's speculation that we could finally get the epic Brock Lesnar/Undertaker showdown which should have followed their super awkward encounter following Lesnar's UFC loss to Cain Velasquez.
But both of those situations require Undertaker to once again assume the role of cagey, veteran babyface, against all odds to maintain 20 years of history. In fact, (and I'm sure if I am wrong I will be corrected here), he hasn't had a match on a WrestleMania card as a full blown heel wrestler since he picked up his very first win over Superfly Snuka at WrestleMania 7.
Perhaps, it's time to turn the streak into something else; something people want to see toppled by an up-and-coming babyface. If you're going to end the streak at all, make sure that people tuning in are doing so to see the streak end.
Now, with this year's crop of potential opponents, this might not be an option. From a storytelling standpoint, you'd have to find a way to turn Undertaker, which is the tricky part. He's an assumed mega-face and usually reserves his 'Mania matches for vanquishing the evildoer with his own special brand of evil doing.
His potential opponent's motivation should be simple: end the streak at all costs. Finding Undertaker's motivation as a bad guy who cannot be beaten when the lights shine their brightest is another thing entirely.
There's no way it could happen this year with Punk, Lesnar and those dudes from The SHIELD among the myriad bad guys currently filling space on the roster. Punk would be a safe choice to carry a less-than-vintage Undertaker to a decent match. A match with Lesnar would be a mainstream-level affair, but the match itself would likely be terrible, not to mention his style is much too reckless for old man Taker. The SHIELD are floundering without a purpose and won't be split up right now. (Nor should their heat be smothered by Undertaker dispatching three unstoppable forces in any kind of handicap match.)
The only person on the active roster this idea would work with, as of right this second, is possibly Sheamus.
This is really an idea for the possibility that he does not return this year. If WrestleMania 30 is the goal, then this is what they should be building towards. Turn the streak into something people want to see ended. Find your guy and stick with him.
Beating the Undertaker at WrestleMania is something that has never been done. If it is actually really going to end, then him losing as a babyface to a plucky young heel, is a squeaking fart of a finish to an otherwise brilliant run.
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