The WWE Universe is speeding along the road to WrestleMania. With another WrestleMania season comes the return of one of the greatest superstars in WWE history, that of course being Undertaker. The Undertaker and the streak have become a huge part of WrestleMania and in years past have easily been the highlight of the show. However, the past couple of years WWE have done a huge disservice to both Undertaker and his streak.
Last year at WrestleMania Undertaker squared off against CM Punk. Punk was coming off of a monster push and a 400+ day reign as WWE Champion. Given Punk’s microphone skills, his in-ring talent and his overall character, a program with Undertaker should have been an instant success. Now I am not implying that the Punk/Taker program was a failure because it in no way was such. However, WWE did get lucky given the fact that they in no way allowed for enough time for that program to build.
One of the greatest allures to Undertaker’s streak is that it’s built as this larger than life thing that men would give their careers for in order to end it. This is all well and good if we as fans actually believe that there is a chance for said opponent to end the streak. There are a couple of ways to make fans believe this; one of those being through storylines and the other being through the person that is challenging to end it. A few times we have even been treated to situations where the challenger and storyline both come together perfectly, a la Shawn Michaels and the career vs. the streak match.
Last year Punk was a worthy opponent and a proper build for their match should have been a couple of months long. Instead, WWE allotted only a few weeks for the two to create a program that would make fans believe that Punk stood a chance. As I said earlier, in some ways WWE sort of lucked out. The heat that Punk was receiving as a heel (with then manager Paul Heyman) coupled with their usage of the death of Paul Bearer created something special. Had the tragic passing of Bearer not happened, I am not confident that WWE could have built such an emotional story in such a short amount of time.
That brings us to this year’s WrestleMania.
Internet rumors began circulating over the weekend that Undertaker is expected to make is WWE return on the Raw following the Elimination Chamber PPV. With WrestleMania being held on April 6th, that means that there will be six Raw’s for WWE to build this year’s feud. Undertaker’s rumored opponent this year is Brock Lesnar. Lesnar should be expected to be on TV more as WrestleMania builds, but whether he makes all six Raw’s is yet to be seen.
The Undertaker and the streak have both reached a level in which the match can sell itself. However, in my opinion that simply isn’t good enough. Undertaker wrestles one high profile match a year and it’s a match that is a cornerstone to the company’s biggest PPV. Given what Undertaker has accomplished and what the streak means, the story built going into this match should be one of the best of the year.
Hopefully the WWE will do both Undertaker and his streak justice this year because that’s what they both deserve.