Did Brock Lesnar deserve to be the man to break The Undertaker's streak?

Only a real ass-kicker could ever break The Undertaker's streak? - Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

Given his checkered history of walking out on WWE in 2004 and suing the company to get out of a lengthy non-compete clause he voluntarily signed, Brock Lesnar is a really odd choice to be the man entrusted to break The Undertaker's legendary WrestleMania streak.

It's easy to slip into hyperbole in the heat of the moment, but Brock Lesnar beating The Undertaker at WrestleMania 30 and being the man chosen to end his legendary streak is likely to go down in history as one of the most controversial decisions in Vince McMahon's promotional career.

Maybe his hands were tied, as The Undertaker could have woken up one day this year and decided his body was too knackered to go on and this had to be his last match ever. Indeed, it is well known that The Deadman has chronic shoulder and hip injuries for several years, which has caused him only to work a handful of matches during WrestleMania season since 2011. Wanting to do the right thing for business on his way out, Taker may have handpicked Lesnar to be the man to defeat him into retirement, given his utmost respect for his achievements in the Octagon where he became the UFC Heavyweight Champion and their biggest MMA pay-per-view drawing card ever in the process.

However, that doesn't really gel with the rumours that Sting had been studying tapes of Undertaker matches to prepare for a match with him at WrestleMania 31. Sting now looks to be the odd man out, as if The Undertaker does wrestle at next year's Mania, then it would surely be in a rematch with Lesnar, otherwise why have Brock beat him?

From a company standpoint, the choice of Lesnar as the man to break the streak is a really odd one. This is the same guy who handed in his notice days before WrestleMania 20, which caused WWE to have to hurriedly change their future plans and led to a fiasco of a match with Bill Goldberg on the show where the Madison Square Garden fans booed both men out of the building in their company Swan song.

In order to get out of his six year contract at such short notice, Lesnar signed a lengthy and highly restrictive no-compete clause which barred him from working for any other pro wrestling and mixed martial arts promotions in the entire world until June 2010. With pie in the sky fantasies of becoming an NFL player overnight, he was happy to sign whatever it took to go home and end the gruelling road trips that he had quickly grown to hate, which are part and parcel of being a full time WWE wrestler.

However, when the Minnesota Vikings quickly decided to cut him due to his total lack of experience of the game, rather than play in the NFL Europa league and be away from home again, Lesnar soon filed a lawsuit to get out of the no-complete clause he had signed just months earlier.

With the litigation dragging on and needing cash, Lesnar entered negotiations to return to WWE in July 2005, but backed out at the last minute when they offered him a worse deal than he had before. Almost immediately thereafter, he breached his no-compete clause by signing a lucrative limited dates contract with an equally desperate New Japan Pro Wrestling.

When WWE realised that they had hurt their own case by lowballing Lesnar on his return offer and with initial hearings not going their way, they quietly settled with Lesnar and finally gave him his desired unrestricted contract release in April 2006, allowing him to start shoot fighting for major bucks. The rest as they say is history.

Yes, this is the person WWE entrusted with giving the most historical and meaningful victory they could ever give anyone ever, someone who is a proven headache to deal with and will walk out at the drop of a hat when things aren't going his way.

In a strange way the timing is awfully fitting, given that they inducted the Ultimate Warrior into the WWE Hall Of Fame this year, an equally as hard-nosed businessman and an even bigger nutcase, who spent much of his speech settling scores and taking veiled shots at the company.

One gets the sense that this is partly an attempt to recoup their mammoth investment in Brock Lesnar, who is paid multiple millions a year for a handful of matches, but has stopped drawing on pay-per-view after he lost to John Cena in his first match back and Triple H in last year's WrestleMania. Of course, the WWE Network changes that dynamic, but they haven't had time to adapt their booking philosophies to the changes in technology just yet, so the old way of thinking still rules.

However, any way you slice it, it clearly would have benefitted WWE's long term future more if they had given the spot to a fresh young star like Bray Wyatt who's career could have been made in one night with such a monumental win. You can argue that with Lesnar's muscular physique and shooting background, he's the most credible choice possible to end The Undertaker's streak, but even with all that going for him, no-one believed he was going to be victorious tonight, and The Deadman going down for the count after three Sister Abigails would have been just as good a finish as three F-5s.

It will be interesting to hear the gossip about the reaction of the boys in the back to this WrestleMania moment. Until now, Lesnar hasn't come in for same criticism as The Rock for taking up a position on the card that could go to someone who constantly busts his ass on the road 52 weeks a year for the opportunity to one day headline WrestleMania. Personally, I still don't think he'll get any blowback, because people in the business are still marks for genuine ass-kickers who can make their "fake" world more real.

But enough of me rambling on, what do you think, Cagesiders? Did Brock Lesnar really deserve to be the man to break The Undertaker's streak?

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