Danger Zone: Who Will End Undertaker's Streak?
- Sep 5, 2012
- Written by Thomas Pruitt
The Undertaker is one of the most legendary professional wrestlers of all-time, an instantly-recognizable figure with elite in-ring abilities and an unmatched level of respect within the industry. He's still not technically retired, but at 47 years old and with a long history of injuries, he's essentially limited to one Wrestlemania match per year and a handful of sporadic television appearances. While he's still massively over, his crowd response declines just a little bit each year, as a greater and greater proportion of the viewing audience has never gotten to see him perform on a regular basis. As a result, it just might be time for the unthinkable: the end of his 20-0 undefeated streak at Wrestlemania. Wrestling insiders insist that The Streak is sacred and never will or should be broken, but under the right circumstances, it could be used to rocket a young performer into the stratosphere, creating a new superstar in the truest sense of the word at a time when the company's roster depth is at its lowest level in years. Here are a few guys who just might make sense as streakbreakers.
The current WWE champion and clear cut second biggest star in the company, Punk would be a sensible choice for a number of reasons, with the most obvious being that it would add to his credibility as a massive star. A victory would also generate an enormous amount of heel heat for an upstart wrestler who has stagnated a bit over the last few months. More importantly, it could cement Punk's status as a massive star and serve as a passing of the torch of sorts between one of the biggest stars of the Attitude Era and the closest thing the company has to a leader of its next generation of stars.
Super Cena is the company's biggest star, and a win against the Undertaker could help to cement his legacy as one of the winningest if not greatest stars in the history of professional wrestling. He currently receives mixed reactions from fans and a victory over a sacred institution like the Undertaker would enrage his haters. At the same time, a victory over the Undertaker would be the perfect catalyst for a heel turn.
Dolph Ziggler or Daniel Bryan
Despite the former being one of the most entertaining performers in the company and there being a legitimate case to be made that the latter is the greatest technical wrestler of the last ten years, both Ziggler and Bryan are frequent losers who are almost too good to become main eventers – talented as they are, WWE management seems to feel that they're more valuable making less talented, larger performers look good. Ending the streak would instantly lend both enough credibility to more than offset having been destroyed on an almost weekly basis for the last few years. They're also both young enough (Ziggler is 32, Bryan 31) to milk a victory over Taker for years, since they should both be able to wrestle at a high level for another decade.
Similar to Ziggler and Bryan, The Miz has been a frequent loser on WWE television and is in desperate need of credibility. While he lacks Bryan and Ziggler's in-ring abilities, he's similarly young and has more upside as a mainstream star due to his reality tv fame and above average mic skills. However, he's been something of a flop as a main eventer, and might wind up being one of those guys like Lex Luger or Alberto Del Rio who has success in the wrestling business but who never quite catches fire and breaks out enough to justify their push.
Alberto Del Rio, Wade Barrett, or Sheamus
All three are "main eventers" who have been competent performers but still haven't broken out. A victory over the Undertaker could give anyone a career defining moment, although a hard-fought loss could preserve The Streak while still boosting the loser's career.
Lesnar has a very good chance at securing a Wrestlemania match with the Undertaker at some point in the next year or two, and a victory would only add to his already considerable legend as a human wrecking machine. At the same time, he's not a full-time performer and is notorious for his clashes with WWE management, so it would be very short-sighted to have him actually defeat the Undertaker at Wrestlemania.
Although he's yet to debut, Ambrose is one of the most talented young wrestlers in the company and has an enormous amount of potential. His biggest weakness is that he's not particularly intimidating looking, but ending The Streak would instantly give him enough credibility to be considered a threat to win any match he's involved in.