Posts Tagged: The Undertaker

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I rarely play fantasy booker when discussing wrestling, but given the hugeness of the 30th WrestleMania and the fact that today’s probably the last day to give my way-too-early predictions of the card, here is my ideal card. We’ll see how badly WWE hurts my feelings with the Rumble tonight, but here’s the show I want to see.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Daniel Bryan
How do we get here? Simple. Daniel Bryan wins the Rumble tonight, Brock Lesnar (the self-proclaimed #1 contender) annihilates five other guys in the Elimination Chamber next month to get the title. Why this match? The only story WWE has told that makes sense for a Mania main event is Daniel Bryan vs. The Authority. Had they kept them separate, Bryan vs. Orton would’ve worked here, but they’ve wrestled three times since SummerSlam and it has a been there, done that feeling. Orton clearly has flopped as champion as well, so they need to get the title off him. Triple H would work, but he’s mostly checked out as a wrestler and putting the title on him at this point seems counter-productive. Enter Lesnar.

Lesnar has been sold as not necessarily unstoppable since his WWE return, but unquestionably the most dangerous. With Triple H rehiring him, what better unstoppable force to put in front of the guy he doesn’t want to become champion? And if little Daniel Bryan made the invincible Brock Lesnar tap out in the center of the ring, it would be a star-making moment WWE has not had since Steve Austin won the WWE Title at WrestleMania 14. Look back over the years, WWE has not had one guy win the Rumble and win the title for the first time* since WrestleMania 14. Sure, they’ve had other guys winone of the titles, but there is only one undisputed championship now and that story hasn’t been told from the Rumble to Mania since Austin.

*And yes, I know it wouldn’t be Bryan’s first reign, but considering the other two WWE Title reigns lasted under 24 hours and the World Title was basically the Intercontinental Title when he held it, this would be his first reign as the guy. Don’t let me down, WWE.

The Match of the Decade
John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. Batista
Who is the biggest star of the last ten years? Obviously Cena, but with a combined 32WWE/World Heavyweight Championship reigns between them in the last 10 years, there’s a fun story to tell here. Any one-on-one match between these guys has been done to death, but I don’t think they’ve ever been in a triple threat, and it could close the chapter on the last decade once and for all.

Franchise vs. Franchise
The Undertaker vs. Sting
I know, I know, we talk about this one every year and it never happens because Sting re-signs with TNA. I don’t know if this year is any different, but c’mon WWE, sign Sting already. No two men have been as closely associated with their respective organizations than Sting and The Undertaker. Neither ever really got the chance to be the aforementioned the guy, but The Undertaker is the WWE guy and Sting is the anti-WWE guy. Sting coming in and saying he has nothing to prove when it comes to titles, but he wants a shot at The Streak, the one thing no one in wrestling has ever been able to do, is a ready made story. Bring in some vultures, some lightning bolts and general brooding in the rafters and boiler room and you have an epic Mania encounter that needs to happen at #30.

The Authority vs. Counter-culture
Triple H vs. CM Punk
I really don’t want to deal with this story, but WWE has already all but confirmed it, so it’s going to happen. I think my big issue with it is Punk keeps talking about the Authority “silencing” him, despite the fact he hasn’t said anything “pipebomb” worthy in over a year. Punk hasn’t been doing it for me lately, but I would think/hope him and Triple H would both step up their game for a Mania match and hopefully they’ll surprise me.

Unification Match
Big E Langston vs. Dean Ambrose
There’s no reason for the US Title to exist in today’s WWE. I don’t mind having a #3 singles title, but there needs to be some sort of gimmick to it. All for a TV Title that gets defended every TV show in matches with a 10-minute time limit, 15-minutes on PPV. But the US Title? Axe it. I see no reason to take the belts off either guy until Mania though… just set up a feud after having The Shield take out Big E one night.

Tag Team Turmoil
Cody Rhodes & Goldust (c) vs. The Usos vs. The Wyatts vs. The Shield vs. The New Age Outlaws vs. The Real Americans
Go nuts… hell, make it the most clusterfucky ladder match of all-time, there’s fun to be had here.

Now, obviously I’m leaving off major players like Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Bray Wyatt, Big Show, and Mark Henry, but these are the BIG matches I want to see. Sheamus vs. Bray could be a fun hoss fight, now that I think about it.

I’ll be shocked if any of these matches happen aside from Punk/HHH and some sort of multi-tag team bonanza, but I personally think it’d be a hell of a WrestleMania 30.

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WrestleMania 29 Reviewed!

You could tell Vince wanted to let the guys on the card sell WrestleMania this year, rather than celebrities and spectacle. Sure, The Rock is one of the biggest movie stars in the world, but he wasn’t presented as a special attraction this year, he was just a part of the show. Brock Lesnar is one of the biggest athletes in the world, but he wasn’t presented as “UFC Champion Brock Lesnar” like he was at Extreme Rules, he was just “Brock Lesnar: Jimmy John’s enthusiast.” This method of presentation perhaps didn’t work as well as it could have - presenting a straight wrestling show for a die-hard wrestling crowd seemed like a good idea - but it wasn’t a bad show. It was a weird one during a weird moment in the WWE canon…

 

Full review in the link.

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An oral history of Undertaker, Kane & Paul Bearer

I spent five hours today reciting the mythos of The Dark Side from memory. Enjoy.

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Best in the Netherworld!

The Undertaker vs. CM Punk. The Streak vs. The Really Long Title Reign.

Oddly, I’ve been seeing a lot of whining about this match. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised, it’s the internet, it’s what it’s there for, but what exactly is the problem, there’s no story? Who cares? It’s CM Punk vs. The Undertaker. There, I sold the the match for you.

I’ve seen others throw out the idea that five weeks isn’t enough time to build the match and it needs a larger arbitrary number behind it, as if six or seven weeks would somehow put the match higher on the marquee. Again, it’s CM Punk vs. The Undertaker, what more do you need? 

"Aw man, this porno has no story." It’s two people fucking on camera, what more do you need?!

The Fatal 4-Way on Monday’s Raw (not the one in the porn I just referenced) was already too much story for this match, it didn’t need Orton, Sheamus and Show getting involved. Just have Punk come out and say, “Oh I don’t get to defend my title at WrestleMania, so I’ll do you one better, I’ll beat The Streak.” Boom, done. That’s not to say Punk and Taker can’t exchange words or be framed just perfectly in the WrestleMania sign between now and April 7, but this isn’t the next season of Justified, folks. We don’t need a bunch of twists, turns, back-stabbings and shenanigans to sell something that sells itself: CM Punk vs. The Undertaker.

My only reservation is the two didn’t exactly set the world on fire when they met a couple times in 2009, but Taker was working hurt (more so than usual) and Punk was still finding his footing as a top tier guy, so I don’t think it’s a fair comparison. Now we’re talking about the Best in the World standing across the ring from The Goddamn Undertaker… atWrestleMania. Smirk if you want, but that means something and I imagine it means a lot to the two guys who will be in said ring, so I expect a much different match than what we saw at Breaking Point (lol) 2009.

I know a lot of people are bummed that CM Punk had to drop his title to an ACTOR and see this as some sort of consolation prize, but at this point, losing to The Undertaker at WrestleMania is a bigger deal than winning the WWE Title match. That’s not to belittle the WWE Championship - although it has been relegated to the best supporting actor category in recent years, and when it’s not, the match turns out disappointing - but The Streak is bigger than any belt. You might not think that’s a good thing, but it is the reality of the situation. I’m not sure when you would pinpoint the moment The Streak became a thing, I think they reference it as far back as WrestleMania 11, but I’d say WrestleMania 14 or 17 is when you look back and say, “okay, this is something special.” Sure, there have been duds along the way, (“just wait back here, Nathan Jones”), but since his return as The Deadman, the Streak match has become a major deal (and WM22 is criminally underrated). 

And the clock is ticking on it. There are going to be WrestleMania main events as long as there’s a WWE, but how many more Undertaker matches are we going to see? I’d be genuinely shocked if WrestleMania 30 wasn’t the last go around, so why wouldn’t a CM Punk fan want to see him in perhaps the penultimate Undertaker match? 

"Oh but you know he’s going to lose." So? You knew Shawn Michaels and Triple H were going to lose over the last four years too, didn’t make the matches any less amazing or dramatic. And out of the WWE roster, CM Punk is the only guy besides John Cena who is even conceivably in the realm of possibly ending The Streak. If you want a believable match, Punk’s your only option this year, and I personally guarantee at least one moment that gives you heart palpitations. 

Sometimes we wrestling fans tend to over-think things and worrying about this match (and going into great detail explaining why that’s silly) is a good example. Let yourself have fun once in awhile; sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and sometimes it’s just CM Punk vs. The Goddamn Undertaker.
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It’s not every year, but it’s not unusual for WrestleMania to have a theme: WrestleMania 23 was “All Grown Up,” In 2005, WrestleMania went “Hollywood,” and WrestleMania 14 was “X-Raided” as we entered the Attitude Era. These themes usually go with a cute series of vignettes or something to signal a shift in presentation, but rarely do they influence the actual matches. WrestleMania 29’s matches, however, seem to have a theme of their own: redemption.

We heard John Cena talk about it Monday night on Raw, he insists that since losing to The Rock, he’s had the worst year of his life. We can argue the merits of that since he continued to be the focal point of the company, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, Michael Jordan was still the face of basketball even if he didn’t win a championship that year, but the notion is that losing to The Rock has prevented him from cementing his legacy as the greatest WWE Superstar in history. The Rock doesn’t really have anything to prove against Cena, he beat him decisively last year and ended the 434-day title reign of the guy who had Cena’s number, but Cena needs it. If Cena doesn’t win this time, that’s it, he’s done it all, except this, it becomes a massive asterisk on the career that defined the last decade.

CM Punk is looking for redemption for losing the WWE Championship after a historic reign. He (rightfully) believes was screwed out of the title on two occasions by the current champion, who only won after some serious shenanigans in their current matches. But since John Cena put the kibosh on him getting into the main event of WrestleMania, he’ll do you one better and end your “precious streak.” Sure, winning the WWE Title match at WrestleMania can make you a legend, but ending The Undertaker’s streak? That makes you a god. WrestleMania is “The Showcase of the Immortals,” and if CM Punk can accomplish the impossible, his legendary title reign would only be a footnote on his already impressive record.

Triple H’s quest for redemption goes all the way back to July of 2011 when he was named the COO of WWE and his complete failure to properly run Monday Night Raw. His leadership (or lack thereof) caused the show to devolve to utter chaos, allowing for the installation of John Laurinaitis as General Manager, who gave into the ridiculous demands of the certifiable Brock Lesnar. Lesnar’s been seen sporadically in the last year, but when he makes an appearance, someone gets hurt and every drop of this blood is on Triple H’s hands. He could not keep this beast contained in April of 2012 and when he tried to get rid of him the old fashioned way at SummerSlam, he got his arm broken. It’s no secret Triple H’s career as a wrestler is in its twilight and his career as an executive got off on the wrong foot, so in order to end one chapter of his legacy and properly begin the next, he has to slay this dragon once and for all.

Not every Superstar will get his redemption come April 7, but these are the biggest names in the industry in some of the biggest matches of their careers on the biggest stage in all of wrestling. Streaks may end, careers may end, legacies may end, but each match is bound by a common thread, and before a single punch is even thrown, it’s something we can say we’ve never seen before.

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Dream Matches

Brock Lesnar’s return and The Rock upgrading his status to part-time has opened many doors for potential dream matches in WWE. Vote in our new poll to tell us which one you want to see most. 

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WWE WrestleMania 27 review

Not the best WrestleMania, not the worst WrestleMania, but felt more like a show from yesteryear with a pretty coat of paint. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it wasn’t in that upper echelon of WrestleManias.

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Kick-Out!! Radio - Episode 54

The Rock is back! Also, The Rock is back! The rest of Raw was pretty great too, Elimination Chamber’s build not so much. When was the last time WWE did the Road to WrestleMania the ‘right’ way? 2.21.11 is fast approaching. Oh and did we mention The Rock is back?!