James Giles and Brian Damage
As expected The Undertaker made his long awaited return to WWE television on this week’s episode of Raw. His target was Brock Lesnar and a match is now set between the pair for Wrestlemania 30. Now Brock is the latest superstar vying to end the Undertaker’s winning streak which has lasted since his win over Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka back in 1991 at Wrestlemania.
Today James and Brian discuss the streak in this Crossfire and if The Undertaker should hang up his boots after April 6.
James: The Streak shouldn’t end in my opinion because if it did, it would no longer be a streak. Just a win-loss record. No one would benefit from ending it because chances are fans would be more disappointed to see it end, than they would be filled with respect for who ended it. There is only a very small handful stars people would accept beating him clean, none of whom need the win, and ending it in a screwy fashion would just piss people off.
I think one of the most important elements of the streak that is often overlooked is that it gives a guy who isn’t capable of wrestling full time any more (but can still tear it up when he does wrestle) a reason to appear once a year on the years biggest show. Without the streak, there wouldn’t be much of a good reason for Taker to appear, and without that we’d miss out seeing one of the best workers ever doing his thing.
The Streak should be retired in tact when the Deadman decides to finally hang up his boots.
Brian:If the streak ended…would it really damage Undertaker’s legacy? If someone could beat him cleanly and at the end the Taker put him over ….i.e. pass the torch….might be more beneficial than damaging in my opinion. Calloway wrestles only once a year now and only helps Mania…a new star who competes full time could be much more beneficial 365 days out of the year. IMO.
James: Personally I do feel that the Streak is very significant part of Takers legacy. Unlike some of WWE’s all-time biggest stars, Taker was never the focal point of the company or its top draw and (as much as i like him) none of his championship reigns were that significant. He doesn’t hold a record for most title wins or anything like that, so the Streak will be remembered as his most significant achievement (you could argue his length of service is more significant, but the Streak is inextricably tied to that).
The other problem i have is that WWE always makes a point in the build-up to Takers bouts of all the people he has beaten before, and there is so many massive stars that it would be a really hard sell for a up-and-comer to have achieved something so massive that so many other major stars couldn’t.
Brian: I see your point on the streak’s importance. Its become as big a selling point as any main event title match they have on the card each year. This is a business though and the WWE always needs to look to the future. I’m not saying its a necessity for Taker to lose, but imagine the “rub” it would give someone like Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns or even Daniel Bryan…..it would be tremendous for future business…long after the Undertaker is gone.
The streak is only valuable now…when he appears during ‘Mania season….once he retires completely..the streak will lose all monetary value to the WWE.
James: I see what you mean Brian, in that once Undertaker retires there will be no more draw to the Streak, so maybe it would make sense to have Undertakers last appearance be the end to the Streak so someone young and upcoming would benefit from such a momentous win. Even with one loss on the record, the streak would still likely remain a record that no other superstar is going to surpass.
They would have to do an extremely convincing job in the build up, maybe by having the Undertaker as Champion and having a face challenger defeat him. That way Undertaker gets to put someone over in an admirable fashion, and if the face was popular enough, their quest to win and eventual victory would be accepted as a good way to end the streak.
To be honest that is the only scenario I can see being a productive end to the streak. I really don’t think a heel beating him would go down well, and there isn’t a veteran on the roster that needs such a victory on their record.
Brian: Roman Reigns immediately springs to mind…he’s currently a heel…but is getting such a monster push lately…that a victory over The Undertaker could only elevate him more and turn him face. I think we (fans) care more about the streak than he does. He made his money…has a great life with his family. It’s us that elevate the streak as this entity. Truth be told, I don’t think he cares as much about it as we think. I’m sure it means something to him, but at the end of the day…when his career is over…he’ll still be considered a legend.
All previous Crossfire pieces can be viewed here.