Who doesn’t like a good undefeated streak in pro wrestling? If done properly, a wrestler’s unbeaten streak could elevate not one, but two people at the same time. The one who has the streak and the wrestler who finally ends it. Today, we look at an undefeated streak that lasted nearly three years in the World Wrestling Federation.
From February 1991 to October of 1993, WWF star Tatanka had an unblemished win/loss record on television. He may have lost a match or two on untelevised house shows by count out but back in the early 90’s, the internet really wasn’t prevalent. So if a fan was watching the WWF at home, those count out losses did not exist.
Vince McMahon loved the idea of giving Tatanka (a legitimate Native American wrestler) a huge push as a top star. For over two years, Tatanka buzzed through his competition. He defeated everyone he faced. Whether it was the Brooklyn Brawler, Skinner, ‘The Model’ Rick Martel or Shawn Michaels, Tatanka beat them all.
According to Tatanka himself, if his unbeaten streak got over enough, there was some serious consideration of putting the WWF world title on him. So there seemed to be a plan in place. A plan that would build Tatanka up to become a top contender for the WWF title. McMahon also said, that when the time was right, he wanted Tatanka to lose to somebody that would make a difference and mean something.
The idea on paper seemed absolutely brilliant. Not one, but two stars would be created in this “master plan.” As Tatanka continued defeating every wrestler booked against him, it came as no surprise that some of the other wrestlers became jealous of his push. Tatanka said that some wrestlers he once considered friends, started acting differently towards him backstage. He was also told that wrestlers started going back to Vince saying that Tatanka had developed an ego and had a serious attitude problem.
Naturally, Tatanka denied all of these accusations saying he was still the same guy he was when he first started out with the WWF. It was just a matter of jealousy from these unnamed wrestlers who wanted his spot and his push. Regardless of who said what, Tatanka was still getting his push and it was business as usual.
Before a round of television tapings in 1993, Vince McMahon approached Tatanka and told him that he found the man who would end his streak. Vince seemed really excited to tell him that the wrestler who would finally defeat him would be a Ludvig Borga. Ludvig was a wrestler from Finland who Vince seemingly fell in love with and felt had a great upside to him. Borga had a made a name for himself internationally in Japan and McMahon saw big things in him.
Tatanka wasn’t exactly excited about McMahon’s choice and felt that he was rushing his decision before thinking it through. Instead of being difficult and voicing his objections, Tatanka agreed to the match. During his bout with Borga, manager Mr. Fuji came out and distracted Tatanka allowing Borga to use a steel chair as a weapon. Ludvig Borga then covered Tatanka and got the pinfall victory, thus ending his unbeaten streak. After the match, WWF champion Yokozuna came out and attacked Tatanka to cause further damage.
It was all set up, Tatanka’s streak ends and moves on to face Yokozuna for the WWF title and Ludvig Borga becomes a huge star. Except, that’s not exactly what happened. Tatanka was taken off TV for about three months and during that time, Ludvig Borga tanked as a top WWF star. Borga had a legitimately bad attitude and supposedly never gave 100% when he was in the ring.
It became apparent that Ludvig Borga ending Tatanka’s streak was a huge mistake. Tatanka and Borga were booked for a big rematch at the Royal Rumble in 1994 but Borga complained about an ankle injury and did not wrestle. Some feel, Borga was just trying to get out of that match. Ultimately, Borga never became the huge international star Vince McMahon envisioned and Tatanka’s WWF career sputtered after that loss. Not exactly what was drawn up when this was all planned.