There are few things in this world that people can count on, it’s typically said that the only two things are death and taxes. (wikiquote) Another thing had been added to this list over the years, especially for those who consider themselves wrestling fans, The Streak. Yes, it’s very common knowledge, pro wrestling is scripted but that doesn’t make the accomplishment of one man being able to sustain a winning streak for over twenty years. (wikipedia) The simple fact that one man was able to go for such a long time, at such a high level, in the grueling world of WWE’s Sports Entertainment. Injuries have mounted each year, but come January or February every year we knew that the Dead Man would be coming back. Undertaker has faced some of the greats in the history of the business while growing his legend with win after win in The Streak. (wwe) There were low spots, like the match with the hardly mobile and horribly outfitted Giant Gonzales, or the only casket match that Undertaker has ever had on the grandest stage against Mark Henry. (wwenews) The counter to these would be the two matches carried out against the incomparable Shawn Michaels, the second of which being the retirement match for the Heartbreak Kid. (examiner) Through the ups and downs, no matter what, the fans just knew that in the end The Undertaker would come out on top.
There were times when people thought it would end, including the night he ended Shawn Michaels career, although that was more that people didn’t want to see Shawn go than see Undertaker lose. While The Streak wasn’t really spoken about at the time, there was a chance that Undertaker could have fallen to Diesel. This was a giant of a man, someone who could match power and agility with The Dead Man. (complex) In a great back and forth match Undertaker took Jacknife powerbomb after Jacknife powerbomb from Diesel but every time he came over for the pinfall the gloved hand would wrap around his throat, giving the fans hope again, and in the end he would hit the Tombstone piledriver and secure the victory. Years later Undertaker would face Triple H, under the guise of looking for revenge for his friend’s career being ended. In what was actually Triple H’s second attempt at The Streak the two men waged a massive war that ended with Undertaker getting the victory but being taken out on a stretcher while Triple H walked away from the ring. (wwe) The next year they faced again, this time a Hell in a Cell match, with Shawn Michaels as the guest referee. The match was billed as the “end of an era” and a lot of the buildup made it look as if Triple H had a chance, even stating that deep down Undertaker wanted to lose so he would free and he could finally retire. In the end, Undertaker was once again victorious and once again the fans went home happy knowing that the one thing that never changed in wrestling had been preserved.
Last year it seemed that the end was finally at hand, his opponent was the man who had held the WWE Championship for the longest reign since the great Bruno Sammartino’s reign, the self professed Best in the World, CM Punk. (wrestlingnewsworld) Punk was a credible, dangerous threat to The Streak because he backed up his claims of being Best in the World every night, win or lose. He had been on a skid after his historic reign as champion ending, and he showed a side willing to do whatever it took to get the victory. In an epic match, in which Punk actually wore the trademark colors of Undertaker, the Straight Edge Savior just didn’t have enough to pull out the victory. (wwe) After that match, with no passing of the torch, everyone just figured The Streak would follow Undertaker to the grave, little did they know another Paul Heyman guy was waiting in the wings for his chance at infamy. A year later the build to WrestleMania was on and a new Paul Heyman guy was looking for a new WrestleMania moment. Brock Lesnar was looking for a match at WrestleMania, unable to squeeze into the championship match, the storyline stated that Triple H and Stephanie had given him a contract to face anyone he chose in order to appease the beast.
Lesnar didn’t seem happy to accept the contract, he and Heyman threatened to walk away from the ring, then the gong hit and the fans were elated, the conquering hero had once again returned. (youtube) The scene ended with Undertaker sticking his pen in Lesnar’s hand and then signing the contract in his blood before chokeslaming him through the table on which the contract sat. The weeks played out with Undertaker getting the upper hand on Lesnar and Heyman at every turn, until the week before WrestleMania when Lesnar finally got a hold of Undertaker and left him laying in the middle of the ring after delivering his patented F5 finishing maneuver. This seemed like the obvious swerve that was needed in the eyes of the fans, this made it clear to them that Undertaker would win, Lesnar had gotten his offense finally. Once WrestleMania finally occurred the match played out before our eyes, Undertaker seemed off during the match, we would later find out he suffered a severe concussion early on which led to the match not living up to the standard set over the prior five years. Lesnar hit F5 after F5, and much like the Diesel match, Undertaker just kept coming back. After a third F5 Lesnar covered Undertaker, looking for the pinfall. The ref counted one, two, the crowd held it’s breath, and then came the dreaded count of three. (wrestlingnewsworld) The arena was silent, the impossible had happened, The Streak was no more. Seventy thousand plus in an arena and you could hear a pin drop. April 6th, 2014, millions of people saw their childhood die, we also saw one thing taken off the list of those things that upon which humanity could always count.