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Now reader, I know the thought of sending me a death threat crossed your mind when you read the title to this blog. I understand that I am supporting an opinion that suggests the end of The Dead Man's infamous undefeated record at WrestleMania, to a WCW/TNA wrestler of all people. But being a wrestling fan means accepting the unexpected and going along for the ride. Examples would include Andre the Giant and Macho Man Randy Savage's heel turns on Hulk Hogan, both of which led to two amazing WrestleMania main events. Another example would be when Hogan made a shocking heel turn when he made his move to WCW, but we all know how successful that decision was for Ted Turner's former promotion. A final example is when Bret Hart was famously screwed during his WWE Title match at the 1997 Survivor Series by Vince McMahon. The Montreal Screwjob may have left many fans feeling sick to their stomachs temporarily, but the long term affect of the McMahon heel turn did wonders for the company's success in the Attitude Era and beyond. So what then would an Undertaker loss at WrestleMania lead to for the company? Also, what would this loss say about Sting and this potential legendary achievement? That's what I seek to discuss in this blog and I hope you'll hear me out. I promise it isn't as far fetched as making David Arquette your World Heavyweight Champion.
The Streak Ends: How it benefits the WWE in the long run, Reason #1
Imagine the widespread reaction if The Undertaker wasn't able to get up from a three count during a match at "The Showcase of the Immortals". Shock would be a far cry from what a wrestling fan would experience in that moment. A fan might first wait to see if a mistake was made by the referee. When that doesn't happen, he or she might hit the rewind button to ensure their eyes witnessed what they thought could be The Undertaker's first and only loss at WrestleMania. From there you might have some over the top reactions like shouting, launching objects across the room, or even splashing cold water on your face to ensure that you're not dreaming. But after these emotions have subdued, you'll be forced into accepting the reality that lies before you. "The Streak" is over and there's nothing you can do about it. Yet what this now does for the WWE Creative Team is allow the WWE Universe to accept that predictability is long and gone. It was shock and awe that have anchored the ship for some of the best story lines in wrestling history. The reason we have tuned into Monday Night RAW is because we don't know what's going to happen next. Classic examples were the Stone Cold/Corporation and Sting/nWo rivalries. The writers both teased and satisfied our emotions week in and week out and the ratings they got during that period were a result of the "What's Going to Happen Next?" dynamic. Too often we see today's product set up squash matches, dull matches, and promos with results that don't exactly give us any shock. A perfect example would be when Triple H purchased an Escalade for Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan sprayed "YES!" all over it. Did the creative team really assume that their audience is made up entirely of 1st through 5th graders? Yes a portion of the fan base is young but everyone knew exactly what would happen when we saw that vehicle. An Undertaker loss at WrestleMania sets the standard for how much flexibility creative has in planning a story line. It would give the fans a reason to say "maybe they will let the title change hands on RAW", or something related to that possibility. If there is ever any certainty in a fans mind regarding what will happen in a given WWE season, it's that The Undertaker will win at WrestleMania. Once that ends, all likelihoods regarding a match or story line can be thrown out the window, and the chaos we've enjoyed before can return.
The Streak Ends: How it benefits the WWE in the long run, Reason #1
Moving along from the predictability factor, it should also be important to note what an Undertaker loss at WrestleMania does for the WWE roster. WrestleMania has always been an opportunity for a superstar to escalate their career and become a main event talent on the roster. Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, The Rock, Ultimate Warrior, The Undertaker, John Cena, and Triple H all took part in a WrestleMania main event while they were young in their WWE career. The story line involving The Undertaker is always going to be a highlight match of a WrestleMania card, and it should be noted how that can outshine other talent on the roster. Take for example the past three WrestleManias. In WrestleMania 27, The Undertaker vs Triple H was easily one of the top matches along with Cena vs The Miz, Edge vs Del Rio, and whatever stupid match they put Snooki in. Now although the company gave The Miz and Del Rio spots in the big matches, their matches would have received more attention if they were the sole top two matches on the card. Edge was an established superstar and Del Rio winning the first ever 40-man Royal Rumble was his chance to become a main event superstar. If that match was pushed as a co-main event, perhaps it would have been a major opportunity to establish Del Rio as a top superstar in the company. The Miz was already being pushed heavily but if more attention was given to his story line with Cena instead of Undertaker and Triple H, then creative might have had more success in establishing The Miz as a main event heel in the company. Wrestle Mania 28 is similar in that the WWE already had Cena vs The Rock and didn't need any other veterans stealing time on the card. Yet that was the case as Daniel Bryan and Sheamus were only given less than a minute. Granted it propelled Bryan into what he is now but fans did want to see Bryan and Sheamus compete. You also had a ton of young talent being crammed into the Team Laurinitus vs Team Long 12-man tag match. Instead, most of the night was given to veterans, including The Undertaker. Lastly we have WrestleMania 29, another night full of main matches featuring The Undertaker and other veterans. CM Punk could have been involved with other young talent in the company but was put into the match with Taker. The match between Del Rio and Jack Swagger wasn't memorable given that it was underneath The Undertaker vs Punk, Cena vs Rock II, and Triple H vs Lesnar. Not to mention Dolph Ziggler, Big E Langston, and Ryback all wrestling shorter matches to make time for the veterans. So for the past three years The Undertaker's presence has held back some of the younger talent from being featured more often and given more of the WrestleMania spotlight. An Undertaker loss would without a doubt end his career (unless he wanted to come back for one more match). By doing that you now have more available slots for the other talent on the roster that need to be pushed. The creative team would also send a huge message to the fan base. That message being that the company is moving on from relying on veterans to sell WrestleMania tickets and that it's time for a new crop of wrestlers to entertain our fans and create their own WrestleMania moments.
Why Sting should be given the honor of ending the streak.
So now that you understand why I feel The Undertaker needs to have his streak ended, let's move onto the man who will have this important duty. There are many superstars who deserve the honor of defeating The Undertaker that are currently on the WWE roster. But allowing Sting to have that honor is a big message from the WWE to the worldwide wrestling fan base. Sting is arguably the greatest wrestler to never wrestle for the WWE. He made his point around a decade ago as to why he chose to not join the WWE. His reasoning was mostly in the area of not liking the story lines that creative would have put him in, so he opted to wrestle for TNA. At first, one might wonder why the Stinger would choose less pay and a weaker company. But after seeing how the WWE used the WCW roster during and after the Invasion angle, it would seem that Sting made the right call. Diamond Dallas Page was misused as a stalker and creepy character overall, Booker T came close but was never the main event player he was in WCW, and Goldberg's run was fairly dull. Sting's legacy would be tarnished by poor booking by a WWE creative team that seemed to care more about putting down WCW talent, rather than making them look strong against WWE superstars. I mean the Survivor Series match where the WWE faught the Alliance didn't even have any WCW superstars in the final four of that match. So by letting Sting win over The Undertaker, I feel it is a way for the WWE to in a sense, make up for botching the WCW Invasion and misusing a lot of talent. What is being implied here is the WWE would reward a man who maintained his pride and integrity and said no to the unofficial professional wrestling monopoly. Sting will always be bigger than the WWE in my opinion because he chose to remain pure to his character, even if it meant missing out on a lot of money. Therefore, reward the man by letting him do something bigger than the WWE, which is ending the top honor of an undefeated record at WrestleMania.
So to to conclude, there are three main reasons why I feel Sting should defeat The Undertaker at WrestleMania 30. The first being that it would allow the WWE Creative Team to be more flexible by showing the fan base that predictable story lines and matches are a thing of the past, as nothing would be more chaotic than The Undertaker losing at WrestleMania. The second reason notes that an Undertaker loss would then write him off the card for future WrestleManias, allowing the younger talent for time to be featured on the company's biggest pay-per-view event. Lastly, it would give Sting a well-deserved pat on the back for maintaining the integrity and pureness of the character he has helped make so significant in professional wrestling.
Now do I really think Vince McMahon would ever put his ego aside for this one match?...NO! NO! NO! Regardless, every fan of professional wrestling should have this discussion with someone at some point in their life. "If The Undertaker were to lose, who beats him?" Whether or not you disagree with my opinion, I'm curious to know yours. Thanks for reading!