The Undertaker Vs Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka – WrestleMania VII 1991
The beginning of The Streak. The Undertaker had been with the company for less than 6 months, but was already featured in a match at the biggest event of the year against an extremely popular babyface, and someone who was involved in the main event of the FIRST ever WrestleMania 7 years prior. Not only was this The Undertaker’s first WrestleMania, it was also his first singles PPV match!
As The Undertaker makes his way down to the ring, with Paul Bearer and the urn in front, I am very surprised by the rather HUGE pop The Undertaker gets when his music hits, and his name his announced! The guy is supposed to be a heel lol. But then again, who can honestly boo such awesomeness?
The Undertaker just stands and stares at his opponent, not moving a muscle until he sees a chance to attack Snuka from behind while he tries to climb the ropes and play to the crowd. It’s all downhill from that point on, with The Undertaker constantly on the offense, including landing his soon to be signature leaping lariat. Again, I am surprised at the pop for The Undertaker, this time as he lands a massive suplex to his opponent!
Snuka finally gets an opening for some offense, but a spring board cross body results in a Tombstone Piledriver! 1-0 for The Undertaker!
There isn’t much to this match really. It’s short, and seemingly has no feud to it either. It’s basically an aging superstar being squashed by a newcomer who would eventually become one of the absolute biggest legends in the history of the industry.
The Undertaker Vs Jake “The Snake” Roberts – WrestleMania VIII 1992
A lot had changed since the last WrestleMania. The Undertaker was now a babyface, and also a former WWF Champion! The Undertaker and Jake had a short alliance, with The Undertaker helping Jake in his feud with The Ultimate Warrior. Eventually though, The Undertaker turned on Jake, helping out Randy Savage and Elizabeth when Jake was about to attack them.
The pre-match promo by Jake was great, as he talked about his recent actions on the Funeral Parlour (The Undertaker & Paul Bearer’s “talk show” segment). Jake trapped The Undertaker’s hands in a coffin, and proceeded to DDT Paul Bearer, then hit The Undertaker in the back with a steel chair, not once but twice! However, The Undertaker did not go down, which would have any normal man worried. Jake, however, was not normal. He claimed that once he lands the DDT, not even The Undertaker can survive!
A very different start to this WrestleMania match for The Undertaker. He begins by stalking his opponent, missing numerous attempts at grabbing Jake, and talking a lot of punches. All of which had no effect. Jake sends The Undertaker over the ropes, but he lands on his feet, drags Jake out and throws him into the ring post!
Roberts is persistent though, and continues to dodge The Undertaker’s attacks and keeps throwing quick jabs at him. Throughout all of this, The Undertaker seemingly has just one direction; forward. No matter what Roberts does to him, he keeps moving forward, moving towards Jake, until he finally gets his hands on him (or rather hand on his neck
The pop The Undertaker got last year as a heel when he landed his leaping lariat is nothing compared to the one he gets now as a face. A Tombstone looks to be next for Roberts, but he reverses it into a DDT! The Undertaker is OUT! Roberts takes his time, looking very pleased with himself, but The Undertaker SITS UP! Jake doesn’t waste any time, as he lands a second DDT! With The Undertaker down a second time, Jake thinks he is out for good, and goes after Paul Bearer! AGAIN The Undertaker sits up, and goes to the outside to save his manager.
TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER ON THE FLOOR! By today’s standards, that’s pretty brutal, but for 1991, it was EPIC. And a little fun fact, the Tombstone was supposed to take place inside the ring, but Jake changed the finish as to make him seem “stronger” on his way out, as he wouldn’t be beaten with a finisher in the middle of the ring.
The Undertaker drags a lifeless Jake back into the ring, and The Streak continues!
Not exactly a technical classic, but the way both guys play to their characters is great. The Undertaker wants his hands on Jake for what he did to him and Paul at the Funeral Parlour, and Jake knows he needs to avoid The Undertaker and wear him down as much as possible so he can land the DDT.
Speaking of the DDT... it might be a basic move these days, but back then, it was death. When Jake hit the DDT, a match was OVER. So for The Undertaker to sit up from not one, but TWO DDT’s, that was impressive as hell, and showed the world that The Undertaker was someone to watch.
Certainly not one of his best WrestleMania matches, but probably a personal favourite of mine, since I love both guys, and felt they did an awesome job too.
The Undertaker Vs Giant Gonzalez – WrestleMania IX 1993
The Undertaker was now one of the biggest faces in the company, but instead of being in the WWF Title scene, was being fed to misfit monsters, with one of the absolute worst ever being Giant Gonzalez. Gonzalez made his debut at the 1993 Royal Rumble, not as a participant in the match, but simply to destroy The Undertaker and take him out of the match. The Undertaker was near 7 foot tall, but Gonzalez was said to be nearly 8 foot tall! This lead to many beat downs for The Undertaker, as for the first time in his career, he was the underdog.
The match starts with a stare down (or stare “up” for The Undertaker lol), before Gonzalez nails The Undertaker with a clubbing blow, only for The Undertaker to be unaffected! Gonzalez keeps trying to hit The Undertaker, but the Dead Man uses all the built up frustration to take the fight right to the giant.
Eventually the size difference comes into play, and Gonzalez has The Undertaker right where he wants him... which unfortunately for us is a boring rest hold
The crowd still seem to be into the match though, thanks to the popularity of The Undertaker during this time. They continue to cheer him on as he takes a beating from Gonzalez, including some spots with the steel steps on the outside.
The Undertaker finally makes a comeback, and the crowd roars when he finally takes the giant down to his knees! Wippleman, Gonzalez’s manager, gets on the apron and throws a towel to Gonzalez! The Undertaker grabs Harvey, while Gonzalez knocks out Paul Bearer so he can’t interfere while he shoves the towel (covered in ether or something like that) into The Undertaker’s face!
The referee calls for the bell, and The Undertaker goes 3-0 at WrestleMania thanks to a DQ (the first and only non Submission/Pinfall victory for The Undertaker at WrestleMania!). Gonzalez then proceeds to take out the referee, while The Undertaker is taken out on a stretcher.
Gonzalez celebrates in the ring, until a gong goes off, and The Undertaker returns to the ring! He finally takes down the giant for the first time in his WWF career, and sends him to the outside!
Nice way to finish the match IMO. The Undertaker still won, but Gonzalez got put over BIG TIME by manhandling The Undertaker and sending him away on a stretcher, while the fans left happy when ‘Taker returned and sent Gonzalez down and out of the ring.
I don’t know if it’s because I am biased towards The Undertaker or not, but this didn’t seem as bad as I remembered it. It was shorter than I remembered it too, which helps lol. It’s still up there as one of The Undertaker’s WORST WrestleMania matches, but I don’t think it’s a DUD. It was a change of pace at this point in time to see The Undertaker as the underdog (which unfortunately got overdone for most of his career following this lol), having to fight the bigger/stronger opponent. Keeping it relatively short was key, as Gonzalez couldn’t work a long match (and I don’t mean he couldn’t last long without getting too tired or anything, I don’t know that. I mean that if he went too long it would make an already bad match even worse
). The ending wasn’t great, mainly because it led to a rematch, but the aftermath was decent enough.
The Undertaker Vs King Kong Bundy – WrestleMania XI 1995
Yet another “monster” for The Undertaker to slay at WrestleMania. Bundy might not be anything special in the ring, but he was a huge step up from Giant Gonzalez, and the storyline going into the match was better too.
A little background on this one is probably needed, so here goes. As we all know, The Undertaker made his debut as part of the Million Dollar Man’s Survivor Series team in 1990. DiBiase was responsible for bringing The Undertaker in, and that was a key point to this whole feud. As you may have noticed, there is a gap between WrestleMania 9 and WrestleMania 11 for these reviews. The reason being is that Yokozuna and a number of other wrestlers tried to take The Undertaker out at the 1994 Royal Rumble. They were successful at putting him on the shelf for a while, which is why he missed WrestleMania 10.
Not long after WrestleMania 10, Ted DiBiase claimed that The Undertaker was back, and had realigned himself with the Million Dollar Man, and his Million Dollar Corporation. A “fake” Undertaker was revealed, so Paul Bearer felt the need to return and inform everyone that HIS Undertaker was the real one, and would soon return to prove it. At SummerSlam 1994, the real Undertaker did in fact return, and vanquished DiBiase’s fake Undertaker. DiBiase was obviously not pleased, and with the help of his Million Dollar Corporation, vowed to eliminate The Undertaker from the World Wrestling Federation.
At the 1995 Royal Rumble, DiBiase had IRS face The Undertaker, but was unsuccessful, so King Kong Bundy took it upon himself to attack The Undertaker after the match, and thus a WrestleMania match between the two was made! Not only that, but DiBiase has also taken control of the Urn!
Bundy tries to attack The Undertaker from behind with a running corner splash, but The Undertaker senses him coming, and uses his superior speed to move out of the way! The Undertaker hits “Old School”, and a number of clotheslines, but Bundy remains on his feet! One more clothesline from The Undertaker, and Bundy is DOWN! Bundy, however, is not an ordinary man. He is a veteran and a tough SOB too, which he shows by quickly getting back up and sending The Undertaker over the ropes!
The Undertaker lands on his feet, and steals the Urn back from DiBiase! The Undertaker gets back in the ring and looks to be in control, until Kama, another member of the Million Dollar Corporation, comes to ringside and steals the Urn again!
With the lack of the Urn at ringside, The Undertaker loses control of the match, and the monstrous Bundy takes pleasure in wearing down the Dead Man. Some big, yet basic blows take The Undertaker down, and a huge sleeper hold looks to be the end of the Phenom. The crowd get The Undertaker back into the match, but Bundy quickly regains control, or at least he thinks he does, by hitting a huge running avalanche (running corner splash)! The power of The Undertaker is still running strong though, even without the Urn, and The Undertaker just shrugs off the devastating move, and slams the 440 pounder to the mat! The leaping lariat puts the final nail in Bundy’s coffin, as The Undertaker clocks up another WrestleMania win!
Ok, so there is nothing special whatsoever about this match. It’s all incredibly basic, and the finish is a little weak too. However, the storyline leading into the match (and continuing after the match) was pretty good, and I have a soft spot for the entire WrestleMania XI event too, so I do enjoy this match more than most people probably. Like the Gonzalez match, I always remembered this match being longer than it actually is. The only really slow part is when Bundy has the sleeper hold applied, and that doesn’t last long at all. It’s still not a good match, and probably his second worst WrestleMania match ever, but I can sit through it no problem.
The Undertaker Vs Diesel – WrestleMania XII 1996
Once again, The Undertaker faces a big guy at WrestleMania. This time, however, his opponent isn’t a foot taller than him, or at least 100lbs heavier than him. Instead, The Undertaker matches Diesel in height and weight (roughly). Also, Diesel is way beyond the likes of Gonzalez and Bundy when it comes to in ring work. He might not be a great wrestler, but up to this point Diesel actually has more “great” matches under his belt than The Undertaker! Of course, Diesel had the opportunity to wrestle with guys like Razor, Shawn, Bret and others, while The Undertaker was stuck wrestling talentless nobodies for the most part.
So for the first time in The Undertaker’s WrestleMania career, BOTH men are evenly matched. Plus, 1996 was the beginning of The Undertaker really stepping up his game and becoming a tremendous wrestler (it helped that 1996 was the year where he started getting decent opponents too lol).
The build for this match was based mainly around the WWF Title, to begin with. Diesel had been WWF Champion for nearly a full year, before losing to Bret Hart at the Survivor Series in 1995. At the next PPV a month later, The British Bulldog got a title shot. The following month, at the Royal Rumble, The Undertaker for a title shot. Diesel was obviously not pleased with this, as he felt he deserved a rematch against Bret. But he carried on, and entered the Royal Rumble. Diesel was the last man to be eliminated, as his own best friend Shawn Michaels superkicked him over the ropes! Diesel seemed angry at first, but high fived Shawn as he celebrated his win. Diesel remained in the ring, and only started to leave when The Undertaker was coming out for the WWF Title match. Diesel got in The Undertaker’s face, and a brawl started out. Referees broke it up, and the WWF Title match got underway. The Undertaker hit the Tombstone on Bret, but before the referee could count to 3, Diesel showed up and got The Undertaker disqualified!
Diesel did get his rematch at the next PPV against Bret, inside a steel cage! Unfortunately, The Undertaker promised Diesel earlier in the night that he would not leave as champion. So what did The Undertaker do? He ripped his way up through the ring, and dragged Diesel down to hell! Bret retained, and The Undertaker gained a measure of revenge on Diesel. The feud was no longer about the title, it was now personal. Diesel officially turned heel, and became the bad ass he used to be at the beginning of his WWF career. The Undertaker played his usual mind games, including sending out a casket to the ring for Diesel. When he opened it, a life-like dummy of Diesel was inside! The Undertaker was giving Diesel a glimpse into the future...
Before I get into the match, I just wanted to share a line of commentary from The King during this match that makes me laugh every time: “Paul Bearer would look ok if it wasn’t for his face”
One of the main things in their feud leading up to this match was the fact that Diesel claimed he was not afraid of The Undertaker. Diesel seems to want to prove this during their match, and he does a pretty good job of it IMO. He starts off by charging into the ring and going toe to toe with The Undertaker to start things off; showing that he isn’t intimidated and he will take the fight right to The Undertaker!
More great storytelling from Diesel in this match, as he continues to show no fear, fighting the Dead Man head on, and dominating him! He isn’t trying to end this match quickly so he can get the hell out of there, no, he is slowly dissecting The Undertaker, and playing to the crowd why he is doing it.
I love the sequence during the match where The Undertaker tries to make a comeback. He starts punching Diesel in the face, but Diesel also wants to land a right hand, and they end up punching each other at the same time! They stagger back, then charge forward and land Big Boots to the face at the same time too! This was the first match I ever saw that spot happen, and I still love seeing it to this day.
The Undertaker begins to get desperate in the match, so he takes a risk by climbing to the top rope, and comes flying off with a huge clothesline! Diesel is resilient though, and quickly gets up and lands a Jackknife Powerbomb! Diesel isn’t finished yet though, and waits for The Undertaker to get back up, and lands ANOTHER Jackknife! Diesel again doesn’t want to finish things just yet, as he plays to the crowd once again, then goes to pummel the Dead Man. The Undertaker grabs him by the throat though, and tried to get back up, only to be sent back down to the mat by Diesel.
Diesel’s cocky attitude and seeming desperation to prove he isn’t afraid of The Undertaker comes back to bite him in the arse, as he keeps giving The Undertaker time to rest, allowing the Dead Man to get up and drop Nash to the mat with a Chokeslam!
A Tombstone follows, and The Undertaker picks up the win!
Both men are favourites of mine, so I always liked this match more than the majority of people, based on that fact alone. However, over the years, and again on this watch, I love this match based on the action and storytelling. Diesel is an awesome heel, and really plays up the whole “not afraid of The Undertaker” story throughout the match. This is also one of the better “big man vs big man” matches around, and so far is The Undertaker’s greatest WrestleMania match!
The Undertaker Vs Sid – WWF Title – WrestleMania XIII 1997
For the first time at WrestleMania, The Undertaker finally got to main event the show and wrestle for the WWF Title! It had already been nearly 6 years since the Dead Man had held the belt, but could he overcome the massive “Phycho” Sid to remain undefeated at WrestleMania AND win the belt?
No real story going into this match, which is REALLY weird considering it’s the MAIN EVENT to the biggest show of the year. The entire main event/WWF Title scene was all over the place for the first couple of months in 97, starting with Sid being the champion, losing to Shawn, who had to give it up because of a knee injury. Then Austin won the RR, but cheated to do so, and his title shot was at The Final Four PPV, which saw Austin, Bret, Undertaker and Vader battle for the vacant title. Bret won, but lost the next night to Sid. Vader disappeared from the WWF Title scene for a couple of months, Bret and Austin continued their feud, which left The Undertaker to be the most logical number 1 contender. And so we ended up with this match
The Undertaker was massively over still at this time, so it made sense for him to be in the main event. As for Sid, while he is far, FAR from the best wrestler ever, his size and look was perfect for the wrestling business, and he was one of the first real tweeners in WWF, as despite being a top heel, he would still get cheers (MSG cheered him over HBK at the 1996 Survivor Series). Plus, he was obviously a pretty good draw (he always claims he is, and it’s hard to prove otherwise) since they kept putting the belt on him, and had him main event WrestleMania.
Before the match can officially start, Bret Hart comes out and starts to “shoot” on HBK (who was on commentary), The Undertaker, and Sid. Sid clubs his face with a huge right hand, and Powerbombs him! Sid then tells Bret to get his “whiney ass” out of the ring, which gets Sid a huge pop. Sid wastes too much time running his mouth at Bret, which allows The Undertaker to jump the champion and the match is underway!
‘Taker dominates early on, hitting a Stinger Splash to Sid in the corner, followed by a slam, and then Old School. Sid doesn’t go down from Old School, so The Undertaker comes at Sid with another Stinger Splash, only for the monster of a champion to catch the challenger with a bear hug! Nice work from Sid, he already felt the Stinger Splash, and knew The Undertaker was going for it again, so he was able to counter it into a power move that benefits him in his quest to Powerbomb The Undertaker! As The Undertaker tries to fight out of the bear hug, Sid lets go a couple of times and just smashed his first and forearm into the back of the Dead Man! Simple stuff, but really effective back work from Sid!
Sid continues with the back work as they go to the outside, which includes a huge slam onto the announce table, followed by a slam into the ring post!
Back in the ring, Sid locks in a camel clutch, which again concentrates on the back area of The Undertaker. Sid may not be a great wrestler in terms of having a large move set or being able to take certain moves, but the guys knows how to work the psychology side of a match really well.
The Undertaker manages to get some rest when he throws Sid out of the ring and over the guard rail. The brawl on the outside for a moment, before returning to the ring where Sid regains control of this match. A big powerslam takes down Sid one more time, and The Undertaker locks in a nerve grip, which just seems to piss off the champion more than anything lol. We then get a repeat of one of my favourite spots, which actually happened a year earlier, where both Sid and The Undertaker boot each other in the face! This is actually only the second time I have ever seen this match, so I had no idea that was going to happen, as I had forgotten pretty much the entire match
Sid has hardly taken any punishment in this match, and because of this, he is the first to his feet, and is able to continue his domination of The Undertaker. Sid even comes off the second rope numerous times, but does it once too often, allowing The Undertaker to counter, just as Sid did with the Stinger Splash at the start of this match! With Sid down, The Undertaker goes to the ropes, but unlike Sid he is successful!
Tombstone attempt coming up, but Sid reverses it, and Tombstones The Undertaker! He covers, and surely has this match won, right? NO! The Undertaker’s finisher didn’t work on the Dead Man, so there is only the Powerbomb left.
Bret Hart shows up now, and levels Sid with a chair! Payback for the Powerbomb earlier no doubt.
Back in the ring, things look bad for Sid as he gets Chokeslammed to hell! Somehow he still manages to kick out though, and even avoids the leaping lariat of The Undertaker! Sid sets him up for the Powerbomb, but Bret shows up again to distract Sid, allowing The Undertaker to land the Tombstone and win the WWF Title!
Wow, this isn’t nearly as bad as people say it is! Despite being 21 minutes, which by all rights it never should have been that long, this is actually pretty good. It didn’t feel like 21 minutes, and never really had any dull parts. Sid did lock in a few submission holds, but they all had a reason and a purpose, and added to the match IMO. Both guys came out looking strong, Sid especially, who kicked out of the Chokeslam, countered so much of The Undertaker’s offence, and dominated the majority of the match. He also only really lost thanks to Bret too. As for The Undertaker, beating Sid for the title was big enough, but he also kicked out of the Tombstone, and survived the match long beating he took from Sid. The only thing I didn’t really like about this match was Bret’s involvement. It took away from the finish IMO, and really it was all rather pointless in the end. Bret didn’t feud with either man after WrestleMania (it wasn’t until 4 or 5 months later at SumerSlam that Bret had a match with The Undertaker), and Sid left not long after this match. But anyway, despite that, I still really enjoyed this match, and thought it was way better than basically everyone else makes it out to be.
The Undertaker Vs Kane – WrestleMania XIV 1998
Damn, where do I even begin with this one? IMO, the feud between The Undertaker and Kane is the greatest of all time. I loved every minute of the epic build up to this one match, and that build up lasted ONE YEAR. Yep, an entire year of build up for just one match (similar to Hogan/Sting I guess, except this one delivered). Ok, I’ll try and summarise this one as best I can without writing too much
Hmm... now I think about it, I guess the whole thing really started in 1996, when Paul Bearer turned on The Undertaker. But I’ll start off from when the feud really kicked off, which was at WrestleMania 13, when The Undertaker won the WWF Title. Bearer had left The Undertaker the year before, but now he was the champion, Bearer wanted to manage him again. The Undertaker refused, until Paul Bearer blackmailed him, threatening to reveal a dark secret from The Undertaker’s past. Reluctantly, The Undertaker agreed to let Paul manage him once again. It wasn’t too long though, before The Undertaker had finally had enough of Paul, so Paul revealed the secret; The Undertaker was a murderer! He had burnt down his home as a child, killing his parents, and supposedly his younger brother Kane. However, Bearer revealed that Kane was alive, and he had been taking care of him all these years, and he would soon arrive in the WWF to take revenge!
Paul Bearer would constantly show up to tell The Undertaker that Kane was coming, but it was a couple of months still before we eventually saw him. During the first ever HIAC match against Shawn Michaels, Kane made his debut, ripping off the cell door, and Tombstoning The Undertaker! Week after week, Kane would come out and attack The Undertaker, who refused to fight back because of a promise he made to his parents years ago. Then, in January 1998, it seemed that Kane and The Undertaker had worked out their problems, as Kane came out to help The Undertaker against DX, and agreed to join him at ringside for the casket match between ‘Taker and HBK at the Royal Rumble! It was at the Royal Rumble that we discovered the whole thing was a set up, as Kane and Paul Bearer locked The Undertaker in the casket, and set it on fire! However, when the casket was opened, The Undertaker was nowhere to be seen.
A few weeks later, while Bearer and Kane were in the ring, the familiar sound of The Undertaker’s gong hit the area, and a casket appeared on the stage. Lighting stuck it, and out came The Undertaker! Apparently the fire did nothing to The Undertaker, and his absence was explained by him going to visit the graves of his parents, so he could apologise to them for doing what he promised he would never do...
And so a match between the Brothers of Destruction was made for WrestleMania 14!
A couple of awesome things happened before the match even started, first with Kane attacking Pete Rose, which got him a pretty decent pop despite Kane being a big time heel. The second was The Undertaker’s epic entrance. This was the first time he received a special entrance at WrestleMania, and to this day it is still one of his absolute best. Druids came out with torches (flame on a stick, not those battery operated things!), which made a tunnel of fire for The Undertaker to walk through. And then there was his costume, which has been referred to as a “Bat Man” style outfit, which made him look even more dangerous.
The Undertaker starts things off with huge rights and lefts to the face of Kane, but Kane doesn’t seem to feel them. They go back and forth for a few minutes, just punching and kicking each other until Kane gains the advantage. Kane even gets the chance to Tombstone The Undertaker in the early going, but instead opts to slam him into the corner and pummel him some more. This match isn’t about winning or losing, it’s about two brothers wanting to beat the living shit out of each other for different reasons, which is why it makes perfect sense for them to not go for a cover or a finisher so early, and for them to brawl throughout this match.
The Undertaker even starts to cover his face to avoid those massive punches from Kane, something The Undertaker had NEVER done up to this point. That one little thing shows just how much of a threat Kane was to The Undertaker at the time!
Great athleticism from The Undertaker has he leaps onto Kane’s shoulders to beat his head in, but Kane just throws him off and continues his assault on his older brother. Bearer even distracts the referee allowing Kane to use the steel steps a couple of times. I wish this match had been No DQ tbh, because they could have done a lot with the stipulation.
The Undertaker tries his best to make a comeback, but ends up walking right into a Chokeslam from Kane! Kane covers, but lifts up The Undertaker after a 2 count! Again, these guys are just showing that it isn’t about the victory, it’s about the destruction, and I fucking love it!
One of the more memorable spots in the match comes when The Undertaker does his dive over the ropes, only for Kane to move, forcing The Undertaker to crash right through the announcer’s table! Now THAT was a great spot! I mentioned how I would have liked this to have been No DQ, but tbh they do an awesome job of getting in spots like that without the stipulation lol.
The Undertaker is far from done though, but is still overwhelmed by his brother, who continues to beat the living shit out of him. They exchange plenty of punches, before The Undertaker manages to set Kane up for a Tombstone, only for Kane to reverse and land his own! Poor ‘Taker, that’s two years in a row that has happened to him! Just like last year, he manages to kick out, and this epic fight continues!
The Dead Man catches his first break with a massive Chokeslam, which Kane gets right back up from, only to walk into a Tombstone from The Undertaker! He covers, but Kane kicks out! This would mark the first time ANYONE had ever kicked out of the Tombstone! Not only that but Kane gets right back up, only to receive ANOTHER Tombstone! Paul Bearer looks like he is about to have a heart attack, until Kane kicks out AGAIN!
The Undertaker is on a roll now, but Kane refuses to stay down, until The Undertaker hits a THIRD Tombstone, which only just keeps Kane’s shoulders down for the 3. The Undertaker may have won the match, but Kane and Paul Bearer destroyed him after the match, just like he was destroyed during the match.
This is not a technical classic whatsoever. But if anyone on this planet was expecting it to be, then they need to have their head examined. This was a personal and fierce rivalry, which called for a brawl, and that is exactly what we got. Both guys went into the match with the intention of destroying the other, and that is basically what we got, and it was awesome. Kane lost, but looked far stronger than The Undertaker. This is now The Undertaker’s best WrestleMania match!
08 - The Undertaker Vs Big Boss Man – Hell in a Cell – WrestleMania XV 1999
The Undertaker’s character had changed quite since the year before. He was now a demonic leader of The Ministry of Darkness stable, along with Paul Bearer who had joined forces once again with ‘Taker. We soon discovered that the Ministry’s plan wasn’t just about beating the hell out of everyone; it was about taking over the WWF! This naturally led to a feud between the Ministry and the Corporation, ran by the McMahons. Since Boss Man was the “enforcer” of the Corporation, he was sent to take care of The Undertaker at WrestleMania, in the first and only Hell in a Cell match to date at this event!
There really isn’t much to say about this one. It’s a basic brawl which for some reason takes place inside the Hell in a Cell. The feud didn’t need this match to be a HIAC match, and it showed. It could have easily been a No DQ match, and they could have had the exact same match, just using the guard rail to throw each other into as opposed to the cell wall.
The only real “brutality” in this match is when Boss Man handcuffs ‘Taker to the cell and hits him repeatedly with his night stick. Undertaker gets busted open a little bit (and we can clearly see when he cuts himself lol), and the handcuffs break when he falls down.
They spend the next few minutes, which feels a hell of a lot longer, just slugging it out with each other until ‘Taker hits a Tombstone and wins. THANK GOD. After the match is over, Boss Man gets hung from the HIAC as it is raised up. That is the only memorable moment from this match lol.
This is bad. Even as a huge Undertaker fan, I don’t get much enjoyment out of this. It goes on longer than it needs to, and is filled with virtually nothing that you would remember afterwards. Like I said, the most memorable moment happens AFTER the match. I’m also pretty sure that the fans were booing during the match, seemingly because it was still going on, as they were booing BOTH men
Without a doubt the worst Undertaker WrestleMania match ever.
09 - The Undertaker Vs Triple H – WrestleMania XVII 2001
Poor Undertaker. His WrestleMania match in 1999 was so bad, he had to take some time off, and even considered retirement...
Ok, so that’s not exactly true, but for a man like The Undertaker, having a match as bad as the HIAC with Boss Man can’t be good for him
In late 1999, The Undertaker took some time off to heal from an injury (I want to say elbow... but I’m not sure). I’ve read rumours that he was supposed to be back in time for WrestleMania 2000, but in February that year, he suffered a groin injury and his return was postponed. I don’t know if any of that is true, since it came from the internet
In The Undertaker’s absence, Triple H had emerged as a huge star, and was the top heel in the company at this point. ‘Taker had always claimed the ring as “his yard”, and HHH was now claiming that The Undertaker’s “yard” was right in the middle of HIS world. Naturally, they would want to find out who really ruled the ring, so we got a WrestleMania match out of it. I really enjoyed the whole build up for this match, with Stephanie getting a restraining order on The Undertaker, Kane helping out, and HHH just being his awesome 00-01 badass self.
Even though this WrestleMania was in Houston Texas, the home town of The Undertaker, Triple H (the HEEL), got his entrance music played live by Motorhead. No idea why they decided on that, other than HHH probably wanted it to happen because he is a huge fan of Motorhead lol. Doesn’t bother me though, I like Motorhead too
WrestleMania 17 is often considered to be the best WrestleMania, and even the best PPV of all time. I disagree with that, but I will agree with the people who say this is the defining Attitude Era PPV. Everything on this PPV, aside from the Gimmick Battle Royal (LOL), just screams Attitude Era, and this match is right up there as one of the biggest Attitude Era style matches of the night.
The match starts, and it begins as nothing more than a brawl, which is all this match would turn out to be. However, in this case it is FAR from being a bad thing. The feud had become personal, so it made sense for them to brawl, especially The Undertaker as that was his main style during this time period.
The Undertaker dominates the early minutes of the match, until HHH slows things down with simple but effective wrestling moves. Triple H has ‘Taker down, and as soon as he does, he goes out for the sledgehammer! Just as he is about to level the Dead Man with it, the referee takes it away! Pedigree attempt is reversed, and the referee takes his first bump of the night. Huge Chokeslam from The Undertaker, but Triple H kicks out! ‘Taker is pissed off, and attacks the referee (who would not move for about 10 minutes now
Now the match starts to heat up, and we get one of the better Attitude Era brawls. They end up in the crowd, and work their way to a structure set up by WWE to hold technical equipment and cameras. It has multiple levels, and they keep climbing to the top level, where The Undertaker Chokeslams Triple H to hell! Well, if hell was a nice soft mat, then he was indeed Chokeslammed to hell
. The angle we saw on the PPV looked cool though, until they started to show replays where you could see how soft his landing was
. We then see how soft it is again, when The Undertaker launches himself off the structure with an elbow drop! Sure, the landing was soft as fuck, but this is wrestling, so I didn’t really expect them to land on concrete from that height lol.
They eventually find their way back to the ring, and the referee is still down. The Undertaker is in firm control, and notices the sledgehammer in the ring. He picks it up, looks at HHH, feels the scar on his head from the sledgehammer shot he received a few weeks earlier, and decided it was payback time!
Triple H does what he can to avoid the sledgehammer shot, and we end up with a back and forth slugfest in the middle of the ring! Triple H goes for a Tombstone, but The Undertaker reverses and lands his signature move! However, the referee is still out of it, so The Undertaker decides to land the Last Ride too! He elevates the Game up, and crashes down to the mat himself! Triple H grabbed the sledgehammer on his way up, and nailed ‘Taker in the head! Very smart move by Triple H! The referee is awake now, and makes the count, but The Undertaker kicks out!
‘Taker is busted open, so HHH targets the wound with numerous rights to the head in the corner. The Undertaker reverses this into a Last Ride out of the corner, and gets the win at WrestleMania, and in his home town!
This is far from a wrestling classic, but it’s still a damn classic! Like I mentioned earlier, it is one of the better brawls of the Attitude Era, between two of the top starts in the WORLD. I’m not usually a big fan of all out brawls, but when they are done right, like it was here, they can be awesome. Definitely a great WrestleMania moment for The Undertaker, defeating the top superstar of 2000 at the biggest show of the year in his home town!
10 - The Undertaker Vs Ric Flair – No DQ - WrestleMania XVIII 2002
IMO, this was the best built up match for WrestleMania 18. This was amazingly well done, and not only did the build up help make this a great feud, but it was also the major storyline reason for the brand split.
This match is just an all out brawl. Normally I would get bored with long brawls, but these 2 kept me interested all the way. I don't get why they made such a huge thing about Hogan/Rock finally wrestling at this event, when The Undertaker/Flair is just as big. Flair is one of, if not the biggest legend in wrestling, and The Undertaker had been a HUGE star in WWF for just over 11 years at this point. To me, this match was way bigger than Hogan/Rock, but of course WWF don't think so, which is why it was build up completely different to Hogan/Rock.
Most of the match is just The Undertaker beating the living hell out of Flair, with punches, kicks, and a huge superplex. It wasn't like a normal superplex, where they are only on the second rope, but it was a top rope superplex, which is impressive on its own, but even more impressive when it’s done by a near 7 footer and a 50 year old man with back problems.
Flair eventually makes a comeback, and starts to beat the hell out of 'Taker with a led pipe. The Undertaker doesn't really sell the Led Pipe shots too well, as he pretty much recovers straight away, but Flair still manages to stay in control. Figure Four applied by Flair, and The Undertaker falls back down and is pinned for a 2 count. He then sits up, and Flair is shocked. The Undertaker grabs Flair by the throat, stands up and Chokeslams Flair for a 2 count only! Great stuff!
For some reason The Undertaker attacks the ref (in a no DQ match...), but before he can hit Flair with the led pipe, Arn Anderson appears and hits his trademark Spinebuster! Huge pop for that, which only gets Flair a 2 count. The Undertaker then proceeds to beat down Arn, until Flair makes the save with a chair. The Undertaker takes the chair shots, then knocks down Flair, and sets him up for the Last Ride. He doesn't seem to be able to get Flair up, so he hits a Tombstone instead.
1..2..3. The Undertaker is now 10-0 at WrestleMania!
This is just one of the many amazing matches The Undertaker would have in 2002. This is also up there as one of his absolute best WrestleMania matches as well! This was also Flair’s best match in probably 5 years, and for The Undertaker to be able to do that is quite an achievement considering that Flair had confidence issues with his abilities thanks to WCW. ‘Taker’s WrestleMania match the year before might have been a perfect example of an Attitude Era brawl, but this was a perfect example of a brawl, period!
The Undertaker Vs The Big Show & A-Train – WrestleMania XIX 2003
This was originally scheduled to be a tag team contest, with Nathan Jones as ‘Taker’s tag partner. However, it was decided before the event that Jones wasn’t ready yet, so he was “taken out” during a backstage segment on Heat before the show.
The match came about during a feud between The Undertaker and The Big Show. After the HIAC match at No Mercy 2002 between Lesnar and Undertaker, Big Show attacked The Undertaker and threw him off the stage, putting him out of action until the Royal Rumble. At No Way Out, they had a one on one match, and A-Train got involved. Nathan Jones was a new Smackdown superstar, and on TV The Undertaker had taken him under his wing, so he began to help out the Dead Man against the 2 giants. Of course, all of that was pointless anyway, since The Undertaker would go alone against them anyway
Big Show and A-Train try to use the numbers game to take the early advantage, but ‘Taker is a wise old veteran and knows exactly what he needs to do. He even manages to hit a Chokeslam in the first minute of the match! A-Train is the victim of the move, and Show prevents the 3 count by pulling him out. Pretty funny hearing A-Train, a monstrous man in his own right, telling Big Show to “get him!” because he was unable to
Like I said, The Undertaker knows exactly what he needs to do in this match, so he is trying to end this one as quick as possible. Unfortunately, Show and A-Train are able to get the better of him eventually, and so the beat down of the Dead Man begins.
‘Taker tries to lock in a couple of submission holds in hopes of getting a quick tap out instead of a pin, which can be broken up easier. Show and A-Train decide that a submission victory might be a good idea too, and begin to take turns at locking in an abdominal stretch, cheating in the process.
A-Train makes the mistake of getting cocky, and telling ‘Taker that he “ain’t so bad”, and even goes as far as to slap him in the face. This just pisses Big Evil off, and he starts a nice little come back. Show comes in to break up another pin attempt, and ‘Taker has had enough of the constant 2 on 1 attacks, so he just goes punch crazy, and eventually finds himself dominating his 2 opponents! Good fun!
Show and A-Train again get the upper hand, with Show hitting his Chokeslam. Before he can go for a cover though, he runs out of the ring to meet Nathan Jones on the rampway! Jones levels Show with an awesome looking spinning kick, and then helps ‘Taker set up A-Train for a Tombstone, and the win!
This match is a lot of fun, no doubt about that. It’s a very nicely worked handicap match too, but doesn’t really go beyond the basics of the handicap match formula, which stops it being a better match. That being said, it’s still a good match, and something I can easily sit through any time.
The Undertaker Vs Kane – WrestleMania XX 2004
WrestleMania X was where “It All Begins... Again”. Part of that was The Undertaker “beginning again” so to speak, by leaving his American Bad Ass/Big Evil gimmick behind and returning to his roots as the Dead Man.
At Survivor Series 2003, The Undertaker faced Vince McMahon in a buried alive match. While Vince got destroyed in the match, it was The Undertaker who ended up 6 feet under... thanks to his own brother Kane! For the next couple of months, Kane would constantly take great pleasure in letting people know that he was the one who killed The Undertaker. Then, at the 2004 Royal Rumble, just when Kane was building momentum... the lights went out and the gong went off. For the next couple of months, Kane would receive many “signs” that his brother was alive and well, and ready to return at WrestleMania to get revenge!
There is so much about this match that I love. Firstly, the build up was fantastic. The mind games played by The Undertaker without him even appearing was done so damn well. Then we have the entrances. Kane’s was pretty good, with the whole city background on the stage being on fire. The Undertaker’s was just epic though, even more so than WrestleMania 14. It had a similar set up, with the druids coming out holding torches and creating a pathway. However, this time we were greeted with an “Ohhhh YEEES!” by PAUL FUCKING BEARER, who was also making his return since 2000! WWE really knew how to keep people in suspense with this too, making it the second to last match on the card, and also waiting a little while longer before The Undertaker’s music hit. The pop when he does finally come out is great. How I would have loved to have been in attendance that night, to witness the return, and the entrance, of The Undertaker.
I remember reading comments the next day about how everyone hated the way The Undertaker looked when he came back, but the people in attendance didn’t care, and neither did I. The fact he was back, and as the Dead Man, regardless of how much he still technically looked like he did when he was the ABA, overshadowed any of the negatives.
Unfortunately, one of those negatives happens to be the actual match lol. Once the return and entrance is over... there isn’t too much to this one. Kane’s character had completely changed since their WrestleMania 14 match 5 years ago, and his in ring abilities had gone downhill too. Plus the booking of the match was more of a squash match, so we didn’t get the incredible brawl that we saw all those years ago.
They start off with a pretty decent brawl, then transition into the FIP spot (holy crap, 12 matches in and that’s the first time I have mentioned FIP!
). A couple of sloppy moments, but for the most part its ok, just extremely basic and forgettable. ‘Taker doesn’t take too much offense from Kane though, as this is a squash match for the most part. The biggest moment for Kane in the match is when he counters Old School into a Chokeslam (after Undertaker tries to counter the Chokeslam with a Chokeslam of his own though lol). Kane thinks he has things in control, until The Undertaker sits up and gets another massive pop. Nothing Kane does has any effect on The Undertaker, which causes Kane to become afraid, and eventually leads to his downfall. Tombstone from The Undertaker, which gets another massive pop, and this one is over.
This match really isn’t about the match when I look back on it. It’s just a way to bring back The Undertaker in his Dead Man gimmick, and Kane was a perfect opponent to be fed to him. When I look at it as more than just a wrestling match, I really enjoy this one. His return was epic, his entrance was epic, and the fact he used a Tombstone to finish Kane instead of the Last Ride (which I liked, but got bored of during his ABA/Big Evil run towards the end) was epic. Far, far from being a classic, but overall it isn’t bad.
The Undertaker Vs Randy Orton – WrestleMania XXI 2005
The Undertaker was a Legend. Randy Orton was a Legend Killer. He had taken out (aka RKO’d lol) numerous wrestling legends up until this point, and after a mediocre face turn and disappointing WHC run, Orton was looking to redeem himself by defeating one of the biggest Legends of all time at WrestleMania; making him the first and only person to do so. However, The Undertaker is unlike any other Legend that Orton has faced so far, and would not give up so easily...
I remember all the internet rumours around this time, all claiming that Orton was indeed going to win, and finally put an end to the Streak. While I have been caught up in The Undertaker’s last 3 WrestleMania matches (23, 24 and 25), this is the one match where I went into it believing that The Undertaker was going to lose. It made the whole situation even more interesting that it already was!
‘Taker gets perhaps his lamest WrestleMania entrance to date, as they try to have him “float” to the ring (aka stand on a moving platform that is hidden by all the smoke
). Just looks... lame.
Orton’s entrance is more noteworthy at this WrestleMania, even though it is absolutely nothing special. He basically moved down to the ring pretty fast, not running, but not taking his time either. He spent no time in getting into the ring, and was showing no fear. A great way to get Orton over IMO, as simple as it was.
Orton gets put over a little more from the very start of the match, as he wins a couple of exchanges against The Undertaker, which frustrates the Dead Man, and causes him to begin to throw those big soup bones. However, Orton keeps himself in the game, nearly hitting an RKO! Nice spot with ‘Taker countering the RKO, throwing Orton out of the ring and into the side of the announcer’s table (which DIDN’T injure Orton’s shoulder, so that’s a big achievement in itself
‘Taker takes his fair share of bumps too though, missing a big boot in the corner and getting caught up in the turnbuckle, then getting dropkicked off the apron into the guardrail. The Undertaker keeps coming back, as we basically expect from his these days in his Dead Man gimmick, but Orton stayed on his level, took punishment from The Undertaker, and constantly put a stop to any momentum the Phenom was building. I can’t even begin to imagine how much bigger this match would have been if Orton didn’t have the face turn in 2004, because he was already getting some major heat in this match, but a lot of people couldn’t forget about that relatively awful face turn that slowed down his growth as a major star.
I loved how Orton reversed the Last Ride attempt out of the corner, something that a lot of people are sick of. It showed us that Orton had really done his homework, and came to WrestleMania fully prepared to win. Bob Orton Jr (Randy’s Dad)’s involvement was a nice addition too.
Speaking of nice... the Chokeslam reversed into the RKO is one of the most awesome things to happen in an Undertaker WrestleMania match. Watching live, I truly believed that the match was over right there, but somehow the Dead Man kicked out!
Orton signals for a Tombstone, since his own finisher didn’t work. The Undertaker reversed it into a Tombstone of his own, and is able to pick up the win in his hardest fought victory since his WrestleMania 14 match with Kane!
13-0 now, and this is his best WrestleMania match so far. A great back and forth contest for the most part, with Orton looking better than ever during the whole thing. This was also the best The Undertaker had looked for a couple of years too, and I’m not sure if he could have looked as good as he did if he was in there with that many people, but Randy was one of those guys. Looking back on the match, if Orton had won and ended the Streak, I would have been fine with it. Orton looked like gold, and at the time he was pretty great both in the ring and as a character, unlike now where he bores me to death
The Undertaker Vs Mark Henry – Casket Match – WrestleMania XXII 2006
The Undertaker had a pretty good year overall in 2005, thanks to his feud with Randy Orton. His 2006 started off good too, as he had a near 5 star match with Kurt Angle at No Way Out for the title. Then it went downhill, starting with this match. Henry had cost The Undertaker the WHC in a rematch with Kurt on Smackdown, so this match was made, and for some reason it was turned into a casket match. There is no hype video, and I forgot most of what happened in 2006 lol, so I have no clue if there was a legitimate reason for it being a casket match. The only video they show for this match is how Henry cost The Undertaker the title on Smackdown a few weeks earlier lol.
This match didn’t have the best of feuds behind it, but at least they did a good job of building Henry up as a decent threat (though nobody in their right mind thought he would win lol), having him beat Angle in a non title match, put Angle through a table, take out Batista, and even put The Undertaker through a table. So at least they were half trying
‘Taker does a good job of selling for Henry, really putting over his strength. The theme of the match seems to be “can The Undertaker knock Henry down?”, as he keeps hitting big clotheslines, and even Old School, but fails to take down the World’s Strongest Man.
Fun spot with Henry going for his Body Guillotine, where he goes through the ropes too, but The Undertaker moves and Henry goes right through the ropes and lands in the casket! He looks terrified at first, but gets his bearings and drags The Undertaker in the casket, and they have a brawl while being inside the casket.
Impressive spot with The Undertaker hitting his corner Last Ride spot, finally taking Henry down, which causes Michael Cole to bust a nut. This is then followed by an even more impressive spot, as The Undertaker hits his signature top rope drive, clearing the casket too, and landing on Mark Henry!
The Undertaker then shows us HIS strength, as he picks up Mark Henry and Tombstones him! All that’s left for him to do is roll Henry into the casket, and this one is over.
Like the majority of WrestleMania 22, this is an extremely fun match. It’s not one of his best, but it’s still got “watchablilty”, and a number of memorable spots. The match told a nice simple story, with The Undertaker trying to overcome the power of Henry and just take him off his feet.
The Undertaker Vs Batista – World Heavyweight Title – WrestleMania XXIII 2007
Going into this match back in 2007, I was unbelievably excited for it. Not because I was expecting a classic between the two (I had no faith in Batista being able to put on a great match), but because I was absolutely certain that The Undertaker was leaving with the title, and that's just awesome
Not only was the WHC on the line though, The Undertaker's 14-0 WrestleMania winning streak was on the line too. The Undertaker, after finally winning the Royal Rumble for the first time in his career, wanted the title perhaps more than ever. Batista, after coming back from injury in mid 06, had won the WHC once again and was determined to keep hold of it and prove to everyone that he was not only on The Undertaker's level, but he was better.
This match might have been on 4th, but like The Undertaker Vs Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 25, for me it is the REAL main event. It’s the main reason I bought the PPV, it’s the main reason I bought the DVD.
Teddy Long doing the ring announcing was a nice touch too, making the whole thing seem that much bigger, as he was the General Manager of Smackdown and this match was huge. Batista's entrance was nothing special, just his usual stuff, but The Undertaker got another epic WrestleMania entrance with the druids carrying the flame torches (plus his entrance is usually epic to start with lol).
I know it seems like I am rambling a bit (I blame Andy!!!), but all of this stuff really built me up and got me excited as hell for this match, and if I'm going to review the match, I feel I need to include all of this too
The bell finally rings, The Undertaker comes out of the corner with his usual fighting stance, but just as quickly as he leaves his corner, Batista is running full speed into the Dead Man with a spear! Batista showing the world, and The Undertaker, that he is not intimidated, that he has no fear, and that he will do anything to win.
Back and forth they go, keeping the pace quick as hell, which is impressive as hell given the fact that both are big guys. The fans are firmly on The Undertaker's side, despite Batista being on of the biggest faces in the company. Let’s face it, how many people could still get cheered at WrestleMania against a face Undertaker?
Batista continues to show everyone that he will do what it takes to win, when he takes to the ropes, and comes flying off with a shoulder block! The Undertaker recovers and flies across the ring for his leaping clothesline, then goes for a Chokeslam. I love this part, with The Undertaker trying to Chokeslam Batista, and Batista using all his strength to keep 'Taker's hand off his throat.
They continue to keep up this amazing pace, going to the outside, where we see the usual "Undertaker WrestleMania Spot" as he dives over the ropes to the outside.
But even after that, Batista continues to come back and take the fight to The Undertaker, showing that he may be the biggest threat to The Undertaker at WrestleMania. An awesome looking Running Powerslam from one announcer’s table to the other is just more offence from Batista to show us that he is taking out all the stops to beat the Dead Man.
The crowd, and myself, are just going crazy for all of this amazing action, and it’s not even in full gear! Last Ride out of the corner looks to solidify a 15-0 win streak, but Batista kicks out, hits a Spinebuster, and then a Batista Bomb! Now, going into this match I was pretty certain that The Undertaker was going to win, but when he hit that Batista Bomb, my belief was suspended, and I genuinely thought that the streak was OVER. I wasn't the only one, the fans in the arena all seemed to be thinking the same thing, and when The Undertaker kicked out, the place erupted. Incredible.
This unbelievable match eventually ends with a Tombstone Piledriver, and I mark the fuck out as The Undertaker is once again the World Champion
There is a reason I consider this the MOTY for 2007; it’s just fucking incredible. Batista brought his A game, perhaps for the first time ever (IMO he was better here than his HIAC with HHH), and The Undertaker brought his A game too, perhaps better than ever before. It’s a faced paced, action packed encounter that tells a simple story very well, and it never gets old. It’s also the best Undertaker WrestleMania match so far!
16 - The Undertaker Vs Edge – World Heavyweight Title – WrestleMania XIV 2008
I had been looking forward to seeing Edge/Taker one on one for so damn long, and it was finally time.
The legendary Phenom of WWE makes his way to the ring first, and comes out in attire similar to that of 1998. It was an awesome sight to see for such a huge 'Taker fan/mark like myself.
Will The Undertaker's streak become 16-0 or 15-1? The outcome was pretty obvious, but like a lot of The Undertaker's recent WrestleMania matches, there was always a chance his streak could come to an end, due to his opponent. Batista and Randy Orton were the most recent opponents that made me believe that they could beat him, while Kane (WM14) and Triple H were the only other 2 that come to mind when I think of guys that had a chance. Edge can now be added to that list.
A great match. Both men put on a tremendous performance and have a match truly deserving of the main event of WrestleMania.
The match starts off slow and is more methodical than 'Taker's last WrestleMania match. Edge goes after the back of the dead man and starts to wear him down. Every time The Undertaker attempts one of his signature moves, Edge either counters or kicks out!
The longer the match goes, the faster the pace becomes and the better it gets. Edge continues to outdo the Phenom, countering the Tombstone and the Snake Eyes followed by the Boot (which he counters with a drop kick). The Undertaker, while getting out manoeuvred by Edge, is able to kick out of everything he receives.
In what has become a tradition for big matches with The Undertaker in them, he hits the "Dead Man Dive", which is always amazing to see for a man his size and age (yeah, that's right, I named his dive!
The referee gets knocked down towards the end, and Edge, as the opportunist he is, grabs a camera and nails 'Taker with it. The Undertaker gets up though, and Tombstone's Edge! Another referee comes running down the very long ramp way and into the ring to make a cover, but Edge manages to kick out!
The end comes when Edge Spear's 'Taker, but he kicks out. He hits another Spear, but as they both fall, The Undertaker locks in his new submission hold! Edge holds on for as long as he can, but in the end he taps out. The Undertaker has just become the World Heavyweight Champion once again, and is now 16-0 at WrestleMania!!!
The Undertaker may have left the winner, and the World Heavyweight Champion, but Edge left looking like a million bucks, as they say. It’s not often the loser of a match comes out looking so strong, but after his amazing performance in the match, countering The Undertaker's moves and kicking out of everything, he looked stronger than ever.
The Undertaker Vs Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania XV 2009
I think I have died and gone to heaven, because The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels are about to have a match together for the first time since 1998
The build up was awesome. Every segment involving these 2 men was just so incredible to watch. Shawn dressing up as a white Undertaker, getting the better of 'Taker on numerous occasions, and going to the graveyard made for great TV. The Undertaker getting the opportunity to talk more than he has in over 5 years was incredible.
Shawn coming down from... wherever he came from... dressed all in white was awesome. The Undertaker rising up from under the stage was awesome. Building this feud up around the light and darkness I think was creative, and was done in a way that didn't seem cheesy at all, like some 'Taker storylines can end up being.
The atmosphere in my living room with just me in it was incredible as I awaited this match to begin, so the atmosphere in the arena that night in Houston must have been incredible. I envy each and every person that got to witness this epic and historic WrestleMania match live.
I also loved how The Undertaker just stood at the top of the ramp for a few moments, seemingly staring down Shawn before he even gets into the ring. Doesn't really mean anything, it was just great for me personally lol.
The bell rings, and this epic encounter is under way! The Undertaker doesn't rush into anything, and neither does Shawn. When they do collide, its Shawn using his quickness to dodge The Undertaker's strikes, and is able to land some chops. 'Taker manoeuvres Shawn into the corner, and I saw something this time around that I didn't see before. Just as The Undertaker looks to get hold of Shawn, HBK looks like he fakes a Sweet Chin Music attempt, and The Undertaker hesitates for just a moment, allowing Shawn to get out of the corner! It appears that the last few weeks with Shawn landing those superkicks have had an effect on the Dead Man!
The Undertaker looks to trap Shawn in another corner, but this time Shawn taunts the Phenom with a DX crotch chop, causing 'Taker to make a mistake and charge right into the corner, again allowing Shawn to escape by simply jumping over him.
Shawn has avoided all of the attacks from 'Taker, but he finally gets some of those big strikes in, and Shawn quickly fakes a knee injury to try and get away, but 'Taker is having none of it! Another mistake by 'Taker, as he charges into another corner, and ends up going knee first into a turnbuckle. Shawn wisely goes for the knee, and locks in a figure four! The Undertaker has a long reach though, and is able to fight his way out of it!
Using his size and power, The Undertaker is able to control Shawn for a little while. Chokeslam coming up it seems... but NO! Shawn counters into a Crossface! The Undertaker uses his power once again to try and get out, and is able to at least stay off his stomach for a little while. The crowd haven't stopped making noise since the match started, and I haven't stopped smiling. Its hard to believe, but I am actually enjoying his match MORE on this watch!
HBK starts hitting some of his signature sequence of moves, which usually always leads up to Sweet Chin Music. Before he can hit the elbow drop though, The Undertaker sits up! Shawn jumps off the ropes anyway, and is caught by the throat! Chokeslam attempt is again countered, and Shawn goes for the superkick again! The Undertaker again hesitates when he sees that kick coming, and falls to the ground. Figure four attempted again, but 'Taker locks in Hell's Gate! This could be it, The Undertaker could finally beat Shawn, and make it to 17-0!
Mr WrestleMania gets to the ropes, and the hold is broken. This match will continue
Shawn gains control once again, and sends The Undertaker to the outside. HBK climbs the ropes, and flies through the air with a moonsault! Unfortunately for him though, The Undertaker moves out of the way, and even manages to give Shawn an extra push to the floor! That looked sick! It’s one thing for guys to miss moonsaults in the ring, but from the top rope to the outside, it’s just insane.
Speaking of sick and insane... The Undertaker gets back into the ring, sees Shawn is slowly getting up... and comes flying over the ropes with his famous dive! Shawn knows The Undertaker all too well though, and just like 'Taker did with his moonsault, Shawn moves! Not only that, but a little throwback to their HIAC match here as Shawn puts a camera man right in the action! What's so sick and insane about all of this you say? How about the fact that The Undertaker lands HEAD FIRST on the outside?! You can literally see an indentation on the floor mat where 'Taker's head hit. Watching this live, I thought that The Undertaker was seriously hurt.
Eventually, the referee gets back into the ring, and starts a very slow 10 count. I swear to god, I legitimately thought that The Undertaker would be unable to make it back into the ring, but at the last second, the Dead Man breaks the count! Holy fuck was I in suspense there lol.
Shawn isn't happy that The Undertaker made it back into the ring, and sets up for the superkick, but 'Taker catches him and hits an amazing looking Chokeslam! Tombstone attempt, is reversed into a Sweet Chin Music attempt, is countered into another Chokeslam attempt, it countered into Sweet Chin Music! The Undertaker is down, but so is Shawn! HBK finally makes the cover, but 'Taker kicks out and keeps his streak alive!
The Heart Break Kid gets back up, and before he can do anything, is grabbed by the throat again! The Undertaker decides to go for a Last Ride this time though, which Michaels tries to counter, but still gets thrown up into the air, and lands with a crash! 1..2..kick out! How the hell is Shawn doing this? I expected the likes of Kane and Batista to kick out of these high impact moves, but Shawn? Incredible. They are really putting Shawn's resilience over here, and also driving across the point that perhaps the light is greater than the darkness.
What the hell is this? The Undertaker going to the top rope? An elbow drop? No, not just an elbow drop, this is a Shawn Michaels like elbow drop! Mark out moment! Shawn avoids it though, and the match is still going on!
Both men are back up, and Shawn is almost sent over the ropes, but he skins the cat, and The Undertaker catches him and hits the Tombstone! This is it, the streak is still alive!
HOLY FUCK! Only one man to my knowledge has ever kicked out of the Tombstone, without there being a period of time between the cover/count, and that is Kane. Now, Shawn Michaels can be added to that elite list! The Undertaker's face when Shawn kicked out is a sight to see as well.
Man oh man, this match needs to end soon before I have a heart attack lol.
Shawn is finally able to hit the big elbow, and he begins to tune up the band. Will this be the last song for The Undertaker and his WrestleMania streak?
SWEET CHIN MUSIC HITS! Shawn covers straight away, but it is STILL not enough to keep down the legendary Phenom!!! How often is it that we hear a WWE crowd chant "This is Awesome"? That alone should tell you just how incredible this match has been so far!
Both men are up, and the back and forth battle begins. Shawn lands a shot, Undertaker lands a shot, back and forth, back and forth... boot to the face! The Undertaker got the better of Shawn in that exchange. Another Tombstone attempt is avoided by Shawn!
How much more of this can either man take, or even give?
Shawn catches a boot to The Undertaker's face now, and climbs to the ropes one more time. Moonsault! This time it is on target, but good god almighty, The Undertaker catches him, and lands another Tombstone! The cover, the 3 count! This match is over!
The Undertaker is 17-0 at WrestleMania, and has FINALLY beat Shawn Michaels! This match can only be described with one word: EPIC. Both men put on performances of their careers right here. I had a lot of expectations going into this match, and they were able to completely shatter them. We might as well skip ahead to 2010, because NO MATCH is going to beat this one for me personally (unless they have a re-match and do even better
). It’s also without a shadow of a doubt, The Undertaker’s greatest WrestleMania match!!!
The Undertaker Vs Shawn Michaels - Streak Vs Career - Pin Fall and Submission Only
Fuck YES. When it was getting towards the end of the show, and only this match and the WWE Title match were left, I assumed the title match would end the show. And then the Title match happened first. People can complain all they want about the fact that the title should have main evented the show, but fuck it. They've done it before, and the matches they had in place of a title match at the main event were fucking shit (LT/Bam Bam, Hogan/Sid). Last year this match didn't main event, and the matches that had to follow it were fucked. The crowd were dead after cheering so much, and everything fell flat. And with the rematch being billed as an even bigger match, with HBK's career on the line, it was obvious that nothing would be able to follow it again, so WWE made the right choice this year.
Oh, and to anyone thinking that the "credibility" of the titles might be affected by not main eventing WM... what credibility? Having the belts change hands every month near enough doesn't make the belts credible to start with. Besides, its all fake
Its funny how last year when I watched HBK/Undertaker live, I didn't think it was as great as I do now. It was only when I watched it again that I loved it even more. But with this match, watching it live I was marking out like a little kid, and I quickly threw ***** at it. Now I just have to see if that rating will stick on this watch.
The marking out began for me when Undertaker made his entrance with his fancy new coat. It just looks... cool lol. I like to interpret him wearing it and having the hood on as him looking like the Grim Reaper or something, and he is hear to inform Shawn Michaels that his career is over. Undertaker probably just wore it because it looked cool, but hey, I can turn almost anything Undertaker does into a logical positive :P.
Both men stare each other down before the match starts, and Shawn gives Undertaker the cut throat sign, symbolising that he intends to end the Streak. Undertaker didn't like that, so he charges out of the corner, and we get a similar start to their match last year, only at a MUCH quicker pace. After last year, both men know exactly what to expect from the other, so they are clearly trying to finish this thing as soon as possible before they potentially make a mistake.
Speaking of mistakes... Old School from The Undertaker, and when he lands, his knee gives out. Either Undertaker really did hurt his knee (and it wouldn't surprise me, his knees are fucked), or he did the best job at selling an injury since Christian in his ECW match with Swagger last year (thank you Viva for that one lol). Shawn takes advantage with a kick, but Undertaker is still too strong and remains in control for now.
But then Shawn fakes a Superkick, and when Undertaker flinches (nice throw back to last years match), his knee again buckles under him. Shawn sees this and gets a smirk. Yeah, he already knew that Undertaker hurt his knee, but in the back of his mind he could have been thinking that Undertaker was taking a page out of HBK's book by faking an injury (again, a nice throw back to last years match where Shawn tried it). But when Undertaker was still seemingly in pain, Shawn realised that the Dead Man was indeed hurt.
And this is where I was able to suspend my belief and just watch the match as nothing more than a fan, a mark, an idiot (or moron, or just plain stupid, I forget which word was mentioned earlier in reference to someone being able to suspend their belief during this match) whatever the hell you want to call me... and I couldn't decide who was going to win. Shawn was fighting for his career, and Undertaker was hurt. Similar to last year with Undertaker's dive over the ropes, only this time Shawn, like I just mentioned, is fight for his entire career. He has to be more determined than ever before.
As hurt as The Undertaker is, and despite how it turned out last year, the Dead Man STILL attempts to dive over the ropes, but Shawn clips the knee and goes right back to work on it.
This is WrestleMania though, and no matter how hurt Undertaker is, he will never stop fighting. Shawn hits the flying forearm, kips up, and walks right into a Chokeslam! Undertaker knows that Shawn always likes to kip up following that move, so he scouted it and capitalised on it. Shawn comes back, takes Undertaker to the outside, but Undertaker continues to battle through the pain, and he channels WrestleMania 8 against Jake Roberts, and Tombstone's Shawn on the floor!!!
Undertaker rolls Shawn in the ring, and goes for a quick cover, but Shawn kicks out. I didn't think it was over there, and from the reaction of the crowd, neither did they. Considering the time Shawn had to recover, and the fact he kicked out of one last year, I don't think anyone saw it as a credible finish.
More tremendous selling from Undertaker when he collapses while trying to hit the Last Ride. Shawn uses this time to go for an elbow drop, but Undertaker gets his knees up! Again, The Undertaker sells tremendously when Shawn lands on his knees. Hells Gate is locked in, but Shawn counters it! I guess you could put it down to two things here; Shawn making sure he does everything he can to save his career, and Undertaker's knee being so screwed up that he didn't have full control of the move.
A couple of back and forth finishers between the two now, with a couple of near falls, and while I did get caught up in the moment watching it live, this time I'm not as into them lol. Yeah, even watching live I knew they weren't going to end the match, but seeing it happen for the first time was just better than on a rewatch. Still isn't taking anything away from the match for me though.
The table is set up for a table spot, which I predicted as soon as it was announced there were no DQ's or Countouts. Loved what they did with it too, teasing a Last Ride, Superkicking 'Taker onto the table, and then having Shawn hit a fucking incredible moonsault. Now, was Shawn SUPPOSED to land on Undertaker's knees, or was he supposed to land on his chest as usual? I don't know, but honestly I don't care. Undertaker sold his legs again like fucking crazy, and it fit in perfectly with the story of Undertaker's legs being fucked. So honestly I don't care if it was a "botch" or not. Like the dive last year, it ADDED to the match rather than hurt it.
And now the part where I nearly had a heart attack (it happened last year, and dammit, it happened again this year lol). Following the moonsault through the table, Undertaker was nearly done. So Shawn tried to end it once and for all with a huge Superkick, and I honestly believed 100% that it was over. When Undertaker kicked out I legit cheered lol. When a match can make me CHEER at my TV when I am sat watching it at home, you know its doing something right!
My heart continues to take a pounding when Undertaker hits a second Tombstone, and Shawn manages to do what he failed to do last year... kick out! Not even close to the Tombstone kick out from last year, but it still did its job.
And now for the finish. Beautiful. Perhaps my favourite finish to any match ever. Undertaker pulls down the straps, goes to signal for another Tombstone, but looks down at Shawn and stops. He tells Shawn to stay down, almost like he knows what he has to do, but doesn't want to do it. He already said in a promo during the build up to the match that he wouldn't take pleasure in ending Shawn's career, and it came across so well right here. So you ask, WHY? Why wouldn't Undertaker want to end Shawn's career? Unlike 1997/1998 when they first feuded, last years match and this years match had NOTHING to do with sheer hatred. It was about the Streak last year, with Shawn wanting to prove he could end it. This year it was about the Streak once again, but with Shawn NEEDING to end it more than just proving he can. And The Undertaker had to respect Shawn for going to these lengths to try and do both. So Undertaker had sympathy for Shawn... but Shawn wasn't going down without fighting until the very end. He wasn't going to just give up. He gave the cut throat taunt once again, just like he did at the start of the match, and SLAPPED the Dead Man across his face! In a lot of ways, it was like Flair/HBK from WM 24. Shawn didn't really want to land that last Superkick, but Flair basically begged him to do so, and Shawn was essentially begging Undertaker to finish it here too. So Undertaker does, and he does it with perhaps the biggest and best Tombstone of his career. He literally jumped in the air, and came crashing down with Shawn going head first into the match. 1... 2... 3!
Good GOD! What a motherfucking masterpiece of a match. I said it last night, and I'm still saying it now: Better than last year. Not only that, but move aside Bret/Owen, I have a new best WrestleMania match ever. The story, the emotion, the action, the intensity... everything was there, and everything was perfect. I don't care if Shawn comes back again next year, I went into this match believing that if Shawn lost he would be back, so that doesn't matter at all to me.
The Undertaker Vs Triple H
Without a doubt the BIGGEST match on the show... and really the ONLY big match on the show. Despite my seeming man love for The Undertaker, I wasn't too interested in this one. Based on their previous matches over the years I had a lot of reason to doubt it. And watching it live didn't do much for me.
However, after sitting through 20 minutes of Lawler/Cole and numerous other disappointments, and the fact it was around half 2 in the morning by now, I was tired and a little bored and probably didn't pay as much attention to it. Hopefully this rewatch will do some good. I mean, back at WM 25 I wasn't THAT impressed with HBK/Undertaker when I saw it live. Adored it when I reviewed it the next day.
"For Whom The Bell Tolls" plays and out comes HHH for a rather unspectacular WM entrance. Nobody this year really had an entrance worth mentioning, including Undertaker right afterwards. Though I always enjoy Undertaker's entrance no matter what lol. Oh, and his new coat was awesome too. Maybe one of these days I'll look into getting a coat like that, always really wanted one.
No time wasted here as HHH takes the fight right to The Undertaker with those big lefts and rights. No need to feel his opponent out; he's been in the ring before, plus he just wants to end the Streak at any cost, so going for the big bombs right away makes sense. Undertaker just kinda shrugs him off though, launching him out of the ring. HHH throws more bombs at Undertaker on the outside, but Undertaker again shrugs him aside and sends him into the steel steps. Undertaker wants to control this match and go at HIS pace, regardless of what HHH wants to do. So HHH charges at The Undertaker and sends him crashing through the tool box, which leads to a great visual of Undertaker getting up almost DBZ style when someone is knocked into a mountain or something and they just stand back up and let the rocks fly off them lol. He stares at HHH almost as if to say "fine, we'll do it YOUR way".
HHH is really determined to take out Undertaker here, and as a result Undertaker takes a bump into the barricade that someone of his age and condition (hip surgery a year or so ago I think) really shouldn't be taking. But its WM and he'll do everything he can. The fight goes onto the announcers table, and HHH takes a huge bump with a back body drop off the table to the floor, and perhaps legit injures his left arm which he favours for the rest of the match, but not in a way that prevents him from doing anything if you get me.
Knowing that he is truly in for the fight of a lifetime, Undertaker knows he has to really bust out everything in his arsenal. After WM 25 when he landed on his head, I didn't think we would see it again, especially since he didn't do it at WM 26 and his condition has got to be worse a year later... but dammit, Undertaker continues to prove that he is still the best in the world when he wants to be, and he dives over that top rope as effortlessly as he did a decade ago when he was in way better shape.
The big bumps keep coming, and Undertaker again puts his body in more risk than he should when he attempts to put HHH through a table but ends up taking a AA Spinebuster through it instead! DAMN!
Watching live, and feeling how I did (bored, disappointed and tired due to the time and rest of the show so far lol), I just saw this as one giant finishing stretch from the get go with no psychology or anything. Watching it again in a much better mood, I can see it for what it really is; awesome. The match is all about HHH wanting to end the streak or die trying, and Undertaker wanting to prove to HHH that is ISN'T his time to go yet. So HHH does what he does best; be a ruthless cunt who will destroy his opponent at any cost, while Undertaker continues to fight back and kick out of anything The Game throws at him. If they had started slow, locking up and "wrestling" at the beginning, it really would have been dumb given the context of the feud, so I for one am glad that they went all out from the start. Helps that they are executing everything so well too.
At some point Undertaker gets a Chokeslam in, but nobody in their right mind believes that its over lol. A Pedigree shows up too, and it too isn't that great as a false finish, just because of what Undertaker and HBK did the last 2 years.
The Last Ride spot, while again not the best false finish, was still cool because it was a great throwback to WM 17, as Undertaker defeated HHH that way 10 years ago at this very event. Undertaker getting frustrated was great to see. His character as the last outlaw might not look too different on the surface, but he really is been shown as more "human" than usual, and given the feud with Undertaker not accepting HHH's statement that he's done, getting frustrated like this at not being able to put HHH away really adds to the story of the match. If a Last Ride, and then a TOMBSTONE can't put HHH away... can Undertaker do it? Can he hold on to his streak? DRAMA~!
The second Pedigree is a way better false finish than the first. Like the Tombstone, its one of THE most protected finishers in the entire industry really (though other companies tend to use the Tombstone every now and then and NOT finish a match with it...). So seeing 2 of them not work, and then a THIRD in a very short period of time after the second one also not work was just amazing. I always go into these matches expecting Undertaker to win, but every so often a certain spot in certain matches over the last few years really makes me think that the Streak might end this time. That third Pedigree was one of those moments along with the last Superkick in WM 26 before Undertaker eventually won.
MOAR Throwbacks in the match (which I LOVE btw) with HHH using the steel chair similar to how Austin used it on The Rock at WM 17 when Rocky kept kicking out of the Stunner, and then the "stay down" which was a throwback to WM 26 when Undertaker told HHH's best friend HBK to stay down. Makes the match that much better that Undertaker actually finished HBK off after telling him to stay down and he didn't, so with HHH saying it maybe he would actually get the win!
Undertaker's selling in this match NEEDS to be talked about too. The man really is one of the better sellers IN THE WORLD today, and has been for a number of years, even with the Dead Man gimmick. He can make things believable while still being able to be the "other worldly" character. Here he comes across as more human, as I mentioned earlier, and his selling is just impeccable. You really get the feeling that he's at death's door and the next big move could end his streak, and his life (kayfabe of course).
And then there is the Tombstone. From HHH. Good GOD. I'm struggling to decide which is better; Tombstone kick out by HBK at WM 25, or this one. The crowd has been pretty shitty most of the night, but picked up for this match, and when Undertaker kicked out of that Tombstone they went ballistic. Almost as if THEY, like me, believed that it was over. And then it wasn't. And it was awesome.
Just as Undertaker was getting frustrated with HHH kicking out of shit, HHH begins to get that same feeling, and resorts to bringing out the Sledgehammer. He drags Undertaker to the centre of the ring, and informs the Dead Man that "Its time". And Undertaker sticks him in Hells Gate! What a struggle this is too, with HHH trying to hang on, trying to escape. At one point he grabs that Sledgehammer, and we know that just one shot from that and it could be it for The Undertaker... but HHH is fading fast, and the Sledgehammer drops. The hammer hits the mat, and then The Game taps out. I would have preferred for HHH to simply "pass out" to really put over the "die trying" mentality that he had going into the match, but its a minor complaint really.
Damn. Definitely, DEFINITELY enjoyed this more on this rewatch. A LOT more. A fucking TON more. This is fantastic. Truly epic. The storytelling is off the charts, the action is incredible, and the finish (while not 100% perfect) is great. This was one hell of a battle, and the selling from both men, but especially The Undertaker, is out of this world. Hell, I've been reading all day from numerous sites that a LOT of people believed that Undertaker was legit hurt and out of it. I just have to wonder what's next for Undertaker after the way he was taken to the back.
The Undertaker Vs Triple H - Special Guest Referee: Shawn Michaels - Hell in a Cell Match
Fuck. Yes. This is where another £5 went lol. Awesome that JR got to call the match, and they actually didn't ruin it by playing up on all the shit between him and Cole. In fact, Cole was toned down a TON all night, which was awesome. He's decent when he isn't being a retard.
The build up to this one hasn't been epic, but I have enjoyed it more than any other WM match build this year. The whole "uncertainty" angle with Undertaker was a great way to set up the re-match imo. I remember listening to a radio show with JR, and the host summed up this angle in a great way. Its just like Rocky II. Undertaker is Apollo Creed, and he wants the rematch because, and I quote "I won but I didn't BEAT him". And that's just perfect for this. Undertaker got the win last year, but he was unable to leave the ring on his own and wasn't able to return until a year later. So he wants another shot at HHH to prove that he CAN beat The Game and not JUST win the match.
Undertaker's coat looks epic btw. And his new hair cut reveal isn't nearly as bad as I was thinking. I was expecting him to be completely bald and clean shaven on top of his head, but its grown back a little and he even has a slight Mohawk going that actually adds to his new look.
The cell lowers to the sound of Metallica, and I have to wonder what shitty generic rock music they'll replace it with when they release the show on DVD/Bluray. Seriously, why bother getting music like that for JUST the one night and not including it on the DVD/Bluray releases? They've done it before in the part, but now they replace anything they don't already own the rights to.
Last year, Triple H ran straight into The Undertaker to start the match and would be the one to control the pace and the match for the most part. This year, Undertaker has something to prove to himself and to HHH, so HE starts the match on fire and takes the fight right to HHH, showing him that the beating he took last year isn't going to happen again; at least, not to HIM.
I've been reading Mick Foley's first book as of late, and there is a chapter where he talks a little about the best way to bust someone open "the hard way". It involves targeting the spot just above the eyebrow... and about 3 minutes into this match I noticed that Undertaker starts targeting that exact spot with a couple of right hands and a few headbutts! Blood might be a big no-no in WWE these days, but hey, if someone is "accidentally" busted open, they can't be punished, right? Besides, who the FUCK is going to come down to the ring and stop a Hell in a Cell match between HHH and THE UNDERTAKER? Nobody with a brain.
The match slows down a little for a while now unfortunately. The match is inside the cell so I guess they figure they should do SOMETHING with it, and that ends up as nothing more than throwing each other into the side of it a couple of times. There really was no need to put this contest inside HIAC. I think they did it just to say that HHH and Undertaker finally had a HIAC match.
Things pick up again when HHH tries to get himself back into the match with a quick DDT. He attempts a Pedigree on the steel steps that Undertaker brought in the ring, but a back body drop puts a stop to that. A nice little callback spot I guess you could say from their previous match, except last year it was a table HHH got back dropped.
Another callback spot from last year with HHH hitting a brutal AA Spinebuster, except its the steel steps once again standing in for the table and damn does it look and sound a hell of a lot worse than last year! A desperate Undertaker sees an opportunity to use Hells Gate, but HHH has it scouted and is able to power Undertaker up and set him crashing to the mat! Undertaker's back has taken some punishment now, so its time for the cerebral assassin to do what he does best; go to work on an injured body part.
Time for the HBK factor to get involved in the match, with HHH brutalising The Undertaker with a steel chair, causing Shawn to show some concern for the man who ended his career. Triple H tells Shawn to end it, to ring the bell and stop the suffering of one of the biggest legends, or else HE'LL end it, and it won't be as quick and painless as ringing a bell. Undertaker makes damn sure to tell Shawn not to end it, which just infuriates HHH to the point where he brings out his trusty Sledgehammer to finish the job.
HBK gets involved again, actually preventing HHH from smashing the sledgehammer down on the head of the Dead Man. Instead he looks like he's going to ring the bell, a way he sees best to prevent HHH from not just beating HHH, but ENDING him. But its WrestleMania, and The Undertaker isn't going to let a match end like this any time, never mind HIS show. And if Shawn is considering ringing the bell, Undertaker believes he needs to take out Shawn, and he locks in the Hells Gate! With Shawn gone, HHH is next to feel the pain of Hells Gate, and just like the end of last year's match, HHH does his best to use the sledgehammer but he passes out from the pain! This one is OVER! Except... HBK is still out!
Another referee runs down as Undertaker levels HHH with a Chokeslam, and we get probably the biggest near fall a Chokeslam has gotten in quite some time, as HHH was still out from the Hells Gate and might not have been able to kick out. The referee suffers for only making a 2 count, and then...
SWEET CHIN MUSIC! SWEET CHIN MUSIC! HBK kicks Undertaker's teeth down his throat, and sends him straight into a Pedrigee! Its over! Its over! NO!!! Undertaker WILL NOT DIE!
Triple H goes back to the trusty Sledgehammer, but Undertaker sits up and nearly scares HHH into submission! Its almost like Undertaker is remembering everything that happened to him last year, and its firing him up more than ever before! Tombstone! HBK makes the count... only 2! Shawn is GREAT here as he sits in the corner looking like an emotional wreck, knowing he almost screwed Undertaker out of his streak, and almost counted out his best friend in this "end of an era" match.
We get a great battle from both men as they throw big lefts and rights at each other to the "yey!" and "boo!" of the crowd, with them starting off on their knees before staggering up and continuing it on their feet. PEDIGREE! Another 2 count, and Shawn looks like he just wants this one to end so nobody has to get hurt any more.
With both men hurting badly, they begin to crawl to separate weapons. Undertaker goes for a chair, and HHH for his sledgehammer. A great visual as Undertaker has the chair in his hand, and stands on the sledgehammer before HHH can pick it up. All the chair shots Undertaker received earlier are now fresh in his mind, and similar to the HIAC match with Edge back in 2008, Undertaker looks now to give everything back to his opponent and then some. Chairshots the head have been outlawed in WWE, but the way these two have been swinging the chair for just back shots more than makes up for it. These are hard and every bit as brutal as a chair shot to the head would be.
The match now really is a reverse of last year; Undertaker has destroyed HHH with chair shot after chair shot and is screaming at HHH to stay down, but like Undertaker last year, HHH refuses to, even though he has almost nothing left. Another tremendous visual moment as HHH charges at Undertaker one last time with the sledgehammer, only for Undertaker to put a stop to it and shake his head. HHH, like his best friend HBK 2 years earlier, is defiant to the end and essentially forces Undertaker to finish him because there really is no other way. Another Tombstone, and this one is over. The Undertaker is able to put his year of uncertainty behind him as he not only won, but he BEAT Triple H.
The stuff that follows the match is really fucking great too. We have Undertaker and Shawn hugging, as Undertaker breaks away from his "Dead Man" character as much as possible without being Mark Calaway. And it was great to see Undertaker and HBK help HHH up and WALK him up the ramp to the back. Almost like Undertaker didn't want HHH to go through what he went through last year. It might not have been on his own, but dammit, HHH WALKED out of WrestleMania. As JR put it, "That ladies and gentlemen, is respect". This really was an end of an era, because its going to be a long damn time before anything like this is going to be able to take place in WWE.
This was incredible. Better than last year. If it wasn't for the part near the beginning of the match slowing things down and not really going anywhere, I'd throw the full ***** at it. This is one hell of a way to finish the incredible story arc that in a way began at WrestleMania 24 with HBK ending the career of Ric Flair. It really doesn't get any better than this.