The Undertaker

WWE’s What If…? The Undertaker’s Streak Was Never Broken

What would have become of The Undertaker had Brock Lesnar not ended his iconic WrestleMania streak in 2014?

Marvel’s highly-anticipated What If…? animated show kicks off on Disney Plus this week. Each episode explores an alternate timeline in which one thing going slightly differently alters the course of the entire MCU. That got us thinking about doing the same sort of thing in pro wrestling. Had a match result gone the other way, someone not signed for a promotion at a certain time, or if a certain someone hadn’t walked out on a company at a particular point. How would those scenarios have altered the course of wrestling history?

To kick off that series, we’re starting with what might be the biggest what-if in wrestling history. What if The Undertaker’s streak had never been broken? The Deadman competed at 21 WrestleManias without losing a single match. Fending off the likes of Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and CM Punk. None of them could end The Streak. However, at WrestleMania XXX, someone finally stopped The Phenom.

Brock Lesnar Breaks The Streak

That person was Brock Lesnar. The match between the two is the most-talked-about of the modern era. Conspiracy theories over whether Undertaker was supposed to lose at all continue to swirl. The Deadman confirmed years later that he did indeed suffer a concussion in the match and can’t remember any of it, even when watching it back. For the sake of this what if scenario, let’s say that concussion did alter the course of the match, and the course of history, and The Undertaker was supposed to win.

The Undertaker was absent for an entire year after suffering defeat to Lesnar. Even if he had won, that would have probably still been the case. However, he probably wouldn’t have been done for good. Regardless of the result versus Lesnar, Undertaker proved during The Last Ride that what kept bringing him back after that match was poor performances. Not only did Undertaker not appear to be ready to hang it up after WrestleMania XXX, but that match was never going to be worthy of being The Phenom’s last.

Undertaker’s match the following year at WrestleMania 31, on the other hand, that felt like a career-ender. Or at least it would have had The Streak not been broken the year before. The Undertaker returned to take on Bray Wyatt and redeem himself, which he did. Well, he won another match at WrestleMania. The problem is, it felt hollow. Nothing was on the line anymore. What made Undertaker’s WrestleMania matches truly special was the potential of his opponent breaking The Streak. That special element has been missing from all of The Undertaker’s WrestleMania matches ever since.

Had Wyatt got the special match he deserved, he might not have ended up on the path that would eventually lead to his release years later. Wyatt deserved his Streak match, win or lose, and Lesnar took that from him. Who knows where WWE might have gone next with Wyatt had that match been The Undertaker’s 23rd win in a row, and not just a throwaway victory for The Deadman since The Streak was already broken.

End Of The Streak, Start Of The Cycle

Back to The Undertaker, and the night his streak was broken was really where the dangerous cycle in which he continually ducked retirement really began. Have a bad match, overthink it, desperately try to have a better match, almost get it, have another bad one, repeat. The Deadman has a legacy that can never be erased. However, some of the matches that came next tainted it somewhat. His match against Goldberg, the tag match versus DX, and most notably, his WrestleMania main event with Roman Reigns.

Not everything that came after that match was bad, though. If Lesnar hadn’t won that match, we may never have got the brutal Hell in a Cell match 18 months later. Nor would we have had the Boneyard Match against AJ Styles. The perfect end to The Undertaker’s in-ring career since the whole thing was pre-taped and could be pieced together without a live crowd watching over The Deadman.

That brings us to the biggest question of all surrounding this particular what if. If The Undertaker’s streak was never broken, then how would his iconic career have come to an end? It’s hard to imagine he would have carried on competing all the way up until WrestleMania 36, bringing his record up to an incredible 27-0. Perhaps his showdown with Wyatt would have been his final farewell. Maybe his last match wouldn’t have even happened at WrestleMania so that The Deadman would have been able to do the right thing as a veteran and leave on a loss without The Streak being broken. Many will argue it should have remained intact, but sadly, that will forever be nothing more than a what if.

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