Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Wrestlemania Rankings - The Deadman

Greetings one and all, to the 7th Installment of my Wrestlemania rankings. The next two installments will look at the performers in the match that I, for one, am most eagerly anticipating, The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels. Today, we look back at the sixteen previous victims of the Undertaker's legendary streak.


The Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez

Wrestlemania IX
Ceaser's Palace
Las Vegas, NV

One of the main reasons that this card gets so much flack, as many consider this to be the worst match in the history of Wrestlemania. It consisted of a few punches, a clothesline or two, and Gonzalez using a rag soaked with ether to knock out the Undertaker and get himself disqualified. Sadly it took seven minutes and thirty three seconds to do all of that.

Hell in a Cell
The Undertaker vs. The Big Bossman

Wrestlemania XV
First Union Center
Philadelphia, PA

Uggh...I talked about this one in my Extreme Rules match, and that was enough, I don't want to make any of you relive this atrocity. Next.

The Undertaker vs. King Kong Bundy

Wrestlemania XI
Hartford Civic Center
Hartford, CT

Part of the Undertaker's year-long feud with the Corporation. This took place here, despite the fact that his main feud was with Kama Mustafa. Why they didn't just give us that match is beyond me.

Handicap Match
The Undertaker vs. Big Show and A-Train

Wrestlemania XIX
Safeco Field
Seattle, WA

While this match was bad, it could have been far worse, had they gone with the original plan to have The Undertaker team with Nathan Jones to take on the two monsters. Still it wasn't very good.

The Undertaker vs. Kane

Wrestlemania XX
Madison Square Garden
New York, NY

The return of the Undertaker as the Deadman from the Biker for this match truly was a Wrestlemania moment. That being said, his first match back against his "brother" Kane, was not. This match was rather short and one-sided, and was a bit of a black eye on an otherwise stellar card.

Casket Match
The Undertaker vs. Mark Henry

Wrestlemania 22
All State Arena
Chicago, IL

Another match that I mentioned on the "Extreme Rules" list. While this match was better than I expected, it still wasn't exactly a classic.

WWF Title Match
Psycho Sid (c) vs. The Undertaker

Wrestlemania 13
Rosemont Horizon
Chicago, IL

A match that really, really, should not have happened for a variety of reasons, least of all quality wise. While some people enjoyed this one, I found it rather bland, and was only saved by Bret Hart's repeated run-ins. There is a rumour that Sid actually crapped his pants in the middle of this match, so it is worth it to try and see it, but other than that, worth a skip.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: And here is where they start to get good)

The Undertaker vs. Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka

Wrestlemania VII
Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena
Los Angeles, CA

The Deadman's memorable Wrestlemania debut. Sure it was a squash, but it was entertaining. Snuka still had enough gas in the tank to make the "new kid" look good, this worked quite well. That being said, it wasn't long enough to rank any higher.

The Undertaker vs. Jake "The Snake" Roberts

Wrestlemania VIII
Hoosier Dome
Indianapolis, IL

I do believe that this was the last match for Roberts in the WWF before he jumped to WCW, and boy could you ever tell. The Undertaker completley dominated him, and Jake got absolutely nothing in. It really established The Undertaker as the master of mind games, and the tombstone onto the concrete was pure Bad Ass, and like nothing we had ever really seen in the WWF at the time..

The Undertaker vs. Kane

Wrestlemania XIV
Fleet Center
Boston, MA

The first of many, many matches between these two, and still, to this day, the best of them all. Untertaker's enterance with the druids was great, and to see The Undertaker dive onto the announce table was fantastic. This one is far, far better than the match from Wrestlemania XX that I previously mentioned.

The Undertaker vs. Diesel

Wrestlemania 12
Arrowhead Pond
Anaheim, CA

I do believe that this was Diesel's last match in the WWF, before his imfamous jump that changed wretling history, and this certainly was a great match to go out on. This had been something of a dream match for any wrestling fans at the time, and it definitely delivered, a surprisingly good fast-paced match.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: And now we get to the pure classics)

No Disqualification Match
The Undertaker vs. Ric Flair

Wrestlemania X8
Toronto, Ontario

As I said in the "Extreme Rules" post, this match does not get nearly the hype it deserves, mainly because it was on the same card as Hogan vs. Rock. Still a great deal of fun between two of the all-time greats. This match could have been #1 on the list had Flair gotten in more offense.

The Undertaker vs. Triple H

Wrestlemania X-Seven
Houston, TX

The first truly great Wrestlemania match for the phenom. Both men were on top of their game in this one and delivered a pure classic. This was one of the few times that the streak has been legitimately in jeopardy, and was pretty close to being done for. My one complaint with this one, was the exceptionally long ref-bump, they should have just made it no-disqualification and been done with it. Still, an underrated classic here.

The Undertaker vs. Randy Orton

Wrestlemania 21
Staples Center
Los Angeles, CA

The most likely match to have ended the streak, was when the Deadman faced the Legend Killer. It would have been a perfect way to get Orton over as a huge heel would be for him to pin The Undertaker in the middle of the ring. However, that wasn't meant to be. Highlights of the match include the swank chokeslam into RKO counter by Orton. A great addition to a great card.

World Title Match
Batista (c) vs. The Undertaker

Wrestlemania 23
Ford Field
Detroit, MI

Easily the best match of Batista's career, and among the greatest that the Undertaker has ever had. These two men went out and silenced all of the critics. They delivered one of the best big man power matches ever, and stole the show. You could really tell that Batista was trying to bring his A-game, using moves that he doesn't normally do, and delivered big steps, including the running powerslam onto an announce table.

World Title Match
Edge (c) vs. The Undertaker

Wrestlemania XXIV
Citrus Bowl
Orlando, FL

Perhaps it is too early to judge, but I think that last year's offering was the best match that the Undertaker has ever given on the grandest stage of them all, and perhaps his best non-gimmick match. These two brought it all. I was worried that Edge would be treated like a joke, but the Undertaker really made him look like a threat to the streak, selling for all of his big moves. When Edge hit Taker with the camera (like he had done back at The Survivor Series of that year), I thought that would be all she wrote, but then the Undertaker kicked back up at 2.999 and countered a Spear into the Devil's Cross for the win. This match was nothing short of fantastic and belongs at the top of the list...for now.


Yes, I said "for now" because I legitimately think that this Sunday's offering has a chance to be the best match in the history of The Undertaker's fabbled streak. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Until next time,


Achieved Posts:

The Openers
The Intercontinental Title
The Tag Team Titles
Extreme Rules
Women's Matches
The Dead Man
The Showstopper
The Main Events

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