Tiffany MC’s look at The Streak of The Undertaker continues against Randy Orton and Mark Henry!
The years 2005-06, for better or worse, were a turning point where the Undertaker’s Streak went from being a piece of trivia to a topic of conversation in WWE. For 14 years, the Streak had never been mentioned on WWE TV, it wasn’t even called ‘The Streak’. It was only mentioned AT WrestleMania as a bit of trivia. It wasn’t until Randy Orton mentioned the Streak on SmackDown that anyone really understood that Taker had NEVER been defeated at WrestleMania. After this, the Undertaker would slowly find his career and legacy defined by The Streak and the need to keep it going. Also in these years, Mark Henry, who had long been languishing in the low/no cards would seek to put an end to the Streak and put Taker in the Hall of Pain instead.
WrestleMania 21 – Randy Orton vs. The Undertaker
The Legend Killer vs The Unkillable Legend
The feud that would expose the Streak began when Randy Orton, in the middle of his Legend Killer gimmick, set his sights on the Undertaker and the Undertaker’s legendary, though never really acknowledged, Streak. The mind games in this feud would become the stuff of legend and would fuel this feud, which would continue past WrestleMania, one of the rare times that happened, and help catapult Randy Orton to the top tier of WWE.
Taker came out first, one of the rare times he did that, accompanied by the Druids, but being first didn’t stop the LOUD pop Taker got and he ‘floated’ to the ring. It was pretty obvious that he was on a board, but the effect with the smoke machine was cool.
Orton came out alone, though I recall Cowboy Bob Orton being his manager at the this time. Randy was about 22/23 at the time and this was his first singles WrestleMania match, which says a lot about how WWE felt about Orton in 2005.
The match starts with Orton, doing the only smart thing he’d done since this started, by trying avoid Taker. The start of the match is pretty standard, but unlike most Streak Matches, Orton was dominate. Orton tried to hit the RKO early but got sent to the outside for his efforts.
This was a really great match. This was the first time Taker had taken on a young, up and coming talent for the Streak match and it was clear that Taker wanted to make Orton look like a star, and he did a great job at it. Orton, for his part, didn’t show a lot of nerves considering that it was his first singles WrestleMania match and he was against the cornerstone of the company.
Taker did his patented sit up and Orton sold it pretty well.
Hebner gets taken out, so it is a free-for-all. Taker looks like he’s going for Last Ride, but throat shots Orton on the ropes, but before he can try to pin Randy, Bob Orton comes out, with his cast on his arm, and clocks Taker, but we all know Taker kicks out at the LAST second. Then Taker sits up and shit’s on. Bob Orton tries to interfere again and eats the boot meant for his son. It looked like it was all over for Randy, but he managed to counter a chokeslam into an RKO and nearly got three, but that only made Taker angrier, and when Randy tried to hit the tombstone, well, it was all over.
A lot of people have commented that Orton should’ve won this match, since he made it about breaking the Streak, and I can KIND of understand that, but Taker made Orton look like a megastar, even in defeat, so I can’t lean in on Orton winning this.
Rating: 8-10 I really liked this match and this was the start of Taker putting over younger talent at WrestleMania.
Highlight: Taker’s entrance, even if the floating thing was a little hokey. Taker sitting up.
WrestleMania 22 – The Undertaker vs. Mark Henry
Burying the Hall of Pain
This feud was really interesting. Mark Henry had been largely out of any major storylines since the end of the Attitude Era, but he burst back on the scene with Tony Atlas, and then Daivari, as his manager, taking on Kurt Angle in a brutal match at the Royal Rumble and putting anyone who crossed his path into the Hall of Pain.
What brought him to the attention of the Undertaker was when Henry cost Taker the World Championship against Kurt Angle, Taker’s fury can well be imagined and would culminate in the first Casket Match in WrestleMania history.
The Druids bring out the casket, which is the real star of this match. Since Mark Henry and Taker are pretty big guys, this casket rivals the one made for Yokozuna in 1994 in terms of size and depth.
Henry is out first in his usual black singlet, but it’s got gold trim for the special occasion. I don’t think Henry had had many, if any, WrestleMania matches, and he didn’t seem thrilled with the casket.
Taker comes out with fire and brimstone, and he’s not riding on anything this time, thankfully. Henry is talking smack about how he’s not scared, but we’ll see how long this lasts.
This isn’t the first big man match Taker’s had at WrestleMania, but it was definitely one of the better ones. Mark Henry is a human brick wall, but he could move and he could hit. This match was one of the shorter matches of the Streak, but it was definitely VERY physical.
One gripe I had about the whole casket match thing was the lack of casket spots. My best guess is that because Mark Henry is HUGE, they opted to not do many of those spots to keep the casket from getting broken. They did make up for it by having Henry and Taker fight IN the casket. Henry hit his Hall of Pain slam and probably could’ve beaten Taker in a regular match, but this isn’t a regular match.
In a rare spot for a big guy, Henry got on the second rope to pound on Taker and Taker responded by hitting the biggest Last Ride ever seen. He then capped it off by hitting Air Deadman OVER the casket and onto Henry. The end of the match was quick. As Henry got into the ring, Taker hit the Tombstone and that was all she wrote.
Rating: 7/10 This was a good match, and it was definitely a better big man match than some Taker’s had, but it wasn’t as good as the match with Orton.
Highlights: Henry forgetting that he couldn’t win by pinfall. Taker finding out that Henry has a VERY hard head. The Last Ride on Henry. Taker’s Air Deadman. The Tombstone on Henry.
Kevin: “Firefly Fun House” Bray Wyatt Is The Best Bray Wyatt
“He must differentiate himself from the old Bray Wyatt in some capacity, or else the character will be doomed to fail.” Do you agree?
Bray Wyatt is back in WWE in a whole new way, and Kevin is on board to see this continue over the old obsessive Bray Wyatt.
There’s a familiar sinister force permeating the walls of the WWE. Bray Wyatt is back, and this time around he’s a…children’s TV show host? Yeah, you’ve read that correctly. Bray Wyatt’s newest gimmick is that of the host of the “Firefly Fun House,” featuring a doll, a buzzard, and the man himself.
After weeks of creepy vignettes showing the buzzard and the doll, we finally got a taste of Bray Wyatt in his new role on Monday night. Wyatt introduced us to his new friends, atoned for years of being a bad man, and symbolically ended his former demonic self with a chainsaw.
All that is a lot to take in. It was wacky, it was bizarre, and it was downright goofy. And BRILLIANT.
I ate this segment up, and took to Twitter to pronounce its brilliance immediately after I finished watching it. I know it took the majority of people a couple re-watches to come around on it, but I was on board with this version of Bray Wyatt from the jump.
There’s something delightfully creepy about Bray Wyatt the children’s show host. He straddles that line between playing it straight and going off the rails perfectly, and while you know that something isn’t right, the character is still drastically different than “The Eater of Worlds.”
Let’s face it, Wyatt was in desperate need of a fresh look and character, and boy, did he get it. Before disappearing from WWE television last year, Wyatt had been treading deep water being stuck with Matt Hardy, and frankly, he had been in trouble dating back to the WrestleMania 33 loss of his WWE Championship to Randy Orton in a subpar showing.
That was back in 2017. Now, in the year 2019, we’re finally getting to see something new out of Wyatt, and it couldn’t come at a better time. Now, the question remains: where will he go? We’ve just had a Superstar Shake-Up, what seemed like an appropriate time to sort out Wyatt’s return, but that ship has sailed.
Is the host of the Firefly Fun House headed back to RAW, where he was before disappearing? Or is a return to Smackdown in order for Wyatt, where he ascended to the ranks of world champion back in 2017?
It’s difficult, because we still don’t really know what Wyatt is supposed to be. Is he still a bad guy,or is he some kind of demented wannabe hero? I think a character like this would thrive on RAW, but if Wyatt’s still going to be performing as a heel, then he might do better on Smackdown, a show that needs another heel or two.
Personally, I don’t see Wyatt as a heel in this character. He’s more psychopath than ever before, but I still don’t see him as a bad guy, but rather as a crazed man trying to make amends for his past wrongdoings. He could instantly become the most interesting character on WWE TV, and in my mind, he’s already there with one segment. Imagine how hot he’ll be with a few more vignettes?
But the thing that intrigues me most is what he’s going to look like in the ring? Is he going to wrestle in his khaki slacks and his Mr. Rogers sweater? Is he still going to use the End of Days as his finisher? What new wrinkles is he going to add to his entrance, to his moveset, to his overall character?
HE MUST differentiate himself from the old Bray Wyatt in some capacity, or else the character will be doomed to fail. People had gotten tired of the same old shtick for five years, and were yearning for something different.
Well, now different is here. But it will all be for naught if Wyatt still acts the same and wrestles the same, we need to see some change desperately. I expect to see more of this new, nutjob Bray Wyatt on RAW next week, and I can’t wait for it. This could be a real game-changer.
Tiffany’s Takes: WWE NXT (4/24/19)
NXT was loaded with action this week–how did it land for you?
Tiffany takes her Takes to Full Sail University and WWE NXT today, featuring Johnny Gargano vs Roderick Strong and more!
So, time for OG NXT and Johnny Gargano will face Roderick Strong, but will Undisputed Era stand together or will a jealous Cole wreak havoc?
Johnny Gargano vs Roderick Strong/Undisputed Era
I think we all figured when Gargano chose Roderick Strong as his UE opponent that Cole wasn’t going to be happy, and we’ve all seen definite signs of dissent in the Undisputed Era ranks, but I was honestly surprised by how this match ended. Cole vs Riddle promises to be great. I can’t stand Matt Riddle, but him pointing out that Cole was jealous was perfect.
Gargano vs Strong was every bit as great as it promised. Strong’s a great athlete and letting him show that off in this match was a great move. Having Cole accidentally cost Strong the match and having Riddle come in to help Gargano was the perfect amount of chaos to end the match while protecting everyone involved.
I don’t know what next week will hold for Undisputed Era, but Strong basically telling UE to f**k off after the loss isn’t a good tiding.
Jaxson Ryker vs Humberto Carrillo
I have a question: Is Jaxson Ryker the only competitor in Forgotten Sons? Seriously, when is the last time Blake and Cutler had matches? Don’t get me wrong, Ryker is a great, albeit psychopathic, competitor, but I’m a little tired of him being the only member of Forgotten Sons competing.
The match with Carrillo was fantastic, even if Carrillo had a little trouble getting started. The Double Countout was a smart move to protect both guys, but I loved thorough line of having Oney Lorcan, now on 205 Live with Humberto Carrillo, and Danny Burch come to Carrillo’s rescue and keep Forgotten Sons from completely destroying him. This should be a fun feud.
Aliyah and Vanessa Borne vs Candice LeRae and Kacy Catanzaro
So it seems like Candice LeRae is being groomed to take the belt off of Shayna Baszler if this match was anything to go by. I love Aliyah and Vanessa Borne, but I was disappointed by this match because it became clear very quickly that the whole point of the match was to make Candice look stronger when she got a pretty easy pin on Vanessa Borne. It’s nothing against Candice, but I hated seeing Borne Bougie getting sacrificed like that.
Women’s Division vs Shayna Baszler
I’m not sure what WWE is thinking, but if you want to keep Shayna Baszler looking like a badass, DON’T have her constantly getting cheap shots on anyone she deems a threat, whether they are or not. She doesn’t look like an unstoppable badass, she looks like a punk, which is a disservice to her. Plus having Shafir and Duke being her lackeys hurts them too.
I APPLAUDED Mia Yim’s promo, especially her calling out Biance Belair’s constant insistence that she was still undefeated, even though she’s lost to Baszler twice, for the nonsense that it is. I’m totally behind Yim getting another shot at Baszler, especially since Belair didn’t have to earn her second chance while Yim hasn’t gotten another one.
William Regal had a hell of a career but, in my opinion, he’s at his best as an authority figure and I’m glad he’s loosened up from his days as the strait-laced Commissioner of WWF in 2001. I love Ohno demanding his…right to try out the shiny new NXT toys and I have a feeling he’ll regret demanding a shot at KUSHIDA, which is probably why Regal gave it to him. Sounds fun.
Street Profits vs War/Viking Raiders/Experience
I’m still puzzled as to why Street Profits got a shot at the NXT Tag Champions, whatever they’re called this week, but the match was fantastic. Dawkins and Ford did the smart thing by getting the jump on Rowe/Erik and Hanson/Ivar (I honestly am not sure which Viking name goes with whom, I’m just guessing), but it was for naught because the Nordic dudes got themselves together and absolutely thrashed the Profits, but the Profits definitely proved that they belong in the Tag Title picture.
Great episode of NXT! Much like NXT UK, the matches and segments all had a purpose and were pretty good.
The disintegration of Undisputed Era seems to be moving much faster than the first ending of the Shield and I’m a little confused as to why. Undisputed Era hasn’t been called up to RAW or SmackDown, so I’m not sure why there seems to be a rush on breaking them up. Granted, having Cole ‘accidentally’ costing Strong the match and his clear jealousy of Strong getting the first shot at Gargano could be leading to Strong breaking off and feuding with Cole, but it’s not clear where Fish and O’Reilly will end up in this.
Well, that is it for Tiffany’s Takes for this week! Next week, we’ll be looking Week 2 out of the 2019 Superstar Shake Up and see how RAW and SmackDown will deal with the fallout of this week!
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