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Chairshot Classics: The Streak Part 7: Opening Pandora’s Box (2005-2006)

Our look at the undeniable WrestleMania Streak of The Undertaker continues against Randy Orton and Mark Henry! 

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The Undertaker The Streak WWE

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.


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