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The Streak Part 8: Going For the Gold (2007-2008)

The Streak continues against Batista and Edge!

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The Undertaker The Streak WWE

The years of 2007-8 were banner years for the Undertaker at WrestleMania, for the first time ever, he found himself battling for the World Heavyweight Championship in back-to-back WrestleManias when he took on Batista and Edge. 2007 would also mark the first and only time the Undertaker won a Royal Rumble match, eliminating Shawn Michaels after an amazing match, their first encounter since their casket match at the 1998 Royal Rumble.

In 2008, Taker would find himself facing another undefeated WrestleMania Streak when he took on Edge, his former Ministry minion, who had had a career resurgence, bursting back onto the scene as the opportunistic, manipulative, and cunning Rated-R Superstar, who was also undefeated at WrestleMania.

WrestleMania 23 – Taming the Animal
The Undertaker vs. Batista

The match against Batista was something of a dream match for a lot of fans. Batista had risen through the ranks of WWE like a rocket as part of the Evolution stable with Triple H, Ric Flair, and Randy Orton. For Taker, this would mark the first time since 1997, that he’d battled for a title at WrestleMania.

For some reason, SmackDown GM, Teddy Long, is playing the ring announcer for this match. Batista comes out first, even though he is the champion and he shows no real intimidation of the Undertaker. The Druids come out first, ready to light the way for the Deadman and there are a LOT of them, lightning strikes and the Deadman cometh.

Batista does the smart thing and goes for Taker before Taker is really ready for him, hoping to get the Deadman off his game and give himself a chance of ending the match quickly and keeping his title. This match quickly degenerated into a brawl, but there was a weird moment when Taker was almost shadow boxing, like he’d gotten his bell rung a little and didn’t know where he was.

Batista really dominated the start of the match, ending the Streak seemed less important than keeping the title, which is how it should be. We’re about halfway into the match before Taker really starts mounting any serious offense, but it was the full Taker treatment. Old School is always cool to see.

I will give Batista his due, he’s never been a refined wrestler and definitely had flaws in his game, but he kept up with Taker step for step and actually seemed to have the Deadman on the ropes a few times. At one point, it looked like the Streak was going to end with a countout after Batista put Taker through the announce table, but Animal didn’t want to win that way and went after the Deadman, tearing apart half of ringside in the process.

The one odd thing about this match is that, despite Taker winning the Royal Rumble, this match was NOT the main event of WrestleMania, that spot was given to the John Cena vs Shawn Michaels WWE Championship match. This dream match was in the mid-card, which has always irritated me. The Deadman would sustain all this punishment and, for the first time in his career, win the World Heavyweight Championship, not the WWE Championship, at WrestleMania. The Streak is 15-0.

  • Rating: 8/10 It was a great match, just really bad placement.
  • Highlight: Batista not wanting to win on a countout.

WrestleMania 24 – Streak vs Streak
The Undertaker vs. Edge

This was another really interesting feud. Edge had gone from tag team competition to the mid-card before bursting into the main event scene after revamping himself as a manipulative, opportunistic superstar who would stop at nothing to get and retain the World Championship, which lead him to pick a fight with both Batista and the Undertaker, and using his relationship with Vicki Guerrero and her Familia to hang onto the title, but after Taker won at Elimination Chamber, it was time for Edge to pay the piper…or the Reaper. This match would also be a battle of the Streaks as Taker’s 15-0 Streak would be up against Edge’s 5-0 Streak.

Taker comes out first, in one of the rare cases that it happened, faithful Druids on hand to light the way. The fact that WWE was able to make an outdoor arena pitch black for this entrance is really cool. Edge, the champion, is accompanied, at least part of the way, by Vicki and Chavo Guerrero, Vicki in her wheelchair. Edge was actually smirking and cocky…until he got in the ring and what he was about to do fully hit him, then the smirk fell.

This match started with shoving and punching and stayed that way. This was a PHYSICAL match up. Edge actually countered Old School, but paid for it anyway when Taker was able to reverse in mid-air. We had an unintended snafu when Taker hit a Stinger Splash on Edge a little too hard and launched himself out of the ring and landed badly on his hip.  Edge tried to take advantage, but Taker battled back, despite a noticeable limp.

Things broke down when the ref got taken out. Edge tried every underhanded trick in the book to win, but Taker sat back up. It looked all over, except for the ref, but Charles Robinson, in the moment that made him a meme, sprinted down to the ring with all his might to make the count.

We also got our first look at Ryder and Hawkins as the Edgeheads, but even they weren’t enough to put away the Deadman. This was an amazing match up, Edge definitely proved that being in the main event was where he belonged and he could hang with anyone, including the Undertaker.

The end was surprise. Edge hit the dreaded Spear but Taker countered it into Hell’s Gate, which was TECHNICALLY illegal, but Robinson okayed it and Edge tapped out, the first time a Streak match ended on a submission. Taker is 16-0 and NEW World Heavyweight Champion!

  • Rating: 8/10 A really great match and a surprise ending.
  • Highlight: Charles Robinson running. The Edgehead getting their clocks cleaned. Edge tapping out.

 


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Elisa: Women Are Headlining WWE WrestleMania, And Will Deliver

The women are headlining, will they deliver?

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Elisa Maria shares in the joy that women are headlining WrestleMania, and why the women will deliver.

Even though wrestling fans kind of heard the rumors a few months ago, it became reality today when WWE announced that the main event of WrestleMania will be the triple threat match between Charlotte Flair, Ronda Rousey and Becky Lynch. For me as a fan growing up, I would have never thought this would be even remotely possible. It was a long time coming but this women’s evolution, these group of women deserve it. They fought and proved that women can wrestle with the men, put on a show just like the men but have been doing it better than all the main roster combined. On a personal note, I am even more excited that I will be there to witness this spectacle. It’s exciting!

There have been many things that have influenced me to open up my blog, but I must say a good chunk of it has been watching the whole women’s revolution develop and flourish to become such a necessity that even ratings depend on it. If we were to look at this from the outside, WWE has survived the past year due to what the women on the roster has brought to the table not necessary the men. The chances and risks that these women have taken, it is unbelievable. They are taking chair shots, kendo stick shots, elimination chambers, and iron man matches, I mean – what haven’t they done? Even their promos are way more interesting than what they men have put out there in recent months. One name to prove this is – Becky Lynch. She is just constantly dominating the promo and “talking shit” game that it reminds me of legends such as the Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin during the attitude era, where “talking shit” was at it’s finest. In the past, where it was damn near impossible to believe that a woman in wrestling can take the same force of a chair shot straight to her back like a male wrestler can – these group of women are doing it like nothing and I am proud.

Ronda Rousey Becky Lynch Charlotte Flair

These women are making it happen!

Can these three extremely talented and gifted women put on a show worthy of a main event to close out this year’s WrestleMania in the biggest city of them all, New York? Hell yeah they can! Let me explain why…

Let’s get the stats going shall we. Ronda Rousey, the current WWE Raw women’s champion, joined WWE in January 2018 after a groundbreaking career in the UFC, where she was the first UFC women’s bantamweight champion. Not only was Rousey the first women’s champion in UFC history, she also main-evented two of the top 10 UFC pay-per-view events (by buy rate) in that company’s history. Next, Charlotte Flair, a seven-time WWE women’s champion, and Lynch, a two-time SmackDown women’s champion, helped foster dramatic changes in the WWE’s women’s division over the past six years. As part of a group that called itself the “Four Horsewomen” — a callback to Flair’s father, Ric Flair, and his rotating quartet of industry-defining compatriots in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s -Charlotte Flair and Lynch, along with Bayley and Sasha Banks, promoted a more physical style of performance.

The Four Horsewomen reshaped and built up NXT, WWE’s training ground for upcoming superstars that has become a global brand of its own, through a series of “TakeOver” specials that redefined the style of women’s wrestling on display in WWE. At WrestleMania 32, the women’s championship belt was created to replace the existing Divas championship belt that was a huge symbolism for the direction of women’s wrestling in the company.

If that is not proof enough that these women can outright perform, then re-watch last year’s first women’s pay per view Evolution and Survivor Series. For the Evolution pay per view, Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair, considered as a brutal, violent and nearly perfect match performance. It was a memorable feud between two of WWE’s most important members of its current “women’s revolution,” former best friends Lynch and Flair took things to an entirely new level. The duo set new standards in terms of high spots, physicality and outright carnage for a main roster women’s match in what is undoubtedly in the conversation for best WWE match of 2018, regardless of gender.

Survivor Series saw Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair in another grade A+ match that had a great heel turn and one of the most brutal post-match beat downs I have ever seen. Flair looked like a woman possessed as she unleashed on Rousey, pummeling her with weapons and assaulting her on a level unlike anything she has ever experienced before. In the process, she set in motion the storyline in which Rousey, Flair and Lynch would clash in the biggest show in wrestling’s history.

The Rock WWE WrestleMania 29

One of the last people to main event WrestleMania at MetLife Stadium

What Can We Expect During The Main Event At WrestleMania in MetLife Stadium?

I’ll tell you what I expect: I expect that these three amazing women will go all out to not only entertain the fans but to show that women’s wrestling is the REAL DEAL on the same stage and in the same building last occupied by The Rock and John Cena–think about that! This match will be a match to remember and probably in contention to be the match of the year for 2019. Whether you’re a wrestling fan or not, you have to admit this is intriguing and exciting. Non- wrestling fans will probably tune into WrestleMania just to view this match and I would not blame them. I personally am appreciative of what all women in the WWE roster has brought to the table and for all women of sports. This could be the main event to rival all main events. In short, I am proud to be a woman, in a generation where we have Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair.

Until then Fans, farewell.


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Chairshot Classics: The Streak Part 13 – Riding Into The Sunset (2017-2018)

The end of The Deadman’s run at WrestleMania…?

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The Undertaker The Streak WWE

Tiffany takes a look back at The Undertaker competing at the last two WrestleMania events, against Roman Reigns and John Cena.

As 2017 dawned, it became clear to many WWE fans that the Undertaker’s 30 year ride in the WWE seemed to be coming to a close. The Deadman was visibly slowing down, but his drive to remain the Big Dog in the Yard was as strong as ever. However, there were new and older dogs in the Deadman’s yard now and they each wanted to stake their own claims on the Yard…and the WrestleMania Streak.

Roman Reigns, the controversial Guy of WWE, staked his claim when he eliminated the Undertaker at the 2017 Royal Rumble and refused to back down, even spearing the dreaded Deadman, vowing to be only the second man in history to beat the Undertaker at WrestleMania.

In 2018, John Cena, the long-time face of WWE, found himself on the Road to WrestleMania without an opponent after failing to capture the WWE Championship from AJ Styles. Determined to NOT miss the Show of Shows, he set his sights on getting the match that had always eluded him: The Streak.

WrestleMania 33 – Battle of the Big Dogs
The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns

This battle for the yard started at the 2017 Royal Rumble. Taker and Reigns were entered when Reigns eliminated the Deadman, mouthing to the stunned Phenom that ‘It’s my yard now’. That seemed to be the end of until Taker attacked Roman a month later. The stage was set for a National Geographic level fight to see who would run the yard, Undertaker or Roman Reigns.

As a special surprise, this match was called by Good Ol’ JR! Jim Ross hadn’t been part of WrestleMania for a few years and it’s great to see him back, especially since he’d just lost his beloved wife, Jan, a few weeks before. Ross got such a huge pop, you almost couldn’t hear Jojo’s announcing. JR was greeted by Cole and JBL with hugs and a good wishes from the the crowd.

Reigns came out to a LOUD chorus of boos, but didn’t seem that concerned about it. He punched the ground and flames shot down the ramp and ignited the fireworks set up for him. It was announced that the match would be No Holds Barred. Reigns was the picture of cool confidence, seemingly unaffected by the huge match or the reaction of the crowd. However, as his music ends and we wait, the nerves began to set in.

The Deadman Cometh. There’s been a little dispute about where Taker appeared from in his entrance, but it LOOKED to me like he rose from about halfway down the ramp, but didn’t really matter, the entrance was still all the Undertaker in his creepy glory. Reigns had his ‘Oh shit, here he comes moment’ but was still stoic in the ring. It was time to decide who really owns this yard.

I’m going to be honest, this was the hardest match of the Streak for me, as a life-long Taker fan, to watch. WWE had been able to really disguise how limited Taker was becoming in the last couple of WrestleMania matches, especially the one with Shane, but there was no hiding it in this match. Taker could barely move, none of his signature moves, outside of a few moves were in this match. This was a fight, pure and simple. It was a fight straight out of a National Geographic documentary about lions fighting for dominance.

Roman Reigns took a LOT of heat from smarks about his performance, but watching it back after two years’ time, it’s clear that Roman was doing everything he possibly could to hide Taker’s limited ability, but there’s only so much you can do with a 52 year old man who needs a hip replacement.

Roman really got into this match after he speared Taker through the Spanish announce table. After Taker sat up, Reigns got MAD and just beat the shit out of Taker. Taker would turn it around with a Last Ride, but Reigns kicked out.

One of the things the smarks most complained about was a botched spot where Reigns tried to Tombstone the Undertaker, the ultimate act of disrespect that has been performed by almost every major rival of Taker’s since Kane in 1998. However, watching that spot back a few times, I think I’ve figured out what went wrong: Reigns was exhausted and had taken quite a beating from Taker and couldn’t quite get a grip on Taker and Taker couldn’t help him as much as he normally would have.

Towards the end, Reigns begged Taker to stay down, but the old lion refused, forcing Reigns to beat Taker into submission with a steel chair and countless Superman Punches before finishing the match with a spear and becoming only the second man in WWE history to defeat the Undertaker at WrestleMania.

Roman Reigns vacated the ring, and the significance of what had just happened began to hit the audience. Undertaker was seemingly done. It took several minutes, but Taker got to his feet and put on his coat and hat, then slowly took them off, folding his coat and leaving it in the middle of the ring, along with his iconic hat and his gloves. The crowd chanted ‘Thank you, Taker’ as the Deadman made what seemed to be his final walk away from a WWE ring, pausing to kiss his wife, Michelle McCool, and taking one last look at the crowd that he’d entertained for nearly thirty years before disappearing in a wave of smoke.

Rating: 8/10 This match wasn’t pretty by any stretch of the imagination, but it told a great story.

Hightlight: Taker sitting up. Reigns begging Taker to stay down. Taker’s final farewell.

WrestleMania 34 – Be Careful What You Wish For
The Undertaker vs. John Cena

As the Road to WrestleMania 34 got underway, John Cena, the once untouchable face of WWE found himself sitting on the sidelines after failing to capture the WWE title from rival AJ Styles. Determined to not miss WrestleMania, Cena set his eyes on the one WrestleMania opponent that had always eluded him: The Undertaker. When Taker seemed deaf to Cena’s pleading, the leader of Cenation resorted to taunting Taker like a petulant child who wasn’t getting his way.

Finally frustrated that he didn’t seem to be getting his way, Cena ‘bought’ a ticket to WrestleMania and sat in the audience, oohing and awing over the superstars of WWE pulling out all the stops. As Charlotte vs Asuka was finishing, one of the WWE refs approached and told Cena something and Cena went into the back. Mr. Cena was about to learn why it is always wise to be careful what you wish for, especially when dealing with the Undertaker.

Cena comes back to the ring later in the show, and unlike most people in the Streak, Cena seemed extremely excited by the prospect of facing the Undertaker. Then another ref comes and says something like Taker’s NOT there or he changed his mind.  Poor Cena is dejected, but the crowd isn’t giving up. As Cena leaves, the lights go out.

The Deadman Cometh. Wait, that’s Elias. The crowd is FURIOUS over the trick, but Elias doesn’t care, claiming that he’s better than the person everyone wanted to see. The crowd gets even angrier and I can’t repeats some of what they seemed to be saying. Enraged, Cena leaves while Elias mocks him in song. Finally sick of this, Cena beat Elias like he owed him money. Kudos to the kid smack talking Elias.

The crowd won’t give up, even when Cena’s music hits again. Frustrated, Cena prepares to take his leave, but then…the music stops and it takes Cena a moment to realize it and now…

The Deadman FINALLY Cometh. A spotlight hits the ring, revealing the folded hat and coat Taker left in the ring the year before and lightning strikes and the items are gone. It finally, FINALLY hits Cena just what he’s getting himself into and it’s too late to change his mind.

Out of the gates of Hell comes the Undertaker. Back to the arena where the Streak ended four years before. Cena’s ‘Oh Shit!’ hits and it is time.

For all the anticipation, the years of waiting, and having to sit through Elias, this match was kind of an ‘eh’. It was the shortest match of the Streak and I can’t say it was a shining moment for either man. To give Cena his due, he sold the return of Undertaker like he should have. He LEGIT looked scared out of his wits to FINALLY be getting this match.

As if to exorcise the previous loss in New Orleans, and pay Cena back for his remarks, Taker dominated the match from the start. Taker did hit most of the greatest hits of his arsenal, almost like he’d never had a bad hip, including Old School. Still, this wasn’t a great match by any stretch of the imagination, sadly. Though Cena tripping and falling when Taker sat up was hilarious. One tombstone later, and it was over. The dream match finally happened, but it could’ve been so much more.

Rating: 6/10 This match could’ve been so much more if it had happened a few years earlier, but it was an okay match for what it was.

Highlight: Elias getting cussed out by the crowd. Taker’s entrance. Cena falling on his ass when Taker sat up.

Post-Script: As of 10pm, March 25, 2019, while I’m writing this final part to the Streak rewatch, Undertaker has not been scheduled for a match of any kind at WrestleMania. As of now, the match against Cena was the final match of the Streak and the Deadman walked off with his head held high. Thanks for the memories, Taker.


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