Tiffany’s look at The Streak of The Undertaker continues with back to back showdowns with “The Game” Triple H!
2011 and 2012 were years of transition for the Undertaker and his streak. After defeating the valiant Shawn Michaels not once, but twice, and ending the Heartbreak Kid’s legendary career, it looked like no one would be the one to end the Streak, then Triple H stepped up. It had been ten years since the brash King of Kings had challenged the Undertaker’s Streak, but watching his best friend lose his career gave the Game even more motivation to end the Streak and avenge Michaels.
In 2012, Taker’s determination to rectify a less than satisfactory end to the 2011 encounter would result in one of the most brutal Hell in a Cell matches in WWE history.
These years would also see Taker stepping away from being a full-time performer in WWE and coming back for special occasions, making the Streak even more important in the eyes of the fans.
WrestleMania 27 – A Friend’s Revenge
The Undertaker vs. Triple H
The start of this feud was amazing. Taker had been taking time off and returned to RAW to a hero’s welcome, but before he could start his promo, he was interrupted by Triple H, who was also returning after taking some time off. The two long-time rivals faced each and, without saying ONE WORD, both looked to the WrestleMania sign. The match was on.
Triple H’s motivation for challenging Taker for a second time became clear pretty quickly: Not only did he want to end the Streak, he wanted to avenge the loss that cost his best friend his career.
Triple H entered first, but the entrance was a little bit of a fake out since the lights went out, which usually signals the Undertaker. Trips came out in his Skull King gimmick, complete with soldiers to guard him. The whole effect was really cool, TBH.
Jim Ross and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler are doing commentary and I’d forgotten that King had lost his first, and only, WrestleMania match to Michael Cole in the previous segment because of the Anonymous RAW General Manager and was upset and disappointed. As Triple H is coming out, Ross was trying to cheer Lawler up by pointing out that they were going to be doing commentary together again in a match both of them were excited about. It has nothing to do with Triple H vs Undertaker, but it was a nice moment between two old friends.
Back to business, the Deadman Cometh. Not to EVER be outdone on an entrance by a mere mortal, Taker’s entrance wasn’t flashy or full of gladiators, he walked out from under the stage like he was walking out of hell, the effect was every bit as awe-inspiring as Triple H’s.
It had been ten years since the Undertaker and Triple H had faced each other at WrestleMania and almost nine years since they’d had a significant feud with each other. However, both men fought like no time had passed.
This match was No Holds Barred, which was a smart decision because this match was every bit as physical as the one in 2001 and quickly went out of the ring. One good thing about the brawl outside of the ring was that it destroyed the Cole Mine, Michael Cole’s ringside bunker.
There was a table spot where Trips was back body dropped and landing a little wonky, looking like he’d hurt his wrist. Undertaker rolls back into the ring on instinct, the crowd is chanting something that sounds like ‘Yankees suck’ (never know, this was in Atlanta) and one annoying guy keeps shouting ‘Leg drop DDT’, which I think is physically impossible.
Taker goes for his Deadman Dive and it LOOKED like he came up a little short and Trips BARELY caught him and the landing was bowling shoe ugly. Taker got to his feet first, but it was a scary moment. Things got uglier when Taker tried to go for his own table spot that ended with him being hit with a Double A Spinebuster THROUGH the table.
It looked like it was all over when Taker hit a chokeslam out of nowhere on Triple H, but Trips BARELY kicked out. It was at this point that the dueling chants began with the fans being pretty evenly divided between Taker and Triple H.
It took an amazingly long time for the weapons to come out, but a steel chair was brought in by Triple H, who quickly regretted it when Taker NAILED him with the chair, but Trips got his own back by hitting a Pedigree on Taker, but Taker would not stay down.
Triple H got Taker into the corner but Taker countered it into a Last Ride, but Triple H kicked out of the pin attempt. Now really pissed off, Taker let everyone know he was shutting it down, putting Triple H in a tombstone, but the Game kicked out. Now even angrier than before, Undertaker seemed to have decided to tombstone the Game onto the chair, but Trips got loose and hit a DDT on the chair instead.
At this point, both men are visibly exhausted and the moves stop being as crisp as anyone would expect, as shown by a very sloppy Pedigree on Taker.
After ANOTHER kickout, the Game’s mood got UGLY and he wore the steel chair out on Taker’s poor back until it looked like the Deadman was unconscious, but the Deadman tried to get up, which just made the Game angrier, especially after a chair shot right between the eyes still failed to keep Taker down.
It honestly looked like it was all over, but as many men have found out, putting Taker against the wall and mocking him are the two worst decisions you could ever make and Triple H learned that the hard way after hitting Taker with the Tombstone and mocking Taker’s signature pin. When Triple H took his eye off the ball to grab his sledgehammer, Taker caught him with Hell’s Gate, perfectly legal in a No Holds Barred Match. Triple H tried to get away, but he had to tap out. 19-0.
However, this was a hollow victory for Undertaker as the horrific beating he’d suffered at the hands of Triple H left him legitimately unable to leave the ring and he had to be stretchered out.
Rating: 8/10 It was a great match, nearly comparable to the first Taker vs HBK match.
Highlight: Jim Ross cheering up Lawler. Triple H scrambling away after Taker kicked out of the Tombstone.
WrestleMania 28 – The End of an Era
The Undertaker vs. Triple H – Hell In A Cell
As the WWE came upon the Road to WrestleMania in 2012, Undertaker was out for redemption. He may have won his second bout with Triple H and maintained the Streak, but he’d been unable to leave the ringside area under his own power. Taker demanded another shot at Triple H, who initially refused, but the idea of being the one to end the Streak got the better of him and he agreed to another match…in Hell in a Cell with Shawn Michaels as Special Guest Referee.
Jim Ross came out to call the match, this would be JR’s last WrestleMania for a few years as he would leave WWE later in the year.
HBK, as special guest ref, comes out next. Mr. WrestleMania was as energetic as he always is, teasing the cameraman as he approached the ring. We get the signature HBK pose in the ring, but the question of whether or not Michaels can be an impartial referee was definitely being discussed.
Triple H comes out of an apparatus that looks like something out of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (seriously, it looked like Castle Greyskull). I’ve always wondered what goes through the mind of the performers when they’re getting ready for Hell in a Cell in general, never mind doing it at WrestleMania.
The Deadman Cometh. Undertaker came out of the back in the warlock meets Shredder gear he would sport many times over the next few years. I’m not sure how he could find his way to the ring with the hood over his face but I guess a man that’s been doing this for almost 30 years just knows his way around. Taker got in the ring and removed the hood to reveal that he’d shaved his head. This would be the shorn hairstyle he would sport until around 2015 when he started growing it out again.
Taker and Triple H stared each other down as the fourth, and nastiest, component of this match made its entrance.
To be quite honest, this match is one of those that is too good to try and summarize. When you have three of the greatests to ever lace up the boots in one of the most barbaric structures in wrestling history with an amazing story on top of it, your best bet is to just sit and watch.
Taker came out swinging. The odds were DEFINITELY not on the Deadman’s side give Triple H’s Hell in a Cell record and a questionable referee, who had a past of screwing Taker in big matches, Taker knew he’d have to end it quickly and not let up.
Triple H would finally start getting into this one-sided ass-kicking, but Taker would maintain his dominance by using everything at his disposal to beat the hell out of the Game. It would take a spinebuster on the steel steps for Trips to get a chance to breath, but Taker would try and end it with Hell’s Gate, but Triple H managed to counter.
Now the Game was in control and he was in a bad mood after getting the schnikes kicked out of him for the last five minutes or so. He wore out a steel chair on Taker’s back, gut, and anything else he could hit with it. However, Taker refused to stay down.
About halfway through this war, HBK looked like he was really struggling as he tried to be impartial in the worst match to try and be impartial in. He and Hunter even argued about it during the match since Hunter seemed to think HBK should be helping him end this thing.
Taker, maybe deciding to get a REALLY impartial ref, tried to take Michaels out with Hell’s Gate, which meant the gloves were off. When Triple H tried to use his sledgehammer on Taker’s head, Taker hit him with a low blow and locked in Hell’s Gate, which couldn’t be counted because HBK was out. Charles Robinson sprinted down to the ring to fill in, though his sprint this time wasn’t nearly as funny as the one in 2009.
Frustrated, Taker took out Robinson for the hell of it, even though Robinson apologized that he couldn’t give Taker the three count. As Taker turned around, he got hit with Sweet Chin Music by an irate HBK, who had given up any pretense of being impartial, which seemed to cause him a lot of distress.
Now things got REALLY ugly as Triple H gave up on just ending the Streak and focused on ending Taker’s career one way or another, which ended up being a bad move as Taker sat up and beat the holy hell out of Triple H. By this point, it was a battle of the haymakers but Triple H would hit the Pedigree, but Taker would still kick out.
Taker finally got his own revenge, nailing Triple H with the steel chair just like Triple H had done to him, but Triple H refused to stay down. HBK looked like he was about to cry as he tried to get both men to knock it off and just end the match.
Triple H gamely, no pun intended, tried to get to his feet with his trusty sledgehammer, but Taker blocked it before nailing Triple H with the sledehammer and throwing it out of the ring. Triple H, realizing that he was no closer to beating Taker than he had been that morning said the f**k with it and and hit the DX chop before getting hit with a Tombstone and it was over. 20-0.
After the match, HBK tried to help Triple H out of the ring and got some help from Taker, who helped two of his longest, and fiercest rivals, up the ramp and the three of them looked around at the crowd. It was the end of one of the greatest eras in the history of the business and it ended with three of the greatests of all time.
Highlight: Watch the match!
Chris King: One More Spear and Jackhammer for Goldberg?
After his WWE Super ShowDown with The Undertaker wasn’t well received, is there room for Goldberg to have more “proper sendoff” to end his career?
By now you’ve heard the troubling news that during Goldberg and The Undertaker’s first-ever-match something went terribly awry; Goldberg smashed his head square into the ring-post, instantly he began bleeding profusely and was knocked out. What followed was extremely hard to watch; several signature maneuvers were horribly botched, and I was 100% concerned for both superstars’s health and well-being. This is not what we hoped would occur, and this should not be the last image of Goldberg that we witness in WWE.
There was speculation that Undertaker was furious at Goldberg for his performance that appeared absurd to me; how could Undertaker a locker room leader held in such high respect get into a screaming match backstage? On top of that there was also rumblings about Vince McMahon the CEO of WWE, was fuming, and had to break things up between the legends. He apparently told both superstars they were finished wrestling careers were over.
Thankfully the rumors were quickly refuted by not only WWE officials who were in Saudi Arabia, and TalkSport’s Alex McCarthy, and Mike Johnson on PWINSIDER.
Goldberg has admitted he was knocked out during his match with Undertaker at #WWESSD and that is why the final minutes were what they were.
Undertaker was angry with how the match went, but reports suggesting things got heated backstage with Goldberg aren't true, I'm told.
— Alex McCarthy (@AlexM_talkSPORT) June 8, 2019
Mike Johnson confirmed that after chatting with WWE officials he can confirm that after the bout Goldberg was too weak to muster up the energy to engage in a heated altercation.
Johnson said: “I have not heard one person with any legitimacy claim this as being true. In fact, when I asked about that rumor, it was quickly shot down by those who were actually in Saudi Arabia, so I tend to think that story is 100% fiction.”
Goldberg the WCW veteran was last seen in the squared circle on the Post-Mania-Raw, twenty-four hours after dropping the Universal championship to Brock Lesnar. The WWE Universe gave him a standing ovation for his love for the business throughout his illustrious twenty-year pro wrestling career.
Goldberg has battled some of the biggest wrestlers in WWE; The Rock was his first feud after his arrival in 2003 at the Backlash pay per view, followed by his almost year-long rivalry with HHH and “Evolution” where he won the World Heavyweight championship. He finished his initial run in the company in 2004 in a “Battle of Behemoths” with Lesnar. In 2019, there are many new powerhouses since he left the company in 2004. Below I will be listing the 5 Potential Opponents for his final match in WWE.
5 Best-Suited Opponents For The Final Goldberg Match
5. Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar toppled Goldberg for-the-first-time in his WWE career at WrestleMania 33; after a humiliating loss at 2016 Survivor Series, in a “Shocking” one minute and twenty-seven seconds. This was Goldberg’s first official match in WWE in twelve years; the two powerhouses have had a total of three encounters, they have manifested a buzz that surpassed all the other matches on the pay per view card. Despite the fact that Goldberg and Lesnar faced in each other only two years ago, it doesn’t rule out the possibility that Goldberg won’t come back for retribution. While this contest in the past has not been well-received by the WWE Universe, there’s still a sliver of a chance these Titans’ will go to war one final time.
With Lesnar as “The Beast in the Bank” his adversary could once again cost him the Universal or WWE Championship cash-in; reminiscent to 2004 No Way Out pay per view where Eddie Guerrero was challenging Lesnar for his WWE championship, and Goldberg (who had been given a front row ticket by Raw commissioner Stone Cold Steve Austin). He would then deliver a “Devastating” spear to cost Lesnar his championship, which led to their first clash at WrestleMania XX. Goldberg could cost Lesnar his opportunity and the two competitors could then revisit this hard-hitting personal rivalry.
4. Bobby Lashley
It’s still surreal to me that these two powerhouses have never crossed paths in both of their WWE tenures. Bobby Lashley returned to WWE after making an “Impact” (Pun intended) on the Raw after Mania 34. Despite being the fan-favorite to dethrone Lesnar at 2018 SummerSlam, Lashley was upset by Roman Reigns who eventually captured the Universal Championship. Goldberg vs. Lashley will still be a “Big Money” match that will put butts in seats and sell out arenas. This the kind of “once in a lifetime” physical confrontation contrary to Rock/Cena at WrestleMania 28 that people from all over the world would tune in to watch. The WWE Network could see a “massive” increase in subscriptions, and the weeks leading up to their collision we would most certainly be a pull-apart brawl and someone could likely to be taken to jail.
3. Goldberg vs. Lars Sullivan
“The Freak” Lars Sullivan has been leaving a pile of bodies on his path of destruction since his arrival on Monday nights. Currently, he’s annihilating the Lucha House Party, but after he’s finished bullying smaller wrestlers “,” Sullivan is going to be hungry for “Real” competition. Enter Goldberg. This wouldn’t do much for the WCW titan but it sure would be a “Huge” rub for the recent draftee. Sullivan was penciled into battle John Cena at WrestleMania 35 “,” but due to health reasons, it never happened. This victory over a legend of this caliber could catapult “The Freak” to the top of the food-chain in WWE.
2. Braun Strowman
To say “The Monster Among Men” has been mistreated would only be the tip of the iceberg. Strowman was the “Hottest” wrestler in 2017 with his horror-themed assaults on Roman Reigns. Unfortunately for Strowman, his name wasn’t “Roman Reigns” and despite his best efforts he never captured the Universal Championship.
Strowman was on a path of destruction until he went toe-to-toe with Universal champion Lesnar at 2017 No Mercy; in what should have been his coronation as the next champion, Strowman was crushed within a matter of minutes. Last year at WWE Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia he was heavily-favored to walk out with the vacated Universal championship; and instead WWE thought it was wise to start a lengthy program with Baron Corbin (who clocked Strowman in the back of the head with the title), and Lesnar dropped “The Monster Among Men” with 5 F5’s to start a second title-reign with the Universal championship. To say Strowman deserves a “Monumental” win would be a HUGE UNDERSTATEMENT!
1. Goldberg vs. Roman Reigns
The announcement of this match is enough buzz to sell-out WrestleMania 36. “The Big Dog” Roman Reigns has done it all in his short eight-year career, some accomplishments other wrestlers only dream to achieve. He defeated the seemingly-unbeatable Undertaker in his second loss in decades. Reigns is a Grand-slam champion, a three-time WWE Champion and former Universal Champion. Ever since the two crossed paths on the road to WrestleMania 33; and delivered a double-spear to Strowman on January 12, 2017, I believe this dream match has been quietly penciled in. Now that there may be “One More Match” for Goldberg before he calls it quits, this is the only true contest!
Rob: Let’s Talk About Shane McMahon
He’s the Best In The World!
Shane McMahon is a hot topic among WWE fans, and Rob is here to chime in on the rumors that Shane could become WWE Champion in 2019.
Yeah, it’s time to talk about the Best in the World Shane McMahon. Shane has become a real thorn in the side of many on wrestling twitter and not in the way that Vince intended. A lot of you guys don’t like the amount of TV time he gets (even I’ll admit that this week was a bit much), don’t like that he got a win over Roman Reigns at Super Showdown (I don’t either but so long as things play out the right way in the end I’m willing to see it as a needed piece of a bigger story), and really got nuts when the NEWZ sites starting ‘reporting’ rumors that he may become WWE World Champion down the line. Some of you guys are even threatening that you’re done if it happens, and I believe you this time. And this all makes me wonder if certain aspects of wrestling storytelling are just not viable in 2019 anymore. Because this is the kind of thing that would have been a layup for mega heat back in the day but now seems to only result in scorn towards the bookers, or in this case Vince, from a lot of you guys for even considering it.
Now I can’t tell you guys what to like or not like, but there are a lot of times when I see the takes being thrown around on Twitter and wonder if I’m watching the same TV show that you guys are. I also wonder, often out loud and in this space, just what it is some of you guys want. Because I see people complain about emotional investment but from my earliest days as a fan one of the quickest ways to get emotional investment was to do something that would make people angry. But it seems like in 2019 way too many people on Wrestling Twitter don’t ever want to get angry, and take that as a crime committed by Vince McMahon and not a storytelling piece. And I don’t know how you rectify that.
Who knew this would lead us to “The Best In The World,” Shane McMahon???
By my estimation, someone like Shane McMahon getting the title is perfect for the ‘You Deserve It’ era, because he obviously doesn’t deserve it. And to win it dirty off of someone like Kofi Kingston who toiled for 11 years to just get a chance to win it should be a heat magnet. But instead all I see is that it’s bad booking, that it’s a sign that Vince hates the fans and needs to go, etc. So again I have to ask just what is it that some of you guys are looking for? Heels are part of wrestling, and heels have to prevail sometimes. A lot of you guys won’t boo Kevin Owens no matter low he stoops in turning on or assaulting people. And one of the few guys who gets booed from the crowd because the people there don’t like him, Baron Corbin, gets ripped every day by ‘smart’ fans for being a bad choice to even put on television.
Maybe I’m out of date here but for me part of having heels is that at least every now and then something has to happen that you don’t want. The people you root for have to lose, the people who should be champion have to be denied, somebody has to do something that you find to be beyond the pale, etc. And it can’t just happen when you expect it or are ready for it, it has to happen at a time when you aren’t ready for it to get the maximum effect so that you’ll get angry enough at the perpetrators to want to see them get their comeuppance. But it seems that getting mad at the characters is a bridge too far on Wrestling Twitter, that the point of a heel is to get shout outs on Twitter for ‘good heel work’, and that anything or anyone that you find truly loathsome is now grounds to change the channel. Thus the constant ‘Corbin has go away heat’ takes on Twitter. Where I’m from Go Away Heat meant ‘can somebody please come out and get this guy outta here? and not ‘why is he on my TV, what else is on?’
I mentioned before that we’re in the ‘You Deserve It’ era, and what I mean by that is that a lot of ‘smart’ fans are judging what they watch based who’s in it and whether or not they ‘deserve’ to be there. And deserving it is almost entirely based on their personal career journey or perceived skill level. Workrate guys and gals deserve it, as do those who went down some long, grueling road to get there. Even if they’re playing a heel some of us cheer them based on how good they are in the ring or what they had to go through to get there, while on the flip side anyone who doesn’t meet our technical standards or didn’t suffer enough should be relegated to supporting roles or just removed from our television altogether. The fastest way to get someone booed now it seems is for ‘smart’ fans to find out that they didn’t have to struggle hard enough (by their measures) to get a big spot. Hell, we just had a WrestleMania main event where the winner’s whole elevation came despite acting like a heel because the personal career story of the woman behind the character was deemed more important than the actions of her character on screen.
So now back to Shane. If you can’t get some people to boo heels over sneak attacks, cheating to win (don’t get me started on the whole ‘heels are fine but they shouldn’t cheat too much’ takes I’ve seen…..smh), etc. and the thing some fans get most consistently upset about is whether or not the ‘most deserving’ people are in the right places, then putting someone in the highest position who absolutely does not deserve it seems like an inevitable choice. I’m not telling you that you’re not a real fan if you don’t like it, but I am telling you that there is some very sound logic behind it if they go that route. And all the arguments against it – that Shane is not a full time wrestler, that he’s the boss’s son, etc – seem to me like just more reason to go ahead and do it.
Anyhow……until next week, everyone.