Tiffany takes a look at The Undertaker’s run after The Streak ended at WrestleMania 30 as he battles Bray Wyatt and Shane McMahon!
After the shocking end of the Streak at WrestleMania 30, many fans thought that the Undertaker was done. What was the point of Undertaker coming back for another WrestleMania if the Streak was no more? As if to remind us all of why he was considered one of the Greatest of All Time, Streak or no Streak, the Undertaker would rise from the ashes of WrestleMania 30 and add more victims to his list.
Bray Wyatt, the enigmatic leader of the Wyatt Family, considered himself to be the new Phenom of the WWE and was determined to cement that by defeating the Undertaker and harvesting his powers from his own diabolical devices.
Shane McMahon, the prodigal son of the McMahon Family, returned to WWE determined to wrest control of RAW and the company away from his out-of-touch father and save the WWE from the seemingly poor decisions made by his father, sister, and brother-in-law, but he would have to win control by facing the Undertaker in the dreaded Hell in a Cell. For Taker, this match became about more than another match, it became about whether or not the Streak, and his own career, would survive the McMahon Family power struggle.
WrestleMania 31 – Bray Wyatt Dances With the Devil
The Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt
This feud was an odd one, but it would end up consuming a lot of TV time on RAW and SmackDown. Bray Wyatt, the weird cult leader that had taken WWE by storm with his Family, had challenged the Undertaker outright at Fastlane and taunted the Deadman until the Undertaker consented on RAW, using his powers to destroy Wyatt’s sacred rocking chair. Bray Wyatt had knocked on the Devil’s door and the Devil wasn’t in the mood for company.
Wyatt came out first. Because WrestleMania 31 was happening in San Francisco’s Levi Stadium, which is outdoors, and California is three hours behind the East Coast, the sun hadn’t QUITE gone down by the time this match started, which made the entrances slightly less creepy, but Wyatt made up for it by seeming to bring zombie scarecrows to life. The Eater of Worlds looks confident, but they all do before they have to face the Deadman. Taker even makes Wyatt wait, but it’s time to pay, Bray Wyatt.
The Deadman Cometh. Again, being outdoors and not quite after dark kept Taker’s entrance from being dark like usual, but it definitely felt like the Grim Reaper had rolled into town. Wyatt had started out very confident looking, but that confidence dropped, just like it always does, when the Deadman makes the long walk down to the ring and it finally hits whoever is in that ring just what they’ve gotten themselves into. I call it the ‘Oh shit, here he comes!’ moment.
First thing I noticed in this match was how much better Taker looked compared to the haggard old man that lost to Lesnar in New Orleans. Even the commentators were impressed by how healthy Taker looked.
Time to get down to business. Taker was less than impressed with Bray Wyatt’s intrusion into his domain, but no one ever accused Wyatt of being sane, or very smart, because he charged at Taker and ate a big boot for supper. Taker showed this upstart what happened when you knocked on the Devil’s front door.
This wasn’t the greatest match in the world, but if this had actually lead to something for Bray Wyatt, it wouldn’t have mattered. Taker was showing a little ring rust, but he hung with Wyatt and dominated much of the match, but Wyatt got say he actually had the Deadman on the ropes for several minutes. The tide would turn after Taker sat up during Wyatt’s Spider Walk, causing Wyatt to collapse like a cheap chair. In the end, it was more veteran’s experience than total domination that would win this for Taker, but he would put the Eater of Worlds away with a Tombstone and add another victim to his list.
Rating: 7/10 This was a good match, but remembering that it didn’t do a whole lot for Wyatt long-term hindered my enjoyment.
Highlight: Wyatt collapsing when Taker sat up. The look Taker kept giving Wyatt like ‘Kid, who do you think you’re trying to scare?’
WrestleMania 32 – Legacy vs Streak
Hell In A Cell: The Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon
This match started with a situation that didn’t involve the Undertaker. Shane McMahon, once the golden child of the McMahon family, made a surprise appearance on RAW, interrupting an award ceremony Vince had planned for Stephanie McMahon. Shane revealed that the reason he’d come back was to save RAW, and WWE by extension, from his family who had done a terrible job of running the flagship show. Vince agreed, as long as Shane could win a match, that match would be a Hell in a Cell match…against the Undertaker. If Shane lost, he and his kids would be disowned. To make sure the Undertaker would cooperate, Vince said that if Taker lost, he would no longer compete at WrestleMania and since Undertaker’s WWE role was basically WrestleMania anyway, this would’ve been the end of his career. So it was a battle for survival in the most barbaric structure in WWE.
Shane came out first, with his three sons with him. The oldest, Declan, being the little baby featured in the opening for WrestleMania 20, if you want to feel old. Shane drops his kids off with his wife, Marissa, and his mother, Linda, who is’t really seen, but you can tell from the hair that it’s her. This is only the second time Shane had been in a Hell in a Cell match, but he didn’t look nervous, at least not yet, but he didn’t look confident either.
The Deadman Cometh. Through flames and thunder, The Deadman approached the structure he helped create. Shane DEFINITELY looked nervous once Taker got to the Cell.
This was the first match where it really hit me that Taker was NOTICEABLY slowing down, but the Cell and Shane hid it really well. No one will ever claim that Shane McMahon was a great wrestler, but Shane was able to cover for Taker’s limited ability with his own quickness and ability to take an ass-kicking. Plus, Hell in a Cell is the one match where NO ONE expects technical wrestling. You expect violence and brutality in Hell in a Cell and that was in abundance, they even broke through one of the walls of the cell.
In the end, it would be Shane’s inability to avoid risk taking that would cost him. He had Taker on the ropes, so to speak, he just needed to hit the coup de grace and WWE was his, but he climbed to the top of the cell to hit his elbow drop. The crowd went nuts when Shane crossed himself because anyone who has EVER seen Shane climb on top of something knew that Shane crossing himself meant he was taking the plunge, and he did, but Taker, with an amazing amount of good sense, moved out of the way. After that, Taker literally carried Shane into the ring, hit the Tombstone for the hell of it, and that was the end of it. The Undertaker lives to fight another day and Shane McMahon’s legacy was in ruins, or was it?
Rating: 8/10 It wasn’t the greatest match in the world, but it told a great story.
Highlights: Shane not giving up. The look on Taker’s face when Shane started moving after the elbow drop off the cage.