Tiffany MC puts a bow on her coverage of The Streak, looking back at The Undertaker and his amazing WrestleMania legacy.
For the last three-ish months, I’ve been re-watching the Undertaker’s Streak matches, watching the once obscure wrestling trivia match go from brain porn to a central part of the WrestleMania mystique has been a really eye-opening experience, even for a seasoned fan like myself.
When I first started this journey, I wanted to see if the matches in the Streak lived up to the legend of the Streak, and, for much of the time, they weren’t. They weren’t all bad matches, but until the Streak was brought into the open, I can’t say there were a lot of great matches, especially in the early days. In my opinion, the best matches in the Streak were: Jake Roberts, Diesel, Kane, all three of the Triple H matches, Randy Orton, and both Shawn Michaels matches.
When did it become “The Streak?”
As I made my way through the Streak, I noticed a few things that really hadn’t occurred to me as they were happening when I was a kid: That the Streak wasn’t a big deal and just how many of Taker’s well-known feuds were NOT part of the Streak. First things first, and I apologize for beating this point half to death over the course of this series, is that the Streak was NOT a big deal until 2005. If it was mentioned at all, it was at WrestleMania and only as a piece of trivia.
What really surprised me over the course of this re-watch is all the big feuds/rivalries of the Undertaker’s that were NOT part of the Streak: Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Ultimate Warrior, Bret Hart, Mankind (that one was a shocker), Stone Cold Steve Austin, the Rock, Big Show in a straight one-on-one match, Diamond Dallas Paige, Kurt Angle, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. McMahon, and Sting, which still pisses me off. Undertaker had great feuds with all these guys, but none of them were part of the Streak.
Looking at the list of the men who did participate in the Streak, what stood out the most is how most of them were Legends or future Legends. I wanted to say ‘all of them’, but there was a Giant Gonzalez sized hurdle in the way. Of all the matches of the Streak, the only two really drizzling-shits bad ones were Giant Gonzalez and King Kong Bundy, but there were reasons to give them a break; Gonzalez for his size issues, and Bundy for his age (40 was pretty old in wrestling years in the 90s).
The Legacy of The Streak
So, what is the legacy of the Streak? How can something that has become a central part of WWE’s WrestleMania build be summarized in an interesting and clever (I hope) little afterward?
I think many people who have heard of the Streak, especially in the later years think that the Streak is something that everyone knew about and was planned from the start and, as we have seen, that was not the case. Triple H, who is a good friend of the Undertaker, was not even aware that Taker was 8-0 when they had their first WrestleMania match in 2001. Besides that, not even Vince McMahon could’ve planned a 24-2 WrestleMania streak, there are too many variables to consider.
The exposure of the Streak and the end of it were two situations that ended up doing more harm than good in the long run. Exposing the Streak made for a great feud with Randy Orton and made the younger man a star, but the fact that Orton didn’t win, and the Streak was intact ensured that the Streak became the focus of the match rather than an actual storyline. To Vince’s credit, the storylines leading up to Taker’s post 2005 matches were all compelling, but every match after Randy Orton all boiled down to one goal: I want to beat the Streak.
Elisa looks great in her Chairshot t-shirts. You can too!
‘What’s wrong with that?’ I hear you asking, ‘Look at all the great matches he had after the Streak was exposed!’ and it’s true, Taker had much better matches AFTER the Streak was exposed than before it, but it came at a price: He became less important and everything he’d accomplished in WWE became a distant second to the Streak, to the point where his only appearances in the year were for WrestleMania and special occasions and then he’d leave.
The biggest demonstration of why exposing the Streak was a bad idea long-term was the reaction to Taker coming back after the Streak ended. A lot of fans didn’t see the point of him coming back if the Streak wasn’t there, while not complaining about other legends doing the same thing. The fact that people thought that the only reason for Taker to come back to WWE was to continue the Streak angered me as a fan and showed how much the Streak had obliterated or overshadowed everything else that Taker had accomplished.
Even though we all knew the Streak HAD to end sometime, Undertaker losing to Lesnar was an instance of short-term win, long-term loss. Yeah, beating Taker was a star-making moment, but it was a moment Lesnar didn’t need, he was already a big star, deservedly or not, it was a moment that should’ve been given to someone like a Bray Wyatt or a Roman Reigns, instead of done for someone who didn’t need it, and the fact that Taker came back diluted the victory for Lesnar, as it did for Roman Reigns when Taker faced Cena last year.
So, back to my original question: What was the legacy of the Streak? I think the legacy is all the men who faced the Undertaker and achieved immortality and/or became stars in the process and of Mark Callaway, who went from a low carder on WCW to a WWE legend because of that Streak. No one will ever be able to top that streak, that will be his alone and that’s the way it should be.
Undertaker did not appear at WrestleMania 35, marking the first time since 2001 that he has not had a match at WrestleMania, so the less than stellar Cena match seems to be the last Undertaker match. Thanks for almost thirty years of memories, Undertaker, and thank you for the Streak.
AJ’s Thoughts: Five Potential Returns
With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?
With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?
With everything going on with WWE, the one thing we have all been hyped about are all of these returns. Dakota Kai made her return at SummerSlam alongside Io and Bayley and now on last SmackDown, Karrion Kross and Scarlett made their returns in a big way against Drew McIntyre and showed the Hourglass to The Bloodline.
With all of that, there have been things in the pipeline saying Triple H’s foot isn’t off the pedal so these are 5 returns from either NXT, main roster or even Try-Outs that I would love to see happen with the new regime.
1. Johnny Gargano
Now this is a name that people have been saying, “Maybe Impact or MLW” but, what about a return? Gargano didn’t renew his contract, most likely to be with his family which is a valid and amazing reason, will never disrespect that. If he were to return, there would be a handful of great reasons. Maybe a singles run with the Intercontinental or United States but with Ciampa getting limelight in the main roster from RAW, what if we get a tag team reunion?
WWE is hurting for Tag Teams and what better than to scare off The Bloodline, loosen the stranglehold of championships with some Do It Yourself action. DIY reunion could be amazing, especially with newer faces showing up to get championship aspirations like Kross and Ciampa. Want to break the hierarchy? Do It Yourself.
2. James Storm
This one is a little bit weird and off. On one hand, who doesn’t love the Tennessee Cowboy, Jimmy James Storm? On the other, he is 45 and getting some nagging injuries as of late. So why would I say Triple H should bring James Storm back and give him something for the main roster? One of the things I said for Gargano, we have a lack of something and The Usos might need to watch two things in the rearview.
Watch your Money and your Alcohol.
Beer Money showing up in WWE would be amazing in my personal opinion. The Bloodline jump Roode, someone in a hoodie or jacket comes up and jumps them to even the fight and as soon as one Uso remained in the ring, the figure goes down and the old stomping goes off and we hear “BEER…” and Roode looks around and gets hyped up and shouts, “…MONEY!”
3. Big Cass
Since his departure from WWE, he has done something I have said since they split him off from Enzo. Take him through the Kevin Nash School of How To Big Man. ROH and Impact are great examples that he actually cleaned up and worked on what he has to do to be good in the ring. He can work the microphone, he can work the ring so we got a new big boy to take on the WWE once again.
Now I could have said Enzo and Cass to rejoin but, I’m sure the antics of Enzo will get Cass in deep water along with the fact that I already made two tag team predictions, we don’t need another. Cass brings a lot to the table and was kind of unproven in WWE because he was just the big enforcer to the more charismatic Enzo. Give this man about six months in the ring and you have your next MASSIVE problem in the IC or US Championship scene or even more.
4. Bronson Reed
The big man from down under is a former NXT North American Champion. He looked to have a good push going with that championship but he got release. If you wonder where he went… he actually made a pit stop in Impact Wrestling as JONAH with the most fire theme song in recent history I swear… I will link the theme song and Trips… please. Get rights to this theme song. I will be a bigger Bronson Reed fan.
Bronson to me is the weird man in all of this but, I think with Triple H involved, he could get something going for him with a good singles champion run or a big threat to go through like a gatekeeper of sorts. Big boy with a great amount of athleticism? Can’t really hate on that considering the last time we saw athletic bigger people were Keith Lee and… what was that one guy? Sherman Tank with a Ferrari Engine…?
5. Bray Wyatt
And the last one is the obvious one in all of this. Yes… we have Judgment Day as the somewhat supernatural dark group but we know the true successor of the supernatural and that is “The Eater of Worlds”, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. This time around, I don’t think we will get the Jekyl and Hyde, Mister Rogers gimmick. I believe this time around we get full darkness and mayhem. We get the darkness and the theory of reverting back to your prime.
To make a refresher… Miz went back to being the cocky narcissist after fighting The Fiend. Finn turned back to the Prince and much more. With guys like Edge returning, maybe we see the return of the Heel Ultimate Opportunist, maybe a Fiend fight with AJ Styles to get the TN-AJ perhaps. Possibilities are endless and with a great mind like Wyatt for character and execution, I think Hunter will pick up the phone and Let Him In.
– There are clearly others that I could say, or maybe even didn’t think about, but hey, that’s the Chairshot way of Always Using Your Head. Those are just five returns that could happen and hopefully you read this before RAW or SmackDown and who knows if I get any of these right, maybe I missed an obvious one or maybe we get a giant signing that nobody thought possible. Let me and all of Chairshot know!
King’s Greatest Hits Of Jeff Hardy
As he battles his demons, Chris King looks at some more positive moments in Jeff Hardy’s career!
I’m sure by now you’ve heard the disturbing news that former WWE superstar and recent AEW signee Jeff Hardy, was arrested again for multiple charges including a DUI. Hardy has had a hard and tragic road of recovery throughout the years in multiple wrestling promotions.
Not too long ago, Hardy walked out on WWE after they were rumored to have offered the former world champion to go to treatment for his substance abuse issues. Hardy refused and said that he was better but, as we saw the demons are still lurking and got the best of him again.
I have seen some nasty comments and even some distasteful memes about the AEW superstar and felt compelled to go against the grain. Instead of kicking a man when he’s down, I’m going to put together a greatest hits for the “Charismatic Enigma.”
Jeff Hardy & The TLC Match
Everyone can say that Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon helped innovate the iconic ladder match and you are right, but Jeff Hardy and his death-defying stunts changed the concept of the match forever. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian and their iconic TLC match should have their wing in the Hall of Fame. The risks all six superstars took for the adoration of the crowd could have ended all of their illustrious careers. In the words of Vince McMahon, It’s such good shit!
Jeff Hardy Earns The Undertaker’s Respect
On the July 1st, 2002 episode of Monday Night Raw, Hardy delivered the performance of a lifetime nearly winning the WWE Undisputed Championship from The Undertaker in an incredible ladder match. The young up-and-comer was faced with his greatest task yet, challenging for the most prestigious title in sports entertainment. Hardy showed that without a shadow of a doubt he deserved to be in the main event scene, but came within minutes of defeating Taker. At the time of the match, Hardy was still finding his footing as a singles competitor and earned the respect of the champion and legend.
Swanton Bomb From The Heavens
When I think of the daredevil Jeff Hardy, I can’t help but think of this one crazy-as-hell stunt. At WWE One Night Stand 2008, Hardy faced off against the juggernaut Umaga in a falls count anywhere match. This match was so insane as both superstars fought into the parking lot. Hardy is one of the craziest and bravest superstars, hit a Swanton Bomb off a damn stage truck onto Umaga. It’s one of the wildest things you’ll ever see.
Hardy Wins The WWE Championship
In 2008, Hardy finally made his way to the main event title picture alongside partner Triple H. HHH was Hardy’s mentor in some sort of way which led to the daredevil achieving his lifelong dream of becoming WWE champion. At the 2008 Armageddon pay-per-view, Hardy would face HHH and longtime rival Edge in a triple-threat match for the title. In what was a great match between all three superstars, Hardy delivered a Swanton Bomb to Edge to win the illustrious championship.
Straight Edge Problems For Hardy
The following year, Hardy found himself in the way of young-up-and-comer CM Punk who is looking to make an example out of him. Punk had won the Money in the Bank briefcase for the second year in a row and took advantage of Hardy to win the world title. What started as mutual respect between both superstars changed drastically, when Punk started throwing jabs at Hardy for his drug and substance abuse real-life issues. Punk would form his infamous stable known as the Straight Edge Society. This is a very underrated feud and you should go back and watch it in its entirety. The promos are gold.
The Hardy Boyz Return To WWE
Both Matt and Jeff Hardy found success in multiple other wrestling promotions including Ring of Honor, and TNA during their time away from WWE. Both brothers were struggling with their vices and made poor life choices but straightened up their act over the years. In 2017, the Hardy Boyz would face longtime rivals The Young Bucks in ROH. The following night the adored tag team would make their incredible return to WWE at WrestleMania 33. Matt and Jeff would be named the final team in the Fatal 4-way ladder match for the Raw Tag Team Championships. The pop these two received was insane and very much deserved. They would go on to win the match and win the titles to capitalize on their momentum.
Jeffery Nero Hardy Makes AEW Debut
From 2017-to 2022 Jeff Hardy would find himself pigeonholed in the mid-card title picture. He would have feuds with a plethora of superstars including Samoa Joe, and Randy Orton. Orton and Hardy had a nasty Hell in a Cell match back in 2018. Earlier this year, Hardy was seen running around after the 24/7 Championship, which was disappointing to see. After being genuinely unhappy in WWE, Hardy would make his AEW debut on the March 9th episode of AEW Dynamite. Hardy would come to the aid of his brother and longtime partner.
This week news broke that Hardy had been arrested for multiple charges including a DUI. While it’s easy to beat a man while he’s down, how about we uplift and try to encourage him to get the help he needs.
As a longtime wrestling fan, I have the utmost respect for Hardy and wish him the best of luck in his battle with addiction.
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