Ranking the Streak – The Undertaker at WrestleMania

The unbelievable happened at WrestleMania XXX as the Undertaker’s undefeated streak came to a shocking end at the hands of Brock Lesnar. With the Deadman’s career likely over, the PTBN staff came together to rank his catalog of Mania bouts. For each match, we’ll list the event it occurred at, the number of points it received and which voter or voters ranked it the highest.

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22) Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzales – WrestleMania IX: 28 Total Points, Ranked Highest by Glenn Butler at 19

After getting destroyed by Giant Gonzalez at the Royal Rumble, Taker sought revenge in the desert. In his first cool custom entrance, Taker rode to the ring in a chariot, accompanied by a vulture, a signal that he was out for more than just a pinfall. The match was a mess as expected and ended in a DQ when Gonzalez choked out Taker with a chloroform rag. The feud would linger until SummerSlam but this was officially Taker’s first dud Mania match.

21) Undertaker vs King Kong Bundy – WrestleMania XI: 38 Total Points; Ranked Highest by Wayne Maye at 18

After taking a year off to spend some time healing up and tending to family issues, Taker returned to Mania in the midst of a feud with Ted DiBiase and his Corporation. DiBiase had stolen the urn from Paul Bearer earlier in the year and Taker would spend most of 1995 trying to get it back. Bundy was a shell of his former self and this ended up being a nothing match, capped off by a clothesline due to Bundy’s girth preventing a Tombstone attempt. Even though his record sat at 4-0, Taker’s last two Mania matches have stunk.

20) Undertaker vs. Big Boss Man – WrestleMania XV: 42 Total Points, Ranked Highest by Tim Del Signore at 17

In late 1998, Taker returned to his dark heel routes from the first time in over six years. He and his Ministry were in the middle of a bizarre feud with Mr. McMahon that saw Taker hinting that he wanted to take control of the WWF. Taker had been torturing his boss and his family for weeks and found himself inside Hell in a Cell with McMahon’s personal security guard as a result. Hopes were high here as previous HIAC wars had been fantastic. This was not. The match ended up being one of Taker’s worst Mania outings and ended with Boss Man being hung from the cell by the Brood.

19) Undertaker vs. Sid – WrestleMania XIII: 76 Total Points, Ranked Highest by Stephen Sutton at 13

Over five years after he last reigned as WWF World Champion, Undertaker was very hungry to regain the gold. He would earn a crack at the title, but to win it he needed to dispose of Sid, who was in the middle of the best run of his career. The match ended up being long, slow, and plodding with the main highlight being commentary from Shawn Michaels and a run-in from Bret Hart. Regardless, Taker won the strap, kicking off the Dark Days of the WWF in the summer of 1997.

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18) Undertaker vs. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka – WrestleMania VII: 78 Total Points, Ranked Highest by Glenn Butler at 14

Undertaker makes his Mania debut against the man he would eventually usurp the “Phenom” nickname from. Accompanied by Paul Bearer, Taker made quick work of Superfly, planting him with a Tombstone to kick off what would become the most renowned streak in WWE history.

17) Undertaker vs. Big Show & A-Train – WrestleMania XIX: 84 Total Points, Ranked Highest by Glenn Butler at 8

By late 2002, Undertaker was back to the face side of the ledger, a place he would stay for the rest of his career. This was also his final Mania match as the American Badass. This match was originally set to be a tag bout with Taker teaming alongside rookie Nathan Jones, but at the last minute, WWE brass realized Jones wasn’t ready and pulled him from the match. Taker would go it alone and have a surprisingly decent match battling the two big men. He would get a small assist from Jones before polishing off Show & Train to keep rolling, rolling, rolling.

16) Undertaker vs. Mark Henry – WrestleMania XXII: 94 Total Points, Ranked Highest by Wayne Maye at 13

In what would be Taker’s last irrelevant Mania match, he would fairly easily dispatch of Mark Henry, a guy that was finally starting to really find his way in the company. The main note to point out is that this would be Taker’s only Mania casket match, a gimmick he was tied to for most of his career.

15) Undertaker vs. Kane – WrestleMania XX: 110 Total Points, Ranked Highest by Glenn Butler & Steve Rogers at 13

After being buried alive by Mr. McMahon and Kane back in November, Taker returned here as the Deadman, a return many fans had been clamoring for since early 2003. Taker’s entrance here is one of my all time favorites, as the anticipation for what he would look like was quite high. The match was quick and forgettable and not as good as their match from six years prior, but it was the perfect way to relaunch the Deadman character.

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14) Undertaker vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts – WrestleMania VIII: 126 Total Points; Ranked Highest by Glenn Butler at 7

As 1992 dawned, times were changing for the Deadman as he officially turned face for the first time in February when he stopped his mentor Jake Roberts from assaulting Randy Savage and Elizabeth. Roberts wasn’t happy and attacked Taker on an episode of the Funeral Parlor. They clashed at Mania with Taker sending the Snake out of the promotion for four years after a Tombstone on the floor.

13) Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar – WrestleMania XXX: 150 Total Points, Ranked Highest by Aaron George at 4

This is the one time nobody expected the streak to end. And it did. And the wrestling world sat in shock. It was clear that Taker could no longer pull it together for these matches and his time was running out. Instead of retiring at 22-0, Lesnar planted him with three F5s to finally hand the Deadman a Mania loss.

12) Undertaker vs. Diesel – WrestleMania XII: 157 Total Points, Ranked Highest by Scott Criscuolo, Aaron George & Ben Morse at 8

As the calendar ticked to 1996, Undertaker finally found himself back into the main event scene, mixing it up in quality storylines. Diesel had cost Taker his World Title match at the Royal Rumble and Taker returned the favor at In Your House in February. After some mind games and physical attacks, these two giants clashed in what could have been looked at as a Mania dream match at the time. It ended up being a very good match and Diesel’s best non-Hart, non-Michaels WWF bout. Both men worked hard and delivered a fun power war that ended with a Tombstone to push Taker to 5-0.

11) Undertaker vs. Kane – WrestleMania XIV: 158 Total Ponts, Ranked Highest by Stephen Sutton at 7

After a very lengthy build that kicked off back in October 1997, Undertaker finally accepted the fact that he would have to wrestle his estranged brother, something he had refused to do for months. The match felt like a true clash of monsters as they tossed haymakers at each other throughout the duration of the match. Kane would prove that he was no flash in the pan as it took Taker three Tombstones to put the Big Red Machine down for a narrow three count.

10) Undertaker vs. Randy Orton – WrestleMania XXI: 193 Total Points, Ranked Highest by Nick Duke at 5

For the first time since the Streak became something that was acknowledged, it seemed like Taker would suffer his first Mania loss. After a failed face turn, Randy Orton returned to his heel roots as he wanted to kill the legend of Undertaker’s streak. At the time, it seemed like a no brainer to put the up and coming Orton over and give him a marquee, career making win. Alas, the Streak lived on as Taker dispatched of the game Orton in one of his best Mania matches to date.

9) Undertaker vs. Triple H – WrestleMania XVII: 201 Total Points, Ranked Highest by Glenn Butler & Steve Rogers at 5

After missing Wrestlemania XVI due to injury, Taker returned with a brand new look and moniker: The American Badass. In his first Mania match under the Badass persona, Taker drew a No Holds Barred match with the red hot Game in Houston. In what was arguably his best Mania match to date, Taker went blow for blow with Triple H, battling throughout the crowd and all around ringside. In the closest nearfall to date, it looked like Hunter was primed to end the streak with a sledgehammer blow, but Taker kicked free and finished off the Game with a Last  Ride powerbomb to remain undefeated.

8) Undertaker vs. Ric Flair – WrestleMania XVIII: 211 Total Points, Ranked Highest by Tim Del Signore at 2

Back to being a heel, Taker and co-owner Ric Flair had been at odds for weeks. Armed with a lead pipe, the two attacked each other at every turn, including a beatdown of Flair’s son David by the Deadman. The match would be made No Hold Barred and turned into a stiff, bloody brawl. The Mania XVII near fall was topped a year later as Arn Anderson showed up and dropped Taker with a spinebuster for a phenomenal two count. Taker would survive and polish Flair off with a Tombstone to go to 10-0.

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7) Undertaker vs. Triple H – WrestleMania XXVII: 213 Total Points, Ranked Highest by Marc Clair at 3

Following up on weeks of cryptic promos, Undertaker returned to the ring after an absence but was interrupted by Triple H. Not a word was spoken, but their eyes glared at the WrestleMania sign, essentially making their clash official. What followed was a stiff, brutal, weapons laden war that Triple H dominated. However, before he could put on the finishing touches, Taker trapped him in the Hell’s Gate, forcing the Game to tap out and become a victim for a second time. Taker was so badly injured, he collapsed and had to be helped to the back. He would be off TV for a year.

6) Undertaker vs. Edge – WrestleMania XXIV: 238 Total Points, Ranked Highest by Tim Del Signore, Andrew Riche & Greg Phillips at 3

Firmly entrenched in the World Title picture on SmackDown, Taker found himself right back in a title match at Mania, albeit this time it was in the main event slot. Edge had dominated SmackDown since his return to the ring in November and walked into Orlando with the gold around his waist. The biggest issue here was that Edge’s own undefeated streak had ended meaninglessly the year before, meaning they couldn’t play up a true streak vs. streak feud. Still, after a slow start, this match really got cooking and careened to a great finish that saw Taker take home the World Title for the second straight year.

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5) Undertaker vs. Batista – WrestleMania XXIII: 242 Total Points, Ranked Highest by Glenn Butler & Justin Rozzero at 2

After winning his first ever Royal Rumble in January, Taker set his sights squarely on the big gold belt strapped tightly around Batista’s waist. The backstage chatter surrounding this match was hot and heavy with both Taker and Batista apparently slighted that they weren’t getting a main event slot. There was also a lot of talk that Batista would be ending the streak to help launch him into superstar stratosphere. Once again, the rumors did not come to fruition as Taker defeated the Animal to win the World Heavyweight Title. The match ended up being shockingly excellent, with lots of power offense and huge blows from each man. Littered with near falls and high drama, this was now arguably Taker’s best Mania match to date.

4) Undertaker vs. Triple H – WrestleMania XXVIII: 254 Total Points, Ranked Highest by Scott Criscuolo, Aaron George & Ben Morse at 2

In a role reversal of 2011, when Undertaker returned to TV in January 2012, it was he that demanded a rematch from Triple H, claiming to not having wanted to be remembered as the man that was carried out of the ring. After being pushed by Shawn Michaels, Hunter caved and the rematch was set…but this time it would be inside Hell in a Cell and Michaels would be the guest referee. With tons more near falls, weapon shots and even interference by Michaels, the match was another war. Taker would survive multiple Pedigrees as well as Sweet Chin Music before dropping Hunter with a second Tombstone to move to 20-0. All three men would embrace and walk out together, leaving many to think this was Taker’s swan song.

3) Undertaker vs. CM Punk – WrestleMania XXIX: 261 Total Points, Ranked Highest by Stephen Sutton at 1

In one of the lamest streak match setups, CM Punk won a Fatal Four Way to earn his crack at ending Taker’s unblemished record. From there, Punk and Paul Heyman began using Taker’s late manager Paul Bearer as a prop in the feud, leading to some uneasy episodes on TV. When the event came, both men delivered once again and with Punk on the rise as a superstar in the company, fans again thought the streak could be in jeopardy. After Taker went step for step with Punk, he survived all Punk could chuck at him, finishing him a Tombstone.

2) Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania XXVI: 283 Total Points, Ranked Highest by Wayne Maye, Stephen Sutton, Marc Clair, Andrew Riche, Nick Duke, Jordan Duncan & Greg Phillips at 2

For the first time in his Mania career, Taker faced an opponent in back to back years. Obsessed with finishing the job he failed to complete a year earlier, Shawn Michaels did all he could to goad Taker into a rematch, including costing the Deadman a World Title match. Taker finally caved, granted Michaels his rematch but forced him to put his career on the line as well. Just like in 2009, there was a decent amount of ambiguity in the air as fans weren’t convinced that Michaels was hanging it up for good just yet. By the end of the show, he did indeed call it a career. This time, their match went on last and once again they delivered a Mania classic.

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1) Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania XXV: 305 Total Points, Ranked Highest by Wayne Maye, Tim Del Signore, Scott Criscuolo, Glenn Butler, Steve Rogers, Justin Rozzero, Aaron George, Marc Clair, Ben Morse, Andrew Riche, Nick Duke, Jordan Duncan & Greg Phillips at 1

In a battle of WWE legends that had not crossed paths in eleven years, Shawn Michaels and Undertaker delivered an all time WrestleMania classic that many argue is the greatest match in the history of the event. Michaels had more than enough street cred to possibly end the streak and so much pure wrestling talent that expectations were flying high heading in. And those expectations were met. The only negative thing about this match is that the match didn’t end the show and ended up killing everything that came after it. It was a legendary affair won by the Deadman. It would not be the last time Michaels took a crack at history.

Author: Place to Be Nation Staff

Place to Be Nation Staff pieces feature any number of our contributors who are multifaceted when it comes to Pop Culture expertise.