Undertaker’s Streak vs Triple H’s Career? Yes & No.
Kudos to WrestleZone’s own Justin LaBar for accurately reporting the forthcoming WrestleMania match between Undertaker and Triple H. I can just hear the collective sighs of disappointment when Sting was nowhere to be found on the 2.21.11 edition of Raw this past Monday. Get over it people as you created that disappointment all on your own.
Former WWE writer John Piermarini had the following to say: "Reason #121 why you don’t believe everything you read in dirt sheets. They were reporting Undertaker vs. Wade Barrett, Undertaker and Kane vs. The Corre and other incarnations of WM matches for Taker but this match was planned since last August. Now that it’s out there I can reveal that."
I respect Piermarini and believe that his revelation is probably correct, but regardless of whether this match was "planned" back in August of last year, he should know as well as anyone that things change all the time in the WWE. If a better direction – in Vince McMahon’s ever-changing mind – had come along for the annual Undertaker "streak match" between then and now, the scheduled plans would have surely changed.
Part of LaBar’s report has come true, but what about the other claims he made, including Shawn Michaels’ involvement and Triple H putting his career on the line versus the streak? Those are pretty big allegations and while the thought of HBK getting involved in this program seems reasonable, is Hunter really going to end his career in the same way his best friend did just a year ago?
This writer says "yes" and "no".
It has been heavily documented in recent months that Triple H wants to start focusing more on the "other side of the curtain". Hunter’s eventual transformation from in-ring performer to some sort of executive in company operations has been as inevitable as Mark Madden’s next messy, 13lb bowel movement (no disrespect meant to one of my favorite wrestling writers online). It just doesn’t seem like the timing is right for Hunter to make his exit from the ring for good.
The idea of Hunter calling out Taker in an attempt to avenge his friend is realistic. His character’s arrogance, despite Shawn Michaels’ pleads against it, allows for Triple H to put his career on the line as a result of losing the match. And the thought of Hunter being another victim of the hardest opponent a WrestleMania match has ever seen is simply par for the course. On paper, it all adds up to be yet another historic moment and further credibility added to Undertaker’s legacy on wrestling’s annual Grand Daddy pay per view.
Will the program go down like this? I believe it will. Almost exactly.
Will Triple H actually retire after he loses to the Undertaker at WrestleMania? I have my doubts. There will have to be a logical way out of the retirement stipulation either right before the match takes place or right after it concludes. I don’t see Hunter hanging up his boots just yet. And I don’t see him blatantly disregarding the retirement gimmick, a la Ric Flair, either.
My personal opinion is WWE somehow finds a way to use the "Streak vs Career" gimmick for WrestleMania, but then creatively finds a way to nix the "career" part of it at some point.
My reasons for why Triple H does not retire at this year’s WrestleMania:
1. He hasn’t beaten Ric Flair’s record of Heavyweight Championships held.
The last reason deserves further elaboration. Hunter understands better than most the importance of creating the "stars of tomorrow" and a recent WrestleZone report on Triple H wanting a "major overhaul" in the WWE development system proves this. Of all people, Triple H seems like a man that would want to use his credibility as a bonified superstar to help others get over for the future. Then again, how often does that actually happen these days?
When the time comes, Hunter’s actual retirement shouldn’t benefit anyone other than himself, but that time shouldn’t come before he has the chance to help elevate younger stars to a higher level. Is he really going to go out without any mention of Sheamus putting him on the shelf in the first place? Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? "Undertaker! You forced my best friend into an early retirement and although Sheamus kicked my ass the last time I appeared on WWE television, you are my number one priority upon return!" Sure is a kick in the ass to Sheamus, don’t you think?
I’m excited for this year’s WrestleMania match between Taker and Triple H. I think Hunter will retire sooner rather than later. I think the Undertaker being the man to end Hunter’s career is as fitting as anyone. But not now. Not before one of the only men left in the business capable of creating the next generation of superstars can do just that.
Then again, why does WWE need to create new stars when you can always count on Flair?
Chris Cash can be reached via email at email@example.com.