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Undertaker's WrestleMania streak should end, but not this year. Not by Triple H.
Mike Killam and I discussed this in the live, overrun portion of "VOW Reaction" Monday night and I begged listeners to call into the show and tell my why Undertaker's streak shouldn't end, eventually. No one did. Maybe no one could.
As a pure fan of the business, and of Undertaker in general, I understand why some want the streak to remain in tact forever. However, if I'm Vince McMahon, there's no way I allow that to happen. What good is a perfect record at WrestleMania when Taker's no longer around?
Sure, let's talk about his legacy. A person's legacy isn't defined by his or her accomplishments, accolades, or personal records. It's defined by what they LEAVE BEHIND. Taker has the ability to pass the proverbial torch in huge fashion on his way out. That would be a more appropriate addition to his legacy -- not holding on to a streak that is only valuable as long as he's there to defend it.
Is Undertaker going to lose his spot as one of the greatest of all time if he loses one match at WrestleMania? Absolutely not. Yet, think about what the person that beats him gains as a result. It's indefinable.
If I'm Vince McMahon and I had an investment in something as great as Undertaker's 'Mania streak, cashing in at some point would have always been the plan. How does Undertaker's undefeated record at one event make me money once 'Taker is retired?
It's business. Vince surely understands that still. I imagine Undertaker does as well.
Let's say you agree with me. The question now becomes "who'?
It won't (and shouldn't) be Triple H this Sunday.
First and foremost, Undertaker needs to reach 20-0. That makes it complete. However, it's very doubtful Undertaker's in-ring career will still be active by the time the next milestone of 25-0 rolls around. Therefore, after this year's Mania, find out how much longer Taker wants to go and pick that year. 20-1, 21 and 1, doesn't matter at that point.
The perfect example of where a wrestler should be in his career to justify ending Undertaker's streak, in my opinion, is CM Punk. Punk is a SUPERstar now, but it's still relatively fresh. A moment like we're talking about would put Punk over the top in an instant.
Some might feel Punk is already there and I certainly wouldn't argue that agressively. By next year, if Vince remains in his corner and continues to push him, Punk shouldn't need anything like this to elevate his career. He should already be at the very top.
Here's a list of some wrestlers and my thoughts on them potentially ending the streak in the next couple of years:
John Cena - While it's believable, I think it would be a waste of an opportunity. Cena clearly doesn't need it. He's one of the top five biggest superstars of all time (from a business standpoint), so why spend the moment on him. That being said, I would like to see Cena face Taker at WrestleMania once, and lose. That is, if Taker has more than one left.
Sheamus - Sure, but as a heel preferably.
Wade Barrett - Absolutely. Barrett is a great option, IF Vince is truly committed and behind him.
Dolph Ziggler - I can see it, but he has a lot of work to do before I'd want to see that happen. Dolph has all the ability inside the ring, but whether or not he can get over verbally on his own remains to be seen. It will need to be seen in a BIG way before I'd feel good about him ending the streak.