At WrestleMania XXX, Brock Lesnar ended the greatest streak in sports entertainment, by doing the unthinkable and defeating The Undertaker at 'The Grandest Stage of them All'.
With the help of Paul Heyman Lesnar shocked fans all over the world by ending a streak which many deemed as unbeatable; and expected The Undertaker retire undefeated. Now fans are left worried as to what happens now, what will happen in the future now that the streak is officially over.
But is The Undertaker's streak really the greatest streak in sports entertainment history? There is no disputing the fact that The Undertaker’s 21-0 streak is a great accomplishment, and is a big factor as to why fans purchase tickets to WrestleMania as his one match a year was an astonishing spectacle in itself. It’s the reason we as fans tuned in.
But there have also been some other magnificent and in some cases, more impressive streaks in the WWE which have to some degree been forgotten about, and that’s not what they deserve.
The streaks I have included deserve as much credit as they too have had a positive impact on professional wrestling. The feats some of the superstars I have included have achieved will probably never be replicated again, certainly not in the modern era, it will take years before some of these records come close to being broken.
Continue reading to look back at some previous impressive streaks we have witnessed, and decide whether they match up to The Undertaker’s 21-0 unbeaten streak at WrestleMania.
Andre The Giant – Unbeaten for 15 Years
Nowadays is you said a WWE superstar would go unbeaten for 15 years, you would probably laugh; thinking who would be so special to hold such a burden on their shoulders and never being pinned; 15 years is no short amount of time. Even the younger superstars coming up from NXT; although they will have a longer shelf life there is no way in modern times that a superstar will not get pinned in 15 years.
Then again, if you said the same during Andre The Giant’s time, fans would still be a little sceptical, and rightfully so. Would it be believable back then? No. Will it be believable today? No, it will be laughable. But when you consider that Andre The Giant was no ordinary man, billed as the greatest attraction in the history of the business, the 7’4” colossal giant was the only man who made such a feat believable.
It seems as if his whole unbeaten reign was created for one magnificent moment, his undefeated streak was the focal point of a brilliant feud where Andre challenged Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship, and passed on the torch to Hogan when he slammed the Immovable Object and ended the incredible 15-year unbeaten streak as the WWE ushered into a new era.
Goldberg – 173-0
The reason fans want Goldberg to return one final time to the company, whether it is a match at WrestleMania 31 or even a place in the Hall of Fame; the reasoning for that all comes down to what the man achieved during his time at WCW. He wasn’t the most gifted of wrestlers, but he was a great athlete, the former Atlanta Falcons Defensive Tackle was definitely a physical presence in the ring, and WCW made a bold move by giving this rookie one hell of a push.
He made his in-ring debut in 1997 and Goldberg tore through opponent after opponent, soon taking his tally up to 173, without being pinned. His 173-0 streak played a vital part in the reason why WCW was winning the Monday Night Wars, his streak was already more impressive than the streak The Undertaker was setting at WrestleMania. He became WCW, the face of the company and holding the World Heavyweight Championship was the perfect way of WCW showing what a devastating man Goldberg is, the fact that nobody had been able to beat him.
Of course, he did go on to lose to Kevin Nash. A move which not many fans appreciated and it’s safe to say it saw similar backlash to what we’re seeing with Brock Lesnar ending the streak at WrestleMania XXX. Goldberg may have eventually lost, but to win week in, week out in 173 matches, that is no small feat.
CM Punk – 434 days as WWE Champion
I’ll admit that I am not the biggest CM Punk fan but you have to respect the superstar for trying his level best to bring change to the WWE; did he succeed? That’s your decision to make. Nevertheless CM Punk was white-hot and over with the crowd that sticking the WWE Championship on him was the best possible decision the company could have made. But the fact that it was limited, the WWE needed to do something to make him a legitimate champion, use his Best in the World gimmick and show every single week why he truly is the best in the world.
In modern times fans are quick to criticise, most notably the fact that championships change hands far too quickly but CM Punk held the gold for a record-breaking 434 days. The longevity was brought back and he brought back the feeling of the old school days where the title changing hands was a rare occurrence, but defeated challenger after challenger until there wasn’t many left to conquer.
His title reign might not seem that impressive to the older generation who watched Bruno Sammartino terrorise his opponents as champion for over 2000 days, but they didn’t defend the gold like Punk did, practically every single month.
But it seems all streaks come to an end in controversial fashion, first Kevin Nash finally defeating Goldberg, Brock Lesnar defeating The Undertaker and The Rock dethroning CM Punk. 434 days as WWE Championship probably won’t be achieved again in a very long time.
The Undertaker – 21-0
You probably won’t find a crowd of over 80,000+ sitting in stunned silence like they did once Brock Lesnar ended the streak. Before that night The Undertaker defeated every single opponent standing in front of him at WrestleMania, varying from Kane to Triple, Shawn Michaels to CM Punk and Ric Flair to Jimmy Snuka. For one night a year The Undertaker put on a spectacle for the fans in attendance and each year, it got more and more special.
Is his unbeaten streak greater than Andre The Giant going unbeaten for 15 years? I believe so, Andre the Giant simply had to win because the world had never seen a man of that stature so having him lose would not be good for business and he would be seen as another superstar, albeit a 7’4” monster of a superstar. Andre did lose the odd match here and there, through disqualifications and count-outs and The Undertaker’s opponents were far more impressive than who Andre faced.
I believe his streak is greater than Goldberg’s 173-0, as The Undertaker created something out of nothing, losing over ten years is fine but simply not losing at one event for 21 years creates something special although it doesn't sound impressive in the slightest, it certainly is.
Is his streak greater than Punk’s 434 day reign or Goldberg’s 173-0? Or do you think nothing trumps Andre The Giant’s 15 year unbeaten run? Let me know in the comments section below and come discuss all things WWE with me on Twitter @RazK28!
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