There is a lot of talk about WrestleMania XXIX and the end of The Streak. I’ve two words why it won’t end then – Brock Lesnar. Watching the documentary on the Here Comes The Pain Blu-Ray recently I remembered just how many big names Lesnar was put over by in the first year or so of his career. He debuted in March 2002, just after WrestleMania X8 and by the following year’s show he’d defeated Jeff Hardy, Rob Van Dam, Hollywood Hulk Hogan, The Rock, The Undertaker and Kurt Angle in high profile matches. In there are some of the biggest names in the history of Wrestling. (And all five were, or would become, World Champions).
My first thought was it’s almost impossible to imagine the WWE of today doing that with a newcomer. Ryback may have got the big push in 2012, but take just one comparison. At 2012’s Hell In A Cell, Ryback loses a title match to CM Punk, and one that he only got because John Cena was injured. A decade earlier, a similar time after his début Brock was beating The Undertaker to successfully defend his World Title.
What does this have to do with The Streak ending? Well the crux of the matter is that despite being awarded arguably the biggest push since the early days of Hulkamania, twelve months after beating Kurt Angle in the main event of WrestleMania XIX and just two years since his on-screen debut, Lesnar walked out of the federation. All that time, money and effort that Vince McMahon and the WWE had put into Lesnar meant nothing. All the sacrifices by bigger stars than Lesnar counted for nothing. And even in 2013, Vince McMahon remembers this.
The rumour for this year’s WrestleMania is that CM Punk will step up to the plate. Some are even suggesting that he has been hand picked by the man himself to be the man who ends The Streak. But I can almost guarantee that he won’t.
Punk may be seen as a WWE man, but he’s more defiantly his own man. Given his understandable and acceptable complaints about the constant on-the-road drudgery of the WWE schedule I would be amazed if in the Summer of 2014 he would re-sign with the company on a full-time schedule. So why, given that probability would Vince McMahon green light a Punk victory to end The Streak? Why tarnish the Undertaker’s legacy to boost someone who may not stick around? You may mock, but it’s exactly the same thought process behind Brock Lesnar losing to John Cena in his 2012 comeback. Lesnar’s behaviour a decade earlier led the WWE to get his “job” out of the way first up in case he walked again. With that petty attitude, would Vince trust anyone on the roster to do the right thing in the years to come after getting the win over Undertaker to end the streak?
There’s also the fact that despite the Undertaker’s apparent injuries, he still only wrestles once a year and there are still worthwhile matches left in the canon. Taker vs. Brock itself would be a cracker and as much as it pains me to say it, John Cena vs. The Undertaker could be HUGE as it’s the one match with a member of the regular roster that could conceivably go either way.
And anyway, even if you didn’t agree with any of the above I would still argue that CM Punk would have the sense to see past “ego” and agree that it’s simply not in his best interests to end The Streak. The sadness at the end of it would far outweigh any heel heat it gave Punk., and “The Best In The World” could do as much with an indignant line in “losing” promo’s as he could do with the win.
I used to think that the only reason for The Streak to exist was for it one day to be ended. I even went as far as thinking Randy Orton should have been given the nod way back at WrestleMania 21. But now I say that The Undertaker should be allowed to bow out undefeated on the biggest stage of them all. His legacy is such that he deserves it. And as I say, the right man to end it simply doesn’t exist and won’t be cultivated before The Undertaker finally has to call it a day. That’s why The Streak won’t end.
– By Matthew Roberts