Today in sports history (2014), the wrestling world endured a shock greater than we’ve ever seen before or since. The Undertaker entered WrestleMania XXX with a 21-match undefeated streak dating back to WrestleMania VII in 1991. Undertaker defeated some of wrestling’s most iconic names on his way to what most thought would be a forever unblemished WrestleMania record, forever adding to the legend and mystique that is the Dead Man.
WWE had different plans though. They saw an opportunity to further create a “top guy” in Brock Lesnar, and they used the Undertaker’s streak as the sacrificial lamb to get them there.
Why Did Brock Lesnar End the Undertaker WrestleMania Streak?
In the years since the Undertaker’s streak was ended, wrestling fans and journalists everywhere have repeatedly asked the question, why Brock Lesnar? Why was he the right fit to end the streak? Why, after 21 matches, did they decide to end the Undertaker WrestleMania streak at all? Vince McMahon and Mark Callaway (the Undertaker) have both answered with similar sentiments.
McMahon claims that the streak was never supposed to last as long as it did. He has said that there were never plans for a streak until it naturally came about after Undertaker’s sixth or seventh win at WrestleMania. They realized they could turn it into something great.
It was a perfect storm for Lesnar to be the chosen one. By 2014, he had been in and out of WWE for a while, as he was debating a return to MMA while also recovering from multiple surgeries. After Lesnar lost the UFC Heavyweight Championship in 2010, Undertaker confronted him at a UFC event. The payoff did not come until 2014 when Brock decided it was time to go back to professional wrestling for another long stint.
The WWE needed to find a way to re-solidify his monster status. What better way to start a heel run than to end the streak of one of the most beloved wrestlers in history?
The Undertaker WrestleMania Streak Officially Ends
It was also important to WWE that whoever ended the streak would be believable and would make Undertaker look strong in the process. So, on October 23, 2014, Undertaker would be on the receiving end of three F5 finishing maneuvers over the course of a 25-minute match. When Lesnar went for what would ultimately be the final pin attempt, the crowd was ready and waiting for Undertaker to kick out, work his way into a tombstone and advance to 22-0. It did not happen.
The referee’s hand hit the mat for the third time and sent the crowd into an unbelievable stunned silence. Never in WWE history has a stadium full of people been so quiet. Fans were waiting for some sort of mistake to be announced or for Vince to come out and restart the match. However, they would not get it. After letting the crowd soak in the silence, Brock Lesnar’s music hit, and the streak was officially over.
Undertaker would go on to have three more WrestleMania matches in which he would earn two wins and a loss, giving him a final Mania record of 23-2 — By far the most WrestleMania matches in history.
As the cherry on top of such a well-written and shocking WrestleMania moment, we were blessed with this GIF, which will live on in internet immortality forever.