The Truth No One Wants To Hear In The Undertaker vs. Triple H III At Wrestlemania XXVIII

WWE officially began the next chapter of Triple H vs. The Undertaker on this week’s Raw Supershow. Not being seen since Wrestlemania XXVII last year, Undertaker returns to defend his undefeated streak at Wrestlemania which currently sits at 19-0. A lot of readers have chimed in with their opinion on who Undertaker should face and several arguments are being made against Hunter getting a third shot at “the streak.”

While I will admit I wasn’t sold on Triple H vs. Undertaker again this year, the decision has since grown on me. I understand why people want to see Undertaker face a different opponent but please allow me to elaborate why I believe the field is so small on potential Wrestlemania opponents.

To start, we need to establish what we are dealing with. While The Undertaker is one of the most-durable and dependable WWE superstars of all-time, he’s 46-years-old and will be 47 before the match takes place. He has permanent damage to his shoulder and his knees and back are shot from years of bumping in the ring. After a full year of healing, The Undertaker is still coming into Wrestlemania “banged up.”

The Undertaker’s illustrious career is nearing its end and who knows if it would in fact be over if it were not for “the streak.” With that being said, the streak has grown to where it deserves to remain in tact. The only way I would be in favor of “the streak” coming to end is if there was a worker that had the potential to take the torch from The Deadman. Scanning through the WWE roster, there is no one worthy of such a rub. After all, we are talking about the man that put an “end” to the career of Shawn Michaels. To put a worker over The Undertaker at Wrestlemania in essence would be giving them not only a rub over Undertaker but a rub against the likes of Shawn Michaels and Triple H. It’s a situation where the risk simply doesn’t outweigh the reward.

Some have made the argument a loss could actually help a rising star such as Sheamus or Dolph Ziggler. I digress for a moment and invite you to take a lot at the wrestlers part of “the streak” – Jimmy Snuka, Jake Roberts, Giant González, King Kong Bundy, Kevin Nash, Sid Vicious, Kane, Big Boss Man, Triple H, Ric Flair, Big Show & A-Train, Randy Orton, Mark Henry, Batista, Edge and Shawn Michaels

When evaluating the list, it’s important to consider “the streak” wasn’t near as relevant in the earlier days, however, there are very few on this list that were not established prior to being booked against Undertaker at Wrestlemania. We can clearly see that A-Train being part of a handicap match with Big Show did nothing to help elevate him to stardom and Mark Henry didn’t receive the “rocket pack” until last year. The one name a lot of people have pointed at is Randy Orton. The argument is that Orton’s loss to Undertaker at Wrestlemania helped establish him as a top guy.

For that matter, let’s focus for a moment on Orton’s loss to The Undertaker. The Undertaker beat Randy Orton at Wrestlemania 21 in 14:14 in an interpromotional singles match where Orton’s father, “Cowboy” Boby Orton, accompanied him to the ring on April 3, 2005. However, my counter-argument is while not the top guy he is today, Orton was already established.

Orton’s elevation can be credited to two veterans – neither of which are named The Undertaker. You guessed it – Orton, along with Batista, were elevated in the Evolution faction by Triple H and Ric Flair. Remember, it was Chris Benoit that Orton defeated in the main event at SummerSlam 2004 to become the youngest World Heavyweight Champion of all-time at age 24. Therefore to argue a loss to The Undertaker elevated Orton to main event status is inaccurate because not only had he already been given the rub as champion but he had main evented a “big four” pay-per-view.

The point I am trying to make is “the streak” has never been used to elevate a younger worker. The only situation where I could see it having the potential to elevate a younger worker is if the younger worker would be victorious. However, as I discussed in the former of this editorial, there is no one capable of such a feat that is currently on the WWE roster. We can all make cases for some of our favorite younger workers, however, there are no “sure things” that I can see truly benefiting from ending one of the most-heavily promoted historic accomplishments in WWE history.

That leads us into why I feel the field is so limited. Who can be booked against The Undertaker where a loss they probably won’t be able to avenge will not hurt them? It needs to be someone experienced, a big enough name to be billed as a headiner and someone that can be booked to have a legitimate shot at ending “the streak.” After all, it’s the ability to blur the line between real and contrived that results in the most entertaining bouts.

Scanning the WWE roster with what we already know about Wrestlemania XXVIII plans, I can only think of a few names – Kane, Triple H and Randy Orton. All three of these workers are part of the streak with both Triple H and Kane having two Wrestlemania losses against Undertaker. I would have not been against either Kane or Orton being announced as The Undertaker’s opponent as I feel another loss against Undertaker at Wrestlemania would do nothing to hurt their respective careers. Triple H does give WWE the ability to incorporate Shawn Michaels into the match, which was the rumored plan as of early last month.

Triple H has lobbied heavily to get another crack at “the streak” with many people telling me he wants to be a “headliner” on the show and knows this is his only opportunity to have part of the “spotlight” that is so heavily focused on John Cena and The Rock. Hunter’s political stroke clearly won out but I also understand why WWE wants to do this match again. The field was extremely narrow and a decision was made in a way that can incorporate Michaels if a deal is able to be worked out.

I realize people say this is boring, stale and “typical WWE” but outside of these three workers, Triple H makes the most sense. For people that say they won’t order Wrestlemania because of this, I will boldly declare I don’t believe you. This year’s Wrestlemania has the potential to be the best ever. The lineup looks very strong on paper and Triple H vs. The Undertaker III is a strong piece of the undercard. They won’t carry the show but aren’t expected to either. The program is an undercard program that adds nostalgia to a lineup that has the potential to feature two very good, very deserving younger workers as WWE and World Heavyweight Champions respectively.  At the end of the day we can dream about a “fresh” feud for Undertaker but the truth is, it’s simply not possible.

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  • sforester

    Thank you Richard! This is the point I had been trying to get across since the rumors about Taker-Trips III got started: The Streak isn't for building a younger worker as Taker can do that any other time. I'm still sensing either Hell in a Cell or a Casket match….preferably the former.

    • wnwdotcom2

      A good gimmick match would certainly help and is probably a good possibility.

      • sforester

        The way I see it, a gimmick match would cover the weakness of neither Taker nor Trips being 100% after all their injuries building up. Foley as the ref, as Groveside said, would tend to make things interesting, but I think a dirty finish would get the fans into riot mode.

    • Groveside06@Yahoo.com

      that would be great. triple h and undertaker have been in more hell in a cells then anyone and both are consider “kings of the cell” lol. and they have something in common. the 2 most talked about hiac matches involve them facing mick foley in them. so imagine either Shawn or mick as special referee or both of them in the corner of each person

  • @RatedMKD

    If Triple H's involvement leads to HBK's inclusion in some capacity, then he's my #1 choice. Otherwise, I'd prefer either Kane or Orton, myself. That said, Orton would need to go into the match strong, which would mean blowing off his feud with Barrett by coming out on top. I don't want to see that feud come to a premature conclusion that potentially harms Barrett's status, so I'd rather see those two work all the way to a blow-off match at 'Mania.

    So yeah, basically, if HBK is an enforcer or referee or something, I'm all for Hunter. Otherwise, bring on 'Taker/Kane III!

    • wnwdotcom2

      Good observation about Orton/Barrett. As for Kane, he'd also have to come out of his feud with Cena on top and I don't see that with Cena going on to face Rock.

  • mentalguitar777

    Why not Diesel/Kevin Nash again and then include the “Kliq” HHH and Shawn Michaels?

    • wnwdotcom2

      Nash's knees are way too bad to put him in this big of a match.

  • kurt

    I completely understand where you are coming from, and it does make sense, if you look JUST at the current roster. I just wonder what they could come up with considering they have a whole year to plan and execute an angle for the 'Mania match.I know looking outside the current roster for legends who could meet that criteria is starting to run low, as many have contracts with TNA, and the like, and many who arent contracted to other promotions simply are too injured or old to compete at that level, but with what is available, I do think creative could think outside the box more with the angle. I think with a lack of competition from other promotions, and a "PG" rating they didnt want in the first place, creative either hasnt had great ideas, had really bad ones, or have fallen short with what they have been given.I think they put too much focus on immediate ratings, and are too set in "safe" angles. Punk seems to be one of the few "edgy" personalities, and they still are not completely sold on him yet. I really think they got stuck in a "safe mode" when they had to go PG, and lost how to make it edgy within that rating. Just my opinion though

    • wnwdotcom2

      I disagree about CM Punk – they're sold on him. They weren't until the new contract but now WWE is completely behind Punk as a top guy.

  • Lewis

    In my opinion IF this was to be his last ever Wrestlemania match to face a champion and ultimately retire undefeated and the champion, while it would seem obvious he would win if he was to face someone like CM Punk or Daniel Bryan or even Wade Barrett I don't think it would have been 100% that he would win and that it would be a fantastic match to boot.

    • wnwdotcom2

      Punk is going to be programmed with Jericho. As for Bryan he's not established the point where a loss wouldn't hurt him. Same goes for Barrett. Undertaker over Barrett does nothing for either and in fact makes Barrett look like a jobber.

      • Lewis

        I meant before the program with Jericho had been established. And if Bryan wasn't made to look weak in the match and was to have near falls I couldn't see it hurting him losing to Taker.

  • Zack

    I completely understand why the WWE wants to go with HHH vs. Taker III, and it will be a great match, but I am very uncomfortable with another back to back opponent year for Undertaker. I was really hoping it would be Orton facing him (even though there was no indication they wanted to do that) because the last time Orton faced Taker he was a completely different superstar. Just like the first time Hunter wrestled Undertaker. Would've been nice to have seen The Viper and the Deadman face off.

    • wnwdotcom2

      It has potential to be great, however, for those assuming it'll be great could be setting up for a big disappointment. The truth is we don't know what Undertaker will look like but if anyone can get a good match out of him, it's Hunter. I agree with your opinion on the back-to-back bout and your case for Randy Orton. However, it's a situation where Triple H's stroke along with the potential involvement of HBK that has led to it happening.

  • Patrick_Peralta

    To begin with I have not ordered a WWE PPV since 2001 do to them increaseing the price of their PPV. and I will not be buying the DVD.

    As for Undertaker/HHH Part 3.. I'm not interested end of story………. I'm sick of WWE doing repeats for Undertaker"s match at Wrestlemania because that is not what I want to see.

    That event is to special to be wasted on repeat matches. any other PPV I don't care fine do it then but not for WrestleMaina. that's just how I feel and that is all to it.

    any good Veteran cam make a younger up and coming wrestlers look good in the ring even in defeat That is their job to do. It's been proven over the years it can happen. Undertaker could make any of the new guys look great in the ring and make it look like they could defeat him.

    I don't buy loseing to a Veteran makes them look bad or hurts their careers.. I've seen it the other way over the years.

    The whole issue just makes me sick and I'm not interested in seeing that match. once was enough for me.

    • wnwdotcom2

      There's just nothing to support this argument, especially the argument that a younger worker losing to The Undertaker at this point in his career would help them. Out of curiosity, if it were up to you, who would you program with Undertaker?

      • christopher525

        I know he's banged up, but, personally I would love one last blowout with Foley at Wrestlemania. As big as their rivalry was, they never once had the Wrestlemania moment. Triple H is still a massive name, and a hell of a worker, so it will obviously have potential to be a great match, so I'm ok with it also, now. I just wish there were some way to have that one last matchup, I mean, think about it, the one guy who took him to his limits more often than any one other competitor never once took aim at " The Streak."

  • Groveside06@Yahoo.com

    you make a great point Richard but I disagree on one thing. Even tho orton at the time had been pushed as a main eventer. He was nowhere the level he was at now. You could compare him to how sheamus was early last year. even tho he has had 2 wwe championship reigns he is just now getting that important feel to him and it not feel rushed. they had to slowly rebuild orton up until he was given the wwe championship and had to wrestle twice that night was he truely a main eventer in my eyes. I think Christian would be a good opponent for taker to face. they could put on a 5 star match and with Christian inducting edge in the hof he could promise to do something no one not even edge could do… end the streak or die trying. After he loses he can use the one more match line for undertaker lol

    • wnwdotcom2

      We actually agree about Orton. From above:

      "However, my counter-argument is while not the top guy he is today, Orton was already established."

      As for Christian vs. Undertaker, Christian isn't at the level where a loss, especially a loss he probably wouldn't be able to avenge, wouldn't hurt him. He'd run the risk of buried and forgotten and while you're tie-in with the Hall of Fame is a good argument, the risk still outweighs the reward.

      • Groveside06@Yahoo.com

        Yea your probably right Richard. Do you think that Vince would ever consider putting undertaker in a triple threat match and maybe having him not get pinned but not win the match. That way someone could get a rub and he could still claim to never be pinned or submit at wrestlemania. If not that then at least make it where the 2 opponents try to screw the undertaker by trying to lose on purpose but later turn on each other. if it’s the right people it could have everyone on the edge of their seats everytime someone attempted a pinfall.

        • wnwdotcom2

          I actually think if Undertaker can go next year they'll try and do Undertaker vs. Lesnar

  • Dan Haase

    Well said Richard. Not only am I ok with HHH/Taker again, I am happy that they seem to be weaving it around the RAW GM storyline, which has the opportunity to be big now that HHH is involved again. HHH's involvement in that storyline will hopefully get Punk out of that storyline as i would rather see him focus on wrestlers than on screen personalities.

    we also need to keep in mind that Taker and HHH does not need to be the focal point of the card like it was last year. With Rock/Cena and what is shaping up to be Jericho/Punk at Mania, you don't need Taker/HHH for buys like last year.

    Kane was slow in his match with Cena at the Rumble, and I find it hard to believe that he and Taker could put on a solid match, even in the undercard. this is a match that i would like to see again for nostalgia sakes, but not if it can't be executed at an above average rate at the least

    if Orton isn't blowing off his feud with Barrett at WM (which only time will tell), i look for him to be involved in the WHC at Mania in a triple threat scenario. don't be surprised if VKM straps Orton at EC so he can set up the triple threat by having Sheamus announce he is going after Orton, and having DB use his rematch clause. I am for the triple threat scenario, but not with Orton as champ though. this gives Barrett the opportunity to win MITB which i heard a rumor might be coming back this year…have you heard any rumors on that Richard??

    • wnwdotcom2

      I agree with pretty much everything you said including your well-made point about Kane. As for MITB returning, I know what has bounced around out there but nothing from those I speak with on a regular basis. Orton in the WHC hunt at Wrestlemania, especially if they blowoff his feud with Barrett at EC (in the Chamber match), is probably pretty accurate.

  • Bianca

    I still disagree. Not only about HHH, but I'm heavily against Taker 'stealing' younger, fresher guys on the roster their WM spot, their chance to shine. I understand that there are still millions of Taker-fans (for a reason i will never understand), but to have an old, washed-up, injured man in the ring against the show-off himself is -in my opinion- a sheer fail. Even if the match were against Orton or Kane or Cena or whomever, I'd still not like the idea. They should have stopped the streak after his FIRST match against HBK.

    Now to the second point, HHH. The man who loves to hear himself talk WAY TOO MUCH. Sure, he has charisma, he has strength and he's done a lot for the business (especially giving the world 3 more McMahon's). But fact is, he doesn't belong in such a match anymore. He has ring-rust, too, just like Taker and I'd rather watch the old man against someone who can carry him through the match without getting himself or Taker hurt (again).

  • Jaryd

    I've agreed all along that HHH again is the way to go. Out of the guys that have faced him before I would take Hunter over Kane. I know they're storyline brothers and all so it would make good sense, but the thing with Kane is, he performs the monster character to the very peak of main event level, but in my opinion he only has upper-midcard ring work. With the streak, for me, it's much more about the ring work than it is about the storyline leading up to the match.

    The only guy on the roster that I think would be a better fit than HHH at this stage is John Cena because it's something we haven't seen, but obviously he's tied up for WM.

  • 7028brethart

    Cena and taker would be epic, maybe next year taker can pass the torch to cena, cena has earned it.

  • David

    I agree the idea grew on me. Honestly there are only a few guys that could lose to The Undertaker and not have it cause issues. Besides Kane and Randy Orton they certainly could have booked Chris Jericho against him and it wouldn't have brought him down. If Undertaker is around for Wrestlemania next year I would say they should maybe do Undertaker vs. Cena since that hasn't happened yet. It wouldn't bring Cena down.