Who’s next to challenge The Undertaker’s undefeated WrestleMania streak?
I posed the same question after last year’s WrestleMania and came to the conclusion that there was only one logical answer – John Cena.
I was wrong, of course, as The Undertaker had another classic match with Shawn Michaels two weeks ago at WrestleMania XXVI to improve his perfect record at WWE’s signature event to 18-0. It marked the first time that The Undertaker faced the same opponent at back-to-back WrestleManias.
As I noted last year, The Undertaker has faced every marquee star on WWE’s roster at WrestleMania except for Cena and Chris Jericho. As much as we all love Jericho – and I’m sure the buildup and the match would be really good – I just don’t think he’s a viable option because no one would believe for a second that Jericho could win. By process of elimination, it has to be Cena.
Cena-Undertaker would be a fresh “dream match” between the current face of the company and one of the greatest stars in the history of the company. Cena has put together an impressive WrestleMania resume in his own right, as he’s 6-1 on the grand stage, including 5-1 in world title matches. The story line could be that he has won the world title at WrestleMania and successfully defended it there, but the one thing that he’s never done is challenge The Undertaker’s streak. A Cena heel turn would take the heat for the match to another level, but I seriously doubt WWE would go that route.
If it isn’t Cena, then who? Well, I suppose if we’re asking “Who’s next?” we have to throw Goldberg’s name into the discussion. Hey, who knows more about undefeated streaks than him? And with WrestleMania being held in Atlanta next year, there has been chatter recently about Goldberg perhaps being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and wrestling one more match. With that being said, I don’t think there is any chance of Goldberg-Undertaker happening at WrestleMania XXVII. It’s been more than a decade since Goldberg was a big deal, and he hasn’t been in wrestling since his disappointing one-year stint in WWE ended with both he and his opponent Brock Lesnar being booed out of Madison Square Garden at WrestleMania XX in 2004.
I think Triple H is a possibility. A Triple H-Undertaker match next year would mark the 10-year anniversary of their meeting at WrestleMania X-7 in 2001. It also would be a match-up of the two biggest remaining stars from the Attitude Era. The story line could be similar to the one I proposed with Cena, with Triple H saying that he has done it all in WWE except one thing – ending The Undertaker’s streak. There also is the obvious angle of Triple H wanting to do it for his best friend Michaels, who was forced to retire because he failed to defeatThe Undertaker.
No matter who The Undertaker faces at WrestleMania next year, they are certainly going to have a tough act to follow after Michaels and “The Dead Man” raised the bar significantly in terms of story line and match quality at the past two shows. The larger question is how many more WrestleMania matches The Undertaker has left. He turned 45 a few weeks ago and I don’t think it’s any secret that his body is banged up. My guess – and that’s all it is – is that WWE would like to have The Undertaker get to 20-0 – a nice, round number – and call it a career.