The Piledriver Report 01.09.14: Who’s Next For the Streak
Posted by Ronny Sarnecky on 01.09.2014
After a four month absence, The Piledriver Report is back. With WrestleMania rumors flying, Ronny Sarnecky takes a look at who are the favorites to face the Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX with a chance to end the streak.
After a four month absence, The Piledriver Report is back. To my loyal readers, I want to apologize for the sudden stop in posting articles. The Saturday before Labor Day, my dog suddenly and shockingly passed away. After that day, I really didn't feel like doing much of anything. Things that I enjoyed doing, like writing these articles and participating in my fantasy football league took a back seat to the pain I was feeling. For those who do not have an animal, it is a horrible thing to deal with. My dog was like my child. I raised him, played with him, fed him, took him to the vet routinely. He was like having a child. My dog brought me a ton on happiness during his thirteen and a half years on this Earth. I will miss him always, and will think about him every day.
With the new year here, I figured that it was time to try to heal. My first order of business was to get back to writing The Piledriver Report. I hope you enjoy my articles as much as I enjoy bringing them to you. Thank you for listening.
Ever since WrestleMania 21, when the Undertaker battled the "Legend Killer" Randy Orton, the WWE has pushed the Undertaker's undefeated WrestleMania winning streak. After battling the likes of pat their primes Jimmy Snuka, Jake Roberts, the Giant Gonzalez, and King Kong Bundy, the WWE had the Undertaker face a departing Diesel, before he main evented WrestleMania 13 against Sid. At WrestleMania XIV, the Undertaker battled Kane, who was pushed as the WWF's latest monster heel. At WrestleMania XV, he was back to facing lesser stars in the Big Boss Man. At WrestleMania X-Seven, he fought battled Triple H for their first WrestleMania encounter. WrestleMania X-8 saw the Undertaker face Ric Flair. At WrestleMania XIX, he was in a handicapped match against the Big Show and Albert. WrestleMania XX brought a rematch against Kane, followed by his match with Randy Orton. At WrestleMania 22, the Undertaker beat Mark Henry.
After WrestleMania 22, the WWE has pushed the streak as much as they have the WrestleMania main event each year. Gone are the days of seeing the Undertaker face the King Kong Bundys of the world on the biggest show of the year. Instead, the Undertaker now defends his streak against main eventer after main eventer. At WrestleManias 23 and XXIV, the Undertaker battled the World Heavyweight champion, Batista and Edge respectively, in a Streak vs. Belt match. The next two years, he fought Shawn Michaels in two legendary matches. At WrestleMania XXVII and XXVIII, he squared off against Triple H in a singles and Hell in a Cell contest. Last year, the Undertaker battled CM Punk in his last Match of the Year encounter. The big question this year is who will have the honor of facing the Undertaker at the historic WrestleMania XXX event?
Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker at WrestleMania has been over three and a half years in the making. In the fall of 2010, Vince McMahon had an idea. He wanted to put together a match between the UFC Heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar against the Undertaker at WrestleMania XXVII. To help promote the match, he was going to have the UFC President Dana White in Brock's corner. Vince even went so far as to have the Undertaker and Brock Lesnar have a confrontation against each other following Lesnar's UFC title loss to Cain Velasquez. Unfortunately, Dana White wouldn't bite, and the Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar match would not happen while Lesnar was still under the UFC banner.
Ever since Brock Lesnar returned to the WWE, he was scheduled to face The Rock at a WrestleMania. Last year, the WWE had the match penciled in for WrestleMania XXX. However, following The Rock's injuries in his WrestleMania XXIX match against John Cena, the WWE was not able to start the year long build to Lesnar vs. The Rock. The back-up plan was to go back to their WrestleMania XXVII plan of Lesnar vs. the Undertaker. Odds 2-1
Even though Brock Lesnar vs. the Undertaker seems to be set in stone for WrestleMania XXX, there is another contender for a WrestleMania XXX match against the Undertaker. According to the latest rumors, the Undertaker had requested to face Daniel Bryan at this year's WrestleMania. While some would argue that the WWE doesn't have faith in Daniel Bryan as a main eventer, their most respected performer does. He has some much respect for Bryan that the Undertaker wants to face him at the most historic card in the WWE's history. Normally, I would think that there is no way that Daniel Bryan has a shot of facing the Undertaker at this WrestleMania. However, a few factors have come to the surface that gives a Daniel Bryan vs. the Undertaker match a shot at happening at WrestleMania XXX.
The Undertaker's body has been beaten and broken down over the last few years. The WWE is concerned that Brock Lesnar rough style would be too much for the Undertaker's body to handle. A match with Daniel Bryan would easily deliver the match of the night, but also would be easier on the "deadman's" body. Plus, over the last few years, the Undertaker and his upcoming WrestleMania opponent has rehearsed their match leading up to the big show. Several officials in the WWE don't believe that Lesnar has the motivation to take the time to meet the Undertaker for "rehearsals." Odds 5-1
Shortly after last year's WrestleMania, The Shield triple teamed the Undertaker, and took him out of action. At the time, the Shield were the WWE's top heel faction. Nobody was beating the trio of Reigns, Rollins, and Ambrose. After taking out the Undertaker, it was believed that eventually the Shield would face the Undertaker and Kane at SummerSlam to gain revenge against the Shield. That never happened, and the Undertaker still hasn't gotten his revenge against the Shield. While it appears highly unlikely that the WWE would go in this direction, as it looks like they have other plans for the Shield. A match pitting the Undertaker against the Shield would make sense, and would be a good Plan C should the WWE decide that they have other ideas in mind for Brock Lesnar and Daniel Bryan. Odds 50-1
John Cena vs the Undertaker. It's the match that most fans expect to see at WrestleMania before the Undertaker finally decides to hang up the tights. Most figured that the 30th WrestleMania would be the event that we finally get to see the most respected WWE wrestler since Andre the Giant against the face of this eras WWE. Out of all of the possible matches that you could place the Undertaker in at WrestleMania, a match against John Cena would probably be the biggest threat to the streak. While the WWE has never made an overtures to having John Cena face the Undertaker at a WrestleMania, the fans fantasy booking wants to see it happen. This year would be a good year to have them square off. John Cena doesn't have an opponent etched in stone yet for WrestleMania. Sure, there are rumors about Bray Wyatt facing John Cena. However, the Undertaker taking on John Cena would probably be the biggest money match in the WWE since the first John Cena vs. The Rock match at WrestleMania XXVIII. Odds 50-1
Looking at the possible WrestleMania match-ups for the Undertaker, I wouldn't mind seeing any of these. A battle with Brock Lesnar would allow the Undertaker to use his MMA style moves against the baddest main to ever set foot in the UFC's octagon. It would be a hard hitting, realistic fight.
A match pitting Daniel Bryan against the Undertaker would pit the most popular wrestler in the WWE today against the most respected wrestler in the WWE. The Undertaker has a string of Matches of the Year at WrestleMania. Daniel Bryan has a reputation of being a five star wrestler. A match between the two would be one for the ages.
The Shield against the Undertaker would pit the future against the soon to be past. All three members of the Shield are terrific workers, who would be able to hold their own against the Undertaker at WrestleMania. This is the kind of match that should be used as a possible end to the streak. Three very good workers, who are each young enough, and can use the rub that a WrestleMania match would do to their already blossoming careers.
John Cena against the Undertaker would be one thing: money. It's a match that hasn't been seen in a long time. It would seem fresh and new. In the eyes of the fans, a John Cena vs. Undertaker match is as close to a dream match as the WWE has today.
Given all of the factors, I think the match up that will be headlining WrestleMania XXX will be the favorite. I see Brock Lesnar vs. the Undertaker in a match pitting The Beast vs. The Streak. The Road to WrestleMania is about to begin. In a few short weeks, we will find out just who will be the lasts to try to end the streak.