The Undertaker is an incredible 21-0 at WrestleMania. Well, more accurately, he’s an incredible 10-or-so-and-0, a mediocre 3-or-4-and-0 and a legitimately crappy 7-and-0. The one we’ll focus on today mostly aren’t his fault, but they are pretty much total bummers to watch in retrospect.
No. 21 – Jimmy Snuka, WrestleMania VII
While some might put Giant Gonzalez tour de force performance as a statue from WrestleMania IX at the bottom of the list, he’s never possibly killed a significant other and at least had the decency to bring with him Harvey Wippleman. Much more importantly when ranking these matches, while your mileage may vary with young Snuka, but at this point he was into the Cheshire cat phase of his career. There’s little behind this story and even less in the match. It’s literally only significant because it’s the first, where at least Gonzalez is significant because the Undertaker was already former WWF champion at that point and the match is TERRIBLE. This match has almost less than that.
No. 20 – King Kong Bundy, WrestleMania XII
If the ending of your match is, let’s say, a chloroform cloth, at least you’ve thought through some obviously logistical issues if you have someone too big to tombstone. When it’s a flying clothesline, it’s clear you’ve forgotten how fat someone is and decided to figure it out on the fly. Also, this essentially suffers from the same thing as the Snuka match: there’s just no need for this match behind the shenanigans between Taker and the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase. And easily the least likely Streak ender ever.
No. 19 – A-Train and Big Show, WrestleMania XIX
This is an exceptionally crappy match for two specific reasons: Nathan Jones and the fact that it should have ended in a DQ loss for the Undertaker. It’s the one thing near a blemish on the Streak, and it’s also not that great of match. While it could have been worse — like, if Nathan Jones were involved in more of it — it went way beyond disappointing and headlong into depressing. This is, spiritually, the nadir of the Streak, but not the worst match. Case in point:
No. 18 – Big Bossman, WrestleMania XV
The less said about this match the better. Just avoid thinking about the symbolism of the ending part of this match. No matter how many times JR mentions it.
No. 17 – Giant Gonzalez, WrestleMania IX
While easily the worst “match” of all, the storyline behind it and the legitimate fear in the hear of all Taker’s younger fans made this at least worth watching when it happened. The ridiculously over the top entrance complete with vulture also has a special place in the history of WrestleMania. Also, while chloroform poisoning is a ludicrous way to end the match, it at least seemed like something they had a meeting on beforehand.
No. 16 – Sid, WrestleMania 13
Sid was always just kind of good enough to not be terrible, but he was never good enough to make anyone not look terrible. He’s lumbering, weird and he shit his pants during this match so make your “this thing really stunk” jokes now.
The booking in this match was great on the periphery — things like Bret Hart solidifying his heel run by trying to interfere — but it’s a relatively poor match match when you compare it to the previous year’s performance with the equally immobile Kevin Nash. Also, it’s hard to overstate how much this shouldn’t have been the main event to follow Bret and Austin’s Submission match classic.
No. 15 – Jake Roberts, WrestleMania VIII
Easily the most disappointing of Taker’s WrestleMania matches, this should have been an all-time classic, at least from a psychology standpoint. Instead, it was an okay match with an ending that made Jake look powerless while not really solidifying whatever weird “post-Hogan program” plans they thought they had for Taker before they sent him into purgatory. That this match would eventually lead to the Giant Gonzalez match at No. 17 should tell you everything you know about how effective it was at getting Taker over as a monster…. something or other. And, to think they wasted such a wonderful promo from Jake at the beginning of this.