SC Remembers: The Day the Streak Ended
WRESTLEMANIA 30. April 6th, 2014, New Orleans, Louisiana. We had Hulk Hogan hosting with appearances from Stone Cold and the Rock to open the show, John Cena vs Bray Wyatt, and Daniel Bryan fighting in two matches and winning the World Heavyweight championship in the main event. It was an amazing event, however, there's one match that stands out the most at Wrestlemania 30, and the result would change WWE history, Brock Lesnar vs The Undertaker.
The Undertaker is the standard, the bar in which other wrestlers are measured, he’s won every belt you can name in the WWE, and he was simply unbeatable at Wrestlemania. Spanning from Wrestlemania 7 all the way till WM 30 Taker had a record of 21-0. A streak that is unmatched, a streak many foes attempted to break but were all laid to rest.
During that span the Undertaker had some legendary matches at mania. Facing Shawn Michaels in classics at 25 and 26, a young Randy Orton at Wrestlemania 21, his matches against Edge and Batista at 23 and 24 respectively can't be overlooked as well. Even a double team assault by HHH and HBK at Wrestlemania 28 couldn't end the historic run. Needless to say nobody thought his streak would be broken, not even by the beast incarnate Brock Lesnar.
Lesnar had one of the rookie seasons in WWE history. “The Next Big Thing” won the 2002 King of the Ring and beat the Rock at Summerslam to win the WWE Undisputed championship, becoming the youngest world champion in WWE history. He was like no other superstar before him.
He'd win the Royal Rumble the next year and main evented Wrestlemania 19 against Kurt Angle, and would leave the company after Wrestlemania 20 to seek new challenges. He would become the UFC heavyweight champion, defeating the likes of Randy Couture, Frank Mir, and Shane Carson along the way cementing his status as a sports icon.
Prior to Wrestlemania 30, Lesnar and the Undertaker had history. Lesnar beat the Deadman in a Hell in a Cell match in 2002, and also had a heated confrontation at UFC 121. These men were destined to meet again inside the squared circle, and even upon a less than stellar return to the WWE for Brock, the stage was set for these two men to take the wrestling world by storm once again.
The pace of the match is slow, but both men are being methodical in their attacks, and the crowd is on edge waiting for an explosion. Taker tries for a chokeslam but gets reversed by Lesnar who tries to hit Taker with the F5 but it’s thwarted. Brock takes advantage and proceeds to take hold of the match. At this point, Taker looked dazed as the beast's offence was starting to wear him down.
However, still in a state of pain in exhaustion the Undertaker makes his comeback striking Brock with the Snake Eyes and follows it up with a big boot, but Brock kicks out at two. To add insult, Lesnar kicks out at 2 after a hellish Chokeslam. The crowd is now getting what they want. Moments later Brock hits the F5, Taker barely kicks out at two. The crowd chants Undertaker, hoping the deadman can rally. With what’s at stake both men are giving it their all.
Standing over a laying deadman Brock is taken by surprise with the Hells Gate. Out of sheer desperation Brock lifts Taker up and slams him down to break up the hold, but it doesn’t work, at least not this time. Brock again is resisting tapping out and uses the last bit of his energy to slam the Deadman once again. Both men are down! After trading submissions attempts Taker tries to go for his patented move the “Old School” but it’s met with an F5! Brock goes for the pin but Taker kicks out. No one kicks out of the F5, yet alone two!
Both men are tired and beaten down. However, Paul Heyman (Brock’s manager) seems to give Lesnar extra energy with his words of inspiration because Brock goes back on the attack. Taker manages to deliver a half hearted Last Ride in hopes to set up his legendary Tombstone Piledriver. The move hits but the impossible happens, Lesnar kicks out at 2. Crowd in shock.
Taker slashes his throat in a gesture to signal the match is over, but after going for another Tombstone Brock reverses it and with his unbelievable strength and positions the Undertaker on his shoulder for a third F5. Brock goes for the cover….1….2…..3…!!! Brock defeats the Undertaker at Wrestlemania!?!?!?! With the crowd in utter disbelief, Heyman and Lesnar celebrate as if they themselves don’t believe what they just accomplished. Then, 21-1 is displayed on the titration for all to see, a surreal moment.
In real time I thought maybe the ref made a mistake and Brock wasn't supposed to win, of course this wasn’t the truth but it’s what I wanted to believe. Lesnar snapping The Streak ended an era that may never be seen again in sports entertainment, but a ride it was. April 6th, 2014, the day the streak died and the monster became the conqueror.