If there’s one thing that has been synonymous with WrestleMania over the past two-plus decades, it’s The Undertaker. The Phenom’s win streak at the annual WWE marquee event became stuff of legends, before it was finally snapped by Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 30. Since then, the Taker was earned two more WrestleMania wins to bring his record to 23-1, and he will take on Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando on Sunday.
Randy Orton, who picked up a loss at WrestleMania 21 to contribute to The Undertaker’s streak, still thinks that that single loss to Lesnar was a terrible decision. In a recent interview with Yahoo! Sports, Orton talks about how important the Taker is to the legacy of WrestleMania, and why he wishes the streak had never been broken.
I think ‘Taker and ‘Mania go hand in hand. It’s unfortunate that he picked up a loss a few years back, I think that was wrong and I think everyone would agree with me for the most part with the exception of maybe Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar. I don’t believe that that loss tarnished his career, I just hate that his streak was tarnished.
You asked about me versus Taker, that was WrestleMania 21 in Los Angeles, I was 25, my birthday always falls around the show, so I’m a kid, I’m a greenhorn, I grew up in the business but now I’m in a match in the biggest show you can be at, participate in as a professional wrestler, as a WWE Superstar, and I’m facing in a singles match the most legendary character that’s ever graced our presence – with maybe a few exceptions.
I was nervous, but I also knew I was in good hands. We went out there, we killed it, I reversed the chokeslam into the RKO, everybody bought it, he beat my ass and that was it. He picked up another win at ‘Mania and rightfully so because I think the WrestleMania brand and Undertaker go hand in hand. I think a lot of that had to do with the streak so I’ll never think that was the right thing to do, for him to pick up that loss, but that’s the past and we can only move on to the future here.
‘Taker is going to face Roman Reigns and that’s going to be a good one. I honestly believe that should be the last match on the card, I think that everybody will be happy with the outcome of the match. I expect the Undertaker to throw Roman Reigns around like a rag doll. Roman Reigns is going to get his, but at the same time, this is the Undertaker we’re talking about.
Will [Undertaker] be around after this? If this is his last one and there’s speculation, all I can say is I hope not. Whether it was twenty years ago or today, when he comes to the ring and the gong hits and the music plays, the energy in the arena, it’s not like that for anyone else. I don’t care if its [John] Cena, Shawn Michaels or whoever, it’s a different kind of energy and he’s got more respect from the fans than I think any character or superstar has ever had in our business.
The general consensus around the internet is that the Dead Man will probably pick up another loss on the weekend when he faces Reigns, in what might be his last match ever. We know that losing you final match is “good for business,” but it pains us to think that The Undertaker might pick up another loss at WrestleMania. It sounds like Randy Orton would agree with us.