Booking The Streak
April 23, 2013
I've been asked many times whether I think the Undertaker's Streak should ever be broken. Originally I thought absolutely, it's what this business is about; you should always pass the torch. What's the point of building something up if at the end of that run it isn't used to get over that next generation? That thinking was several years ago and for the last few years I've changed my thinking. My new thinking on this was that the Streak means so much now a guy has to be built up to the point where he is already made in order to challenge for it, and if the guy is already made he doesn't need the win to be made so why not leave the Undertaker's legacy intact.
Well my thinking has changed once again and it was thanks to an idea, or more sort of a questions asked by my friend Todd Martin (@ToddMartinMMA). Todd's question was: Is the Streak being broken a better story? This got me looking at the problem from a whole different perspective. Instead of thinking, what's better for business, I'm looking at it strictly from a drama and storytelling aspect and deciding which is the better story. After some pondering I've made up my mind on what I think the better story is, and in the end it's even the best thing for business. The only shame is that it should have been started a couple years ago, for maximum effectiveness. I discussed this idea on my last F4W online interview and many people liked it so I thought I would share it all with you here.
Booking the Streak:
Yes I would break the streak, and oddly enough it doesn't even matter by whom. I would start the angle with a simple interview with the Undertaker. In the interview the Undertaker needs to be asked if he thinks anyone will ever be able to beat the Streak or if he thinks he will retire with the Streak intact. To this I would have Undertaker reply that he has no intention of retiring until someone does beat the Streak. Continuing the Streak as long as possible is the ultimate challenge and retiring before someone beats it, would be like quitting. He will not retire with 21 or 22 straight victories and live out his life wondering if he could have gone 23 or 24. He will defend the Streak until it is broken and the day it is broken will be his last match and he will retire.
This establishes two very important money drawing details. The first is that the Streak will most definitely end and the second, when it does it will be The Undertakers last ever match. The Streak is already one of, if not the biggest drawing aspect of WrestleMania but with this new addition I believe the Streak's drawing power increases greatly, and why I think this idea should have been implemented a few years ago, to get maximum effect.
The WrestleMania where the Streak being broken in the Undertakers last ever match is a legitimate once in a life time event that no wrestling fan will want to miss, and with this one simple promo fans know that it will happen and realistically fairly soon. Each year now as fans decide whether they are going to attend WrestleMania live or order it on PPV, they will have to ask themselves, is this going to be the year, will this be the year the Streak is broken and the Undertaker retires,and do I want to risk missing that once in a life time moment? Watching it back on DVD, won't be the same as witnessing that amazing moment live, when the referee's hand strikes the mat that third time marking the end of the Streak and one of the greatest wrestling careers of all time. With The Undertaker's age you have to know it's coming sooner rather than later, so how can you possibly risk missing another WrestleMania? The answer is you can't.
There are other benefits to this idea as well. Every near fall in every Undertaker match will have so much more emotion and drama. For the last few years the guys have had to work so hard to create that one moment when fans actually believe the Streak can be broken, but now that fans KNOW it will be broken, every near fall becomes believable and will bring more emotion. Every match will be more heated; every match will have more at stake. Every win will be bigger and that eventual lose will be the defining end a great career deserves.
There is the argument that no one wants to see him lose and the end of the Streak and the defeating of the Undertaker at WrestleMania will be too much of a downer but I disagree. Yes I think it will be a very sad disappointing moment when the Streak and the career of The Undertaker finally ends, but think about the ovation The Undertaker's wins currently get and how much bigger they would be when you add the relief of his career being saved and the reassurance that he will be around for one more defence next year. Each win becomes greater and when that ultimate end does happen I think there is a chance for one of the greatest moments in wrestling history.
When Taker does finally lose and the referee's hand strikes the mat for that third and final time, there will likely be a dead silence fall over the crowd, it will be a sad and surreal moment for sure, but that's okay. As the saying goes it is always darkest before the dawn. I believe that after that three count, if the Undertaker remains completely motionless and does not move, while the winner gets his hand raise, does whatever he has to do, and then leaves, the crowd will have time to absorb what they have just witnessed and I bet the loudest "Thank You Taker" chant would start to build, and when they are about to reach their peak you kill the lights to create silence and then you hit The Undertaker's Gong and a blue spot light on The Undertaker's motionless body, on the second Gong he sits up one last time. In my opinion the ovation this will receive could very well make this the greatest and most memorable moment in WrestleMania history. The perfect send of for one of the greatest ever.
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