The Dead Man, The Phenom, The Streak. The Undertaker has been known by many a moniker over his more than two-decade career in the WWE. Whittling down his hall-of-fame career into ten moments was extremely difficult. Both Matt and Jimmy came up with their own ten moments, then combined the two lists into one final list. Here are the results.
10) WrestleMania XXIV vs Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship
This match was beyond a streak match, this had the backdrop of a world title match to draw upon. Following the Undertaker’s first, and only, Royal Rumble win he decided to challenge the Ultimate Opportunist for the World Heavyweight Championship. The match was solid and was one of the first times in the Undertaker’s streak that he victory was in doubt and was the first in a line of top-notch WrestleMania matches for the Phenom.
9) The Dead Man returns at WrestleMania XX to take on his brother Kane
The Undertaker had a four-year run in the biker gimmick of the American Badass, but at the 2003 Survivor Series he was buried alive by his brother Kane in a buried alive match. Kane claimed the Undertaker was “dead and buried forever.” But soon after the all too familiar presence of the Undertaker began to haunt his brother Kane. In the 2004 Royal Rumble Kane was eliminated after being losing focus following the chime of the Undertaker’s bell. This all culminated in the return of the Dead Man persona at WrestleMania XX, and yet another win in the streak for the Undertaker.
8) Brothers of Destruction at the 2001 Royal Rumble
By the time the Undertaker entered the match at No. 25, Kane had already been a wrecking ball on dominance. After the Undertaker entered, no one could stand in the way of the brothers. They cleared out the entire ring one by one, then gave lucky entrant No. 26, Scotty 2 Hotty, a double choke-slam and eliminated him together. Stone Cold Steve Austin would go onto win the Rumble but no one will forget the Brothers of Destruction reign of terror and their combined 14 eliminations.
7) 1994 Royal Rumble casket match vs. Yokozuna “I will not rest in peace”
The Undertaker was an unstoppable force leading into the 1994 Royal Rumble and in an early casket match against Yokozuna it took over ten men to finally bring down the Undertaker and slam the casket shut on the Phenom. What followed was one of the more memorable, and cheesy, moments in the Undertaker’s career where he claims he “will not rest in peace” and ascended into the rafters of the arena.
6) Undertaker wins first WWE Title in 1991 vs Hulk Hogan at 1991 Survivor Series
One year after The Undertaker’s debut, he became the youngest (at the time) WWE Champion of all time in 1991 when he took home his first championship after beating Hulk Hogan at the 1991 Survivor Series. He needed the help of distractions by both Ric Flair and his manager Paul Bearer, and the help of a well placed steel chair, but he was able to take down the biggest icon in pro wrestling for the championship. This marked the first of seven (four WWE Championships, three World Heavyweight Championships) World Titles that the Undertaker would go on to win in his career in WWF/E.
5) Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXV
There are a handful of matches in WWE history that people list off as some of the best of all-time – Savage vs. Steamboat from WrestleMania III, HBK vs. Razor Ramon at WrestleMania X, etc. But any list made in the last four years has had to include Undertaker-HBK I at WrestleMania XXV. The storytelling, the near falls and the emotions from both competitors makes this match one of the greatest in the history of the sport. The streak has never been in as much doubt before, or perhaps since this match. I find myself popping in the WrestleMania XXV blu-ray from time to time just to re-watch this match and it never gets old. The final tombstone that finally took out HBK was masterful and was the cherry on top of perhaps the best match ever.
4) Ministry of Darkness Undertaker kidnaps Stone Cold
The Ministry of Darkness era had a lot of fun, memorable moments, but the best moment had to be when the Undertaker kidnapped Stone Cold Steve Austin from his hospital room with every intention of sacrificing the Texas Rattlesnake. Luckily for Stone Cold, the Undertaker’s brother, Kane, intervened and stopped the sacrifice before it was too late.
3) Undertaker’s debut at the 1990 Survivor Series
It’s hard to believe that it has been 23 years already, but the Undertaker’s debut at the 1990 Survivor Series is still a memorable one. It’s rare that a superstar gets a debut at a PPV and the Undertaker took every advantage of the opportunity. The Undertaker held his own against a team that included Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart, Koko B. Ware and Dusty Rhodes, eliminating Koko and Dusty before being counted out after taking the fight with Rhodes to the outside. Although he didn’t end up winning the match, his presence was felt and a character was born that would redefine the WWE.
2) Hell in a Cell match vs. Mankind at the 1998 King of the Ring
When people look back at the Attitude Era this match is always one of the first things brought up in the conversation. This legendary Hell in a Cell match was made famous for the two falls that Mick Foley took off and through the cell. People tend to forget that after the second Mankind fall, they still wrestled for quite a while. The wrestling included a choke slam onto thumb tacks and a final tombstone that finally ended the match for the Undertaker. This may be more of a Mankind moment, but you can’t make a top-ten list of the Undertaker without mentioning this match.
1) 1997-98 feud with Kane leading to WrestleMania XIV match
This feud had it all. The demented Kane was hell bent on destroying the Undertaker who had killed his parents in a fire and left his brother mangled by the flames. The feud had caskets being lit on fire, cages being torn apart and is the greatest moment in the Undertaker’s illustrious career. Following Kane getting the better of his brother at the 1998 Royal Rumble the Undertaker began his return from the dead on a March episode of Monday Night Raw. A casket was on the entrance ramp with Kane in the ring when a lightning bolt hit the casket and the Undertaker was awoken and exclaimed to Kane, “Welcome to Hell!”. This may just be the top moment in one of the most memorable feuds in WWE history.