Bray Wyatt should have ended the streak and taken place opposite Daniel Bryan, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins as the top heel in the company, with fans eagerly awaiting who his next target may be.
The Undertaker’s streak was one of the theatre attractions of WWE’s flagship event WrestleMania, amassing 21 straight wins before Brock Lesnar conquered the Deadman. The streak and WrestleMania were synonymous with each other for over 20 years and part of the WWE’s promotion was “Is this wrestler going to end the streak?”.
The overall opinion of fans is that either the streak should have never come to an end or that the streak should have been used to propel a superstar to stardom. Whatever the beliefs, the reality saw Brock Lesnar F5 the streak to oblivion at WrestleMania 30.
The idea behind Lesnar’s beating of the Undertaker at WrestleMania 30 was credible, Brock being a box office attraction that could carry the name of conqueror until the next big thing beat him. The issue was the delivery, following his win, he would go on hiatus before returning to destroy John Cena for the WWE title, so far so good right?
He would then come close to defeat to Cena in the rematch but for an attempted Money In The Bank cash-in from Seth Rollins, this is where the idea was going downhill. He eventually went on to Mania 31 with the belt ready to crown Royal Rumble winner Roman Reigns as the face of the company, the issue being Reigns was currently the most non-organic and hated babyface challenger in the company, mainly because he wasn’t Daniel Bryan. Whatever the case Reigns was not to receive the streak heat that year thanks to a last-minute Rollins cash-in.
So who was the first wrestler to claim a clean win over Lesnar since he ended the streak and take the heat? Goldberg, this worked great for their feud, but you can’t help but feel the streak should have been better used for the building of a future star.
Bray Wyatt faced Undertaker at WrestleMania 31, and although the match itself was serviceable, Wyatt’s character had been severely hurt by high-profile losses to Cena the year prior, and with no streak, the match was void of any stakes. Furthering the issues Wyatt’s character and momentum had, Undertaker defeated Wyatt in the match.
Since his debut, Wyatt has won only once at WrestleMania, and considering the promise his character showed, this is an abysmal stat for the former Eater of Worlds. If we take a look at Undertaker’s career following WM30, we see that even though he lost it wasn’t the end of The Undertaker at the Show of Shows, but we can look at it in the way that the loss of the streak was the loss of the ability to cement a future star. So, the approach to booking the conqueror of the streak should have been on building WWE’s future.
Not for the lack of trying, WWE have been on the whole unable to recreate the magic of The Undertaker, and yet Bray Wyatt emerged as the only credible replacement, this should have been the build towards Mania 30, Wyatt at this point was unpinned in a WWE ring and The Undertaker was undefeated at WrestleMania, the stakes had never been higher.
During their WM31 bout, Undertaker kicked out of the Sister Abigail, imagine if Undertaker couldn’t kick out in their WM30 match, the sound of the third count ringing through the arena and Bray Wyatt slaying the Deadman.
This would cement Bray Wyatt as the new ‘face of fear’ moving forward, and his feuds with Reigns and Ambrose later on in the year would have a new layer to them, owing to the build of a new talent pool. So too, is the mainstream attraction of WrestleMania that a new audience would see the changing of guards and generate mainstream attention for a superstar with longer shelf life and fewer overheads than Brock Lesnar.
It would have served WWE better to book Wyatt to be the 1 in 21-1 moving forward, he could have even gone for a second feud with Bryan following his win and captured the title as a dominant heel. This wouldn’t hurt The Undertaker any more than the Lesnar loss either, he could go on as a WrestleMania attraction for the dream matches alone, against Sting at WM31 maybe?
Bray Wyatt is now one of the most over talents on the roster and you can’t help but feel without booking missteps previously then he may well have had a meteoric rise sooner rather than later, instead we were left with the heat of Undertaker’s streak being passed around the old guard of WWE and serving no benefit for the future.