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Monday, April 10, 2017

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The Last Ride Of The Undertaker Part 2: His Greatest Feuds

By @Phranchize19

Undertaker has had countless memories and feuds in WWE, and it is impossible to list them all. Most people put in a rivalry with Undertaker would consider it an honor to get such a big run from the company. If Undertaker wanted a match and feud with you, you didn't turn it down. Let's get into this 2nd part of my 4 part series looking at the Undertaker and his greatest feuds.

*Undertaker vs Mankind

-Probably the most famous feud in Undertaker’s career. Mankind pushed Undertaker to the limit like no other competitor before him. These two men introduced hardcore to WWE in my opinion with the bizarre nature of their matches. Never before had WWE seen such barbaric matches until Undertaker and Mankind had matches such as Buried Alive, Boiler Room Brawls, among others. Their most infamous clash will always be Hell in A Cell at King of the Ring 1998. Mankind would take not one but two huge falls along with being slammed on thumbtacks twice. This feud is one of the most important in history because WWE was able to stay afloat after WCW charged onto the scene (once they got the ratings lead back).

*Undertaker vs Stone Cold Steve Austin

-It was only a matter of time that these two clashed. Taker had pretty much fought every guy that was the face of the company and this was no exception. One of their first encounters was at a Cold Day In Hell in 97, which was a solid contest, but this feud took off once the summer of 1998 rolled around. After dispatching his brother Kane (we’ll get to him in a second), Taker had his sights set on the WWF title, which was held by Stone Cold. They would main event Summerslam with a classic, and have more battles involving Kane along with a Buried Alive Match. The rivalry would then be renewed a few times in 1999 as well. Once Taker switched to the Biker gimmick, he and Austin would feud again for the WWF title in early 2001. By 2002, Taker and Austin had their last match at Backlash. This feud was memorable as Austin was attacked in a hospital, Taker was sent to the nuthouse, Austin was almost embalmed, and both men would hang from Taker’s symbol among other things.

*Undertaker vs Kane

-Sibling rivalry would morph into one of the greatest rivalries in history. Kane would return to haunt the Undertaker for burning him in a fire. They would first clash at WrestleMania 14 in what I felt was the best match on that card. They would follow that with their first ever Inferno match. Taker and Kane would feud for a while, and then reconcile, before Taker turned heel and they were split up via the WWE Draft. Then after this in 2003, Kane buried The Undertaker to help Vince McMahon win. Taker would seek revenge as he and Kane would do battle at Mania again (Kane was the first man to face Taker twice at the event). Most of the time, Kane found himself on the losing end until 2010 when Kane would basically destroy Undertaker in a rivalry that took over the better part of that summer and was essential the final chapter with Kane finally getting one.

*Undertaker vs Randy Orton

-I think no one benefited more from a feud with Undertaker than Randy Orton. Orton was actually begged to END the streak at Mania 21, but Orton being young and dumb ended that. After that, Orton would be drafted to Smackdown to complete the feud in a match that saw him defeat Taker at Summerslam. They would rematch yet again in a Casket match which saw Orton burn a casket with Taker in it only for Taker to return at Survivor Series. Finally, the feud would culminate in a Hell in a Cell match in which Undertaker was victorious. Randy Orton may have been World Champ prior to his feud with Taker, but this feud established him as a main event guy.

*Undertaker vs Batista

-I don't think Batista gets enough credit in wrestling, but he and Taker had one of the greatest feuds I've ever seen. Batista looked like a man who could end the streak at WrestleMania 23, but he like so many others fell to the Deadman. They would rematch in a Last Man Standing and a Cage match with no definitive winner. Taker would come back from injury and challenge Batista twice more, although this time Batista would win with the aid of a man, which we talk about in the next and final feud on the list. They would have a match again in 2009 when Batista was turning heel, but that's a small part of this feud. Now onto the final feud on this list.

*Undertaker vs Edge

-Edge was the perfect foil for Taker. Taker just couldn't seem to get Edge where he wanted. Edge would cash in a MITB briefcase on a defenseless Taker. Edge would walk away with the title in a triple threat match that included Taker and Batista setting him up for a Mania spot.
Once Taker would win a number 1 Contender Elimination Chamber match, he had a date with destiny against Edge at WrestleMania 24. Taker would walk out champion, but have to defend against Edge, but would lose that match via disqualification. Edge would then kayfabe retire Undertaker in a TLC match only for Taker to exact his revenge in a HIAC match at Summerslam. This feud basically carried Smackdown for a good 8 months during the later part of 2007 and most of 2008. A classic feud.

These are the feuds that I think made The Undertaker such a legend. You could argue Shawn Michaels vs Undertaker or Triple H vs Undertaker, but their matches mean more than the actual feuds. These are the best of the best.

-C. Yates


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