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Top 7 Undertaker Rivalries

July 3, 2020 | Posted by Steve Cook
WWE Untold Mankind The Undertaker King of the Ring 1998 Hell in a Cell Mick Foley Mick Foley's hell in a cell

WWE is telling us that the Undertaker’s career is over.

Is it? As with any wrestling retirement, we’ll believe it when we see it. The Boneyard Match with AJ Styles seems like a perfect note to go out on. I hope it is the Dead Man’s last match. Maybe it won’t be. But it’s as good a time as any for us to look back at some Undertaker career highlights.

My good brother Mike Chin took a look at Undertaker’s worst rivalries back in the day. Today, we look at some of the most magnificent.

7. Kurt Angle

For a lot of us, Undertaker’s feud with Kurt Angle was a turning point in his career. Up until that point, Undertaker had perfectly solid matches that didn’t get an abundance of stars. Once he started wrestling Angle, another level came out. Kurt drug something out of Undertaker that others hadn’t before. It was a line of demarcation in Undertaker’s career.

6. Triple H

The Game challenged that WrestleMania streak more than anybody else. Three times he tried to break it, and three times he failed. The last two were on behalf of his fallen comrade, Shawn Michaels. The first one was himself trying to become famous at WrestleMania X-Seven, and that’s the one that holds up best. Opinions on the last two definitley run the gamut, but there’s no denying that Triple H faced Undertaker on major shows as many times as anybody else.

5. Yokozuna

Yoko was an absolute force of nature. We all know he got too big for his britches, which led to an early demise. But the man could move like nobody else that weighed in the 450 to 500 pound range. And from all accounts, he was the salt of the earth. Undertaker & Yoko were good friends, and their feud during 1993-94 was one of the highlights of a shallow period for the WWF. Yokozuna buried the Undertaker in the casket at the Royal Rumble, which led to a lengthy disappearance. Undertaker returned at SummerSlam, and then buried Yokozuna in a casket at Survivor Series. It wasn’t a perfect story from start to finish, but the ending made sense.

4. Kane

I’m not gonna lie. Most of the matches Undertaker & Kane had with each other were the drizzling shits. The WrestleMania XIV match wasn’t bad. The Inferno match at Unforgiven 1998 was fine too. There were many matches afterward that weren’t particularly entertaining. But when you’re thinking about Undertaker rivalries, his dispute with his half-brother has to be on the list, right? Especially early on before WWE lost the plot and things got confusing. Kane as Undertaker’s evil half-brother made sense. Everything after, not so much. The WrestleMania XX match was great as a spectacle, with Paul Bearer’s return & Undertaker going back to the Dead Man persona.

3. Brock Lesnar

As somebody that fondly remembers the first phase of Brock’s WWE career, I remember his feud with the Undertaker back then. The Hell in the Cell match they had was one of the best within that stipulation. It was something that took Brock to the next level & established him as the guy. Obviously, that backfired when Brock left WWE a few months later. These things happen. Then Brock came back many years later, and got a match with Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX. Most of us assumed UT would win because it was WrestleMania and The Streak, and frankly as much as they paid Brock they hadn’t protected him that much at that point. When Brock actually got that three count, the world was shook.

They had some dealings afterward. Most notably, at SummerSlam 2014 where they laughed at each other.

2. Shawn Michaels

Undertaker’s feud with Shawn has two parts. One took place during 1997, a year where HBK took it upon himself to piss everybody in the company off. Eventually this ended up with Taker facing Shawn on a number of PPVs, including the very first Hell in a Cell match at Bad Blood. Their casket match at the 1998 Royal Rumble led to Shawn’s career taking a four year hiatus. Michaels eventually made his comeback, but it was on the Raw brand while Undertaker was busy on SmackDown. They stayed apart for years, until the 2008 Royal Rumble where they drew numbers 1 & 2. Shawn ended up eliminating Undertaker 32 minutes into the match, and it made us wrestling fans hope for more down the road. We got it at WrestleMania’s 25th Anniversary Celebration & XXVI. Two of the greatest matches in the history of the sport.

Prior to those matches, Undertaker never had anything at that sacred five snowflake level. It was one of the things keeping him from being an all-time great. He’s there now.

1. Mankind

It feels like history has tried to overlook Undertaker’s lengthy rivalry with Mick Foley’s deranged alter-ego. Perhaps it’s because they never faced off at WrestleMania. I don’t know what it is, but it seems like most have forgotten everything that Undertaker did with Mankind except for Hell in a Cell. Indeed, Hell in a Cell has gone down as one of the most infamous moments in wrestling history and Mankind’s trips off the top of the Cell won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

Before that, Mankind’s rivalry with Undertaker was known for Mankind’s win-loss record against Undertaker. He had more success against the Dead Man than anybody else had at that point. Mankind attacked Undertaker during his first days with the WWF, which you have to respect since it’s going after the big dog right away. Mankind’s early work with Undertaker established him as a man not to mess with, and Mick Foley’s star rose immensely by being able to hang with the most respected man in the locker room. The fact that Paul Bearer turned against Undertaker to join Mankind tells you all you need to know.

article topics :

The Undertaker, Steve Cook