You’ll Never Forget Where You Were When Undertaker’s Streak Ended
[Note from Vince: This is the first article from Mark Whited here at the Cooler, he'll be giving us a special look into anything and everything sports. He's also known for his famous invention: the Can You Smell What the Rock is Cookin'? Scratch and Sniff game!]
Sunday night marked the 30th installment of the yearly World Wrestling Entertainment spectacle known as Wrestlemania. Writing the final chapter of a controversial year for the company – a year which saw fan favorite CM Punk leave – the biggest controversy of all may have been when Brock Lesnar pinned the Undertaker in front of 75,167 fans in New Orleans’ Mercedes-Benz Superdome, ending his legendary Wrestlemania win streak at 21 consecutive victories.
With that moment, fans of the wrestling industry were left shocked. Whether you were at the Superdome or in your living room, you could hear a pin drop. The unexpected, the impossible, the unbelievable had happened. Social media exploded as fans took to Twitter, making the event the No.1 trending topic worldwide.
Though it was scripted, the reaction could not be. You didn’t even need to have been a fan. Somehow, someway, you came across news of the Undertaker’s defeat and understood the awesome circumstances of what had happened.
Like myself, you’ll never forget where you were when the Undertaker’s streak came to an end.
I was headed eastbound on the Market-Frankford Line, leaving York-Dauphin Station in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. I spent most of the night at an Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous clubhouse. I was there doing research and interviewing recovering drug addicts for an article that I was writing on the neighborhood’s drug culture.
While Daniel Bryan was busy beating Triple H in his first of two matches, I was listening to someone tell me about the worst moments of his life – about being homeless, losing his entire family, ending up in prison and eventually ending up at The Last Stop, an outreach clubhouse which acts as a rehabilitation program for those struggling to break their addictive habits.
When Bray Wyatt, one of WWE’s rising stars, was having a classic match with longtime WWE superstar John Cena, I was seeing where those who were battling their demons slept. Most of the people in the program had a bunk bed, either in the basement or the first floor of a separate building that The Last Stop operates nearby. Though the program accommodates anyone looking to get clean and rebuild their lives, space is limited. They’ll make room, though, but that sometimes means people will have to sleep on the floor.
By the time Brock Lesnar had reversed the Undertaker’s trademark Tombstone Piledriver, hitting him with his third F5 and pinning him for the three-count that silenced the wrestling community, I was on the train, leaving the neighborhood to return home. I stood, as there were no open seats, and thought about what I had experienced.
I reflected on life as I knew it – what I thought I knew of it – realizing how good I have it. I grew a greater appreciation for the things I have, as I was exposed to what it looked like to have absolutely nothing.
As the train reached Huntington Station, I was already a better man.
But through it all, I knew I was missing one of my favorite events of the year, so I took out my phone for an update.
The photo above was the first, second and third thing I saw on my Facebook newsfeed. It was also part of the next 20 updates that I would come across, all indicating the same thing – that this was a fan’s reaction moments after the Undertaker had lost for the first time in his 22 Wrestlemania appearances. Shortly after, my face drew a striking resemblance.
I would later turn around, to see if anyone else was taking notice to this historic moment, which seemed like the rest of the world had already done. A man sitting about five feet away looked shocked as well. Maintaining his expression, he called someone on his phone.
“Yo, are you watching ‘Mania? The Undertaker lost,” the man said. “I can’t believe this. The Undertaker lost.”
We can go on to argue whether or not the loss should have happened. After all, all good things come to an end.
Joe DiMaggio’s consecutive game hitting streak ended at 56.
Cal Ripkin Jr. played in 2,632 consecutive games, but couldn’t reach 2,633.
Chase Utley will one day retire.
But ultimately, it happened, and you’ll always remember where you were and what you were doing when it did.
Posted on April 9, 2014, in Features and tagged Bray Wyatt, Brock Lesnar, Daniel Bryan, John Cena, Undertaker, Undertaker's Streak, Wrestlemania 30, Wrestlemania XXX, Wrestling. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.