The Undertaker On WrestleMania 30 Loss – “I Don’t Think Brock Lesnar Needed It”
The Undertaker believes that Brock Lesnar didn’t need to be the man that ended the undefeated WrestleMania streak.
Going into WrestleMania 30 in 2014, The Undertaker was going up against a man that was a dominant force in WWE: Brock Lesnar. The two men feuded in WWE over a decade earlier when Brock was a rookie trying to prove himself against the legendary Undertaker, who did his part to make Lesnar look like a major star.
When The Undertaker got to WrestleMania 30, he was 21-0 on the Grandest Stage of Them All with victories over some of the biggest names in WWE history like Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Triple H, Randy Orton, Kane, CM Punk, Jake Roberts and many others.
The Undertaker-Lesnar match was a bit of a mess because Taker suffered a concussion during the match. It just didn’t have the feel of a WrestleMania classic like his matches with Michaels, Triple H and Punk in the five years prior.
Brock Lesnar hit an F5 for the third time for the match and while many people watching likely assumed The Undertaker would kick out to keep his streak going, there was no kickout this time. Lesnar won, his “advocate” Paul Heyman was stunned and so were the fans at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans. A 21-1 graphic was shown on screen while Heyman bragged about Lesnar being “the one in 21-1” for many years after.
During an interview with Ariel Helwani on BT Sport, The Undertaker was asked if he thought Lesnar was the right guy to end The Streak.
“It’s hard to say. I don’t think Brock needed it. I think Brock was a major attraction, he was a star, and he was made. I don’t know that it enhanced him anymore. I think it would have been great for Roman if Brock hadn’t already done it. It would have been a huge thing for Roman (Reigns).”
“I don’t know that it meant the same to Brock as it would have meant to Roman or anybody else who would have done it because Brock had already been there. Brock had already gone off to UFC. He already had all these major accomplishments. I think it could have helped somebody else.”
At the time in 2014, Roman Reigns was still a part of The Shield stable, but he became a singles star over the next year and headlined WrestleMania 31 with Lesnar in 2015.
As Taker continued, he explained how he was originally going to beat Brock Lesnar, but WWE Chairman Vince McMahon talked to Taker during the day and decided to change the finish.
“When I got there that day, I was still going over. It’s in the early afternoon. I remember sitting in the dressing room and Vince came in, and as soon as he came in, I knew what it was. He changed the finish. I gave him my spiel and what I thought. It wasn’t no for the sake of not wanting to do the job. It was ‘no’ in the sense that I didn’t feel like Brock needed it.”
“Vince’s counter was, ‘If not Brock, then who beats you?’ Vince can sell ice to an Eskimo. I brought up as many points as I thought, like, looking long term down the road. Vince, his deal too is, who down the road? At that point, I’m year to year. I don’t know when I’m going to pull the trigger and say enough’s enough, so I think he wanted to make sure he got that.”
The Undertaker talked about how Vince McMahon likely didn’t want The Deadman to have a perfect record and without knowing how long Taker would wrestle, Vince wanted Taker to put somebody clean in the middle of the ring as he did for Lesnar.
“I don’t think he (Vince) ever envisioned that character riding off into the sunset with a perfect record. I don’t know when I’m going to call it a day, but if I was going to do it, I wanted to do it for somebody, like I said, it would be very impactful for that person’s career. Selfishly, I mean that would have been great to walk off being undefeated, but that’s just not how the business goes.”
“There’s a lot of people through the years that laid down for me to help me build the mystique of my character and do that, so it’s only natural and only right to pay it forward. The business itself is bigger than the one character. Brock was worthy of it. He was a huge draw at this point, but I don’t think that it helped him the way it would have helped, say Roman at the time.”
Elsewhere in the interview, The Undertaker recalled his reaction when Vince McMahon told Taker that Vince was retiring from WWE last July. The Undertaker didn’t believe it at the time.