The Streak, and My Heart, Lie Broken on the Mat

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The Death of the Streak

For the first time in many years, I cried after a wrestling match last night.

The Deadman, the Phenom, the Undertaker lost to Brock Lesnar ending his famous “Streak” of wins at WrestleMania. Until last night it had been 21-0. The moment the three count and bell sounded, the streak broke. 21-1. And after stunned silence, I broke down and wept while sitting in Kim and Adam’s living room.

I’m not sure I’d call myself an old wrestling fan. I didn’t start watching until the fall of 1997. And I only started watching because the guy I was dating at the time told me that if I wanted to see him on Monday nights, I could come over to his dorm room and watch wrestling with him. Otherwise, I could see him another night.

Of course I chose to see my boyfriend. Which meant that I got introduced to Monday Night Raw. And the character/wrestler who immediately captured my attention was a tall, dark, ominous figured called “The Undertaker”. From the moment I saw him on the screen, I loved him. The theater, the drama, the music, the look…everything. It didn’t take long before I was going to the guys dorms on Monday more to watch wrestling than to actually see my boyfriend. When the Undertaker was “buried alive” I began rushing to the dorms after a late Monday night class in the spring, desperate to know if he’d reappeared while I was in class.

ImageHis matches always captivated me. Even today, I love to break out an old VHS tape of RAW episodes from back then, or an old PPV to watch things like the first Inferno match or the Hell in the Cell with Mankind. I remember so clearly the moment when Kane came to the Undertaker’s rescue one night and my Taker dropped to one knee and offered friendship and brotherhood to a man who had been him half-brother and enemy. Storylines, cheesy writing, I know. But I loved every moment of it. It was also a love that I shared with my Nana. She and I would often watch wrestling together or at least be on the phone with each other when it was on so that we could share reactions. After she died, it took ages for me to be able to picture her healthy and whole in my mind. Watching old wrestling tapes was what finally gave me back those happy memories of her.

ImageThough I moved and no longer had access to cable or network television, I still followed it as I could. Mainly because I loved the Undertaker and wanted to make sure he got out of some of his more……awkward….character phases (never was a fan of the American Badass). In recent years, I’ve been lucky to have friends who are fellow wrestling fans and we’ve watched many a PPV together. It’s how I saw my Taker ‘s match at WrestleMania 29. He was BRILLIANT and pulled off one hell of a match. So last night, I thought we’d be in for another great match and a win by my Taker.

You see, I had this apparently absurd thought that The Streak should simply pass into WWE legend unbroken. Yes, I know my Taker is older and probably needs to have a lot of work done on his body. I would not be surprised at all if he needed various replacement joints and such. That man has given so much of himself to the industry that I’m surprised he’s had enough to keep giving these past few years. So I had this happy fantasy where he’d have a match, maybe even win a final WrestleMania match, then retire….because even the Deadman has to finally get some rest. The Streak would be unbroken and something that would be a fascinating part of WWE history.

Instead it was broken by a wrestler that I honestly don’t think will be able to use the win to further his career. If The Streak had to be broken, I would have preferred it to be broken by a full-timer who would have been able to use that push. By someone who was worthy of it. It would have softened the blow. Also, the almost dead silence from the commentators during the last part of the match and the aftermath didn’t help. Though nothing would have stopped me from sobbing like a 4 year old, I think that if JR had been there to provide commentary, it would have softened the blow and been worthy of my Taker.

None of that happened. Instead the cameras showed the crowd reactions which mirrored the shock and horror on our own faces in the living room. I admit that after that match, Kim and I split a bottle of wine to dull the pain and I went back to trying to destroy the world’s population with a virus. Because I realized that I didn’t give a damn about anything else at that event anymore.

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Our reactions exactly

It’s silly to get so worked up about a pro-wrestling match. I know that. But ever since I got into wrestling, The Streak has been there and continued to grow. The Undertaker was a man who might be defeated in smaller matches, but never when he had a match at WrestleMania. He was my first wrestling love and though Mick Foley, The Rock, and others are very close seconds….it’s the Undertaker that really brings me back.

WWE, I don’t know the reasoning behind your decision to do this. I just know that you’ve cut out my heart with a dull and rusty spoon, leaving me empty. Had I actually been in attendance at the event on Sunday, I would have walked out. I have no desire to actually watch anything else of yours to see where this goes. I’m past that. I’m in a state of “I don’t give a damn what you do anymore”, WWE. I have a feeling that wasn’t the reaction you were going for, but that’s the reaction you’ve gotten from this one wrestling fan.

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True legends never die

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~ by rumielf on April 7, 2014.

One Response to “The Streak, and My Heart, Lie Broken on the Mat”

  1. still in shock that the streak actually ended! Did not see that coming at all!

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