The Streak Part 5: HHH and Ric Flair

Back again with another installment of The Streak. This time The Undertaker faced two men who at the end of their careers combined to hold 30 world titles in Triple H and “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. The matches are starting to get better and better as time goes along as they naturally should have. This was the beginning of the American Bad Ass Years of the Streak.

9-0!!
Wrestlemania X-Seven April 1, 2001 Vs Triple H Round 1 (9-0)

Backstory of the Match:

The Backstory of this match really began when the Undertaker made his return from injury in May of 2000. This return was the debut of the American Bad Ass Gimmick. Undertaker immediately began to feud with HHH who had control of WWE with his wife Stephanie in the McMahon/Hemsley era by taking out all the members of the faction and targeting its leader HHH. The feud was put on the backburner for a while and was reignited after HHH had claimed to have beaten everyone in WWE only to have Taker answer saying he had never beaten him, which was true as until this match at Wrestlemania, as they had not faced off in a singles match.

The Match Itself:

For the Second and last time The Undertaker missed a Wrestlemania due to injury when he missed Wrestlemania 2000. Wrestlemania X-Seven was in Undertaker’s Hometown of Houston, Texas, this makes this particular win interesting because usually wrestlers will lose in their hometowns. This was a really good match though obviously nowhere near the level of the 2 matches they would have later on at Wrestlemania. One of my biggest criticisms of the match was the over the top convoluted referee bump in the match. The Referee took the Sledgehammer away from HHH and went to take it out of the ring for safety sake. Instead it was laid on the edge of the ring and he stood there talking someone outside the ring for close to a minute while waiting for the catapult of HHH into to knock him out for the next 15 minutes. They however made up with this with two really cool spots. The first was The Undertaker chokeslamming HHH off the top of the Camera tower they built. The second was Undertaker leaping off that tower driving an elbow through HHH below. All in all it was a really good match.

The Effect on The Opponent of the Undertaker Before and After Match:

It’s really hard to say what the effect on HHH’s career was. He was already at the top of the card being the top villain during the era as the Wrestling business started turning away from Rock and Austin as they began pursuing other things. HHH would team up with Newly Heel Stone Cold Steve Austin to form the Two-Man Power Trip. Sadly the angle was cut quickly due to HHH’s quad tear that nearly ended his career and took him out of the invasion storyline as well as hurt any chance the Heel turn of Austin’s had of succeeding. HHH would return in January of 2002 as a face to one of the loudest pops of all-time and go on to reclaim his spot at the top of the card by winning the 2002 Royal Rumble and the WWE Undisputed Championship at Wrestlemania X8.

My Rating for the Match:

3.5 Stars out of 5.

 

Wrestlemania X8 March 30, 2003 vs Ric Flair No DQ match (10-0)

Backstory for the Match:

When Ric Flair returned to the WWE late in 2001 it was in a Non-Wrestling Role as Co-Owner of the WWE. The Undertaker Now a Heel as Big Evil/Deadman Inc persona did not like Flair critizing his action at No Way Out where he Chokeslammed and Tombstoned The Rock on a car. Flair interfered in the match at No Way Out using a Lead Pipe to help The Rock defeat The Undertaker. Undertaker challenged Flair to a Wrestlemania Match but Flair turned it down. So this lead Taker to picking apart Flair’s Family and friends until finally Flair accepted the match. This match was part of the power struggle between Flair and McMahon and was made a No DQ match by McMahon after the Board gave him full power for Wrestlemania.

 

The Match Itself:

Being a No DQ match meant that this was not going to be a traditional style match. I think this was a match long time wrestling fans had dreamed of for 10 years before it happened. Overall it was a good match though had it happened 4 years later 06 for example when flair was at his best in his run with WWE this would have been a far better match. Arn Anderson attempted to help Flair but ultimately like 9 others before him Flair too failed to beat The Undertaker at Wrestlemania.

 

The Effect on The Opponent of the Undertaker Before and After Match:

This could be the match that is looked at as showing Flair still had it in the ring and a WWE Run was possible. Flair is arguably the greatest wrestler of all time. He is a 16 time World Champion. He’d done it all before this match. This match just reminded us what Flair was and still could be. Flair never again won the World Titles but he still styled and profiled and had great matches well into his 50’s. There will never be another person quite like Ric Flair.

 

My Rating for the Match: 3 stars out of 5.

Thank you once again for checking out my series on The Undertaker’s legendary Streak at Wrestlemania. I have about 2 more before I have caught up and will be able to post one a week until Wrestlemania.