Ryan DilbertWWE Lead WriterMarch 20, 2017

Undertaker has stumbled on the WWE WrestleMania stage in recent years but will find his stride against Roman Reigns.

During the heart of his undefeated streak, The Showcase of the Immortals had become an annual showcase of Undertaker’s ability to thrive in the spotlight, to produce stirring drama between the ropes. The Deadman’s bouts at the pay-per-view became as must-watch as the world title bouts, a spectacle onto themselves. 

A trio of underwhelming contests followed, however, ending Undertaker’s run of WrestleMania classics.

That is set to change. Reigns’ big-match ability and youth will make sure of that. The April 2 clash with The Big Dog will be a return to form for Undertaker.

At 51 years old, The Phenom isn’t going to revert to his old self. WrestleMania 33 won’t see him shed the mileage he’s amassed in the ring, but after a disappointing stretch, a hell of a match is on the way.

Starting with his 2007 collision with Batista, the future Hall of Famer made WrestleMania his playground, consistently delivering a show-stealer at the event. 

Undertaker outdid himself each year as he battled Edge, Triple H and Shawn Michaels. Each match hit a series of moving notes, combining strong storytelling with hard-hitting action. And then it all tailed off in a hurry. 

WrestleMania 30 saw him and Brock Lesnar deliver a dud.

Two streaks ended that night. The Phenom suffered his first loss at WrestleMania and a stretch of top-notch performances came to a halt, as well.

The Deadman saw a sharp decline in his match quality after his bout with CM Punk. Dave Meltzer’s star ratings in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reflect that:

Undertaker WrestleMania Star Ratings (2010-2016)
Year Opponent WON Rating (out of 5)
2010 Shawn Michaels 4.75
2011 Triple H 4.5
2012 Triple H 4.75
2013 CM Punk 4.5
2014 Brock Lesnar 1.5
2015 Bray Wyatt 2.75
2016 Shane McMahon 2.5
Wrestling Observer Newsletter via The Internet Wrestling Database

Injury played a significant role in that downward swing.

At some point during the Lesnar clash, Undertaker suffered a head injury. As noted after the match, he “was diagnosed with a severe concussion and was kept overnight for further evaluation.”

That can partly explain why the action seemed so off that night, why Lesnar and Undertaker have excelled against each other on nearly every other occasion but delivered a clunker in New Orleans. 

The next year, Undertaker took on Bray Wyatt where an injury hampered the match before the opening bell even rang. Dave Scherer of reported at the time that Wyatt hurt his ankle doing warm-ups and “was taken by cart to the back of the stadium.”

Wyatt was off his game as a result, and their WrestleMania 31 match never clicked.

A flood of injuries ahead of WrestleMania 32 led WWE to pit Undertaker against a returning Shane McMahon. Even with the added Hell in a Cell stipulation, the bout was boring at times.

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