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10 WrestleMania Followup Pay-Per-Views with WrestleMania Rematches

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#9. Undertaker and Kane set the world (and each other) on fire

At WrestleMania XIV, The Undertaker broke months of silence to lay waste to a dominant foe who had been calling out The Deadman for weeks and months on RAW is WAR (sound familiar?). Using multiple Tombstones, the last of which just barely put down The Big Red Machine, The Undertaker left Boston the victor, but Kane and his evil manager, handler, and father Paul Bearer continued to antagonize WWE's resident phenom.

Playing off the kayfabe backstory between the demented brothers, Bearer would continue to harangue Undertaker over the mortuary fire Undertaker allegedly caused which killed Undertaker and Kane's parents and which left The Big Red Machine scarred for life, both physically and emotionally.

Bearer would vow to burn Undertaker alive, just like Undertaker had maimed his parents and little brother, and originated the Inferno Match on April 26, 1998, Unforgiven: In Your House. The match would be contested in a ring surrounded by flames, and the winner would be the first man to cause his opponent to become engulfed in fire.

The match was very similar to the WrestleMania contest, featuring lots of power offense, rest holds, and strikes from both men; Undertaker threw Kane out of the ring, where Vader (whom Kane had maimed with a wrench earlier in the year) fought to keep the Demon at ringside. Undertaker leaped over the top rope with an impressive fiery plancha, an image which singlehandedly justified the match's stipulation.

Kane tries to burn his older brother in the ringside flames.
Kane tries to burn his older brother in the ringside flames.

Undertaker would fight off interference from Bearer to boot his baby brother into the flames, and Kane would grip the burners with his gloved hand, causing the one-sleeved arm of his ring gear to catch fire, and give Undertaker a second consecutive win over the Devil's Favorite Demon.

Which Worked Better?

While neither match is exactly Omega vs. Okada, they both had their own marketable mystique, and it's easy to see why Undertaker vs. Kane would be one of the top programs to define the World Wrestling Federation in 1998, helping the WWF tip the rating war in its favor. Because of the hot Greensboro, SC, crowd, the interference spots from Vader and Bearer, and that literally hellish plancha (not to mention Jim Ross's memorable call of Undertaker leaping through hellfire and brimstone), Unforgiven manages to outdo its WrestleMania original.

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