Pro wrestling fans were able to see a very different side of The Undertaker recently, as The Last Ride documentary on WWE Network provided us all an in-depth journey of the past three years of his WWE in-ring career. At the conclusion of the documentary, The Phenom announced that he does not have any plans on returning to the ring, following his final match at WrestleMania 36 against AJ Styles.
As many of his matches were touted, the Boneyard Match against Styles was positively acclaimed by many who watched the unprecedented two-day event. This match further cemented that The Undertaker has the most impressive WrestleMania presence in WWE history. However, there are some of his matches that should have been different than what was scheduled.
The Undertaker's WrestleMania journey started in 1991. From 1991-2013, he went on a 22-match winning streak. Additionally, he only was absent from two WrestleMania events, which were WrestleMania X in 1994 and WrestleMania 16 in 2000. Throughout this streak, he racked up wins against names who are now in the WWE Hall of Fame, which include Jimmy Snuka, Jake Roberts, Diesel, Big Boss Man, Ric Flair, Mark Henry, Batista, Edge, and Shawn Michaels. In addition, he added former WWE Champions CM Punk, Kane, and The Big Show to his list.
Following the end of the streak at WrestleMania 30, Undertaker has competed in five out of the past six events of the series, defeating Bray Wyatt, Shane McMahon, John Cena, and AJ Styles. He also fell victim to his second-ever WrestleMania loss, against Roman Reigns, at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando, Florida. This was thought to be the end of The Deadman's career from his post-match actions, but as seen in the documentary, there was a void to be filled. He wanted to leave with feeling satisfied with his last match, and AJ Styles did just that. While his match with Styles was positively critiqued overall, not every WrestleMania match was.
Here are 5 WrestleMania matches involving The Undertaker that should have been different.
#5. WrestleMania 9 vs Giant Gonzalez
Should have wrestled: Yokozuna
In WCW, he was known as El Gigante, and was a babyface engaged in top-level feuds against Ric Flair, Big Van Vader, Sid Vicious, and the One Man Gang. With his enormous size, Vince McMahon apparently saw money in him, and he was brought into the company as an intimidating heel in 1993. The WWE creative team were clearly holding nothing back on propelling him to be a top name, as he gained a featured spot on WrestleMania IX against The Undertaker less than two months after debuting.
This match has been widely known to be the worst match of The Undertaker's WrestleMania series. Not only did The Undertaker have to work around the physical limitations of Gonzalez, but the match was won by disqualification. Clearly WWE still wanted to protect the character of Giant Gonzalez and extend the feud, but it was a bad call, especially retrospectively. The rivalry concluded at SummerSlam the following year in a "Rest in Peace" match, and Gonzalez left the WWE shortly after.
While it would require an entire reworking of nearly every storyline leading up to WrestleMania IX, a match between 'Taker and Yokozuna would have been a much better attraction. In fact, according to The Undertaker, this was the match he wanted before Vince McMahon placed him in the program with Gonzalez.
However, instead, we got Giant Gonzalez smothering Undertaker with choloform and Hullk Hogan ending up at the end of the night WWF Champion.