WM Rewind: Looking back at The Undertaker Vs Triple H at WrestleMania XXVII

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If You were a WWE superstar in the locker room, you would invariably harbor a secret wish to be the guy that ended the Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak. There was just too much at stake and that was surely a one-way ticket to super stardom.

If these were the thoughts of a rookie, then imagine a veteran like Triple H, who has been there and done everything in the business and still looked to close out the one chapter that eluded him, defeating the phenom at the biggest pay-per-view of them all.

The year was 2011 and the stage was WrestleMania. The most dominant Superstar on ‘The Grandest Stage Of Them All’ was lying battered and bruised in the middle of the ring. The Undertaker endured a brutal pummeling at the hands of his opponent, Triple H. While ‘The Game’ had rendered The Undertaker helpless with everything he had, ‘The Deadman’ had somehow evaded the pin.

The Undertaker slowly rose up and then something incredible happened. Triple H lifted The Undertaker, but did not hit his customary Pedigree. Instead, he delivered The Undertaker’s own finishing move, The Tombstone Pile Driver on ‘The Phenom’ himself. Triple H covered his opponent’s hands on his chest. Legendary announcer Jim Ross went ballistic on air screaming, “The Tombstone to The Undertaker has ended a cruel irony.” This had to be the final nail in the coffin, except it wasn’t.

More than 70,000 people at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta were on their feet. At this point, they believed they were about to witness a historic moment unfold before their eyes. The referee began to count the pinfall, “One, two…” Then something happened.

The Undertaker willed his shoulder up out of pure instinct and as the ethereal moment unfolded in front of their eyes, over 70,000 people at the Georgia Dome erupted in unison. ‘The Streak’ still hung on, if only by a thread.

The Wrestlemania XXVII story line between The Undertaker and Triple H will go down as one of the greatest in the history of WWE.

February 2, 2011 is a date that will be etched in the minds of WWE fans forever. This was when ‘The Phenom’ made his highly anticipated return to the ring on RAW. As The Undertaker embarked on his iconic walk to the ring, the entire arena was on its feet. The Undertaker entered the ring with his somber funeral music playing in the background. He lowered his head and as he was about to take off his hat, another reverberating sound sent the arena wild. The vocal stylings of Lemmy Kilmister screamed, “Time to play the game.”

After almost a year, Triple H made his way to the ring with The Undertaker lying in wait. The two men stood toe to toe, gazing at one other. Then slowly, Triple H moved his gaze toward the sign that read WrestleMania XXVII. The Undertaker did too, and had a wry smile on his face, as if to say, “You cannot do it.” Not a word was spoken on that day, but the message was conveyed in a powerful way.

Triple H upped the ante the following week by stating that the one accomplishment left for him was to end The Undertaker’s Streak and he promised to do it at ‘The Show of Shows.’ ‘The Phenom’ responded by stating that Triple H would become victim number 19. Shawn Michaels also came out to the ring and talked about the greatness of The Undertaker’s accomplishment. He also asked his best friend Triple H, “What in the world makes you think you could do what I couldn’t?”

Then there was the match itself, which exceeded all expectations. Right from the start, the two legendary competitors went after each other in a wild manner, putting everything on the line. A flurry of punches were exchanged and The Undertaker tossed Triple H out of the ring. ‘The Game’ delivered a thunderous spine buster of his own, sending ‘The Dead Man’ crashing through the announce table. Then, a barrage of chair shots followed, with Triple H destroying the human anatomy of The Undertaker.

The Undertaker could not make it out of the arena ‘under his own power’.
The Undertaker could not make it out of the arena ‘under his own power’.

Probably for the first time, wrestling fans were made to feel that The Undertaker was human, but then, despite all the punishment, ‘The Streak’ was still alive. Even The Undertaker’s own Tombstone could not prove to be ‘The Phenom’s’ downfall.

Triple H then went for the kill. He took his iconic sledgehammer, and entered the ring. He probably did not want to do it, but he had to turn to his ultimate weapon because The Undertaker was just not quitting. As Triple H stood over The Undertaker, gazing at his hammer, ‘The DeadMan’ sprang back to life. He caught ‘The Game’ in a Hell’s Gate and Triple H was trapped. He had the sledgehammer in his hand, but it was to no avail and after a painful struggle, Triple H tapped out. It was over. The Undertaker was 19-0.

The match had taken its toll on ‘The Phenom.’ The Undertaker could not make it out of the arena ‘under his own power’. John Cena summed up the whole match by stating, “One of the guys didn’t walk away, and it was the guy who won.”

The WWE has produced several spine tingling moments, but none of these were as dramatic, as ethereal, as brutal, or as powerful as what was witnessed at Wrestlemania XXVII.

Even though the match could be hailed as a modern day spectacle, it did not give Triple H, what he came for. He still believed he could beat the Undertaker and hence challenged the Deadman to another bout at next year’s Wrestlemania. That was a far more intense battle which we shall cover in another article.

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