The Undertaker really should have retired after his third Wrestlemania match with Triple H. That was the last time that the Undertaker brutalized his competition in the manner that fans are accustomed to. It was billed as the “End of an Era,” and it should have been. Triple H became a suit, and Taker should have hung up his boots. Instead, he kept wrestling, and it became an inevitability; Vince McMahon finally pulled the trigger and ended The Streak.
It was an unpopular decision. Brock didn’t want to end it. The Undertaker didn’t want to end it. And fans and industry insiders still criticize it, across the board. On his podcast with Vince McMahon, Stone Cold Steve Austin addressed the elephant in the room, and took his former boss to task:
McMahon: No one wants to give back to the business more than The Undertaker, more than Mark Calaway....The one person whose time was there at that moment, who Mark thought, “OK, this is it,” that’d be Brock.
Austin: C’mon dude. You can’t tell me Undertaker made that decision.
McMahon: I made that decision.
And that seems to be the pattern of the past few years. The more the years wear on, the less there is for Taker to do—he’s done it all. And so, to create drama, and because there’s nothing left to spin into storylines, the writers are now cannibalizing and breaking down the foundations of what makes the Undertaker great. For 25 years, the Undertaker has been pushed as an unbeatable, immortal legend. But the broken Streak, and now, this left-field heel turn, reframe him as petty and human. The Undertaker should retire, and not stick around to witness his character’s destruction.