Hereos get remembered, but legends never die. – Babe Ruth
These words cannot be any more true coming from a man who once held a record admired by millions. Now, I don’t follow baseball, but to me this must have had the same effect as WWE’s The Undertaker’s 21-0 streak at WrestleMania.
No one has ever gone 21 straight years at any major championship event undefeated. Sure there are teams that may go full seasons without defeat…but it’s not the same as if the Lakers would go 21 straight years to the NBA Championship game and win each and every single time. Or if the Packers went to the Superbowl 21 times in a row and won each and every time….do you see how impossible that sounds?
And yes, Wrestling is “fake”. But to the 8 year old in me, it’s reality. Or the escape from reality. Or both. Wrestling is a world that I escape to so I can forget about the problems I have. To forget about the homework that I don’t understand. To forget that I was grounded and should be watching TV. And at the age of 21, Wrestling is still that escape. It’s the escape of having to worry about making a living. The escape from the world of nothing but bad drama and people being unnecessarily mean to one another. It’s an escape from reality a few hours a week.
And the Undertaker for 21 years has suspended disbelief long enough so that when the bell rang, it was however long the match went, that I would sit there in awe watching someone trying to do the impossible. And I times, I would root for them to defeat the streak. WrestleMania 25…Shawn Michaels. Mr. WrestleMania himself….My favorite of all time couldn’t break the streak. It was destined to be one of the few things in this world that never disappointed.
But it’s gone.
What does this mean? For many, it legitimately means the end of an era. The end of one of the greatest character of all time. For others, its disappointment that of all people possible…something so sacred ends for someone who doesn’t even love the business. And then theres me. The 8 year old in me is devastated. The 21 year old in me is glad that we won’t have to see Undertaker try to be a shell of himself. The fan in me just wants one more match. But in reality, this is the last we will see of the Undertaker.
Thank you, Mark Calaway.