Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar: Tracing the Biggest Moments to WrestleMania Match

David Bixenspan@davidbixFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2014

Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar: Tracing the Biggest Moments to WrestleMania Match

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    While the TV version of the current Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker feud is about a month or so old, it's been in the planning stages for a lot longer.  WWE wanted this match to happen three years ago, and it was even hinted at, but contractual issues got in the way.

    This Sunday, it's finally here.  There are still some unanswered real-life questions: Is The Undertaker physically up to working Lesnar's style of match? Will it be closer to Undertaker's usual WrestleMania special? Somewhere in between? The storyline build is just about over.  Let's take a look at how it's played out so far.

"You wanna do it?"

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    Almost three-and-a-half years ago at UFC 121, Brock Lesnar lost the UFC heavyweight championship to Cain Velasquez by technical knockout.  It ended up being his next-to-last mixed martial arts fight, as the surgery to deal with his diverticulitis (by removing a foot of his colon) was the beginning of the end of him being able to compete at a high level.

    After the fight, MMA writer Ariel Helwani was doing celebrity interviews at ringside, and one of them was with The Undertaker.  When a dazed Lesnar passed by, Undertaker asked him "You wanna do it?" without specifying what "it" was.

    It turned out that WWE wanted Lesnar back for a WrestleMania match with Undertaker.  Somehow, UFC President Dana White vs. Vince McMahon was also part of the plan.  Due to Lesnar's UFC contract, though, it couldn't happen at that time, but the seed was planted for an Undertaker-Lesnar WrestleMania match to be a really big deal.  Even though they feuded a couple times during Lesnar's first WWE run,  I think we're supposed to pretend that didn't happen.

Contract Signing

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    For his WrestleMania 30 match, Brock Lesnar was gifted an open contract by The Authority.  He could pick anyone he wanted, and he'd get a match with them.  Why he didn't try to add himself to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match after proclaiming himself the No. 1 contender for weeks wasn't really explained.

    Upon announcing this, Brock and manager Paul Heyman got no takers (pun not intended), so they decided to leave...when Undertaker's entrance music started playing.  He took his long walk to the ring and stared Brock down.  Lesnar signed the contract immediately, but when it was Undertaker's turn, Brock poked him in the chest with the pen.  He splayed his hand on the table as he pointed to the contract, and what happened next was, while obvious, pretty awesome: Undertaker stabbed him in the hand with the pen and chokeslammed him through the table.

    Unfortunately, Undertaker didn't sign the contract in Lesnar's blood.

    It was a little goofy that you could see Lesnar's hand afterwards since he was obviously not really stabbed, but it was such an "Undertaker" thing to do, and the whole angle was a great way to kick off the build to the latest in The Undertaker's series of WrestleMania classics.

Paul Heyman: Master Troll

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    You're WWE and CM Punk has left the company on short notice.  You have a Raw in Chicago coming up.  How do you deal with the crowd?

    You have Paul Heyman troll them and then deliver such an amazing show they stop obsessing over Punk.

    Heyman did a brilliant job with part one.  He came out to Punk's entrance music and video, cut a glowing promo about Punk...and then transitioned into making it about himself and Brock Lesnar.

    Not a great, key component of the Undertaker-Lesnar feud, but a perfect example of how to make the most of a bad situation.

Paul Heyman Is Just Worried for The Undertaker...

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    This time, instead of trolling the fans, Paul Heyman trolled The Undertaker. He worships "The Streak," you see.  He's just worried about The Undertaker.  Brock Lesnar is monster!  He's a beast!  If The Undertaker battles him at WrestleMania, that ends the streak, and for what?

    What a nice guy Paul Heyman is.  If only we could all be so magnanimous.

The Undertaker's Message to Brock Lesnar

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    Two weeks ago on Main Event, The Undertaker materialized behind Paul Heyman to menace him and deliver a message to Lesnar: "When the Undertaker gets to New Orleans, he's gonna slay 'The Beast.'"  He then promised to send Brock's corpse to the fiery pits of Hell, and, oh, he'd be at Raw the following Monday night in Brooklyn.

    This was very effective and a lot of fun, but Undertaker's voice sounded really, really weird.  I'm not sure if it was intentional to sound more "demonic" to go along with his new look, but he sounded more like Cobra Commander from G.I. Joe, and it hurt the angle just a little bit because it made it a little harder to take seriously.  If it wasn't intentional, it could have something to do with the new-ish tattoos on his neck, as his voice changed temporarily when he had an old tattoo lasered off his neck a few years ago.

The Undertaker Continues Playing His Old Tricks

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    This past Monday night on Raw, the main event segment was that The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar would have some sort of ill-defined confrontation.  Lesnar and Paul Heyman came out, a bunch of druids wheeled out a casket as Gregorian chants played and nothing really happened for several minutes.

    Lesnar finally opened the casket, but it was empty.  At this point, one of two things could happen:

    1. Undertaker tears through the ring from underneath to attack Lesnar and/or Heyman from behind.
    2. Undertaker turns out to be in the casket the next time they check.

    It was the second option.  Undertaker popped up, overwhelmed Lesnar with a large volume of strikes and dumped him over the top rope, with Lesnar taking a nasty bump on the casket.  All the while, the crowd chanted "Happy Birthday" at The Undertaker, killing the mood.

    This was definitely the weakest of the angles so far.  This feud needs as little Undertaker mystical wackiness as possible.  I was OK with what happened the week before on Main Event since he could have found ways to get in the ring when the lights were out besides teleportation, but this was too much. Plus, on top of that, barely anything happened.

    The original draw behind this match was that people thought there was something "real" based on what happened at the UFC event a few years ago.  When you involve druids and multiple forms of teleportation and all that, it hurts the appeal.