The Undertaker has made a lot of history over the course of 25 appearances at WrestleMania, and all signs point toward a last-minute surprise in New Orleans on Sunday. That being said, after the go-home episode of "Monday Night Raw" and four weeks of pleading from John Cena, The Undertaker still hasn't given any official sign that he'll accept Cena's offer for a match at WrestleMania.
Regardless, this is The Undertaker, and this is WrestleMania. They go hand in hand, so ... in anticipation of the 26th WrestleMania match of his illustrious WWE career this Sunday, we wanted to take a look back at a few of the moments that define Undertaker's legacy at the WWE's signature show. And if he doesn't show up, consider this a retrospective.
For the first 21 years, it was about The Undertaker's undefeated streak. Over the course of more than two decades, The Undertaker took down all in his path and even won a few championships along the way. Then came Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XXX, and the streak was over, but there were still more stories left to be told.
As it stands, The Undertaker's record at WrestleMania stands at 23-2. Could New Orleans, the site of the end of his undefeated streak, ultimately become the place where his career comes to rest? We'll find out soon enough.
For now, a look back at the biggest and most memorable WrestleMania moments involving The Undertaker, dating all the way back to:
WrestleMania VII vs. Jimmy Snuka
No one could've had any idea what would follow, but that didn't stop the crowd at the LA Sports Arena from exploding in excitement the first time The Undertaker's gong blared through a stadium at a WrestleMania. The start of "the streak" came after just 4 minutes, 20 seconds of action as The Undertaker landed the Tombstone piledriver for the pinfall.
WrestleMania 13 vs. Sycho Sid
After racking up wins against Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Giant Gonzalez, King Kong Bundy and Diesel, The Undertaker's sixth WrestleMania match offered him both his first title shot on WWE's grandest stage and the first of four WrestleMania-closing matches in his career to date. Even without the familiar presence of Paul Bearer at his side, after Bearer had turned on him, The Undertaker had a helping hand in winning his second WWE championship. In the closing moments of the match, Bret Hart inserted himself into the picture in this no-disqualification match by nailing Sycho Sid with a pair of chair shots to set up an Undertaker chokeslam. When that wasn't enough, Hart came out a second time to cause enough of a disruption to allow The Undertaker to hit the Tombstone piledriver for the victory.
WrestleMania XIV vs. Kane; WrestleMania XX vs. Kane
Of all the relationships that will come to define The Undertaker's career, his rivalry (and later friendship) with his brother Kane has to be at or near the top. The lead-up to their first WrestleMania match had more in the way of supernatural circumstances than there were at any other point in The Undertaker's career; there were lightning strikes, a casket set on fire, a resurrection and more. After a moment of comedic relief in which Kane Tombstoned Pete Rose (for the first time), the match got underway. It took a chokeslam, a Tombstone, a leg drop, a second Tombstone, a top rope clothesline and finally a third Tombstone to put Kane away, and Kane responded by hitting a Tombstone of his own on The Undertaker.
At WrestleMania XX, Kane came back for seconds -- marking the first time in The Undertaker's career that he'd faced a repeat opponent at WrestleMania. After losing a "buried alive" match against Vince McMahon in November 2003, when Kane got involved, The Undertaker went off TV for a few months. After teasing his comeback, he ultimately returned, having left his "American Badass/Big Evil" persona behind in favor of a return to his "Deadman" character. Paul Bearer, along with a flock of druids, led The Undertaker to the ring, where he'd take care of Kane in fairly short order with a chokeslam and a Tombstone after less than seven minutes.
WrestleMania XXIV vs. Edge
The peak of another of The Undertaker's most legendary feuds, against Edge, came in the main event of WrestleMania XXIV with the world heavyweight championship on the line. After a Money in the Bank cash-in, a Hell in a Cell sneak-attack and Vickie Guerrero-related antics, the tension between The Undertaker and Edge could not have been any higher. With the streak sitting at 15-0, The Undertaker absorbed everything Edge had to throw at him and then some, including a camera shot to the face. One of the most iconic moments of this match, however, didn't involve either man, or Curt Hawkins or Zack Ryder, who both got involved. No, that moment belonged to referee Charles Robinson, who sprinted down the lengthy ramp at the Citrus Bowl to fill in for another downed official. The Undertaker walked away with his streak intact and the world heavyweight championship back in his possession.
WrestleMania XXV vs. Shawn Michaels; WrestleMania XXVI vs. Michaels
You wouldn't think that two of the best matches of The Undertaker's career would come when he was well into his 40s, but when you put two of the superstars most associated with WrestleMania into the ring together, something truly special came together. Shawn Michaels was determined to be the one to end the streak, and the match between two guys from Texas in their home state felt big well before the bell even rang. Michaels, dressed in white, symbolically "came down from the heavens" from a platform that lowered to the ground; The Undertaker rose from the stage in his customary all-black, and what followed was The Undertaker's longest WrestleMania match to date at over 30 minutes. Despite a nearly disastrous dive over the top rope that caused him to crash and burn, The Undertaker eventually caught Michaels in mid-moonsault to hit a Tombstone for the victory.
These two men were at their absolute best, as they captured match of the year awards from the WWE, Wrestling Observer and Pro Wrestling Illustrated, among others -- so how do you possibly follow that? After The Undertaker tried to deny him the rematch, Michaels put his career on the line vs. The Undertaker's streak. The second time around, their match at WrestleMania XXVI in Phoenix closed the show. In The Undertaker's 18th WrestleMania match and Shawn Michaels' 17th, they built upon everything they'd done the previous year. In the closing moments, The Undertaker tried to tell Michaels to stay down -- only for Michaels to pull his thumb across his own throat and slap The Undertaker to antagonize him to finish the job. Just as Michaels had done to Ric Flair two years prior, The Undertaker ended Michaels' career in the middle of the ring at WrestleMania.
WWE superstar Triple H recalls his Hell in a Cell match with The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXVIII, a match he will never forget.
WrestleMania XXVII vs. Triple H; WrestleMania XXVIII vs. Triple H
Triple H picked up right where Shawn Michaels left off the following year by trying to avenge the end of his friend's career and ending The Undertaker's streak himself. A month and a half out from WrestleMania XXVII, Undertaker made his return after months out of action, but before he could say a word, Triple H made a return of his own. They met in the middle of the ring, stared at the WrestleMania sign, and it was on; this was actually the second match between the two men, with The Undertaker first having beaten Triple H 10 years prior. Triple H entered to Metallica; The Undertaker walked in to Johnny Cash, and they went to war in a no-disqualification match. After Tombstones and Pedigrees failed to finish the job in either direction, Triple H introduced a sledgehammer, but The Undertaker caught him and earned a submission victory via his Hell's Gate submission.
We've talked about this second match at length before, but in short -- the "End of an Era" brought Triple H, Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker together inside of Hell in a Cell -- and The Undertaker triumphed once more.
WrestleMania XXX vs. Brock Lesnar
The end of "the streak" is the single most shocking moment in WWE history. There was a lot to say in the moment and a lot to reflect on, but few moments could possibly top the eerie quiet that filled the Superdome after this match at WrestleMania XXX.
In the main event of WrestleMania 33, The Undertaker gets speared by Roman Reigns through an announcer table outside the ring.
WrestleMania 33 vs. Roman Reigns
After the loss to Lesnar in New Orleans, The Undertaker rattled off wins against Bray Wyatt and Shane McMahon -- putting him at 23-1 heading into Orlando for WrestleMania 33. After going face to face at several points along the way, Roman Reigns lined up for his shot at The Undertaker -- and for the fourth time in his career, The Undertaker closed out WrestleMania. For a man who's had so many iconic entrances, The Undertaker had one of his best here, rising up out of the rampway amid a cloud of smoke. The match, which was somewhat tough to watch because of the physical condition of The Undertaker, had its moments, but when Reigns walked away victorious, it felt as though The Undertaker's legacy was complete. He laid his jacket, hat and gloves down in the ring and descended through a trap door in the ramp -- 23-2 over 25 WrestleManias.