ThunderStruck: The Undertaker’s Survivor Series History: Pt 2
Welcome to part 2 of The Undertaker’s Survivor Series history! In part one I discussed the Dead Man’s history from 1990 to 1999. In this supplemental edition, I’ll cover 2000-2009. That being said, here we go!
Undertaker returned to the WWF in May 2000 with a biker gimmick; this was entirely different than anything he had done in the WWF until that point. He feuded with the McMahon-Helmsley faction and then again with Kane, who he defeated at Summerslam 2000.
Survivor Series November 19, 2000 from Tampa, FL
While rocking the American Badass gimmick, Undertaker challenged Kurt Angle for his WWF Championship. Undertaker dominated the majority of this match and even had Kurt tap out to an armbar submission while the referee was distracted by Edge and Christian. The ref was also distracted a second time when he was throwing Edge and Christian out of the ringside area and the dead man had chokeslammed Angle and had the pinfall. Near the finish of the match Kurt crawled underneath the ring. Undertaker pulled him out and tossed him into the ring. Undertaker hit the last ride and went for the pinfall but Earl Hebner stopped counting after two and pointed out that the guy Undertaker was trying to pin was in fact not Kurt Angle. Angle came running into the ring at that point and scored a fast school boy pin on The Undertaker. The guy in the ring was later revealed to be Kurt’s brother, Eric Angle. The dead man had been cost the title despite dominating the match from start to finish.
The Undertaker went on to team with Kane for the majority of 2001. The dead man and Kane were able to capture the tag titles from Edge and Christian before losing them to Triple H and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Undertaker had defeated Triple H at WrestleMania XVII, but had failed to capture the WWF Title from Austin when he challenged him at Judgement Day. The Undertaker then feuded with his wife’s stalker, Diamond Dallas Page. Undertaker and Kane beat DDP and Kanyon in a cage match at Summerslam in 2001 to win the “WCW” storyline tag titles. Undertaker would represent the WWF during the WCW/ECW Invasion angle.
Survivor Series November 18, 2001 from Greensboro, NC
The Undertaker joined Team WWF with The Rock, Chris Jericho, Kane, and The Big Show to take on Team Alliance, which consisted of Booker T, Shane McMahon, Stone Cole Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, and Rob Van Dam. The Undertaker was the third man eliminated in this match after receiving a stunner from Steve Austin. Austin dragged Kurt Angle over the dead man so that he was able to score the pinfall. Austin would go on to lose the match when Kurt Angle turned on Team Alliance and struck Austin with the WWF Title, allowing The Rock to score the pinfall and get the win for Team WWF.
The Undertaker would take a heel turn and attack Jim Ross for Vince McMahon, and then he also cut his hair short. Undertaker would go on to defeat Rob Van Damn for the Hardcore Title, Ric Flair to continue his streak at WrestleMania 18 in a brutal match, and the Immortal Hulk Hogan for the WWE Title at Judgement Day(Undertaker had in fact helped Hogan win the title from Triple H the month prior at Backlash). The Undertaker lost the title to the Rock and was able to later challenge Brock Lesnar twice for the championship, but failed to capture it on both attempts. The Undertaker took some time off after legitimately breaking his hand in late 2002, so he missed the Survivor Series event that year.
The dead man returned in 2003 and feuded with The Big Show(who had in storyline put the dead man out of action), A-Train, John Cena(the young thug-life rapper gimmick), and Kurt Angle. The Undertaker was screwed by Vince McMahon out of the WWE Title in a match against Brock Lesnar at No Mercy in October that year. The Undertaker sought his revenge on the company’s owner.
Survivor Series November 16, 2003 from Dallas, TX
After The Undertaker was told by Vince McMahon he could have whatever he wanted, he chose to face Vinny Mac in a Buried Alive Match. This match was a lot of fun to watch for any of you fans out there that love seeing Vince get kicked around and beat up. Unfortunately for the dead man, Kane interfered on behalf of McMahon and buried The Undertaker alive.
Kane claimed that The Undertaker had become too human and used that as his excuse for what he did. The Undertaker ultimately returned under the dead man gimmick at WrestleMania 20, where he defeated Kane yet again and continued his impressive streak. The Undertaker would feud against Paul Heyman and defeat the Dudley Boyz at the Great American Bash, where he also entombed Paul Bearer in cement. Undertaker would go on to feud with JBL before entering a feud with the short lived monster heel, Heidenreich.
Survivor Series November 14, 2004 from Cleveland, OH
This match was vintage Undertaker from bell to bell. The dead man had been set against another “monster heel” that appears to be too much for him, yet he always overcomes with a victory. Heidenreich was managed by Paul Heyman, who had been going after the dead man since his return at WM20. He turned out to be no different than any other heel as the dead man reigned victorious after a tombstone piledriver in a sixteen minute match.
The Undertaker would go on to finish his feud with Heidenreich at the Royal Rumble and would go on to battle with Randy Orton at WrestleMania. The dead man would continue his feud on and off throughout 2005 until Orton and his father defeated him in a casket match where once again he was locked up and set on fire. The dead would make his return at the 2005 Survivor Series event after Orton was victorious for Team Smackdown. A casket was wheeled out and it was struck by lightning and went ablaze. The lid was pushed off by the dead man and he attacked all of the Smackdown roster to close the show.
The dead man went on to finish his feud with Randy Orton the following month, and would then feud with Kurt Angle and Mark Henry through WM22. His next feud would come from the debuting Khali, who attacked the dead man one week after WM22. The Undertaker would feud with Khali throughout the Summer and would defeat the giant in a last man standing match on Smackdown in August. The Undertaker would then have a short feud with the rising star, Ken Kennedy. The Undertaker would be disqualified at No Mercy against Kennedy when he hit him with the US Title belt. The dead man would then team with Kane to take on Kennedy and MVP in November, leading up to Survivor Series.
Survivor Series November 26, 2006 from Philadelphia, PA
The Undertaker faced Mr. Kennedy in a first blood match. Taker beat Kennedy all around the ringside area throughout this match and showed his typical dominance that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing over the years. Undertaker had already made Kennedy cough up blood but MVP had come to the ring and given Kennedy a towel to wipe the blood away. MVP ultimately cost The Undertaker the match after shoving the referee out of the ring and smacking the dead man over the head with a steel chair, busting him open. The Undertaker would go on to bash Kennedy over the head with a chair after losing the match, and would hit him with the tombstone piledriver as well.
The dead man went on to defeat Kennedy in a “last ride” match the following month at Armageddon. The Undertaker went on to eliminate Shawn Michaels at the end of the 2007 Royal Rumble to go on to WrestleMania 23, where he defeated Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship in a classic encounter. The dead man lost the World Title to Edge when he cashed in his Money In The Bank contract, and would feud finally finish his rivalry with Mark Henry at Unforgiven. Undertaker then reignited his feud with the current World Champion, Batista.
Survivor Series November 18, 2007 from Miami, FL
The Undertaker challenged Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship inside Hell In A Cell. These two guys battled like warriors in this contest, just giving each other everything the other could endure. I would have to say that The Undertaker was one of Batista’s best opponents along with Triple H when it came to making the big man look good in the ring. Taker had tombstoned Batista a second time on steel steps and had the pin in this match when Edge(who had been dressed as a camera man) pulled the ref out of the ring and then hit the dead man with his camera. After laying the dead man’s head on the steel steps and smashing it with a folding chair, he dragged Batista on top of The Undertaker and Batista was able to then pick up the victory in this match.
The dead man would win the 2008 No Way Out Smackdown Elimination Chamber match which earned him a shot at the World Title at WM 24. The Undertaker would go on to defeat Edge for the WHC at WM 24 with a hell’s gate submission. The dead man would feud with Edge for the rest of the Summer and would defeat him in a Hell In a Cell match as Summerslam. The dead man’s next feud would be with yet another giant, the Big Show.
Survivor Series November 23, 2008 from Boston, MA
The Undertaker faced the Big Show in their final one on one encounter during this particular feud in a Casket Match. Quite honestly, this was just another battle of two giants similar to what The Undertaker has encountered all throughout his career. Part of what makes The Undertaker such a unique competitor would have to be his ability to make anybody look good. It’s a rare thing shared by very few other longtime talent. This match wasn’t stunning jaw dropping, but the dead man did change it up a bit when a second casket was brought into this match up on the stage. This casket was ultimately the one that Big Show was shut in when the dead man picked up the victory.
The dead man would go on to feud with Shawn Michaels over the fact that The Undertaker had never defeated Michaels in a singles match before, and so the two gave us what is considered by many to be the greatest match in the history of WrestleMania, where The Undertaker came out on top and kept his streak intact. The dead man would take a hiatus from wrestling until he returned to ignite a feud with CM Punk at Summerslam that year. He would defeat CM Punk at Hell In A Cell for the WHC and would go on to defend the title against the Unified Tag Team Champions at Survivor Series.
Survivor Series November 22, 2009 from Washington, D.C.
The Undertaker defended his WHC in a triple threat match against Chris Jericho and the Big Show. This match was a lot of back and forth between Taker and Show, with Jericho jumping in at various points, only to get knocked down by one of the two. The match actually ended after Show delivered the knockout blow to Jericho and he went for a chokeslam on the dead man. The Undertaker jumped up and locked in Hell’s Gate on Show to pick up the victory. This was the last match that The Undertaker had at Survivor Series.
The dead man would defeat Batista at TLC and retain him championship. He would hold onto the title until the Elimination Chamber, where Shawn Michaels would cost him the match. Taker and HBK would then give us a second classic WrestleMania encounter in Glendale. Taker would go on a two month hiatus after defeating Michaels and forcing him into retirement with the victory. He returned for one match with Rey Mysterio where he broke bones in has face and left due to the injury. The storyline then became that he was found in a vegetative state by Kane. The Undertaker returned at Summerslam to confront Kane for the attack, but was attacked by him. He lost two World Heavyweight title matches against Kane after that, and then dissapeared until February 2011. His feud with Kane was never resolved as he automatically was scheduled to face Triple H at WrestleMania 27, where he was victorious in a fantastic match.
Survivor Series 2011 is just under three days way and nothing would sound better than seeing the return of the dead man. Unfortunately, when The Undertaker will return remains a mystery. It could be argued by some that his dominance at these eight events that I’ve discussed here is far from stellar, as his win-loss record was 4-4. Unfortunately, storylines are storylines and what was decided for the dead man was that his WrestleMania streak was a far more important emphasis for him. What you cannot argue is the fact that The Undertaker has been perhaps the strongest presence in the history of the Survivor Series event. As much as the WWE Universe loves the concept of Survivor Series, the show hasn’t really matched it’s concept all that well for quite some time. Maybe it’s time as the dead man’s career comes to an end, perhaps the event should as well. Let me know what you think. I hope you all enjoyed looking back on things as much as I did!
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