The buzz from last night’s WrestleMania is the shocking loss by The Undertaker at the hands of the conqueror Brock Lesnar. But for those people angry at not only Lesnar, but the WWE in general, there is a scapegoat behind Undertaker’s loss: the WWE Network.
From what fans can piece together, Undertaker has been looking to get out of the business for a while now. In an off-the-record interview, Taker said he only competes at WrestleMania each year because he feels he owes something to Vince McMahon, who gave him this streak and a shot to be a star in the WWE. Now that he was tabbed to lose, he can retire and not feel that he owes anybody anything.
So where does the Network fit in into all of this? Taker has been one of the biggest draws for the WWE despite him wrestling only once a year. If he was still willing to compete once a year, the WWE could keep those merchandise sales and him popularity.
Plus, Taker sells Mania, as he has had by far the best match on the Grandest Stage of Them All in the last 5-6 years. From Shawn Michaels at 25 to CM Punk at 29, The Undertaker has been stealing shows for half of a decade now. Since PPV sales won’t count for almost anything anymore due to the Network, the WWE doesn’t need Taker to sell the event — it’s already sold.
Another point to note is that the Undertaker is nowhere near “dead” as he would’ve been last year. People can still watch all of his incredible matches at WrestleMania and beyond on the Network, which means that fans of his don’t have to wait for the next Mania or use YouTube.
While you can still be angry about who ended the Streak, don’t forget that it wasn’t up to Lesnar. The Network is one of the best things the WWE has done in a while, but it also played a big part in ending one of the greatest streaks in sports entertainment history.