It has been over seven and a half years since the WWE Universe's collective jaws were left hanging in shock at a moment that most people assumed/hoped they would never see. On the night of April 6, 2014, at Wrestlemania XXX, the unthinkable happened. The unprecedented happened. It actually happened. The Undertaker was defeated at Wrestlemania. His challenger that night, Brock Lesnar, had succeeded where other men before him had failed 21 times over the course of 23 years. It was truly a shocking moment and maybe not in a good way. Well, now Taker himself is talking about the loss and it sounds like he too has some regrets over how it went down and especially, who it went down with.
Speaking with Joey Hayden of The Dallas Morning News, The Undertaker was humble, yet candid with his thoughts and feelings on the biggest loss of his career (and maybe the biggest in WWE history).
"I mean, on a selfish note it would have been nice to retire undefeated, but that's not business. My career, like I said and I'll say it over and over again, I've been incredibly blessed with what I've been able to do in this industry. And there comes a time where you've got to pay it forward.
More notable though are The Undertaker's thoughts on his opponent that night, Brock Lesnar, and if he thinks Lesnar was the right man to end the streak.
"Although, I don't know if Brock was the right guy. I like Brock, me and Brock are friends. I don't know that Brock needed that win. Brock was a bona fide superstar at that point. So, I don't know that he needed it."
And that's always been part of the issue: Brock Lesnar didn't need to beat The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. A massive, career-defining win like that, a win that no other wrestler in history will ever get to claim, that should have been used as a rocket to strap to someone's back who needed it.
So who does The Undertaker think that man should have been? That would be the current Universal Champion and the man who did eventually defeat him at Wrestlemania 33, Roman Reigns.
"Roman [Reigns defeating Undertaker at WM33] definitely, that was the right call. I just wish he may have been first. I wish I could have reversed them, you know what I'm saying? If Roman would have been able to do it, I think it would have increased the value."
In my opinion, he's absolutely right. Reigns was already earmarked as the future main man of the company, as we saw from his dominant performance at that January's Royal Rumble. He would go on to win the match the next year and from that moment on, became the target of many fans' anger and discontent with the overall WWE product. If they had played this all correctly, Reigns would shockingly beat The Undertaker at Wrestlemania XXX and instantly become the company's dominant heel, where he could then feud with Danial Bryan or any of the babyfaces going forward.
Now we all know that didn't happen and instead, The Undertaker faced Reigns three years later, where he would lose to the young superstar in a less-than-stellar match that left The Undertaker exposed as not being as physically able to perform as he once was. Taker knows this and spoke about it as well in the interview.
"By the time I got to Roman, that WrestleMania, I was not physically healthy at all. So, he didn't get the best of me. That bothers me. Nothing I can do about it, but Roman, he beat somebody that wasn't at his best. I wish I could have been healthier and he would have been first because I think that would have skyrocketed him even sooner – I mean, he's there now. So, it doesn't matter. He waited a few years, but he's got it figured out now. I mean, it all happens for a reason. Selfishly? Yes. Business-wise? And I'm always business first, it is what it is. I doubt that anybody will ever get to 21-0. My place in history is what it is. I can't cry over spilt milk."
No matter how it all played out, The Undertaker's place in history is cemented. It's easy to imagine he will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this coming Wrestlemania weekend, seeing as the event will be in his home state of Texas and WWE tends to do things like that. But while the attention that night will be about all of the great moments of his career, fans will always be left thinking about the one moment where the immortal Undertaker looked entirely too mortal.