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    Sunday, November 22, 2015

    Five Forgotten Losses By The Undertaker

    It's a huge deal when Undertaker loses. Over the 25 years that the Deadman has been wrestling in the WWE, his mythology has been built to the point that main eventing against him at WrestleMania is arguably a bigger deal than fighting for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. We all know how being the 1 in 21-1 did wonders for the legend of Brock Lesnar.

    Still not over it.

    And why not? When a wrestler is the personification of death itself, he doesn't need championships to validate his stature among the rest of the roster.

    But at the same time, stellar WrestleMania history aside, Taker hasn't always won. And while it's no surprise when he falls shorts against fellow legends like The Rock, Steve Austin, Triple H, or Mick Foley, there are a smattering of losses scattered across his record that shockingly led to nowhere for his vanquisher.

    And so today, on the day of the Deadman's 25th anniversary, we've gathered a list of five shocking defeats the WWE seems to just gloss over when telling the tale of the 7-foot "Conscience of the WWE."


    1. The Great Khali (Judgement Day, 2006)

    There's no shame in losing to an eventual World Champion, an accolade the monstrous Great Khali did achieve in his WWE career. What shocks us about this loss however is how matter-of-factly Khali disassembled Taker in this match-up, dropping him with a lazy Brain Chop and pinning him with a boot on his chest.

    That win should have cemented Khali as a top-level heel for years to come. But instead, over the next eight years, he devolved from being pro wrestling's most unstoppable beast to hosting Punjabi dance parties, teaming with Santino Marella, and being managed by Hornswoggle until his quiet departure in 2014.

    2. Goldust (In Your House: Beware of Dog, 1996)

    Fun fact: Goldust has successfully defended the Intercontinental Championship in a pay-per-view main event against Undertaker in the Deadman's trademark Casket Match.

    We'll gloss over the fact that he was actually out cold from a Tombstone piledriver when it happened, moments away from being sealed into the coffin, until a timely assist from Mankind turned the tables in favor of the Bizarre One. In matches like this, anything goes, and this is a match that still goes down as an 'L' for the Phenom.

    3. Vladimir Kozlov (SmackDown, 2009)

    It's never easy pinning the Undertaker, as any fan of the WWE's various video game franchises can attest; it generally takes a barrage of top-tier finishing moves, some strategic outside interference, and a few foreign object shots to incapacitate him enough for the three-count.

    Vladimir Kozlov needed none of that, stealing a shocking SmackDown win against Taker with a surprisingly basic reversal sequence, yanking the Deadman off the top rope as he was attempting Old School into a swift powerslam to seal the deal. This was perhaps Undertaker's flukiest loss ever, but sadly, by 2011, Kozlov was gone from "Double-Double-E."

    4. Mabel (King of the Ring, 1995)

    No knock against the man who eventually gained more fame as "The World's Largest Love Machine," Mabel tried when he was in the ring. Unfortunately, it's hard to put up five-star matches when you're 500+ pounds and basically immobile, which is why this bad dude was essentially ignored by wrestling fans even as the WWE tried its darnedest to establish him as a main event player.

    Taker losing to Mabel in the 1995 KOTR quarterfinals was supposed to be a huge deal—after all, he hadn't been pinned since losing to Hulk Hogan in 1991. But hard-sell interference by Kama the Ultimate Fighting Machine, who he was feuding with at the time, and a sloppy legdrop finish didn't help make this match any more memorable.

    Undertaker vs Mabel KOTR 1995 by Mifananich

    5. Maven (SmackDown, 2002)

    Everyone knows the highlight reel of a young upstart Maven dropkicking Undertaker to eliminate him from the 2002 Royal Rumble match, but did you know he's also actually pinned Taker for a title as well?

    The Demon of Death Valley was riding high as WWE Hardcore Champion at the time, and he was more than glad to put it up against the man he saw as a disrespectful young pup. What he didn't count on was The Rock interfering with a thunderous Rock Bottom midway through the match, leaving him unable to kick out from Maven's title-winning pinfall.


    So there you go, Henrinites. There's no taking away from the mystique of the Undertaker, and he'll always own our highest regard as a man who changed the face of professional wrestling. But he's been all too human too, as these five surprising losses prove.

    Can you name other losses that the WWE would rather we forgot about? Drop us a line in the comments section below!
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