The pros and cons of reprising Undertaker-Triple H

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February 14, 2012

To The Undertaker, his WrestleMania Streak is a pass to immortality. To Triple H, it’s a cash cow.

On Monday’s Raw SuperShow, much of what the WWE Universe thought it knew about the Triple H-Undertaker rivalry was turned on its head. The Phenom went from tempting Triple H with an opportunity at greatness to all but saying The Game must be victim No. 20 if The Streak’s to have any importance. Meanwhile, the WWE COO’s reverence for The Undertaker as a peer has been re-framed, and it now appears to be dwarfed by his appreciation of The Deadman as a brand. (WATCH | PHOTOS)

Despite having the support of WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels, Triple H insists he will not accept The Undertaker's challenge. The Grandest Stage of Them All is nearing fast, but is there just cause for The Game to change his mind? Triple H says a rematch is bad for The Undertaker and bad for WWE, while The Phenom views it as essential. Who’s right, and what does each man have to gain – or lose – by doing battle once more?

Pro for The Undertaker: Two decades of perfection. It will be a long time – if ever – before another Superstar can accumulate a winning streak that even begins to rival The Undertaker’s WrestleMania success. Nineteen years of dominance is hard to beat, yet the grandeur of an unblemished two decades is even more remarkable. If The Phenom can cap off his twentieth appearance with a victory, even his most outspoken critics would be at a loss to detract from that accomplishment.

After last year's punishing bout with The Undertaker, Triple H refuses to take part in a rematch.Pro for Triple H: Immortality. If you ask The Undertaker, this is all the reason that Triple H should need. The list of Superstars who have failed in trying to end The Streak is a Who’s Who of WWE greats, including the likes of HBK, 2012 WWE Hall of Famer Edge, Randy Orton, WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair, Mark Henry and Batista. The Streak has devoured victims left and right, and it was his pursuit of snapping The Streak that ultimately pushed HBK – aka, Mr. WrestleMania – into retirement. The Game himself has described The Undertaker as the most dominant force in WWE history. Unseating The Phenom at WrestleMania would catapult The Game into a class all his own.

Con for The Undertaker: A snapped streak. Both The Undertaker and Triple H have acknowledged that their legendary WrestleMania XXVII duel pushed The Undertaker to his limit. To hear the supremely confident Game explain it, a rematch would almost certainly result in defeat for The Deadman. Even if The Undertaker were physically able to rebound from a loss, it’s unclear if he’d be able to regain the psychological edge he’s long held over other Superstars.The Undertake has become obsessed with making The Game victim No. 20 of his WrestleMania Streak.

Con for Triple H: A devalued commodity. To suggest The Streak represents something other than The Undertaker’s legacy as a WWE Superstar is near sacrilege. However, The Game, cognizant of his responsibilities as Mr. McMahon’s heir apparent, perceives The Streak as an entity to be valuated and monetized. Although The Streak sprouted organically, the sophisticated WWE machine has celebrated the accomplishment. Triple H is painfully aware that adding a “one” to the loss column – even if he’s the Superstar to do it – risks constricting an otherwise healthy revenue stream.

Pro for The Undertaker: Retribution. Rarely, if ever, does a competitor consider a win – let alone a “W” on The Grandest Stage of Them All – as a negative, yet that appears to be exactly how The Undertaker views his clash with Triple H last year. The Undertaker forced The Game to tap to his Hell’s Gate submission hold at WrestleMania XXVII, but that feat means stunningly little to The Undertaker when set in its proper context. The Phenom had to be carted away from last year’s demolition derby; Triple H did not.

WWE COO Triple H views The Undertaker's Streak as a brand to be protected.Pro for Triple H: A personal milestone, finally achieved. Practically speaking, Triple H’s place in the WWE Hall of Fame is all but a foregone conclusion. With eight WWE Championships, five World Heavyweight Championships, multiple WWE Tag Team and Intercontinental Title reigns, a King of The Ring Tournament win and a Royal Rumble victory under his belt, The King of Kings has laid claim to virtually every major accolade that WWE has to offer. The lone exception remains a WrestleMania win over The Undertaker.

On Monday, HBK tried to appeal to Triple H’s ego, yet The Game stalwartly claimed that his personal agenda must take a backseat to seeing out his obligations as WWE COO. Whether even Triple H himself truly believes that is up for debate.

Con for The Undertaker: A reprisal of WrestleMania XXVII. A showdown at this year’s WrestleMania could usher in a decidedly unsatisfying fate for The Phenom in the form of another less-than-decisive win over The Game. A rematch would likely be every bit as physical and destructive as last year’s affair, but there’s no guarantee that even in victory The Undertaker would be able to improve upon his showing at WrestleMania XXVII. (PHOTOS)

Con for Triple H: A cart ride away from the ring. It is hard to distinguish to what extent The Undertaker’s desire to fight Triple H is motivated by his need to protect The Streak versus his need to inflict punishment on The Game. In rejecting The Undertaker’s rematch proposition, Triple H has alternately shown glimmers of remorse and arrogance, all under the perhaps legitimate guise of business acumen.

It was HBK who first introduced the possibility that fear is the underlying factor that impels Triple H. Should The Undertaker’s overture prove persuasive and a rematch happens, The Game could end up being the one who leaves the ring on a medical cart.

Who stands to gain more from a WrestleMania rematch: Triple H or The Undertaker? Weigh in now on WWE Interaction with your opinion on the pros and cons of The Game and The Phenom doing battle once more.

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