The Undertaker def. Triple H (Hell in a Cell Match with special referee Shawn Michaels)

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April 01, 2012

WrestleMania XXVIII Results: An era comes to an end

 WrestleMania photos

It was a near impossible challenge for The Phenom who first set foot on The Grandest Stage of Them All more than two decades ago. Absent from the ring for a full calendar year after nearly falling to Triple H at WrestleMania XXVII, Undertaker spent months agonizing over the beating he received in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. The Deadman miraculously won that bout with the well-timed application of his Hell’s Gate submission hold, but he was beaten so badly he could not exit the ring under his own power.

The Undertaker’s body slowly healed, but his mind did not. Driven to the edge by an unfamiliar feeling of vulnerability, The Phenom went into seclusion, reliving every second of the hellish encounter before he returned to Raw on Jan. 30, 2012 to challenge Triple H to a rematch at WrestleMania XXVIII. 

The stage was set for the biggest return match in WrestleMania history, but The King of Kings was not interested. According to the WWE COO, he no longer felt humbled in the presence of The Undertaker and he knew that destroying the icon on The Grandest Stage of Them All would be nothing but a bad business decision.

The bout may never have happened had it not been for Shawn Michaels. Triple H’s best friend and the man who was sent into retirement by The Deadman at WrestleMania XXVI, HBK confronted The Game on Raw and questioned his DX cohort’s manhood. According to Michaels, if The Game didn’t face The Undertaker, he’d be a sellout or, worse yet, a coward.

Triple H relented, but soon the bout became about something other than preserving a brand or breaking The Streak — it was about defining a legacy. No matter how many championships he’s captured, no matter how many major events he’s headlined, The Game has always stood in comparison to his best friend, Shawn Michaels — the man most people consider to be the single greatest Superstar in WWE history. There was nothing Triple H could do to eclipse the grandeur of HBK — except beat The Undertaker.

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