Wrestlemania Greatest Matches #18: Undertaker vs. Edge

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The Build: This one started back in April of the previous year after Undertaker and Batista fought to a draw in a cage match on Smackdown. Mark Henry showed up and destroyed Undertaker, leaving him as perfect prey for Edge to cash in his Money in the Bank contract and become the new World Heavyweight Champion. There were some twists and turns from there involving Edge forfeiting the title due to an injury and winning it back when he returned, leading us to Taker getting his shot at revenge.

The Match

Iconic entrances from both guys here, as Taker has flames shooting up 100 feet in the air from boats in the lake behind the stadium while Edge has a massive fireworks show. Special entrances done right are always a welcome addition.

Undertaker controlled the early portion of the match until tweaking his back on a corner charge. Edge took over and targeted the back. Taker got Edge on the floor and scored with a beautiful Plancha. They went back to the ring, but Taker couldn’t capitalize because his back gave out as he went for the Last Ride. Edge continued the attack on Undertaker’s back both in and out of the ring. Taker kept starting his comebacks, but Edge kept shutting them down with counters. He was ready for everything Taker had.

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They went to the finishing sequence when Taker accidentally hit the referee with a boot. Edge grabbed a TV camera and dropped Taker with it, but had no referee to make the count. Edge went for a Tombstone, which naturally backfired into a Tombstone from Undertaker. Again, no referee to make the count. Charles Robinson heroically sprinted down the football field-length aisle to make the count, but Edge kicked out at two. That’s one of the best constructed near falls I’ve ever seen.

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Zach Ryder and Curt Hawkins (the Edgeheads?) hit the ring but were cleared out by Undertaker. That distraction allowed Edge to hit a Spear, which only got a two count. Taker struggled to his feet. Edge has Taker right in his sights, lined up the Spear…and hit it again. Taker is floored, knocked out. Edge took a second to bask in the glory of being the man who ended Undertaker’s streak…and it cost him everything. Taker popped up and trapped Edge in a Gogoplata. Edge had nowhere to go and was forced to submit.

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Rating: ****¼. Awesome match. Deliberate pace, but that was a smart move because the crowd was a little worn out and needed some time to get going again. The focus on the back made Taker vulnerable, and I loved Edge breaking out counters for everything Taker did. The finish was perfect, as Edge took Taker to the absolute limit.

The post-match celebration took an unfortunate turn, as fireworks shot into the crowd. I don’t think anyone was killed, but that must have been terrifying.

The Aftermath: This feud continued for months, with both men trading wins. The finale came at Summerslam, as Undertaker defeated Edge in a brutal Hell in a Cell Match.

 

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