ATLANTA — The King of Kings came to WrestleMania XXVII to do something that no man has ever done before. In front of more than 70,000 screaming fans in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome, he planned to walk into the ring against The Undertaker and walk out as the only man to ever defeat The Last Outlaw on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
It was a showdown every bit as epic as expected — two Superstars who defined an era in WWE clashing in a battle for the ages. But Triple H’s obsession with burying The Deadman was not to be. Just like 18 other brave souls did before him, The Game fell to The Undertaker at WrestleMania, becoming No. 19 in the most legendary streak in all of sports-entertainment.
The drama of this “No Holds Barred” Match started on Feb. 21 when Undertaker’s return to the ring was interrupted by a confident Triple H. No words were spoken between the two legends, but a heated stare down in front of the WrestleMania XXVII banner sent a clear message to the WWE Universe — the war of wars was on.
It was an unforgettable moment, but, in truth, the build to this match began long before that fateful night. Sixteen years ago, Triple H arrived in WWE and immediately learned to respect and revere The Undertaker as an unmatched performer and a true leader. Their paths would cross from time to time as they both went on to achieve monumental success and, eventually, legendary status, but one triumph would always elude The Game — the ability to say he was the man who beat The Undertaker at WrestleMania.
Defeat The Deadman at The Show of Shows? It’s something that’s never been done before and a challenge that’s claimed the souls of icons like Ric Flair, Kane, Edge and, most famously, Shawn Michaels. It’s also a near impossibility. HBK himself even expressed his doubts about Triple H’s chances at stopping The Undertaker only one week before this bout.
Still, The King of Kings would not be deterred. And on April 3, the last bastions of a disappearing era in sports-entertainment met in the Georgia Dome like two old gunslingers, fighting it out until one man couldn’t go on.
Triple H and Undertaker wage war at WrestleMania XXVII.Entering to the bombast of Metallica with an army of warriors leading the way, Triple H marched to the ring with the stirring intensity that makes him The Cerebral Assassin. Not to be outdone, The Deadman rose through a dense cloud of fog while the sounds of Johnny Cash moaning, “Ain’t no grave can hold my body down,” echoed throughout the massive stadium.
The spectacle gave every living soul in the WWE Universe chills, but once all the pomp of the entrances was out of the way, it came down to two Superstars. No disqualifications. No count-outs. No holds barred.
That things got out of hand quickly should have surprised no one.
Fighting as if their very lives were at stake, the two icons annihilated one another, smashing bodies through ringside tables and bashing limbs with steel chairs. Still, no matter how brutal the action got, each man refused to quit. Triple H executed a Pedigree. The Undertaker kicked out. The Deadman hit The Last Ride. The Game fought back.
But when two straight Pedigrees failed to stop The Last Outlaw, Triple H seemed to lose his mind. What could he possibly do to defeat this man? Red-faced and frustrated, he threw his game plan out the window and viciously wrapped a steel chair around his opponent’s head before nailing The Undertaker with his own maneuver — The Tombstone. Still, The Deadman would not stay down.
When The Game grabbed his sledgehammer, it looked like the most famous streak in all of WWE was about to come to an end. That’s when The Undertaker locked in Hell’s Gate. Trapped in the horror of this punishing maneuver, The Game fought hard to escape, but his battered body could take no more. After making one final attempt to break free, Triple H finally lost his will and gave in, tapping twice on The Undertaker’s thigh to signal the end.
Undertaker suffers after his victory over Triple H at WrestleMania XXVII.Fireworks exploded and a giant “19-0” flashed across the Georgia Dome as the bell rang, but there were no celebrations. Instead, two of the greatest warriors in the history of WWE lay motionless in the center of the ring, their bodies exhausted after the war the WWE Universe just witnessed.
The Deadman may have won the bout, but it was The Game who rose to his feet.
As Triple H defiantly walked back up the entrance ramp, Undertaker attempted to stand, but collapsed in a heap on the arena floor. It was a shocking sight. Not only did it remind the WWE Universe that The Deadman is most certainly a mortal, but it made it clear that “The Streak” was nearly ended on this remarkable night.