The Undertaker vs Batista. Stealing the show is something you hear professional wrestlers talk about all the time. To steal the show means you and your opponent/s performed at such a high level that the main thing everyone talks about after the show is your match. Being in the main event is great; the top spot is something you earn, so not everyone gets this opportunity.
However, stealing the show is something that can be done by any wrestler, given the right circumstances. Some like Shawn Michaels and AJ Styles do it because that’s what they’re known for. Others do it to prove a point. Today we REVISIT the latter.
The Undertaker vs Batista
Let’s take a trip back to WrestleMania 23, live from Ford Field in Detroit. A “record-setting” attendance bared witness to a solid WrestleMania. Change a couple of things like Randy Orton and Edge facing off instead of being in an overpopulated Money in the Bank match, and this could be one of the very best of all time. But that’s a story for another day.
This WrestleMania had the Battle of the Billionaire’s plus the main event of John Cena versus Shawn Michaels for the WWE Championship. In what you could consider, the co-main event was The Undertaker versus Batista, even though it took place midway through the show. Not closing the show gave these two titans of the squared circle extra motivation to steal the show. Here is something Batista spoke about on Jim Ross’s podcast.
“I was really upset that we weren’t the main event. I just felt like we should have been. We deserved to be. We set some milestones with that and I know with the exchange of title and everything, it was just more significant of a match.”
And steal the show they did in a 15-minute barn burner, and that’s the match we are looking at today.
As the 2007 Royal Rumble winner, the Undertaker got to choose which championship he wanted to fight for at WrestleMania. In a cool segment on Monday Night Raw, the Undertaker came face-to-face with all three of the company’s champions. He stared down ECW Champion Bobby Lashley and WWE Champion John Cena before locking eyes with World Champion Batista.
Please see the video below:
One chokeslam later, and their match was set. Not only would this be their first one-on-one encounter, but the World Title would be on the line. After the decision was made, Batista and the Undertaker found themselves teaming in a very uneasy alliance. As with all WWE tension-filled relationships, this one deteriorated over time.
Coming to a head at No Way Out, a Batista spine buster cost the duo their match against John Cena and Shawn Michaels. What started as a rivalry built on respect had become a very personal feud.
Time for Battle
Batista enters; first, the champion laser-focused on not only keeping his championship but ending the Undertaker’s streak. Next out is the Undertaker and his world-famous entrance delivers as always. The long walk towards the ring builds the tension until the two are staring each other down in the middle of the ring. Not one to blink, Batista begins the match with a double-leg takedown.
The two trade corner attacks, and while Batista is in control, he receives a noticeable amount of boos from the crowd. Something JBL is quick to point out on commentary. The fight quickly spills to the outside, where Take is sent crashing into the steel steps.
Once back in the ring, Batista continues his early onslaught with a diving shoulder block from the top turnbuckle. Something that astonishes Michael Cole on commentary. Batista holds the advantage until the two trade punches, Undertaker receiving cheers, and Batista boos.
The Undertaker vs Batista
The Undertaker hits all the classics from his repertoire. Snake eyes followed by the big boot, then a little bit of old school off the top rope. His choke slam attempt is thwarted when Batista powers out of the choke. His feat of strength once again bewilders Michael Cole on commentary. The match finds itself back outside the ring. The Undertaker gives Batista a big leg drop on the ring apron.
Then, in an impressive feat, the Undertaker dives over the top rope onto Batista at ringside. Making their way to the announce tables, the intensity picks up when Batista puts Undertaker through one with a running power slam. This leads to our first close kick out at two. We get our next near fall after Undertaker delivers the last ride to Batista out the corner.
Batista looks to be closing in on victory after hitting a spine buster. But, instead of quickly following up with a pin attempt or another maneuver, he taunts the crowd signaling the Batista Bomb. The Undertaker sits up during this, shocking the animal, who falls prey to a massive chokeslam.
The Champion Fights Valiantly
Not to be deterred, Batista kicks out right before the three count. The Undertaker’s tombstone pile driver is countered into a spear followed by a Batista Bomb. Here is our biggest false finish of the match when Undertaker kicks out just in time. Batista’s total disbelief leads to his downfall when his second Batista Bomb attempt is countered. He attempts to tombstone the Undertaker, but that is also countered into a tombstone.
A three count later and not only has the streak advanced to 15-0, but the Undertaker is the new World Heavyweight Champion. This was the first of a handful of physically daunting matches these two had in 2007 and is far and away one of their best.