Photos courtesy: WWE

    On occasion, a certain calibre of superstar comes along and they enjoy a fruitful start to their career. Some even managed to go undefeated for a while. However, in retrospective, is it a good thing for said sports entertainers to go without losses right off the bat, and do they have to make up for the losses the didn’t take after their unbeaten streak snaps?

    Let’s start with the most famous undefeated streak there is — The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania. Since WrestleMania VII, The Undertaker hadn’t lost on the grandest stage of them all; many a superstar endeavoured to stop him and break what would become a historical run that will likely never be eclipsed by another, some even tried to defeat him on more than one occasion. Legends like Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Ric Flair and Edge all tried, and all failed. That was until one fateful evening in New Orleans, where a former UFC champion decided to challenge The Deadman, and he beat him. Brock Lesnar became the 1 in 21-1, and the Undertaker’s Undefeated Streak at WrestleMania was over.

    Nobody expected Brock Lesnar to beat The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX

    Fast forward to 2015, where ‘Taker took on Bray Wyatt. It was a completely different aura surrounding the match; one that nobody had seen before on WWE’s version of the Superbowl. Due to The Undertaker no longer having the streak, people were less invested in the match, and now Summerslam is coming up and over a year later ‘Taker comes back to face Lesnar for revenge. I know they say it’s a dish best served cold, so Undertaker must have one hell of a plan under that hat he wears to the ring.

    There have been a plethora of superstars along the years who have shown their talents and kept a winning record through the early years of their career. Tatanka went unbeaten for around two years, but when you say the name Tatanka, it rings a bell, but not many people could tell you any great matches he had been in. After his streak broke, he settled in the mid-card.

    Vladimir Kozlov was also a member of the undefeated club, and even challenged for the WWE Championship during his rapid ascent through the division. However his descent was just as fast. Losing to Shawn Michaels for the first time, who could beat any man on a good day, sent the Moscow Mauler stumbling through the mid-card, down to ECW and eventually out of the door after being paired with Santino Marella for a while.

    WWE’s current Intercontinental Champion also started off on an unbeaten streak — admittedly, it was to jobbers who nobody would ever see again, but it was an undefeated streak none the less. He steadily rose through the ranks of WWE, before injuries left CM Punk with no other challengers for his WWE Championship. After losing against Punk, Ryback’s stock would fall within the company, and he started to meander his way through the mid-card ranks as well, bullying smaller guys along the way, and even now, he’s never truly recovered from being pushed too far, too soon and letting his streak break.

    Both Ryback and Lord Tensai had forgettable undefeated streaks.
    Both Ryback and Lord Tensai had forgettable undefeated streaks.

    Let’s not forget about somebody Ryback was associated with a lot during the early years of his career, Goldberg. Goldberg was an undefeated streak done right, but like Undertaker’s broken streak, the way it was done was largely considered the wrong move. Goldberg officially went unbeaten for 173 matches as he lost a dark match in the early part of his career with WCW, but on TV he went 178 matches unbeaten, until Scott Hall hit him with a taser and Kevin Nash pinned him. The build for Goldberg was a slow one, and highlighted how dominant he could be in the squared circle, and truly not many stars managed to beat him, even during his short time with WWE.

    As Ric Flair said many times during his career “To be the man, you have to beat the man.” The man in the WWE over the last ten years has been a guy, you might have heard of him, his name is John Cena. Where do undefeated wrestlers go when they have beaten most other guys? More importantly, they should all be told the story of Icarus, the kid who flew too close to the sun. In the WWE, Cena is like the sun. You fly too close to him though, and he will lay your ass down for the three second tap, much like he did to Umaga and to a man who was undefeated before April this year, Rusev. Umaga had not been pinned or submitted in 34 matches between April 2006 and January 2007, until he came up against WWE Champion Cena, who first rolled him up to beat his streak, and then refused medical exams for an injury he was carrying in kayfabe, before beating Umaga in a last man standing match. After working in the upper mid-card for a while, Umaga then fell to injury, and was released in 2009 for violating the WWE Wellness Policy, and sadly passed away later that year due to a heart attack induced by a combination of drugs.

    Umaga was dominant until he clashed with John Cena
    Umaga was dominant until he clashed with John Cena

    The other superstar Cena beat during his undefeated run was Rusev. All that needs to be said is that in April, he rode into WrestleMania in a tank. In July he is in the middle of stalking Lana, watching Dolph Ziggler pee and bringing cold fish to the ring.

    Rusev isn’t the only one to have recent unbeaten runs though, two other WWE Superstars have too, the first being Bo Dallas. Dallas went 17-0 in his streak, beating the likes of Kofi Kingston, Titus O’Neil and even former World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler. It was looking like a magical streak to behold, and the former NXT Champion was hearing claims of it being the greatest streak in sports entertainment. That was until he lost to R-Truth. Now struggling for TV time every week, Bo Dallas everybody. All you have to do is Bolieve.

    The latest undefeated run is the one that needs to be handled the most carefully. Kevin Owens went through NXT like no-one else, destroying all competition and looking like a man who couldn’t be stopped, until he rose to the main roster. The initial defeat of Cena made Owens’ character look even better, especially as it was a clean win picked up by the Canadian. However, with Cena then besting Owens twice, alongside Finn Balor taking the NXT Title, Owens is looking shakier than ever. Every time he steps into the ring, he puts on an incredible show, with a move set that nobody his size can pull off, and agility of a man much smaller than him.

    Kevin Owens also fell to John Cena, however Owens pinned him in his very first match.
    Kevin Owens also fell to John Cena, however Owens pinned him in his very first match.

    Rumours that Owens wasn’t even going to be featured on the Summerslam card look to be squashed now that he’s feuding with another talent from the indie circuit in Cesaro, in a contest that could even take match of the night if done right. Owens has the potential to be one of WWE’s biggest stars and his program with Cena showed that, but after that rivalry, this is undoubtedly the most important time in his career and needs to defeat the Swiss Superman at SummerSlam.

    Of course, there is always an exception to the rule and the biggest star to have an undefeated streak also has the longest one – Andre the Giant supposedly went 15 years undefeated. A true showing of how it’s meant to be done.