By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Here on WrestleMania Recall, I will be ranking my top 31 favorite matches in WWE WrestleMania history. A new installment will be posted every day in the month of March, culminating with my No. 1 favorite match on Thursday, March 31st, mere days before WrestleMania 32. Each article will offer an in-depth look at each match and an analysis of why it is among my favorites.
It was just two days ago I looked at Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair from WrestleMania 24, and now we return to that same show for another favorite WrestleMania match of mine: Edge vs. The Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship. All due respect to John Cena and Shawn Michaels, but Undertaker should have headlined WrestleMania 23 with Batista. Not only was he technically guaranteed the main event slot by way of winning the Royal Rumble match, they stole the show, and now he had the chance to do it again with Edge.
Undertaker vs. Batista was an exciting clash of titans, but what I loved so much about this bout was the story going into it. Was there ever any doubt that Undertaker was going to extend his streak to 16-0 at WrestleMania and clinch his second World Heavyweight Championship? Not really, but WWE definitely did an excellent job of planting that seed of doubt into the minds of fans. Edge was on absolute fire at this time and deserved to close out the biggest event of the year with The Deadman.
Nearly one year prior, Edge cashed in the Money in the Bank contract (which he won a mere four days earlier on Raw from Mr. Kennedy) on a wounded Undertaker to capture his first World Heavyweight Championship. His reign soon came to an end due to injury, though he made an immediate impact upon his return by costing Undertaker the strap inside Hell in a Cell at Survivor Series 2007. He reclaimed the gold the following month at Armageddon while Undertaker became the new No. 1 contender to the championship at No Way Out.
And thus, the stage was set for a huge World Heavyweight title match on the grandest stage of them all. As noted, not many fans bet against Undertaker emerging victorious, but Edge did everything he could to look like a considerable threat versus 'Taker. He acknowledged how he, too, was undefeated in singles competition at WrestleMania, not to mention he had La Familia backing him up. This included the SmackDown general manager Vickie Guerrero, so Undertaker certainly had the odds stacked against him.
Another reason why I loved this match so much was that I started watching WWE in the midst of their long-running rivalry. WrestleMania 24 had already come and gone by the time I was watching regularly in mid-April, but I was around for their various battles at Backlash, Judgement Day, One Night Stand and SummerSlam. It was this match, however, that kicked it all off and proved to fans just how well they could work together when the lights were on bright.
The small touches were also appreciated, such as Edge smashing Undertaker in the skull with a camera, the same way he took him out at Survivor Series. He followed that up with a spear out of nowhere but merely for a two count. Once Undertaker took Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder out of the equation, he incapacitated Edge with a Tombstone, but with no referee in sight, Charles Robinson had to make what felt like a hundred-yard dash down the ramp. He slid in the ring and started the count, but The Rated-R Superstar powered out at two.
After hitting Undertaker with everything in his arsenal, what else was Edge to do to put The Phenom away? When two spears weren't enough, he went for a third, and although he connected, he made the grave mistake of not getting up soon enough. With Edge in prime position, Undertaker locked him in the Hell's Gate (aka the gogoplata) for the submission victory. Another WrestleMania, another win for Undertaker, but only coming after one of his greatest 'Mania performances to date.
SEE ALSO: "WrestleMania Recall, Match #18: The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge and Christian, WrestleMania 17"