Many WWE fans spent an inordinate amount of time dreading the match between The Undertaker and Triple H at Super Show-Down on October 6. While both men are legends in the industry, they’re also both much older than when they reigned over the company in their primes.

So when the 53-year old Deadman stepped into the ring against the 49-year old Cerebral Assassin, many fans watching at home likely didn’t expect much. But what they got, while arguably not an instant classic, was perhaps much more than they expected.

This is the story of two pro wrestling giants, two larger-than-life figures whose reputations and accomplishments precede them. WWE wanted to retell this story, to deliver it to the modern audience that is served a regular dose of The New Era week after week. The company often references The Attitude Era and many of today’s current Superstars talk about it as well. But that’s often not enough.

It’s not enough to just remind everyone of how important that time was for the company. Sometimes WWE feels the need to bring it back in the ring. This was one of those times. Even though many criticized the move, many more were likely very happy to see it come back, if only for one night.

Watch Taker and Hunter go to war:

Triple H and Undertaker take their fight to the extreme: WWE Super Show-Down 2018 (WWE Network)

There is a mystique about The Attitude Era and no one can deny that. The controversy, the chaos and the creativity was off the charts. It remains the most exciting time in WWE history. It’s extremely difficult to watch the product now without thinking about those days, because without them, today would not have been possible. Without The Attitude Era, WWE likely would never have moved past WCW. 

Fans know this and they will surely never forget it. So when it comes to revisiting that era, the hate from a select few is often overshadowed by the anticipation from so many. Whether they love the idea or not, fans have to admit that seeing their old favorites in the ring again is one of the most satisfying things they can enjoy about WWE. This was especially true of Super Show-Down and that’s where Hunter versus Taker has reached a certain comfort level.

No, it wasn’t a physically athletic brawl like some of their most famous matches. Undertaker did not go diving over the top rope onto the concrete floor, though he did tease it. When he performed his patented Old School move, fans were likely holding their collective breath that he wouldn’t slip and fall. Triple H left his feet probably more than he should have and he was not as vicious as he had been in the past.

But as this match continued, even with all of its faults, one thing became very clear very quickly. This was not about two aging legends grasping for one last day in the sun. This was about two of WWE’s top characters of all time continuing in the company’s overall storyline. When the two men behind the gimmicks are removed from the equation, fans are left with the those two larger-than-life figures that entertained them during The Attitude Era.

Watch Triple H and Undertaker’s greatest moments:

Greatest Undertaker vs. Triple H showdowns: WWE Top 10, Sept. 24, 2018

Obviously each man has slowed down a step. There’s no way to hide that. Taker especially is about five years past the point of retirement and some would likely argue that number is greater. But at the end of the day, it’s not about whether or not Mark Calaway should still be in the ring at his age. The real issue here is The Undertaker, because his story is not over just yet. 

It may be difficult for fans to reinsert The Phenom back into the context of an angle because that removes the conversation regarding the real man underneath. But at this point, it’s something that has to happen. The alternative is to constantly fret over a situation that no one can change. That’s because ultimately, the decision to retire belongs to The Undertaker himself. So when he and Triple H went to war in Australia, the live crowd managed to accept it for all the right reasons.

The audience did not turn on either man. No one attempted to hijack the match. When the rough parts happened, they happened and both Superstars moved to the next spot. The fans moved right along with them. The only important thing in that moment was the drama unfolding between two men that were wrestling each other for the last time ever.

Watch Vince McMahon talk about a stare down between Hunter and Taker:

Mr. McMahon talks about the art of silence between Triple H and The Undertaker

In this one match, Triple H and Undertaker took the crowd on a journey back through time. Every punch was an echo of wars fought before. Each bump was an aftershock of ground shaking matches that are long since finished.

The Australian crowd let go of the reality before them and they bought into the fantasy itself. The Deadman was once again defending his yard against the power hungry King of Kings who always has a chip on his shoulder. This wasn’t just two legends trading blows in a 20×20 ring. This was the legend of WWE as a company. No one can tell that story better than Triple H and Undertaker.

The match ended with a surprising attack from Taker and Kane, which left Hunter and Shawn Michaels flat on their backs. Chances are, this feud is not over yet. Perhaps it will result in Shawn coming out of retirement to once again battle The Phenom. Or maybe it will be D-Generation X versus The Brothers of Destruction in a tag team match.

Despite what happens, it’s clear that the live reaction is what WWE values the most. The reaction for this match was more than gratifying. One day, Taker and Hunter both will see their story come to an end. When it does, fans will remember the good times and forget the bad ones. But Super Show-Down proved that this is one legendary tale that is still being written. At least for now. 


Tom Clark can regularly be seen on Wrestling Rumors. His podcast, Tom Clark’s Main Event, is available on iTunes,YouTube, iHeart Radio, and live every Friday at 12pm EST on Wrestling Rumors Facebook Live


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