Any wrestling fan to watch a WrestleMania in the past 20 years is sure to be aware of The Undertaker’s infamous Streak, even two years after it was put to rest by Brock Lesnar. Now that Goldberg has returned to WWE, another generation of fans is learning all about his record breaking 173-0 undefeated streak that turned him into the biggest star WCW created. However, outside of those two big ones, how many fans can name a single other important winning streak?
Diehards probably remember a couple short streaks that didn’t amount to much, but the truth is, wrestling companies haven’t traditionally been kind to superstars who start their careers with winning streaks. Even in the cases of Goldberg or The Undertaker, as soon as the streak is over, fans lose interest fast and there’s no point for the company to bother bringing it up anymore since it would only highlight the losses.
Despite how unsuccessful the idea has been, dozens of wrestlers have used undefeated streaks as an attempt to jump-start their careers. Obviously, they aren’t entirely pointless, as many of these wrestlers went on to great fame and even WWE Championships, although typically these awards came so far after the winning streak the two were barely related. Keep reading to learn about 15 pro wrestling undefeated streaks most fans have forgotten about.
15. Bo Dallas
The longstanding joke of Bo Dallas has been his positivity and attempts at inspiring his fans in light of his lack of success in WWE. Part of the joke fans might not remember is that he actually started his second run on the main WWE roster with a brief winning streak lasting a little under two months. After a few weeks of repeat victories, Dallas started referencing more famous streaks by claiming to be “14-Bo,” all the way up to 17. In actuality, Dallas had dozens of losses in NXT, although these apparently didn’t count on technicality. In the brief time Dallas actually got fans to Bo-lieve, he racked up wins against considerable stars like The Great Khali, Santino Marella, and Dolph Ziggler. However, his winning streak had one of the more embarrassing endings possible, a fluke roll-up loss against comedy character R-Truth.
14. Lord Tensai
History has proven again and again that wrestling fans have a much better memory than WWE gives them credit for and yet this hasn’t stopped them from repackaging longtime wrestlers and pretending the past didn’t exist, as they did with Lord Tensai. Tensai had an extensive win/loss record as Prince Albert, Albert, and A-Train, but all of that was ignored when he returned as the tattooed and Japanese inspired Lord Tensai in 2012. Critics had been claiming Tensai vastly improved from his time as Albert due to his stint in New Japan Pro Wrestling and this was rewarded with a few months of victories, including big wins over top stars like John Cena and CM Punk. Strangely, almost immediately after Tensai began gaining momentum, WWE threw it all away by having him lose his second match against John Cena. It wasn’t long before Tensai was a complete jobber, mocked as a comedy act by Santino and referred to as “Fat Albert,” a textbook example of how quickly winning streaks fall apart.
13. The Undertaker
Because the WrestleMania Streak of The Undertaker is the most legendary in wrestling, it can be especially easy for fans to forget the other streak that took place over The Undertaker’s several months in WWE. Taker made his debut at the 1990 Survivor Series, and although he was eliminated from that match, his team went on to win and he didn’t actually lose until April of 1991. At that point, The Ultimate Warrior started winning matches against him at house shows by DQ. Undertaker’s first televised loss wouldn’t come until July, also to Warrior, and this time cleanly. The Undertaker obviously didn’t lose much in this defeat, as he managed to retain enough of his mystique that he was WWE Champion less than five months later. During his initial winning streak, Undertaker coincidentally also began his more famous WrestleMania Streak, defeating Jimmy Snuka during his first appearance at The Showcase of Immortals.
12. Steve Williams
What exactly consists of a winning streak is up for debate, as most wrestling companies will fuss the details in regards to disqualifications and tag team matches in order to pretend streaks last longer than they actually do. Steve Williams suffered countless losses in tag team matches in both Japan and America throughout his long career, but according to ECW, he never once was actually pinned in the US from 1987 to 1997. Williams had a worldwide reputation as one of the toughest men in wrestling, so his undefeated streak was one of the more believable around, although it was tainted a bit by the numerous technicalities. It was nonetheless a big deal when Dr. Death finally got pinned by Raven, boosting the credibility of the ECW Championship immensely when it happened. Williams never again reached the main event status anywhere else, again showing what can happen when an undefeated streak ends.
11. Brock Lesnar
Generally, when Brock Lesnar is mentioned in conjunction with winning streaks, it’s due to his status as The One in 21-1. Perhaps because that distinction is more noteworthy than any other streak, the WWE Universe rarely mentions that Lesnar had a considerable unbeaten streak of his own. Although he suffered a handful of losses at house shows and dark matches during Heat tapings, Lesnar remained unpinned in WWE from his March 2002 debut to November of that year. In that time, Lesnar steamrolled through his competition, winning the King of the Ring tournament en route to becoming one of the few undefeated WWE Champions in history. Brock did have a few technical defeats along the way, with a handful of DQ losses to The Hardy Boyz and Rob Van Dam, and a tag match with Shawn Stasiak as his unlikely partner, where Stasiak predictably took the loss. Lesnar himself didn’t actually lose until Survivor Series, where Paul Heyman double crossed him in favor of The Big Show and caused Lesnar’s first pin fall loss. Amazingly, The Beast Incarnate and his advocate were able to make up and return to their winning ways before long.
3-Minute Warning debuted as a destructive powerhouse tag team in early 2002, but their gimmicks didn’t stop them from losing fairly early into their run. When one half of the team made his return in April of 2006 as Umaga, he found significantly more success as a solo star, thanks in part to his new/throwback gimmick as a wild savage. Umaga’s streak started against the typical array of jobbers, quickly raising to high profile wins over stars like Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and even then WWE Champion John Cena. There were also a handful of DQ losses to Michaels and Cena, plus a double count out along the way, but Umaga managed to go without a true pin fall loss until January of 2007. During his streak, he earned a total of 34 televised wins, with dozens more on house shows. Umaga went on to lose a rubber match with Cena, although he kept his profile high by becoming a close confidant of Vince McMahon. Despite the exposure the Vince connection gave Umaga, he was fired in 2009 after violating the Wellness Policy for a second time.
9. Rodney Mack
Although winning streaks can help a wrestler’s career, one might assume an early connection to the biggest star of the modern era could help more. Rodney Begnaud is the only wrestler to have both accomplishments on his record, with an early string of appearance as Cena’s bodyguard Redd Dogg, followed by a jump from SmackDown to Raw changing his name to Rodney Mack. In early 2003, Mack allied with Theodore Long and began competing in what they called Five Minute White Boy Challenges. The matches were quick squashes that were supposed to prove The Man had been holding Mack down due to his race. Coincidentally, a wrestler popularly referred to as The Man, Goldberg, was the superstar to put Mack’s challenges to an end. Mack also had a handful of losses at house shows during this time, although as usual, they were ignored on television until Goldberg made him a true loser. Mack disappeared shortly after his loss, only making a few random appearances over the next year until he was released in 2004.
8. Vladimir Kozlov
A big and imposing figure like Vladimir Kozlov doesn’t need much flash and so he made his WWE debut in April of 2008 without any music, videos, or fanfare. He still managed to make a huge impact with a long undefeated streak that lasted nearly a year, although as usual it included dozens of technical losses along the way. At first, the record was entirely clean, with dozens of losses against local jobbers, graduating to low-level WWE wrestlers like Stevie Richards, Funaki, and Jamie Noble. Kozlov demanded better competition, leading to an early feud over the WWE Championship against both Jeff Hardy and Triple H. Given the three-way nature of the feud, Kozlov managed to keep his streak in tact without ever winning the championship. His streak finally ended in March of 2009, when he was cleanly defeated by Shawn Michaels on Raw. Kozlov’s stock lowered for some time, until he formed a comedy tag team with Santino Marella that had a short winning streak of their own, albeit not quite as impressive.
It may turn out that Ryback’s biggest contribution to the wrestling industry is his plea for WWE superstars to get paid at a rate unrelated to their onscreen win/loss record. Ironically, Ryback actually started his tenure in WWE with a lengthy winning streak, perhaps strengthening his argument were there only any proof he felt the same way back when he was on the rise. Like most NXT call-ups, Ryback had a number of losses in the minor leagues as Skip Sheffield, not to mention a few WWE losses with that name, as well. Things turned around once Sheffield turned into Ryback, though, as he went on to hold a 38 match winning streak on television from April 2012 to October of that year. The streak came to an end at Hell In A Cell when Ryback challenged CM Punk for the WWE Championship, only to lose following a low blow and a fast count. His winning ways over, Ryback gradually fell down the card over the next two years, ultimately leaving over the aforementioned money issues related to his winning ways being over.
They say behind every great man is a great woman and this may be the case with Rusev and Lana, if no one else on this list. Rusev suffered a number of losses in NXT as did many on this list, only for his luck to turn around in a major way when his future wife joined him as his manager. Rusev only lost via disqualification in NXT from that point on and continued to a long undefeated streak when he graduated to the main WWE roster. Rusev officially debuted at the 2014 Royal Rumble and though he was eliminated from that match, he wouldn’t actually get pinned for over a year after his debut, racking up dozens of high profile wins while doing so. Although he suffered a few count out losses, Rusev won the United States Championship during his streak, steadily rising up the roster in his victory. The success came to an end when Rusev lost the title to John Cena, who pinned him at WrestleMania 31, after 14 months of avoiding clean losses.
5. Samoa Joe
It’s impressive to have a winning streak in any wrestling promotion and thus Samoa Joe is particularly special for having earned long victorious streaks just about everywhere he’s worked. The success started at Ring of Honor, where Joe was ROH Champion for over 21 months, although he did lose prior to that honor. When Joe was signed by TNA, he earned even greater success, going another 18 months without ever suffering a pin fall or submission loss. In the end, Joe submitted to Kurt Angle’s ankle lock at Genesis 2006, but he was able to reverse his fortunes fairly quick, winning the TNA Championship two years later. Joe experienced yet another undefeated streak upon his May 2015 debut in NXT, where he wouldn’t lose until seven months later, against Finn Bálor in December of that year. Each streak contained a number of count out and disqualification losses as per usual, plus an early no contest with Kevin Owens. Still, the scope of Joe’s undefeated streaks is unmatched and certainly worthy of legendary status.
4. Andre The Giant
Almost every entry on this list had a technicality or two attached and despite his legendary status in the wrestling industry, Andre The Giant’s name comes with an appropriately large asterisk, like all the others. Andre may have considered WWE his home turf (or at least WWE saw it that way), but that didn’t stop him from working for practically every wrestling promotion that existed during his more than two decade career as the largest athlete in the business. Occasionally, these non-WWE promotions would even ask The Giant to lose, which he did to names like Adnan Al-Kaisse, El Canek, and Antonio Inoki, in both tag team and solos matches. WWE ignored these losses, though, claiming Andre was undefeated for over 15 years, from his 1973 debut to WrestleMania III in 1987. In truth, Andre had lost by DQ and count out even within WWE, although he truthfully had never been pinned in the company. At WrestleMania, Hulk Hogan famously slammed Andre The Giant and defeated him to retain his WWE Championship, officially ending the winning streak once and for all.
While winning streaks are fairly impressive in and of themselves, wrestlers experiencing them still need to win championships and other important honors amongst their wins, lest the whole thing get forgotten even faster than usual. The longer the streak lasts, the more important it is the wrestler earn a meaningful win and the best piece of evidence for this fact is probably the 20 months Tatanka spent without ever earning an official loss. Tatanka made his debut in February of 1992 against Pat Tanaka, and he spent the next year and three quarters defeating challengers of equally low status. He did earn one shot at the WWE Intercontinental Championship against Shawn Michaels, only to win by count out, meaning Michaels kept his belt. Tatanka’s first loss came in October of 1993 against Ludvig Borga, after which he wallowed in the midcard for three years, never again achieving anything of note. Tatanka stayed in the spotlight by turning heel and joining The Million Dollar Corporation, though he wouldn’t gain any fame from the move, ultimately leaving WWE for personal reasons in 1996.
2. Mr. Perfect
WWE has never had a wrestler as braggadocios as Mr. Perfect and Curt Hennig managed to back up the moniker in the ring with his consistently incredible performance. He also had an undefeated streak that lasted over a year, starting with his summer 1988 WWE debut and officially lasting until WrestleMania VI in 1990, when he lost to Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake. This was actually Hennig’s second run with WWE, although the first was notably less perfect and thus ignored. He also suffered a number of losses to Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior on untelevised matches, although these too were forgotten. Perfect’s winning streak was impressive anyway, thanks to wins against future Hall of Fame superstars like Jimmy Snuka and Bret Hart. Shortly after he lost to Beefcake, Perfect won the Intercontinental Championship, becoming one of the few lucky wrestlers to turn the end of a winning streak into continued success in the business.
1. WCW Monday Nitro
Though each of the streaks on this list is impressive and important, not even The Undertaker or Goldberg’s streaks came close to the historical significance of WCW Monday Nitro’s 84 week winning streak over Monday Night Raw. Whether or not this technically serves as an undefeated streak is up for debate, although a strong argument can be made, thanks to the fact WCW started it’s winning ways upon the turn of Hulk Hogan and the formation of the nWo. Therefore, post-nWo WCW was truly undefeated for over a year and a half, with Hollywood Hogan and friends leading the way to victory after victory over WWE. The streak actually began a few weeks prior to Hogan’s turn, starting in earnest upon the debuts of Scott Hall and Kevin Nash to the promotion, further solidifying the nWo as the main reason so many fans chose Nitro over Raw and showing who the real winners were. In the most direct evidence that fans lose interest once the streak ends, WCW only managed less than a dozen further wins after their initial loss and were completely out of business less than four years later.
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