For over two decades, The Undertaker's WrestleMania streak was the only consistent theme in World Wrestling Entertainment.
Over those 23 years, the WWE has seen far more change than any other industry in the sporting world.
But when it came to WrestleMania, one thing never changed.
The Undertaker strolled to the ring with an entrance that would make every hair on your body stand up, he would put on a mystical performance, and, most importantly, he would win.
Twenty-one opponents stepped into the ring, some of whom were the best the business had ever seen – Shawn Michaels, Triple H and even his own brother Kane, just to name a few – and 21 opponents were left resting in peace.
For those of you who don't follow the WWE, Sunday marked the 30th anniversary of WrestleMania inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
It also marked the Deadman's 22nd match at "The Showcase of the Immortals," where he would face Brock Lesnar, a match that had been years in the making.
But even with all of Lesnar's talent, all of his athleticism, all of his power, there was little doubt that the Undertaker would win and improve to 22-0.
And yet, when Lesnar hit his patented "F5" for the third time on the night, Taker didn't kick out. He just laid there as the ref counted one, two, three.
The Streak was over.
The crowd went silent and watched as this legend struggled to get to his feet, the one accolade that had stuck with him throughout his entire career now gone.
It's still hard to comprehend. The only thing I can really say is that I'm still speechless, partially because I don't believe that Lesnar was the man to beat him.
The man that needed to beat "The Phenom," had to be the new phenom. Somebody that could carry that legacy.
It needed to be a John Cena, a CM Punk or a Daniel Bryan. Not a Brock Lesnar. It isn't fair to Lesnar and it most certainly isn't fair to Taker.
But I understand it.
Unlike most watchers, I get that a WrestleMania loss was inevitable.
Taker's career has been a wash the last couple of years, with him only fighting in his annual WrestleMania match – maybe he would fight in two a year – and without a loss on the stage that helped create the lore of the Deadman, there was no realistic – or understandable – way that that the WWE could say goodbye to The Undertaker with his streak still alive and well.
But if it was finally time for the now-49-year-old legend to walk away from the business, he deserved better. He deserved a better match and he deserved a better opponent.
With all that said, I'm still not sure whether or not it was the right decision to end his career on Sunday night.
Maybe that's just the fan in me not wanting to let one of my childhood heroes go, but I'd like to believe that one of the greatest of all-time still had one last main event match in him.
What I do know, however, is that I'm thankful to The Undertaker for making my childhood worthwhile. He gave me something to look forward to every year and it was a joy seeing him wrestle week in and week out.
The Streak may be dead, but the Deadman lives on.
Rest. In. Peace.
Troy Provost-Heron is a sophomore in journalism and electronic media. He can be reached at email@example.com.