As the year started off, the Undertaker would continue to square off against some of the Smackdown mid-card talent. The thought behind booking these matches had to have been to see who could go toe-to-toe with the Underaker. For the most part, many of these challengers would prove to be unsuccessful.
One man looking to make a name for himself and elevate his career was Randy Orton. Orton had been dubbed the “Legend Killer” and sought to “kill” the career of the Undertaker and end his Wrestlemania Undefeated Streak. This was the first point at which a Superstar would challenge the Undertaker’s illustrious Streak. At this point, the Undertaker was 12-0. I remember watching this match live and believing that Orton would be the man to end the Streak, holding onto an Undertaker action figure throughout the match as if my life depended on it. Orton indeed was slowly progressing to the Main Event and with his Legend Killer moniker it would have all fit.
For the majority of 2005 the Undertaker and Orton would have several battles. There was one match between Muhammed Hassan and the Undertaker at the Great American Bash, however there was much controversy around an angle and the Hassan character itself. Undertaker destroyed Hassan leading to him being written off and eventually leaving the company. Orton would pick up victories over the The Undertaker later in the year at Summerslam. Orton and his father Bob Orton Jr. would then defeat the Undertaker in a Casket Match. This led to the Undertaker being absent from the WWE some time. Unfortunately for Randy Orton, the Undertaker would return and have a final bout versus Orton in a Hell in a Cell match. This year proved to benefit Randy Orton as he would move up to the Main Event scene as he proved he indeed could hold his own against the Undertaker.