One of the matches of his WrestleMania streak that WWE Deadman fans remember with more affection and nostalgia is certainly the one The Undertaker had against The Animal, Batista, in WrestleMania 23. In the edition in which Vince McMahon was shaved to zero after seeing Umaga lose to Bobby Lashley, with the "battle of billionaires" won by the future president of the United States, Donald Trump, the Deadman won against the world heavyweight champion since then, Batista, thus becoming the absolute champion of Friday Night Smackdown.
Apparently, however, the WWE initially had very different plans for The Undertaker, even before the gravedigger won the Royal Rumble, with his opponent in the Showcase of the Immortals who in fact was not to be The Animal, but a fighter who initially did not it had nothing to do with the world's number one pro-wrestling company.
The Undertaker faced Batista at WrestleMania 23
According to former WWE Superstar Elijah Burke, in the latest episode of the podcast Behind the Court, of the site Lucha Libre Online, the initial opponent of the WWE Deadman was to be the former MMA fighter, later also seen in the rings of WWE, Sylvester Terkay, with former WWE talent ECW revealing: "It's crazy because in that edition of Wrestlemania, all the plans led to a Sylvester Terkay vs The Undertaker...
and Da Pope was expected to watch Sylvester Terkay's back. And I obviously wouldn't have had a problem doing that. They brought Terkay from OVW to WWE specifically to make him go against Undertaker, despite him being and still is an MMA guy.
In fact, Undertaker loved the very physical and legitimate style of MMA. He wanted to create his magic with him even inside the wrestling ring." Unfortunately, for fans interested in the rest of the story, Elijah did not continue his story, avoiding revealing the reason why WWE drastically changed plans, preferring instead Batista's big face, rather than the MMA fighter who arrived on the main roster specifically to face The Undertaker.
While Sylvester Terkay may have been the original plan, The Undertaker ended up facing then-World Heavyweight Champion Batista at WrestleMania 23. After winning the Royal Rumble in January 2007, The Undertaker had the choice of facing one of three opponents - Batista, John Cena or Bobby Lashley.
All three men held world titles in WWE at the time. After teasing each individual Superstar, The Undertaker finally chose Batista as his WrestleMania opponent during a memorable segment on Monday Night RAW.