Hello my Turnbuckle maniacs,
I want to talk about WWE ICON The Undertaker. Taker is a walking talking horror character and can cross-over between horror and wrestling. Undertaker has been called The Lord Of Darkness, Reaper of Souls, Soul Chaser, Deadman, Evil, Sadistic, Bad Ass, Big Evil, and the man from the Darkside. He was killed on a Pay Per View by the 600 pound Yokozuna and then put in the casket. Taker’s spirit then emerged from the casket, and he resurrected from the dead. He has been buried alive many times, put in a casket lit on fire, etc. Every time they kill him, he comes back and gets meaner and badder than the last time. He even sits up like Michael Myers. If that’s not a horror character, then I don’t know what is!
Undertaker started out his wrestling career in WCCW, which was the territory of the Von Erichs and Freebirds in 1984. His first match was against the late great legend Bruiser Brody. He also worked for USWA as The Master of Pain managed by Dirty Dutch Mantell (Uncle Zeb). He then changed his name to The Punisher and traded the USWA Championship with Jerry the King Lawler.
Then he jumped ship to WCW Wrestling in 1989 as Mean Mark Callous. He portrayed a dark morbid character, who loved snakes and Ozzy Osbourne. He was quickly put into a tag team with Sid Vicious, called The Skyscrapers. He was also managed by Paul Heyman and had a feud with Lex Luger and The Road Warriors. In 1990 Mark gave his notice to WCW that he was leaving. He briefly worked in New Japan Pro Wrestling and USWA again before signing with WWE in 1990.
Mark made his debut in WWE on a taping of Superstars on November 19th, 1990 as Kane the Undertaker. On November 22nd, 1990, he finally made his TV debut for WWE as The Undertaker at the 1990 Survivor Series. He was the mystery man for the Million Dollar Man’s team and was brought to the ring by Brother Love. Taker switched managers and on a Brother Love show. Love introduced Taker to his new manager Paul Bearer. He made his Wrestlemania debut at Wrestlemania 7 defeating Superfly Jimmy Snuka. Taker would go on to have the longest Wrestlemania undefeated streak in history. Taker defeated Hulk Hogan to win his first WWE Championship. Taker would dominate the WWE after that. In 1996 he got even more evil, demonic, wicked and twisted by becoming The Lord of Darkness. The Lord of Darkness gimmick was out a good 2 years from 96 to 98. He defeated Psycho Sid for his 2nd title reign. In 1997, Paul Bearer revealed to the world that Undertaker burned down his house and his parents and brother died in the fire, but his brother didn’t really die. His brother Kane then appeared and went into a feud with Taker. In 1998, on an episode of WWE Raw, Undertaker fully transformed in the ultimate Evil, The Lord of Darkness and had his Ministry of Darkness, who were his followers. He also reunited with Paul Bearer. He often appeared in a hooded robe and he and his minions would perform human sacrifices live on WWE wrestlers. During the sacrifices, Taker would do incantations and say magic words. He even made a minion drink his blood.
Undertaker even stalked The McMahon family, attacking Vince and kidnapping Stephanie McMahon from her home. Taker left his burning cross symbol on McMahon’s front lawn. Taker tied Stephanie to a cross and began to perform a Dark Wedding, but Stone Cold Steve Austin made the save, only to be tied up to Undertaker’s cross. In 2000, he decided to drop the Deadman and become the American Bad Ass. Then in 2004, he returned as the Evil Deadman. At Wrestlemania 26, he defeated HBK and ended his career. In 2014, at Wrestlemania 30, the unthinkable happened, Brock Lesnar ended Undertaker’s streak.
On Sunday, April 2nd, 2017, we all witnessed the final match of the Undertaker. Taker suffered a loss at the hands of Roman Reigns, passing the torch to the younger warrior. Taker went out as a warrior, he didn’t go down without a fight, taking numerous spears and superman punches. After the match, Taker stood in the middle of the ring, lights out and his music playing. He then begins to take off his gloves, coat, and then hat, and lays them all in the middle of the ring, symbolizing that this is really the end of an ICON. He then walks out of the ring and breaks character to hug his wife, then walks up the ramp and fades away in the mist and fog. When Taker disappeared in the mist, I cried. It left me feeling empty and sad. I just witnessed the end of an era. Taker was the last of the old timers, last of the legends that was still active. It made me realize that my childhood is over, along with Undertaker’s in-ring wrestling career. A part of me died in that ring with Taker. He meant so much to me growing up, shared so many memories with him. He touched my heart and my emotions and he doesn’t even know it.
It’s a horrible feeling knowing I will never hear that gong again and appearing out of nowhere is the Deadman to wreak havoc on everyone. Taker put in over 30 years, headlined 25 Wrestlemania’s and went an impressive 23 and 2. He has held numerous championships and wrestled every top legend and younger star in the wrestling world. Undertaker was even a guest star as The Soulchaser on an episode of Poltergeist The Legacy. He more than deserves his retirement with all the hard work he put in that ring and all the memories he gave us fans. We love you Undertaker, and wish you the best of luck in your retirement. Thank you for the memories, Mark, and have a long and happy marriage. #ThankyouTaker
Check out some of these amazing youtube clips of The Deadman. Click on the names below to access youtube videos: