The Deadman has finally hung up his iconic long coat and hat after 27 years in the industry. Wrestlemania has always been his favourite hunting ground but his final appearance on the ring wasn’t very comforting. He was pinned by Roman Reigns’ spear, leaving most of his fans in awe. He then took off his gear and left it in the ring. On his way out, he broke character to hug his wife, Michelle.
Mark William Calaway aspired to be a basketball player in his early days, thanks to his athletic build and strength. But fate landed him in WWE(WWF then) and he made his debut in 1990 under the name “Kane The Undertaker”. Later he shook off the Kane part from his name which another wrestler took up and went on to play his “big brother”. The duo teamed up on various occasions and were aptly called the “brothers of destruction”.
The Undertaker was the industry’s leading in-ring performer and a career which spanned over 27 years, saw him change his persona quite a few times.
Debut and the Deadman(1990-96):
Undertaker made his debut at the 1990 Survivor Series. A black overcoat, leather gloves and a hat suited his quiet killer persona. He later added a dash of purple to his gloves and boots, distinguishing himself from the impostor(Ted DiBiase) who was looming large. Later on, he was betrayed by manager Paul Bearer and the two fought it out at the first ever buried alive match(1996). Undertaker won the match but “the Executioner’s” intervention saw him buried, 6 feet under.
Ministry Of Darkness(1996-99):
Soon enough, Undertaker came back from the dead and had only one thing in mind, vengeance. He was dressed in all black and leather accented gear. He scrapped his frizzy hair look and combed it back, neatly. This was the time when he started exhibiting his supernatural abilities. He could create lightning, start a fire and could even disappear. In 1999 he suffered a groin injury which forced him out of the ring for 8 months.
He returned as a more humane character. No more demonic entrances, he rode a bike and even spoke like a normal human being. But this era showed him take a beating more often than not and he also stopped using his most famous finisher, the tombstone piledriver. His next heel turn came as he attacked Jim Ross on RAW. He dropped his American badass persona and called himself “The Big Evil”. His last appearance as the big evil was against his “brother” Kane at Survivor series which saw him buried alive once again.
At Wrestlemania XX, he brought his familiar morbid persona back. Usual spine-chilling bell tolls and smoke all around, this look was a fusion of sorts. He took his big devil attire and paired it with a long trenchcoat and hat. He played his best games in this attire and his dominance in the ring awarded him the nickname “phenom”.
The Last Outlaw(2012-2017):
The last man standing from the “new generation” era(1993-97) embraced this nickname from 2012 Wrestlemania. He shaved most of his hair(had a mohawk for some time) but the long trenchcoat survived. But age and 27 years of high-flying stunts caught up to him which showed in the ring. His undefeated streak finally ended against Brock Lesner in Wrestlemania XXX and 3 years down the line, he played his final match against Reigns.
For many us who grew up watching him dazzle us every week, his retirement marks the end of an era. The end of spine-chilling gongs and overstretched entrances we all looked forward to. The best pure striker in the history of WWE won’t wreak havoc on his opponents anymore. As per reports, Mark will go through a hip surgery, a problem which has haunted him for the most part of his career. We wish him a successful surgery and a speedy recovery. And as for Undertaker, we’ll miss you and your intimidating presence in the ring. Thank you for making our childhood awesome, Taker. Retire in peace.