After Three Decades Wrestling For World Wrestling Entertainment, The Undertaker Finally Hangs Up His Boots

The+Undertaker+made+his+final+appearance+at+Madison+Square+Garden+in+2018.

Saad Khandakar

The Undertaker made his final appearance at Madison Square Garden in 2018.

My time has come to let The Undertaker rest in peace.” 

Those were the last words uttered by The Undertaker, or Mark Calaway, before making his grand exit from the pay-per-view that started it all, the Survivor Series. 

On November 22, 1990, Ted DiBiase introduced the world to his mystery partner, who would be none other than The Undertaker himself. With his unique and mysterious gimmick that resembled a western mortician, the fans were invested in this wrestler who claimed to be the “Deadman.” Just a year after his debut in Survivor Series, The Undertaker beat Hulk Hogan to become, at the time, the youngest WWE champion ever. Through the New Generation era, The Undertaker cemented himself as one of the most significant and influential characters in WWE (then WWF) at the time. 

During then, the “Deadman” introduced the industry to new stipulation matches that still hold great significance and prestige in the world today. 

WWE holds a pay-per-view of the same name annually, featuring around three matches with the structure. Among the wrestlers that The Undertaker faced in the structure were Shawn Michaels, Mankind, Kane, CM Punk, and Triple H. Many argue that it was the first match between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels that started WWF’s Attitude Era. 

With the company in the midst of the Monday Night Wars against WCW, which consisted of star-power from past WWF wrestlers like Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage, while creating its own stars like Sting and Goldberg, WWF highly featured wrestlers like Steve Austin and The Undertaker in order to gain viewers. “My favorite feud of The Undertaker’s took place in the New Generation Era and the Attitude Era against Mankind. This was mostly because they tried to push each other beyond their limits,” said Haris Khan ’21. 

With the Attitude Era coming to an end, The Undertaker had a brief three-year stint with a new gimmick, which allowed us to see him move away from his supernatural persona and display a more realistic version of himself by appearing as a biker. “Seeing old clips from the Attitude Era of the WWE, where he entered the ring on a motorcycle was so exciting for me,” said Yasin Karim ’21. The Undertaker’s influence, prominent storylines, and adaptability through the years helped the WWF win the Monday Night Wars and buy their rival company in 2001.

In 2004, Undertaker returned with his Deadman gimmick to face Kane at Wrestlemania XX. Although The Undertaker would continue to embrace the character for the next 16 years, he would also build a new legacy through his undefeated Wrestlemania streak. 

In the coming Wrestlemanias, The Undertaker would continue to defeat legends like Batista, Randy Orton, Edge, Shawn Michaels, and Triple H. Much to the surprise of wrestling fans, it all came to an end on Wrestlemania XXX when Brock Lesnar beat him to claim a win that nobody could claim up until now besides himself and Roman Reigns, who won three years later. 

Although Undertaker’s Wrestlemania record would be 23-2 by his second loss, he kept going. In Wrestlemania 34, The Undertaker beat 16-time world champion John Cena in just 2 minutes and 47 seconds, which The Undertaker said was the beginning of his comeback. Dissatisfied with his recent matches, The Undertaker was on the quest to find the right final match. He continued to wrestle against Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Goldberg, Shane McMahon, Drew McIntyre, and AJ Styles. It was with his Boneyard Match in Wrestlemania 36 against AJ Styles when The Undertaker was finally satisfied with his career and decided to retire from the sport. Khan said, “My favorite match of The Undertaker’s would have to be the Boneyard Match against AJ Styles, because of the value of the match itself and the experience of seeing it live.”

In Undertaker’s three decades-long-career in WWE, his influence upon the industry and the generations that lived during his active years is unmeasurable. “I never watched WWE growing up, but everyone knew about the Undertaker. Whenever my cousins and I would play the WWE video game, we would argue about who got to play as the Undertaker. It’s honestly pretty unfortunate that a new generation of kids will never see the Undertaker wrestle, and I’m sad to see him go,” said Daniel Rendon ’21. While The Undertaker character may finally rest in peace, his legacy will live on for generations to see.

It’s honestly pretty unfortunate that a new generation of kids will never see the Undertaker wrestle, and I’m sad to see him go,” said Daniel Rendon ’21.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email