Welcome all to the final part of my look at the life and career of The Undertaker. This final part will look at the matches that, arguably, have been his four best since his return to the Deadman gimmick.
PART 9 – THE STREAK LIVES ON
The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels – Wrestlemania 25 At Wrestlemania 25, two Texas natives faced off in one of the greatest matches ever seen at Wrestlemania; a match that won the PWI Match of the Year award as well as the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Match of the Year 2009. HBK entered the arena first, descending from the ceiling in a heavenly motion. Accordingly, The Undertaker proceeded to rise up from a fiery hell, and just under 31 minutes of unparalleled wrestling action. For two men over the age of forty, the match started at a pace that many younger superstars would struggle to maintain for any length of time.
Welcome to the penultimate part of my look at the life and career of The Undertaker. So far, we have looked at his early days starting out in Texas before he started out in WCW. We then looked at the whole of his WWF/E career before stopping at the conclusion of his feud with Randy Orton in 2005. We are now heading towards the end of The Undertaker’s full time WWE career.
Welcome to Part Seven of The Undertaker biography. I hope everyone is enjoying it so far, and may I take time to wish you all a Happy New Year. This time, we will be looking at his transformation from Big Evil to The Deadman once again.
PART SEVEN – THE END OF BIG EVIL
After losing The Undisputed Championship to The Rock at Vengeance, he moved permanently to Smackdown, the brand that would be his official home until the present day. Moving towards Summerslam, with the world’s eyes on Brock vs Rock, The Undertaker moved into a feud with The Un-Americans, a classic anti-American faction containg Test, Christian, Lance Storm and William Regal. This culminated with a singles match against Test, defeating the Canadian in next to no time, with Taker celebrating with the American flag at the end of the match.
The Invasion marked the end of one of the most incredible periods of, not just professional wrestling, but popular culture towards the end of the twentieth century. The Monday Night War dominated television, and saw the birth of some of the biggest superstars in wrestling history; superstars such as Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Goldberg were created, and others who were already stars, including The Undertaker thrived in the new competitive environment.
In March 2001, Vince McMahon bought WCW, and after Wrestlemania 17, the Invasion storyline was put into affect. However, a storyline was established where Shane McMahon had sneaked ahead of his father, and had in fact bought WCW, and soon after, Stephanie McMahon revealed she had bought ECW, and had joined forces with her brother, creating The Alliance.
It was during this that one of the creepiest story-lines in modern wrestling took place. As I mentioned in my last part, it was during this time that Mark Calaway married his second wife, Sara, and in turn gained one of his most famous tattoos across the front of his neck.
On Monday night’s Slammy Awards, HHH and The Undertaker won the Match of the Year for their hellacious battle inside Hell in a Cell at Wrestlemania. It was whilst accepting the award that The Game said we had not seen the last of The Undertaker. The question is, who will he face at Wrestlemania?
Anyway, back on track, and today, I will focus on a time where Mark Calaway was arguably the biggest heel in the world. It was also a time where I started watching Wrestling religiously. I was bought a copy of No Mercy 1999 on VHS, a PPV filmed in Manchester, England. The Ministry were the over-riding theme of the show, with stars such as Mideon, Viscera, The Acolytes and The Undertaker dominating the show, although it was Stone Cold Steve Austin who was successful in the main event
It goes without saying that the Attitude era is the most successful period of modern professional wrestling history. Not only did it come about due to the rise, and somewhat dominance of WCW. Mark Calaway was a huge part in the WWF overcoming the challenge posed by WCW, with feuds and matches still talked about and watched by fans all over the world today.
At Survivor Series in 1996, The Undertaker returned after being buried alive by Mankind at Summerslam, and in doing so, returned to face Mick Foley in a unique match. Paul Bearer, who had turned on Taker earlier in the year, was hung 20 feet above the ring in a mini steel cage. If Taker won, he would be allowed to get his hands on his one time manager, however, not all was as it seemed. After Taker won the match, once again The Executioner came out, and in turn, allowed Bearer and Mankind to escape.
The Executioner had become a thorn in his side, and at In Your House: It’s Time
My apologies for the lack of updates on this biography – a mix of health and technological issues have hindered me over the past ten days or so.
I will pick up where we left off – after he went to 3 and 0 at Wrestlemania against Giant Gonzalez.
At this point, The Undertaker lacked a real direction and seemingly moved from feud to feud without getting any closer to the main event scene. At the end of 1993, Taker was still in a feud with Harvey Whippleman, and was put into a casket match against his new protege; Yokozuna for the WWF Championship at the 1994 Royal Rumble in a match the Deadman had innovated – The Casket match.
The Undertaker vs Yokozuna – Royal Rumble 1994
Over on WrestlingNewsWorld.com we’ve been extensively tracking Undertaker’s status for Wrestlemania 29.
In late October we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium that Undertaker felt neglected and was in jeopardy of missing his first Wrestlemania since 2000. Since then, his position has changed and he’s had contact with WWE officials about putting together a Wrestlemania program for him. (more…)
Welcome to Part 2 of my Undertaker Biography.
PART 2: The start of the Legacy
The turn of the decade was a huge period of change for Mark Calaway. In 1989, whilst struggling to get a footing on the major league ladder, Calaway married his first wife, Jody Lynn.
After his release from WCW, and his move to the World Wrestling Federation, a critical crossroad had been reached. A new gimmick was found for him, and on November 22nd, 1990, it was time to see if he could make it in the biggest promotion in the world. Managed by Brother Love, ‘Kane The Undertaker’ was introduced as the final member of Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar team at the fourth annual Survivor Series PPV. (more…)
For the past 28 years, Mark Calaway has been arguably the greatest superstar professional wrestling has seen. In this series, I will take an in depth look at this great man’s career, and how he has developed from the masked ‘Texas Red’, to ‘The Dead Man’ we know and admire today. This hopefully will be a five part biography going from his days in Texas, through WCW, NJPW to his record breaking career with the WWE. My last two parts will look at the streak, and in particular, the affect it has had on himself as a Superstar, and the affect it has had on his opponents and their careers.
Before I begin this fascinating tale, I should let you know a bit about myself.
My name is James Tee and I have been a wrestling fan since the age of six. I am now twenty two, and for the past 16 years I have been through the attitude era, the invasion, PG eras, the resurrection and ultimate death of ECW, the birth of TNA as a viable alternative to WWE.
Enough about me, let’s get ready for the main event. (more…)