Posted by James Tee
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.
With the help of several Whippleman led superstars, The Undertaker was defeated, and with a niggling back injury, was granted time off.
With any superstar, the return from an injury has to potential to make or break their careers. Soon after Wrestlemania X at Madison Square Garden, vignettes were shown, with people claiming to have seen The Undertaker. Not long after, Ted DiBiase introduced an Undertaker back to the WWF audience. However, this ‘Underfaker’ was an impostor portrayed by Brian Lee. At Summerslam 1994, the real Undertaker made his return, with a change of attire; the once grey colors had transformed to a classic gothic purple. Taker defeated the impostor after three Tombstone Piledrivers, and soon he focused on gaining revenge against the super heavy-weight from the Pacific.
At Survivor Series, he defeated Yokozuna in another Casket match and subsequently moved into feuds against numerous members of the Million Dollar Corporation.
Moving onto his first Wrestlemania in two years, he faced a man who had once headlined Wrestlemania 2 against Hulk Hogan; King Kong Bundy.
It was during this match that his next feud started to develop. The mysterious Kama, who would later go on to perform as The Godfather, stole the iconic urn from The Deadman, and then went on to antagonize Taker by appearing to melt down the urn and turned into a large necklace. After being attacked soon after by Kama, Undertaker went on to defeat him at Summerslam in yet another Casket match.
Once again however, soon after, Calaway suffered an injury; in particular to the Orbital bone near his eye resulting in surgery. It was at Survivor Series that he returned, once again with a new piece of attire. From Survivor Series until the Royal Rumble, Calaway appeared with a Phantom of the Opera style mask. He was unmasked by Big Daddy Cool, Diesel, costing the deadman the victory in his WWF title match against Bret Hart. After a similar ending to a rematch on a future episode of Raw, Diesel got his opportunity against Hart at In Your House: Rage in the Cage. However, inside the Steel Cage, the Deadman, like he has many times since, came through the ring, dragging Diesel down and costing him a chance of becoming champion.
It set the scene for a clash of the giants at Wrestlemania 12.
After defeating Diesel in Anaheim, the next night, one of the most memorable feuds in Wrestling history began.
It was April 1st, 1996. The Undertaker was up against a future WWE Champion in Bradshaw, then known as Justin Hawk Bradshaw. It was during this match that one of the most enigmatic, sick and twisted superstars debuted. A man who had wrestled for WCW and ECW, and was now being given a chance in the WWF.
Mankind would prove problematic for the Deadman over the next few months, ambushing him and costing him matches. Soon, these battles intensified, and their wars would go through the crowd, around the backstage area and even into boiler rooms. Their first official match took place at Summerslam in a Boiler Room Brawl, however not before Mankind cost The Undertaker the chance to become Intercontinental Champion (a title he has still never held).
It was during this match that Paul Bearer, the longtime mentor of the Deadman attacked him with the urn, and after a mandible claw, Mankind took the win. The Undertaker took his habit of innovating matches to a new level, and his rivalry with Foley to a level never seen before. At an In Your House PPV, the first ever Buried Alive match was seen. Although Taker won the match, chokeslamming Mankind into the open grave, interference from the Executioner meant that, ultimately, it was The Undertaker who was ‘Buried Alive’.
Next Part 4: The Brothers of Destruction and The Ministry of Darkness.
I will try and have this part done for either tomorrow or Wednesday. Thanks for reading
Download - iPhone | Android | iPad