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Added by shotswerefired on 26 May 2020 11:47
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In Praise of The Undertaker

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Average listal rating (9 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 0

“I liked Mark. He was a good guy.

They brought him in and kept him off the TV [at first], thinking about what character to give him.

The people really got behind The Undertaker gimmick. It was creatively stimulating. I liked it, man.

Mark is certainly one of those deserving great respect for what he’s accomplished in the business.

I was the first guy to work with him. Even though Ultimate Warrior was over as a huge babyface, the ticket buyers dug his gimmick. I could have, with the position I had, been an a-hole and worked in unknown ways to curb that.

Too many guys in the business spend too much time conniving ways to make someone else look worse, rather than spending that time on becoming better themselves.

Instead of trying to damage his gimmick, though, as many in the business would have done, I embraced it and worked with him to get it over as the people wanted to have it over.

He was going to be a great talent and I was inspired by that. It made me want to better my own."
Average listal rating (42 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 0

"Fucking top-notch dude."

"Arguably the best big man in wrestling. True professional. He was always kind of the shop steward. I think he's one of the most respected guys in the business. Hell of a sense of humour. Tell you a funny story. He and I were pulled into Vince's office. Vince told us he didn't want us in strip clubs anymore. He and I in particular because we went to strip clubs all the time. I walk into a strip club and I'm thinking, you know, it's like 1 in the morning, they weren't filling. I walk in the strip club, I look around, there's none of the boys that know I'm here, I'm cool. It's like I go and get up in the corner, my eyes adjust the room, I look over. I see this big guy kind of in a black leather coat. I look and he just goes *gestures a v sign*. I walked over and sat down next to him and said: 'Well, nice to see you listened.' 'Nice to see you listened too.' Good man. Good man, Taker."

“There was a very specific incident that demonstrated to me exactly what kind of a man the Undertaker is.

It was while I was teetering on the upper edge of the second tier, getting ready to leap to the top tier. The Rock was on the border of super-stardom, within a breath of reaching a level of success that only a handful of wrestlers attain.

The Undertaker, of course, was already there, and he was my opponent on this particular edition of Raw.

We were in Detroit, at Cobo Arena, and the decision had been made that I was going to win the match. So, in essence, my fate was in the hands of the Undertaker.

He had the opportunity, all by himself, to propel me to the next level…to reach down and pull me up alongside him. He also had the power to make me look mediocre.

The Undertaker would never deliberately go out and make someone look like complete shit because he’s too much of a consummate professional. He’s too smart a businessman to do something like that, which is one reason he’s been so successful.

But he did have other options.

He could easily have said, ‘Have The Rock beat me via disqualification.’ He could have said, ‘Have The Rock hit me with a chair, knock me out cold.’ That way everyone would have said, ‘The Rock had to use a chair to beat the Undertaker.’ It was entirely up to him. All that had been determined was the outcome: The Rock would win, the Undertaker would lose. How we would arrive at that point was up to the Undertaker.

His decision was to put me over clean – one-two-three! – in the middle of the ring. Not only that, but he decided it would be best if the Undertaker was beaten by The Rock’s signature move, The Rock Bottom. That would ensure maximum exposure for The Rock and maximum entertainment for the crowd. It made me realize what a true professional this guy is.

I will never forget meeting the Undertaker before the match and saying, ‘Man, I just heard it’s going to be a clean finish. Are you comfortable with that? Are you sure you want to do that?’

He looked at me and said, without hesitation, ‘Absolutely. It’s your turn and it’s your time.’

Having grown up in the business, and having seen business conducted that way…and not conducted that way…I couldn’t help but be moved by such an impressive gesture. It really wasn’t possible for me to thank him enough, but I tried anyway.

‘Somewhere down the road I’ll have the opportunity to do the same for you,’ I said. ‘And I want you to know…I’ll do it in a heartbeat.’“
Average listal rating (41 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0

“Back in the locker room there was a code – a ‘wrestler court’ – and Vince McMahon used to honor it.

It was a moment in time where if you were out of line in the dressing room or something like that, you might be called out right in front of everybody to tell your side of the story.

Its entertainment value was way off the charts.

The Undertaker was the judge. One of the prosecuting attorneys was Brian Adams.

It doesn’t go on like it used to, but I heard it almost kicked back in, it’s just that Undertaker wasn’t there to do it. But I miss that part of it.

I’ll just say that there are a lot of ribs in wrestling and there are a lot of patient fishermen. You might get your sentence right there, but it might be the first of a long deal. You don’t want to make the boys mad at you, but at the same time, you need to stand up for your rights. And the boys will listen. The boys are great. If you treat the boys right, you respect them, the boys will run through walls for you.

Wrestling is a fraternity, and the boys will work their butts off for you as long as you respect them and don’t lie. You can’t walk all over anyone or everybody will walk all over you.

Here’s the deal… there are no tough guys in wrestling. If you come in and act like you’re a tough guy, you’re in trouble the second you walk through that dressing room…”

“He is a sweetheart in all senses of the word.”

“He’s got that rare attribute for a sports entertainer which is the legendary status. And a lot of guys when they achieve that legendary status, they can float along and rest on their laurels, but Taker doesn’t do that. When he hits the rope, he jumps straight over the top rope, big swan dive over the top rope onto the guys. I mean, he didn’t have to do that, but he did – why? Because he works his ass off every night. And when he grabs that hand, gets ready to climb the top rope and yells out “old school” – that’s what he is – Old School. And that’s not bad, because he has the respect for the business, he understands the business, and he’s passed the torch time to time again but he’s still got many more torches to pass on, and he has no problem doing that if the time is right and if the guys are right.”

On the WCW invasion:

“There were quite a few (WWE) members of the roster who remembered what it was like in WCW when the NWO was in power, and they weren’t thrilled about their impending arrival. The whole locker room was up in arms, uncertain as to what exactly would happen when they arrived. Would they destroy the locker room with their horrible attitudes? Would they work their dark Jedi mind tricks on Vince like they had Eric? Who could stop them? Who would save us?

There was only one man with the power to combat the NWO. I had to seek out the man who had everybody’s respect across the board and the greatest influence within the company. He was the oracle. He was the swami. He was the Fonz. He was the Deadman.

I expressed my concerns to The Undertaker, who listened intently before giving me his thoughts:

“The one thing that’s different here is that Vince is the boss. He’s in charge and we all know it. In WCW there were half dozen bosses, and that made it easy for everyone to get what they wanted. These guys are going to do business and do what they’re told, and if they don’t, they won’t last. I’ll make sure of it.”

With that, he waved his hand and disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

The master had spoken.

All shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.”
Average listal rating (43 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0

“One of my best experiences in the WWE has been the opportunity to work with The Undertaker. I’ll never forget him asking me to work with him at Wrestlemania 18. I would have to say the honor was all mine.

There will never be another character like Taker…and he is as responsible as anyone for the company’s tremendous success.

When I wrestled him in Toronto, I hadn’t been in the ring much [at that time] and this is how cool he is…he knew I wanted to do the flip [over the turnbuckle] and he was going to give me a kick off the apron…but I missed it.

He walked back around the ring in character, picked me up, put me in the corner and he said, ‘Kid…can you make it this time?’ (Laughs) I said, ‘I’ll try!’ This time we nailed it.

I’ll never forget walking back through the curtain after that match and Jack Lanza said to me, ‘You old sonnova bitch…you can still go!’“
Average listal rating (106 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 0

“He is a friend of mine. I don’t have his phone number or his email address. When we see each other we do catch up, though."

"The career that guy has at being almost 7 feet tall. The bigger you are in the business the more toll I think it takes on the body. You observe bumps differently. That guy has been through some wars. We used to always kid each other with who is going to last the longest. I got out in 2003, and that was 14 years ago, and this S.O.B. is still going. It’s been an unbelievable ride and an incredible career. He is a badass. There is only one guy who could have pulled that gimmick off the way he is doing it, and his name is Mark Calaway.”

On his entrance:

"That slow-motion walk, that only he can do. And it was so awe-inspiring and just dramatic. That I forgot every single thing I wanted to accomplish in that match."

“For me, wrestling ‘Taker was a dream come true. I didn’t think it was going to happen. We were both fan favorites. I don’t mean to sound boastful, but at WrestleMania 23, I still believe we stole the show. I think I really wanted to earn The Deadman’s respect, the fans’ respect and the company’s respect as well.”

“The biggest difference I’ve heard, and I’ve just heard this from some of the guys. For some reason, some of the boys are really weird around Hunter (Triple H) for some reason,” he said. “I think a lot of them think of him as ‘office’ and he’s so not. If they spend 10 minutes to get to know him, they’d realize how down to earth he is, and he’s not always judging. I think they’re always worried that he’s passing judgment on people. But with our locker room, of course the locker room general being ‘Taker and ‘Taker to me is just this bad ass biker, as cool as can be. I think he makes everybody a bit more laid back. For some reason I think some of the (RAW) guys are really uptight around Hunter and I can’t figure out why. He’s such a good guy.”

Batista Unleashed (Autobiography)
On his WrestleMania 23 match with Undertaker:

“A lot of times big guy-big guy things sound good on paper–you think it’s going to be the clash of the titans, but I don’t know, they just don’t come off. They just don’t gel. But even though ‘Taker is taller and heavier than I am, he works like a 150 pounder, and I think that was one of the keys to this match. He was just amazing. In fact, I learned a lot from him just by working with him. I kind of felt like a sponge, absorbing his lessons.”

"The person I have the most history with would have to be the Undertaker. I was the first one to ever pin him on a pay-per-view back in 1995 at King of the Ring. I’m very proud of that. We have a very deep history. Kane, we have a deep history as well. My toughest opponent would have to be Yokozuna.

It’s true. He’s a giant, but he works almost like a small guy. He’s good. He’s one of the best there’s ever been. I’ve got a lot of respect for ‘Taker."
Average listal rating (55 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0

“Big Mark Calaway, he’s a good guy. I had an opportunity to work with him a bunch and he helped me out quite a bit… Mark, the Undertaker, is a huge fan of mixed martial arts and I appreciated him being at the fight, too. That was cool.”
Average listal rating (55 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 0

“You get guys like the Undertaker. A couple tours ago, we were overseas, and he was wrestling with broken ribs. Coughing up blood and still going out there and still going out there and doing twenty minutes. I mean, just amazing. The guy loves the business. He doesn’t have to be doing that.”

On whether ‘Taker would be like Hulk Hogan and come back just for the payout:

“If he did, it wouldn’t be for a big payout it’d be because he loves it. It’d be for the passion.”

“Love Taker. Taker helped me so much. Taker’s a hard one to get close to, but once you are, you’re there forever. And Taker only lets you in if he believes, if he sees that you respect the business, you want nothing but the best for the business and you respect him. There have been many times when I’ve gone to him for advice on things, professional advice and through that we’ve developed a relationship and he saw how hard I tried and how I was respectful. And Taker and I have even gotten to the point where we would drink together and we used to have a lot of fun. I mean not all the time, but when we go over seas and stuff there were many a nights when we’d all go out and knock some back and have a great time and he definitely made it a great time.”

"Once I saw a wrestling match in Puerto Rico where the Undertaker was scheduled to fight, and a doctor who is a good friend of mine saw an infection in his (Taker’s) elbow, and he said to him: “I don’t know if that elbow has been checked before, but if I don’t make an incision in it right away you’re going to lose your arm”. So, ten minutes before the Undertaker’s match the doctor opened his elbow and there was a pus explosion. The doctor put a bandage in his elbow and then he (Taker) went to the ring to get in some kind of brutal match while his wound was still bleeding. That’s the sacrifice that these boys make. Many people say “Wow! Most of them earn millions of dollars!” but they don’t know that there is a huge sacrifice behind this business.”

“He knows what is like to have millions of fans, millions of dollars, what is like to be famous; but what really makes him a legend is his kind heart.”
Average listal rating (239 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0

“Flying around the world twice and have a match on the jetway, still tear the house down. It’s the ability to have an awesome performance when it’s least expected and that’s what those guys [Flair, HBK, Angle, ect.], time and time again, have had to go through. Undertaker being a perfect example. He’s had so many money matches with so many guys you never thought would thought would be in that position.”

When asked who the toughest guy in the WWE is:

“The Undertaker, he’s been doing what he’s been doing for quite some time. And seems to get better every year. I don’t know how that happens. He’s certainly one of the toughest guys I’ve ever come across.”
Average listal rating (15 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0

“I first saw Taker competing in Dallas, helped facilitate his arrival in WCW and then saw him leave Atlanta for the big time of WWE to become “the Phenom” and perhaps the most feared and respected man in WWE history. I used to think that no one would ever approach “Andre status” until the Undertaker kept evolving and standing the test of time and 16 men who all tried to end WWE’s most impressive streak ever. Andre stands alone no longer as “The Boss” now stands shoulder to shoulder with the Demon of Death Valley on a pedestal that, as of today, has room for only these two bigger than life individuals.”
shotswerefired's rating:
Average listal rating (44 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0

“I think the legacy that the Undertaker will leave will be untouchable.”

“My match with Undertaker on Smackdown was one of the greatest matches I’ve ever had. Ummm. you know, people will say the fans consider Undertaker the greatest wrestler in WWE history. He is the most popular wrestler in WWE history. But the one thing that he has, that no other wrestler has, is the respect and admiration of his peers. In other words, they – we, as WWE wrestlers, think he’s the greatest ever. Umm. that’s a bigger compliment than being the ‘greatest ever’ from fans. You have your Hulk Hogans, you have your Stone Cold Steve Austins, you have your Rocks, you have your Eddie Guerreros, Chris Benoits, umm. you know. Kurt Angles, obviously I’m not gonna name myself in the top list. But Undertaker I can consider. and him and Shawn Michaels, I have to go with Shawn – he’s a great one, HHH. But Undertaker is the greatest wrestler I have ever seen. For his size, his speed, his skill, his psychology, everything about him, his look – he has the total package which makes the WWE special because you can take a man like him and make him your top player. And obviously he’s done it for so long and this company has done so well for so long – why? Because the Undertaker’s been on top. He is without a doubt the greatest ever. The reason the match is important to me is because I had to prove to Undertaker that although I’ve only been wrestling for 5 years, that I am a top guy, that I am a tremendous wrestler, that I am as good as people think I am in this company. I wanted to prove to Undertaker because here he’s like the dad and we’re all children. I wanted to prove to my dad, which is why I do things for my real father – I wanna prove to him, God rest his soul – that I can be a champion, that I can be the best at something. And I wanted to prove that night to Undertaker that “hey, I’m the kind of guy you wanna wrestle with every night because you’ll get this kind of match”. So, I felt like a child to his parent saying, you know, “look what I can do, dad, and I hope that you can see this and say, Man, you’re incredible and I love wrestling you’”, because what we got out of it was the most competitive match. And you know, when the fans. although they didn’t get the ending, because Brock came in – Brock got the biggest boos ever. When we stood up, we got a standing ovation without a finish, without an ending. And when you have that kind of match and both people get standing ovation, you did something right – and that doesn’t happen very often. Since I’ve been here, I think the only other times I’ve seen standing ovations for a loser or someone that didn’t win was when I wrestled Shawn Michaels, and I left and he lost at Wrestlemania, and when I beat Chris Benoit, and I left and he lost. They got louder cheers for losing than I did for winning. And that night, we tore the house down. And I wish, I pray to God that someday I can wrestle him again, and that it can be at a Wrestlemania or a Summerslam. because you know, we have a lot of tremendous pay-per-views but those are the big ones. You know, Wrestlemania, Summerslam. you know, I pray to God that I can do one with Undertaker so that I can sit back and say, “I did it, I had the best match ever”. And I honestly believe I already have, with Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit – with Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania. But I really believe deep in my heart I can out-do with the Undertaker, and that’s the kind of athlete, that’s the kind of wrestler he is, and that’s the kind of person he is. He is our leader, and I consider Undertaker the best ever.”

"He is my best friend. I still go to his house all the time, hell I was dating his sister-in-law at one point. It’s really weird with him. He influences anyone around him no matter where he is be it a gym, a locker room or a wrestling ring. Road Dogg gave him the nickname calling him “Cool Hand Luke” because what you see is what he is. He is the man’s man. There are lots of guys that could have that title like Harley Race and Ron Simmons. My partner Mark Canterbury had met him and became friends before I arrived in the WWF. They had this group called BSK which was the two of them, Yokozuna, Rikishi, Godfather, Savio Vega and they protected each other due to the power the Kliq had in the locker room. They were all of the same type of person. When I arrived in WWF Mark asked them to adopt me into the group. For years Mark and I were Undertaker’s travel buddie! s. When Mark hurt his neck and left wrestling for a while I began to hang with Undertaker. He used to live down here in Tampa we hung out and spent time becoming friends. He was very influential with regards to the Mideon character. We created the Ministry stuff from the sacrifice gimmick onward. He influences my career to this day but he allows me to earn things on my own without me being tagged with the label of “Undertaker’s Boy.” I could call him to get me a job but I respect his friendship over a WWE job any day. I would rather earn it myself then abuse his friendship."

"It so hard to narrow down SmackDown’s greatest Superstars. Undertaker has been there since the beginning. When you think of SmackDown today, you think of him. He has really made it his show."
shotswerefired's rating:
Average listal rating (9 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 0

“20 years from now, the wildest thing about him is that as much the fans are gonna remember him, the locker room is gonna remember him even more.”
Average listal rating (95 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0

"Oh yeah. Undertaker and Triple H like you mentioned, especially, Ric Flair as well and even Shawn Michaels. They pretty much told me the same thing: “Randy, you got so much potential, you’re one of the best in this business.” They all love working with me, they knew I was good, and I’ll tell you right now I’m good. I can have a good match with anybody. I can go 45 minutes with anybody. Main event Pay Per Views for the last year and a half, and that’s just the thing – I had all this potential and they were telling me: “The only one who’s going to stop you is you.” That always clicked. That always made sense to me when they’d say that, but then I’d go and out and get into some trouble again and finally it stuck. Finally it was able to stick to me and in my head I realised ‘I can’t be like this anymore.’"

"Yeah, yeah. But Taker-Edge went on last and anything Taker is involved in should be last because as I said before Undertaker is the best. Every Pay Per View I’ve done I’ve main evented in one way or another but if I haven’t gone on last it’s been because it was Undertaker and, gosh, how can you argue with that?

Deep down inside you think ‘I wanna close out the show’ but at the same time, it’s the Undertaker. I hate to be kissing his ass so much but really, if you even knew the guy, he’s such an upstanding guy and he’s a man of his word, he has nothing to gain by misleading anybody and he has the best advice in the locker room. He is a true locker room leader and they’re going to bring him on last because he’s most over guy in the company."

"He’s smooth, he’s smooth from the way he punches to his facials which I think is one of the biggest things in wrestling that people don’t do is facial expressions, that really captivates the fans and lets them know how you’re thinking. Without those, you don’t got nothing."
Average listal rating (55 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0

"I punched out Vince McMahon in the locker room, but the only reason Vince was in the locker room was because of Undertaker," Hart said. "Undertaker pounded on Vince's door after the 'Screwjob.' He said, 'Get your ass down to that dressing room and explain yourself,' and Vince wouldn't have listened to anybody else."

"I wrote Taker a letter when I left. I said, 'You have to be the voice of the dressing room and the leader now that I'm gone.'

"I always felt that I was the leader of the dressing room and looked after everything. If guys had a problem, they could come to me and I'd go to Vince and say, 'This guy has a problem, maybe you can help him.'"

Hart said the reason that The Undertaker was so willing to help him that night and repay a favor was because of the work Hart had done to put him over during the 1990 Survivor Series, which served as The Undertaker's debut with the company.

Hart said he was proud of the job that The Undertaker did to command the locker room in his absence after Hart left WWF to join rival WCW for more money.

“Forgiven” Autobiography, Page 277

“But perhaps the most inspirational story, the story that exemplified courage to a level I had never before seen, came from the veteran of the bunch – the man they call the Undertaker.

You could never fully appreciate Mark Calaway until you’d seen him collapse on the floor of the locker room immediatley following a match. Everything hurt on Mark – his back, his hips – the punishment he’d put his body through over the years was beginning to catch up with him. But when that red light came on, you’d never know it. He gave everything he had for the company, regardless of the pain – you just can’t say enough about that.

Mark was the quiet leader in the locker room. Even though he was soft-spoken and didn’t say much, when he did speak, it was deafening. The only way he knew how to lead was by example. If the squared circle was a baseball diamond, Mark would have visited the disabled list more times than Rosie O’Donnell frequents Krispy Kreme. And every match – regardless of the pain – Mark sucked it up and performed as if it were his last.

Courage: that’s what Mark Calaway represented to me. He was on the all-Madden team – in the trenches, digging in, doing what he had to do to win. On some of those occasions I just didn’t know, but on others I should have known better. Mark would never say a word; he would just go out there and do it. Sometimes I really have a difficult time looking myself in the mirror when it comes to ‘Taker. I needed him and I put him out there, even when I sensed that he may not have been 100 percent. That was wrong – it was selfish. But again, these were the things you did when you were possesed by the wrestling business.”
Average listal rating (36 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0

"When I came to WWE in 1995, things were terrible, frankly. He was the the guy who was leading the charge into the Attitude Era and [Steve] Austin came along, The Rock came along, Undertaker was still in the mix. We see Austin and The Rock as highs, but the reason the company survived to reach those highs was because of a guy like The Undertaker and he probably doesn't get enough credit for that."

"I think The Undertaker character is the greatest character in WWE history. When you talk about the biggest superstars he's in the top five, but as far as the actual character goes, by far, it's him. He was influential on my career from the very start. He was my role model in the ring.

"I was a huge fan of the character, and also Mark Calaway as a performer and an athlete, he can do stuff a person that size had never done before. We often forget that because the character is so cool, we forget that part of the Undertaker, this guy who is 6ft 8, 6ft 9, 300lbs and could move like a cat and do all this amazingly athletic stuff. People that big just shouldn't be able to do that. That to me is really what made the Undertaker special. A lot of people could have done the character maybe, not as well as he did, but no-one except him could have brought the athleticism to the character that he did."

"When I first came to WWE in 1995 I was struggling and he was the guy that took me to the side and said, 'If you want to stay here you better get into gear,' and that really helped me. I think we had a friendly rivalry over the years, he has a tremendous worth ethic and I believe I did too and that pushed both of us further."

"Mark Calaway is probably my best friend in the business, and for the longest.

In the summer of 1990, I was back from college and I was staying at my parents' house in Greenwich, Connecticut. My dad would have special talent come out to the house. Mark came walking through my dad's front door. Big, huge, but young -- no tattoos, just an alabaster glow of skin. Oh my god, he was so pale.

We just hit it off. You've got two kids in their 20s, just starting in the business. And that's what our relationship would be built on: trust, respect and looking out for each other.

From a physical standpoint, Mark Calaway is darn near superhuman. He should be a science experiment when it's all done. He's been through the wringer on every single thing and still has the drive to go after it. But I think that's where Mark struggles now. He's not as fast. But you can do different things and tell a different story. Mark has always been about performance. Telling a really great story. He doesn't have to jump over the top rope and fly to the floor. Excuse the pun, but what he wrestles with the most is his own personal feeling of, "Did I give a good performance?"

I've seen that. I'll go back to one specific instance, at Survivor Series in 1991. It was Hulk Hogan vs. Taker for the WWE championship. Mark picked him up and then gave him the Tombstone. It was clear as day, to me, that Mark had protected Hulk, but Hulk claimed that his neck was hurting and that he was stunned for a second. I'll leave it there, whether there was any embellishment from Taker's opponent at that time. Hogan was the icon. Taker was just coming up. It wouldn't have been the first time with those older-school guys vs. the rookie.

I remember Mark walking through the curtain and thinking he had let us down, that he had just messed up the Golden Goose, had screwed it up. He was so upset and distraught. That's how much he wears his heart on his sleeve.

He's in the hardest match of his life right now, because it's against himself. I do understand the limitations of the body, but so much of this is in his head. Even though we sometimes don't want him to be, he is a human being. He does have feelings. He has such respect and love for the business, and specifically the fans, that he never would want to become a cliché. That would be the death blow to him. He wouldn't want an obligatory clap. He wants to earn that adulation.

With "The Last Ride," it's absolutely an honor and a privilege to have the company do this for Mark Calaway. He's absolutely a singular and iconic talent. The character is just awesome, and it has grown with every generation. It's been the connective tissue [of the WWE], not only from an audience standpoint, but also linking in multiple eras of superstars. It's kind of like if Michael Jordan was still playing, and performing at a high level. What Jordan is to basketball is what Undertaker still is to the WWE.

There never has been, nor will there ever be, a character like The Undertaker."

Mark William Calaway (March 24, 1965), better known by his ring name The Undertaker (sometimes simply Taker), is an American professional wrestler signed with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). He is the company's most tenured performer, and is the only remaining active competitor from the very first episode of WWE Raw in 1993.

The Undertaker has two contrasting personas: The Deadman, an undead, occult-like figure, which has consisted of many different versions, beginning with the Western mortician character in November 1990 and ending with the Satanic Ministry of Darkness leader in September 1999 before returning to The Deadman in March 2004 as a hybrid of all his previous incarnations. His other persona is The American Bad Ass, a biker which ran from May 2000 to November 2003. Because of his gimmicks, Undertaker has a number of specialty matches associated with him: the Casket match, the Buried Alive match, the Hell in a Cell and the Last Ride match. An important part of the character is his half-brother Kane, who was introduced in October 1997 and with whom he has both feuded and teamed as the Brothers of Destruction.

The Undertaker had an undefeated streak at WrestleMania of 21-0 before losing to Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 30. Among other accolades, Calaway is an eight-time World Champion having won the WWF/E Championship four-times, the World Heavyweight Champion three-times, as well as the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship one-time under the Master of Pain character. The Undertaker is also a seven-time World Tag Team champion: a six-time WWF Tag Team Champion and one-time WCW Tag Team Champion.

The Undertaker has been named one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. The Undertaker was voted the greatest WWE wrestler ever in a 2013 Digital Spy poll. In naming him the second greatest wrestler ever, IGN described The Undertaker as, "one of the most respected wrestlers, and characters, in the business; treated with actual reverence. Like a cherished, invaluable artifact". Luis Paez-Pumar of Complex wrote that The Undertaker character is "easily the best gimmick in the history of professional wrestling".

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