The inside stories that define The Undertaker’s enduring WrestleMania legacy

Mark Calaway participated in WrestleMania 27 times as The Undertaker. He won 25 of those matches, including 21 in a row, before Brock Lesnar broke The Streak in 2014 and Roman Reigns added a second loss in 2017.

The Undertaker’s career streak became a legend, the centerpiece of his career spanning over four decades. The Streak series showed why Calaway has long been the beating heart of the WWE locker room and made facing The Undertaker at WrestleMania a badge of honor.

“It was a wish list situation to say that I shared a ring with him,” Reigns said. “You are dealing with the Undertaker; you are dealing with more than just one match. It’s a legacy and an influence. His trademark, for example, is the way his name echoes through the corridors backstage. We have traditions named after him. , For example, “Taker Shot”. We all gather after every tour at the hotel or catering. Toast to the one who hosted the tour like a veteran in the main event. It’s always known that after the main of the last show you get everyone together and put these shots together, because we have to do ” Taker Shot.

Through the documentary series The Last Ride, the world learned what it was like for The Undertaker to maintain his aura of mystery and secrecy for 30+ years despite the pressure of performing at WrestleMania.

The legacy that began with a win over Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka in 1991 and continued with this year’s cinematic Boneyard match against AJ Styles is undeniable. But what was it like competing with The Undertaker?

Sportzshala spoke to 10 of The Undertaker’s opponents and one referee about what it was like to hear the “gong” in his opening theme song, lift the Tombstone pile in front of 80,000 fans, and help write another chapter in history. wrestling legend: Jake “The Serpent” Roberts (WrestleMania VIII, 1992); Kane (Glenn Jacobs)WrestleMania 141998 and WrestleMania 20, 2004); Ric Flair (English)WrestleMania 18, 2002); Matt Bloom aka A-TrainWrestleMania 19, 2003, with The Big Show in a handicap match); Randy Orton (WrestleMania 21, 2005); Edge (WrestleMania 24, 2008); referee Jimmy Korderas (WrestleMania 24); Shawn Michaels (English)WrestleMania 25 And 262009 and 2010), Triple H (WrestleMania 27 And 282011 and 2012), Shane McMahon (WrestleMania 322016) and Reigns (WrestleMania 332017).

What was it like when you found out you were dating The Undertaker at WrestleMania?

Ric Flair: I was shocked. I was horrified. I felt like I was put in a once-in-a-lifetime position. And I can’t tell you the pressure I put on myself because I didn’t think I was ready for it. I certainly appreciated the fact that he chose me, which I couldn’t believe because he could have chosen anyone.

Kane: It all started when I found out that I would be Kane. I was very excited because I had the opportunity to work with The Undertaker. It was originally presented as a one-off and then, of course, turned into a storyline culminating in WrestleMania 14. I was excited. I was scared too, because it’s The Undertaker. It’s like saying, “Hey, you’re the reserve third team, here’s the Super Bowl, go kill ’em, kid.” It is the same.

Triple H: What [first WrestleMania] The match was put together at the very end leading up to WrestleMania. We both ended up in a position where we didn’t have [anything booked]. I don’t remember what he did, and to be honest, I don’t remember what I did – both of them evaporated at the same time, and we were in a position where they were like, “What about Taker? “What about Triple H?” We both said, “Yes, I will.”

Randy Orton: They made me slap him, if I remember correctly. And that should have gotten his attention. I was the Legend Killer. I had a good 2004. It was something like, “Tonight you start your corner with Tucker going to WrestleMania. Just come off and give him a slap in the face. And make sure you give him a good slap.” And I’m like, “Damn it, the receipt for this will last forever.”

Edge: Initially, I participated in the Money in the Bank match. [at WrestleMania 23]and I should have won this match. And it would have kept my undefeated streak at WrestleMania. It was changed the week Mr. Kennedy won it. I expressed my concern by saying, “Okay, I understand that you want to go in a different direction…however, if we’re still going down that path with Taker next year, it’s a lot more intriguing for me if you have two undefeated people.” “. [at WrestleMania].” [Later]my idea was that [The Undertaker] never beat me in any of our matches. So it was, “Maybe this guy just has Tucker’s number?”

Jake Roberts: It was a worrying time for me. I had an argument with Vince McMahon and it didn’t work out. And I actually told him that I would be wrestling in that last match for WWE at the time. Being in the ring with Mark has always been a pleasure. I trained him a little in the early days. I remember how he came up to me and said: “I want to go with you.” Like I don’t think you need [that]; you’re not ready for my “performance”. I’ll drink you under the table; I will make you sick. So, the problem was solved, and we went. And in a couple of months, he was pretty damn close to dying. I’m trying to repeat my act, you know what I’m not proud of now. I am clean and sober.

Roman Reigns: I remember talking to Vince. I saw Tucker the week before and he almost gave it away, but he covered it well. He could say that I don’t know yet. When Vince explained this to me, I was absolutely delighted. It’s what everyone in business wants to get in the ring with The Undertaker. And I remember the first thing I thought was that I would like to put it higher. I wanted to lose. Right off the bat, it was my instinct. Out of respect. I knew he was in pain but I didn’t know he was going to [for hip surgery] soon after, otherwise I would have written this story a little differently. So I knew that I should try to help carry it. Match movement. Orbit around it. But I thought it would be better if I ended up on my back. Obviously things went wrong.

What do you remember about preparing for the match?

Orton: i introduced my father [Bob Orton Jr.] I was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame that same year and almost got booed off the stage. People were very interested in this match.

Matt Bloom: We actually went to Tucker’s ranch and we spent some time talking about [the match]. And, you know, I remember that it was supposed to be a tag match, and a few days before that, Taker called us and said that he had changed creatively. We had to make some changes [taking Nathan Jones out of the match]and we just went with it.

Shane McMahon: Before the match, Mrs. Calaway, Mark’s mother, comes up to me for dinner a few days before WrestleMania. I have known her for a very long time. I ask her how she is, I hug her. Then she grabs me with both hands and pulls me back. She speaks in that Texan accent, “You know, you’ve always been one of my favorites. However… you hit my son right in the eye and made him bleed.” [on Raw]. You went down a couple of steps in my book.” She scolded me! And I’m looking at this big, huge Mark Calaway, who is bowing his head very humbly, thinking about how embarrassing this moment is. But it doesn’t matter how cool you are. There will be a protective mother.

Shawn Michaels: Biggest concern [was topping as big a match as we had at WrestleMania 25]. It was a very important issue that was talked about a lot. I feel like we both felt that the Streak Against Career condition clearly helped. At least in our careers, we’ve gotten to the point where you worry about this major factor, but you don’t put the pressure on yourself that you did when you were younger. We had a different dynamic of history. If it’s all fresh, then technically the only thing that will stay the same [as the previous match] two boys. You should do your best to rationalize it as much as possible. Because the big pink elephant in the room says, “Can you follow him?”

Triple H: Obviously, after the two straight matches that Sean and Tucker had, which were two of the greatest matches in history, there was pressure to do something really special – for both of us – and I feel like we did it in both of our matches.

Edge: I was in the locker room with Dave [Bautista]. It was a tent. I remember how hot it was. I remember the smell of barbecue. I got out and realized it was because Snoop Dogg’s bus was parked next to our tent. They had a big old barbeque. They were having fun, and I needed to get into business mode. I didn’t watch any of the other matches on the card because I didn’t want them to get stuck in my head in any way or affect what I was going to do in any way.

What was it like seeing The Undertaker show up at WrestleMania?

Triple H: You stood and waited for him to enter the ring, just in awe. Not only at the entrance, but the whole time you were there… it was epic.

Blossom: I’ve had the opportunity to work with sold-out or near-sold out Tokyo Dome shows and really big other pay-per-view broadcasts. [WrestleMania against The Undertaker] was special. All about it. I remember being a fan of Limp Bizkit and thinking, gosh, like this is pretty cool. [as Limp Bizkit played The Undertaker to the ring in a live performance by the band].

Reigns: Every step he takes in the ring, he thinks. Every move. Every inch of his entry.

McMahon: There is something so special and sinister about it [ring] entrance. The house becomes dark. The crowd goes crazy. Goosebumps run all over the body. I remember thinking, “Okay, I’m going to go to war. I’m about to be given my ass. I have to be sharp.” A big strong boy came to me, and he was pumped up. He had about 20 cups of coffee in the trunk.

You were…

Source: www.espn.com

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker