As rumoured by many inside and outside the wrestling industry, WWE’s final episode of The Last Ride saw the Undertaker bring a (tentative) end to his incredible career.
In his words: “I’m at a point… this time the cowboy really rides away.”
He went on to say: “there’s nothing left for me to conquer, nothing left for me to accomplish and the time just feels right”.
While Taker left the door slightly open – “if the WWE hit ‘emergency break glass, get the Undertaker’ I’d have to consider that” – it seemed a true ending to his life inside the ring.
Mark William Calaway began his career in 1987 working for World Class Championship Wrestling and affiliate promotions. He won the USWA Unified World Title and WCWA Texas Championship before signing full-time with WCW in 1989 where he had a midcard run as “Mean Mark” Callous.
WCW never strapped the rocket to his back while he was there, and it took a jump to the WWF to really kickstart Mark Calaway’s path to fame and fortune.
Mark Callous was rebranded The Undertaker and put straight into the main event against the biggest faces in the company. He helped carry the WWF through the Attitude Era and is one of the last men standing from that period of time.
The Undertaker has stood the test of time and gradually Mark Calaway seeped into the character, if you’ve watched him, even part-time, you know the man behind the character quite well, a love of bikes, rock music and MMA. I mean how many zombies have you seen use a triangle choke?
Along the way he’s made stars aplenty. Would Mick Foley have achieved nearly as much as he did without the Undertaker? Would there have been a Kane? He also gave the rub to Matt Hardy, Maven, Roman Reigns and so many more along the way.
There aren’t many who can say they wrestled Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, Ric Flair, Stone Cold, the Rock, HHH, John Cena, Batista and Randy Orton, most of them at their absolute peaks.
It’s not just the retirement of a wrestler. This is truly the end of an era, and when you make your ‘Mount Rushmore of wrestling’, you have to consider The Undertaker’s legacy. Now watch as his already-stellar reputation grows even bigger post-wrestling.
Farewell, Deadman. We will miss you.