Awesome / The Undertaker
Undertaker's Victory Pose
after another grueling title defense match.
- From his very debut Undertaker has been an awesome force. While Mark Calaway had been wrestling for 6 years already, the first time the world got to see The Undertaker was in the 1990 WWF Survivor Series, when he was recruited by Ted Dibiase as the "Mystery Partner" on his "Million-Dollar Team" for the four-on-four tag-team match against the "Dream Team" of Bret Hart, Dusty Rhodes, Jim Neidhart and Koko B Ware. When he stalked into the stadium at the end of DiBiase's Large Ham introduction (complete with DiBiase's trademark Evil Laugh) he stunned everyone, who'd never seen his like before. Barely a minute into the match, after shrugging off every attack directed at him, he flattened Koko with a Tombstone and pinned him with casual ease. Later in the match he would drop The American Dream with a Double Axe Handle off the top rope and send him out. He would have been completely unstoppable if his manager, Brother Love, hadn't picked a fight with the eliminated Rhodes, getting himself beaten up in response and causing Undertaker to leave the ring as if he didn't care about the match at all and brutally go after Rhodes again to protect him, leading to his disqualificationnote . One of the most awe-inspiring debuts in wrestling history.
- Throughout the early part of 2004, Undertaker had been sending Kane signals of Undertaker's impending return. In the middle of a match between Kane and Goldberg, the arena was drowned in blue light and smoke began to fill the ring. At this point, Goldberg, a tough-as-shit super badass who backs down from absolutely nothing, immediately said "Fuck this" and left the ring. Bill Goldberg wanted NOTHING to do with The Undertaker.
- Undertaker's ''WrestleMania "Streak" is a career-spanning CMoA, but he has a few more.
- Said streak was officially beaten at Wrestlemania 30 by Brock Lesnar, but damn if 'Taker didn't go down without a fight.
- He came back for Wrestlemania 31, beating Bray Wyatt in an amazing match.
- Whenever he cleans house, he almost always takes on a huge number of men and still beats them all.
- Saving Miss Elizabeth and an injured Macho Man from Jake Roberts, who was ready to hit them with a chair behind the entrance ramp. Then kicking Jake's ass at WrestleMania VIII.
- Although The Undertaker had teamed up with Jake Roberts in a program against Ultimate Warrior in late 1991, Jake "The Snake"'s actions against Miss Elizabeth might've fueled The Undertaker's first Heel–Face Turn.
- Talking about his feud with Ultimate Warrior, it says a lot when a character that was mainly known for his crazy, intense, and narm-filled promos is suddenly visibly scared and even talking in a low voice about just how terrifying The Undertaker is. That's right, at the beggining of his career, The Undertaker managed to scare the craziest wrestler in the whole company.
- At WrestleMania VIII, Roberts hit Undertaker with his DDT, a finishing move that always meant instantly knocking a guy out and the easy win for the Snake...and the Undertaker sits right up from it. Roberts beautifully sells being totally horrified as Bobby Heenan began his famous mantra of screaming that Undertaker "is not human! The man's not a human being!"
- Jake hit another DDT on the Undertaker before going to the outside to attack Paul Bearer. Sitting up once more, Undertaker walks out and gives Jake a Tombstone on the floor. He then rolls him back to the easy pin as Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan are awed on commentary about how unstoppable this man is.note
- Winning the WWF title from Hulk Hogan only after a year of being in the WWF.
- At King of the Ring 1998, the Undertaker met Mankind at a Hell In A Cell match, which is legendary for its "Holy Shit!" Quotient
- A lot of people see this (deservingly) as Mick Foley's Crowning Moment, but Mick admits in his first book that Undertaker's immense expertise at what he does and professionalism is what kept the match going after the infamous chokeslam through the cage. Also, climbing the cell (twice) and then dropping from it to the ring with a broken foot is pretty badass.
- His return at WrestleMania 20, signaling the return of his "Deadman" persona.
- His matches against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 25 and 26, considered to be instant classics by many.
- Any match he's had with HBK (the 1st Hell In A Cell, final two in the 2007 Royal Rumble)
- Taker's match with Shawn at Wrestlemania 26 deserves special mention for ending with the best Tombstone ever. AKA the Atomic Jumping Tombstone Of Death.
- Mark Callaway as opposed to Undertaker gets one for calling Vince McMahon out backstage on the Montreal Screwjob. Long story short, he put Vince on the spot (after threatening to kick down the office door if Vince didn't let him in) and said most of the talent would be prepared to walk out unless amends were made. He allegedly did it a few months later before WrestleMania 14 (where WWF Champion Shawn Michaels was facing "Stone Cold" Steve Austin), and told Vince that if another screwjob happened, Vince would have to answer to him.
- Also, so the story goes, told Michaels (who was complaining about having to lose despite a back injury that meant he would likely have to retire) that if Shawn didn't do the job, he would kick Shawn's ass. And then, to prove he meant it, made sure that he taped up his fists in Shawn's eyeline during Shawn's entrance. Claimed untrue by Michaels (though he has a history of Retcon), though appx 4:50 of this interview Undertaker did back in 2002, implies the story is at least partly true.
- The Undertaker once participated in an Elimination Chamber... moments after being accidentally lit on fire.
- Specifically, one of the bursts of flame that are part of his entrance went off almost directly underneath him instead of when he was already past, whether through timing issues or technical problems isn't known. Rather than (understandably) freaking out, he just tossed off his smoldering jacket, recovered from the stumble before emerging from the smoke and fog, and continued his unnervingly slow walk down to the ring.
- What's more: according to Chris Jericho, Undertaker had suffered anywhere between second and third degree burns from the accident and then had to go wait in one of the Pods. And since Taker was not one of the first men out, he had to stand in those (according to Jericho) uncomfortably hot pods for-freaking-EVER. And never once did he break character. After the match, Undertaker was understandably pissed about the special effects guy, who was summarily fired.
- The entire Ministry of Darkness gimmick. The chilling speeches, the wardrobe, the special effects and the comic book-like storyline were all proof that wrestling doesn't need to fool its audience into thinking it's not real for it to still be So Cool, It's Awesome.
- Literally dragging Kane into Hell.
- Though the majority of Undertaker's promos with Paul Bearer are very cheesy, this segment with the Ultimate Warrior is surprisingly quite effective.
- Any time he busts out his top-rope suicide plancha (seen here over the top rope, over a casket, and onto Mark Henry). Death from Above doesn't even begin to cover it.
- On the 2001 Undertaker: This Is My Yard DVD, Edge puts over this move and suggests that there's no way a guy Taker's size should be able to do it.
- His performance of the move during the first Inferno Match with Kane made for an awesome visual.
- His "Spirit of The Undertaker" speech at the 1994 Royal Rumble, before he "crossed over".
- When he appeared as #30 at Royal Rumble 2007. After the Great Khali punched out everyone in the ring, The Miz then entered at #29, getting thrown out as soon as he entered. Then when the buzzer sounded for number 30, the gong went off, the lights went dark, and the fans went BERSERK. Cue Undertaker beating the crap out of the Great Khali and cleaning the ring.
- And after that, he managed to resist the combined efforts of Randy Orton and Edge (which included a Spear and TWO chairshots to his bleeding head), before fighting and eventually defeating Shawn Micheals for the final win, in what is considered by many the best ending of a Royal Rumble match in hystory.
- The Undertaker saving Rey Mysterio and giving Batista the beating of a lifetime.
- Taker's match with Triple H at ''WrestleMania XXVII. The amount of punishment both men absorbed escalated to the point that Taker (who won the match by submission, of all things) was the one that had to be carted out of the stadium.
- If it were possible to take it Up to Eleven, then their rematch at WrestleMania XXVIII inside Hell In A Cell sure did. Among the many things 'Taker survived to win the match included a spinebuster on the ring steps, multiple sledgehammer shots to the face, over a dozen chair shots and a Sweet Chin Music from guest referee Shawn Michaels that was immediately chained into a Pedigree.
- Undertaker's return at 2005 Survivor Series.
- While executed well, it might have been better if WWE hadn't advertised it as heavily beforehand and left it a surprise. Since he only showed up at the very end of the show this made him an Advertised Extra, and the crowd chanted "We Want Taker" throughout much of the final match.
- Taker's triumphant rebirth as the "American Bad-Ass" at the 2000 Judgment Day pay-per-view, as he beat the holy hell out of Triple H and his goons.
- Undertaker appearing out to help Kane against 6 men. Oh boy, check this out.
- His feud with CM Punk leading to WrestleMania 29, ending in a brutal match, where he made sure that Punk paid for every bit of disrespect he gave to Paul Bearer and the streak, bringing it to 21-0. During the match, you can see that Taker didn't just want to hurt Punk, he wanted to murder Punk, well, as much as he could while keeping it legal.
- At one point, Punk has the Anaconda Vice locked in on Undertaker, who is almost pinned to the mat as a result. After a close pinfall attempt, Undertaker sits up while still locked in the Vice. Punk's reaction (and the crowd's cheering for it) was priceless.
- Let's talk about the Undertaker's entrances for a moment. By the time he'd adopted his Deadman persona once more in 2004, Taker had long had his Big Entrance down to a science. The Unflinching Walk. The Death Glare. The Badass Longcoat. The funeral dirge. Say what you will about the Undertaker, but he has one of, if not the, best entrances in Professional Wrestling, and it's still cool enough that the company even compiled a "Top 10" of his best returns to the ring. Some other notable entrances include:
- Summerslam 1992, for his match with Kamala, where he arrived on a hearse. Not in a hearse. On a hearse, perched up top with that trademark glare in his eyes. No wonder Kamala was scared out of his wits for much of the feud.
- Survivor Series 1994 vs Yokozuna. The original Titantron was a grid of 16 screens, and for this entrance, it was split down the middle in order to make Taker's entrance look that much bigger. Paul Bearer ahead of him, wheeling a casket out, was just the icing on the cake.
- A bit of a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment due to later events, but the Survivor Series 1996 entrance, where Taker descended from the ceiling with a new, darker look, complete with bat-cape, was wicked cool at the time.
- His WrestleMania entrances typically get turned Up to Eleven:
- His first match against Kane at Wrestlemania XIV saw him enter to lines of druids holding torches, set to "O Fortuna." This raised the bar for epic entrances, even for Taker, and the druid motif has been reused and modified a few times since.
- He had a similar entrance six years later at XX, when he returned to his "Deadman" persona for the first time in years to take Kane down again.
- His 23 entrance featured him coming out of the entranceway while backlit by a giant spotlight. Some fans likened it to Undertaker walking out the entrance of Hell itself.
- And speaking of walking out of Hell, Undertaker's entrance at 29 featured him ascending from a pit of hands reaching out to him — ostensibly, souls of the damned collected by The Deadman himself. Combined with the Final Boss nameplate used during his walk to the ring, that sight was enough to make many fans treat this as his absolute best entrance ever.
- That moment was probably displaced by his entrance at Survivor Series 2015 (celebrating his 25 years in WWE), with some fans calling it "the best Wrestlemania entrance in a non-Wrestlemania PPV".
- His return to the match after being knocked out cold and carried away on a stretcher after Giant Gonzalez, the tallest wrestler in history, held a cloth soaked in chloroform to his face for several seconds. Though Gonzalez had already lost by disqualification, Undertaker still dished out a brief beating, even as Paul Bearer desperately attempted to hold him back.
- This was the only match of Undertaker's WrestleMania appearances that he won via disqualification.
- How does Undertaker accept Brock Lesnar to be his opponent for Wrestlemania 30? Stabbing Lesnar's hand with a pen on the contract. Followed by a chokeslam through the table.
- He and Kane saving Lita from brutal beating at the hands of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Triple H. Rollin hits and through a pillar of fire they casually stroll to the ring like they had all the time in the world. Austin and Haitch see this and go Screw This, I'm Outta Here!.
- The 5/11/07 episode of WWE SmackDown ended with him beaten comatose by Batista, Mark Henry, and Edge, so how did he leave the arena? Like a fallen king.
- His Badass Boast to Kane before their No-Holds-Barred Match at Night of Champions:
Undertaker: You called yourself the Devil's Favorite Demon. Well, Kane, have you forgotten that the house that Devil lives in, I built? Brick by fiery brick. And when I come calling, the Devil still answers to me with 'Sir'.
- He's Back. At Battleground 2015 he made his return by delivering a brutal beatdown to Brock Lesnar, also costing him the title in his match against Seth Rollins
- Undertaker finally ending his losing streak to Brock Lesnar in a PPV event during SummerSlam 2015 via submission.
- The 1996 Survivor Series: YMMV applies to Taker's Flying Bat-man entrance, but the finish of his match against Mankind was an awesome spot - Mankind jumped from the top turnbuckle to catch Taker with a double axhandle strike, only to be caught mid-air by a snarling Undertaker who quickly converted it into a Tombstone for the win.
- Taker makes a surprise cameo on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, of all places, just to Tombstone Brad Maddox in a turkey costume. Only Taker could make this awesome.
- Oh BTW, did we mention being so awesome he could use a Johnny Cash song as his entrance for a spell and still be twice as awesome? Song says it best: Ain't no grave can hold my body down.
- Similar to Undertaker putting Shawn Michaels in his place to make sure he "did the job" at Wrestlemania 14, Kevin Nash once told a tale of Taker doing the same to Bret Hart: the 1996 Royal Rumble had Nash (as Diesel) and Hart in a steel cage match that ended when Undertaker - who had been robbed of a title victory against Hart by Nash at the previous PPV - was to come up from underneath the ring, drag Nash down, giving Hart the chance to escape the cage and retain the title. One problem - in the storyline of the match Nash was supposed to hit Hart with the jackknife powerbomb, allowing him to escape the cage, only to be snagged by 'Taker, but while laying out the match beforehand, Hart was refusing to take the powerbomb, giving reason after reason. Nash called Hart out, saying that Hart was going to win the match anyway, but Hart wouldn't budge. Finally, 'Taker, in a rare outburst, stood up and, according to Nash, yelled at Hart, "Motherfucker! It is NOT all about YOU!"
- At the end of Smack Down's 900th episode, the Smack Down Survivor Series team are all in the ring, and AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose particularly are about to make things break down. And then....GONG. The Undertaker returns to the ring, telling everyone that not only does he plan to work outside of WrestleMania, but that his home is Smack Down. He then follows it up with a speech similar to the one he gave during the end of the 2001 Invasion, telling the team they don't have to fear failure....but should they fail, they will have to fear HIM. Safe to say Undertaker just got the Smack Down team on the same page, with just one conversation.
- The best part? EVERYONE was cowed by the Deadman, considering that everyone in the ring had felt his wrath at one time or another (except AJ Styles and James Ellsworth, and neither of them looked like they wanted any part of Taker).
- During his shocking announcement to enter the 2017 Royal Rumble, he made one point very clear, particularly to Stephanie McMahon, that this is not the same Deadman who more or less did Vince's dirty work the year before at WrestleMania:
: I answer to no one...I go where I want, when I want...Nobody controls The Undertaker
...((pointed Death Glare
at Stephanie)) No one.
- And much like Team Smackdown, Stephanie was sufficiently cowed and didn't budge an inch or say a word.
- The go home RAW before the Rumble had Taker make a surprise appearance by staring down two other guys in the Rumble match. Those guys? Goldberg and Brock Lesnar. That's right: Undertaker and Goldberg staring each other down for the first time.
- Even one of his druids got one, against Mark Henry.
- Undertaker deserves one for the sheer amount of respect he demands from everyone in the wrestling industry. Rarely is anything bad said about the man by insiders and fans alike, and the fact that he can still pull off a gimmick of an superpowered zombie mortician until the modern era (where such outlandish gimmicks have been almost phased out) is still awe-inspiring. Even among the most cynical of wrestling fans, the Undertaker remains one of the last things about wrestling they genuinely and unironically love.