This wasn't just Taker making a token appearance, there was real meaning behind this: besides the fact that Taker, at the time, was one of the longest tenured active superstars on the roster, he was paired up with Flair as an ally against Hulk Hogan way back in 1991 when Flair first entered WWE. Not to mention that at the time, Taker was the World Heavyweight Champion, holding the same Big Gold Belt that Flair himself had held so many times.
During WrestleMania 26, when Undertaker was going for his cutthroat taunt as Shawn Michaels was laid out on the mat, he suddenly stops, and just shrugs at the defiant Michaels struggling to get to his feet, clutching to him for support. He even yells at him to stay down, in a tone not too distant from begging. This is the Undertaker. Showing pity to his long-time opponent. At WrestleMania. Only Shawn Michaels could invoke this Out-of-Character Moment from him.
Not to mention after the match, after doing his victory pose, he helps Michaels to his feet and shakes his hand before exiting to the back, letting Michaels have the spotlight one more time for the fans.
After WWE purchased WCW in 2001, thus giving them access to WCW's video library, WWE released the DVD Undertaker: This Is My Yard, which delved a lot into the real life Mark Callaway...sorry. At the end he is in the locker room talking to the other wrestlers during the InVasion/Alliance angle, he says these words.
"There's no shame in going out there and getting your ass kicked. There's no honor in not fighting at all."
Words to live by.
When Triple H was entering into a real-life relationship with Stephanie McMahon the former would go to the Undertaker backstage for advice on whether or not he should continue and date the the boss's. Of all the people he could go to, the top heel of the promotion at the time would go to the deadman for relationship advice, was a mark of how much Undertaker was respected not just as a wrestler (even by Triple H, who had ascended to main event status by this point and was known to have a massive ego) but as a man. When Trips and Steph were married in 2003, Taker was asked to be a groomsman and agreed. It's one of the few known photos from that time of Mark Calaway completely out of character.
WrestleMania XXVIII: Undertaker with the help of Shawn Michaels hoists Triple H on to his feet and carry him up the ramp and where they later hug. As the tagline for the match called it, it was the end of an era.
On Raw during March 11, 2013, following Paul Bearer's death, the Undertaker came out into the ring to personally pay tribute to his former manager the best way he knew how. The shot of him giving one final salute to the Paul Bearer's urn and the Jumbotron tribute of him is incredibly touching.
WrestleMania 30: After the punishing Streak-breaking loss to Brock Lesnar, Undertaker spent several minutes laying on the mat before painfully sitting up and slowly walking out of the arena - the entire time, the fans and commentators are applauding him; by comparison, Lesnar's victory had gotten nothing but shocked silence.
The night before, he arrives to pay tribute to Paul Bearer in the only way that he could - raising his signature urn in silence.
According to Kamala, Undertaker gave him a hug backstage at WrestleMania X-Seven.
More recently, the "Thank You Taker" chants, especially during the end of his matches in Hell in a Cell 2015 and Survivor Series 2015. A testament to how beloved he is.
After WrestleMania 33, this is a bit bittersweet. But all the tweets, all the stories told about Taker in the 24 hours between Mania and Raw are what makes it worth it. From childhood memories, to how he helped and inspired others. Over a quarter of a century of entertaining us has shaped him into one of the most beloved and respected wrestlers ever. Thank you Taker, indeed.
'Taker winning the WWF title at WrestleMania 13, holding the strap high, and pointing to his fans in salute to his "Creatures of the Night."
Undertaker's return to Smackdown on episode 900 of the show. The last time he had been seen was his match against Shane McMahon at WrestleMania. Taker was so impressed by Shane's performance that night that he actually showed deference to him, and even tipped his hat to him.
Undertaker: There could be no better man to be commissioner of Smackdown than the man who has no fear.
His (apparent) retirement at WrestleMania 33, in which he quietly removed his Undertaker garb - gloves, coat, and hat - left them in the ring, walked over to kiss his real-life wife Michelle McCool, and went up the ramp to descend to whence he came with his fist held high, with chants of "Thank you, Taker!" somewhat subdued due to the gravity of the moment. And, just like the old-school wrestler he is, he used his final match to help the career of an up-and-comer, Roman Reigns.
For their part, chants for Undertaker could be heard on both RAW and Smackdown post-WrestleMania and the fans were MERCILESS to Roman Reigns on the subsequent RAW, even accepting that Roman is X-Pac Heat personified the crowd made it clear how much he had crossed a line for them. A great example among many of how much Undertaker meant to the fans, and how much they will miss him.