YMMV / The Undertaker

  • And You Thought It Would Fail: On paper, the Undertaker gimmick should have been a giant flop. A satanic 7 foot tall wrestling zombie. How could it ever work when the WWF was still using Hulk Hogan as its backbone to market a family-centered product? How could the WWF go from Hogan talking about vitamins and prayers and then show Undertaker's speeches about coffins and body bags? And yet it worked.
  • Anti-Climax: How The Streak ended. In WWE's defense however, considering the legacy of The Streak (Kane, Ric Flair, Randy Orton, Mark Henry, Batista, Edge, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and CM Punk are all on the list of the defeated) almost any way of ending it would probably result in an Anti-Climax. Though the fact that the match in which it ended wasn't all that good, especially in comparison to the matches that occurred before it in the last five years, certainly did not help.
  • Broken Base:
    • The American Badass/Big Evil gimmick. Most think that it was a new, creative spin on what seemed like a limited character, or it completely ruined The Undertaker, and made no sense.
    • Not him, so much, but "The Streak." The IWC was pretty split between those that enjoyed the streak and want Undertaker to retire undefeated (at Wrestlemania, of course) and then those that had grown tired of The Streak because it's taking away the spotlight from younger superstars. And then, just in that second group, one's liable to get just as many opinions as people as to who should have that auspicious privilege. With Shawn Michaels having ridden off into retirement, it only got worse. And now that Brock Lesnar is the one to have broken Taker's streak, the IWC is even further fractured.
    • Him and Kane's 2015 feud with The Wyatt Family. Some saw it as a necessary Consolation Award to subvert The Brothers Of Destruction's perceived Badass Decay at the time (particularly 'Taker's after he once again lost to Brock Lesnar); others saw it as an insulting Aborted Arc when The Brothers simply Asspulled The Wyatts' recent Magnificent Bastardry into pointlessness midway through.
  • Creepy Awesome
  • Crowning Music Of Awesome: The Graveyard Symphony, Undertaker's entrance theme.
    • He's had several different themes over the years, which one's best probably depends on your tastes.
    • Although real licensed music was not unheard of, Kid Rock and Limp Bizkit performed a couple of his themes, paving the way for bigger bands and artists (Disturbed, Motörhead).
    • Not considering his Bikertaker days, his theme is usually a variation on Chopin's Funeral March.
    • In 2011, he briefly used Johnny Cash's "Ain't No Grave". It. Was. Awesome.
    • The "Logofixion" for when he crucified Steve Austin to his Tx symbol (and again years later to Orlando Jordan).
  • Dork Age: The Undertaker, much as we love him, is as guilty as stinking up the joint as anyone else in his time:
    1. The Undertaker vs. "Undertaker" feud culminated in maybe the worst Summerslam main event of all time.
    2. The American Badass. Turns out there's a very good reason why Taker rarely speaks.
    3. The Phantom of the Opera mask.
      WrestleCrap Before we go to the main event of the show, we go to the forest for some reason, where Paul Bearer is having a seizure talking about The Undertaker's face being smashed....Just thinking about that I’m kinda having a similar fit.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Play 'Taker's story modes in the Smackdown Vs. Raw series and you'll find several uncomfortable examples, so much so that fans have talked about "Undertaker's Curse":
    • Smackdown Vs Raw 2006 had a storyline finish with The Undertaker chokeslamming Eddie Guerrero into a casket. Two days after the game's release, Eddie was found dead in a hotel room.
    • One of the most uncomfortable examples of this ever is in SVR 2007, where 'Taker feuds with another wrestler while playing up the supernatural part of his character and tells the other guy his own persistence will be the end of him, and his family and friends will have only him to blame for the bloodshed. That other guy was, of course, Chris Benoit.
    • Jeff Hardy had a storyline with The Undertaker in the 2008 edition; around the time the game came out, his house burned down and he lost everything (including his dog).
    • Any time he's wrestled someone who later died probably counts, given that his gimmick is centered around death. There was at least one time where he was in a fatal four-way with the British Bulldog, Owen Hart and Yokozuna (for those who don't know, out of these four, Undertaker is the only one still alive). Rest in peace, indeed.
      • Undertaker's absence on the Monday Night Raw following Owen's death despite most of the roster being there to pay tribute was specifically to avoid one of these.
    • Remember that time Undertaker locked Ultimate Warrior in a casket? Yeah....
  • Growing the Beard:
    • Undertaker was pretty much a one-trick pony, until the Mankind feud in 1996. The match against Mankind at King of the Ring in 1996 is one of THE key moments in his career.
    • Taker was forced to work a slow, "zombie" style which meant good matches were pretty rare unless he was in with somebody like Bret Hart who could run circles around it. Once he started expanding his style, he improved a lot.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The fake Undertaker is later brought back repackaged with a biker gimmick. A couple years later guess who is repackaged as a biker.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient/I Have the High Ground: Just try to keep your jaw off the ground when he suicide-planchas over the top rope. Keep in mind this is a 6-foot-10, 300-pound man running full speed toward the ropes, and diving over them headfirst. He pulls one out every WrestleMania.
    • And still doing it well into his 40s.
    • During his Inferno Match with Kane at Unforgiven 98, he did it onto Kane and an interfering Vader over FIRE!
  • Internet Backdraft: Go on a forum and state that you feel The Streak should've ended. Go ahead, do it. Now go ahead and roast the marshmallows on the flames.
    • In fact, say anything bad about 'Taker in general. Just about the only thing most people will give you are that his best days are behind him, and even then it better be said with a respectful tone or else they will jump down your throat.
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
    • "The Streak" is getting close to this level, as a few smarks nowadays say "The rest of the card looks like its gonna suck. I'm just here for Undertaker anyways." Now granted, more often then not they usually end up eating their words when it comes to the rest of the card, but it still technically applies, especially with the last few WrestleManias, the Undertaker matches have outshined all the others.
    • The worst case of this was his last WrestleMania victory, WrestleMania 29: CM Punk vs the Undertaker. The general consensus was that the match was an instant classic and stole the show. The issue is, well... there wasn't much of a show to steal.
  • Memetic Badass: Both in and out of kayfabe, to the point where simply just looking him in the eye without flinching gives you uber badass points.
  • Memetic Mutation: Theodore Long: "NOW HOLD ON JUST A SECOND, PLAYAH! Tonight, you're gonna go one on one with...DE UNDATAKAH!!"
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Pavlov would be impressed by how the fans react when they hear a church bell.
    • The crowd reactions say it all every time that gong goes off. The entire arena practically explodes. Few sounds in WWE today will get that kind of a reaction. Fewer still can say they've been getting it for twenty-two years straight. Taker started getting cheered by the fans in 1992, and even when he formed the Ministry in 1998, he was still getting cheered because the fans loved him as a face or a heel. And when the gong went off again in 2004 at Wrestlemania XX after nearly six years away? Forget it. The Garden let loose with a response we haven't heard for him since, though that's not for lack of trying.
  • Narm: During the 2015 Hell in a Cell match with Lesnar, they were trying to sell it as something incredibly despicable that he was tombstoning him onto the exposed boards of the ring... which may have worked if the camera angle didn't show that Lesnar's head would have needed to call a cab to get to the mat. The gap had to be at least 18 inches if we're being generous.
  • Narm Charm: Most smarks know that feeling: even as kids, it everyone as odd. "Why is a supernatural being such as The Undertaker and a Demonic being like Kane doing in a wrestling ring?", but you just go along with it as "How else are they gonna earn money?"
  • Nightmare Fuel
    • Special mention goes to a feature magazine that had Taker in a coffin. Sellers were fairly freaked by the cover and were wary of selling the publication.
  • Sacred Cow: His impeccable reputation amongst smarks means it's a bad idea to try criticizing Undertaker unjustly.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Many of Undertaker's promos, and arguably, Undertaker's gimmick itself. The fact that The Undertaker takes the gimmick so seriously helps.
    • Hell, the "OH YEEEESSSSSSS!" of Paul Bearer returning with him qualifies this given the reaction of the crowd.
    • Narm Charm: Seriously, it can not be exaggerated just how silly The Undertaker's gimmick is. And it works, just because it's played so straight.
  • Older Than They Think: AWA briefly had a mortician Undertaker gimmick of their own and he had Mean Mark pushing his caskets. Brother Love's original plan for the WWF was to bring him in as a murderous monster called "Cain" but Vince wanted him to be a wrestling zombie Undertaker. Unbeknownst to brother love or Mean Mark, Hulk Hogan was a supporter of Calloway's that may have helped convinced Vince to keep him around and may have given him the Undertaker idea since he had been in the AWA prior. The Cain gimmick seems to have been recycled in Kane.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • Not too often, given that you can only expect so much out of WWE effects-wise anyway. However, one glaring example was at a recent WrestleMania when they tried to make it look like Undertaker was 'levitating' to the ring. A camera angle from above revealed he was standing on a moving board, the fog in his entrance wasn't thick enough to hide it.
    • Then there was the botched pyrotechnics at the Elimination Chamber PPV. Undertaker suffered 1st and 2nd degree burns when the fire in his entrance lit his Badass Longcoat on fire. It probably led to a number of flame wars over this being part of his gimmick.
    • The wig he wore upon his return in 2012 was a study in hilarity.
    • Though not necessarily "special effects", one match against John Cena during his Badass Biker phase involved Undertaker riding his bike out to the top of the ramp... and the bike stalling. He spends a few seconds trying to play it off and casually restart the bike, which he can't. Cue several minutes of awkward staring between him and Cena before he gets up off the bike and stomps toward the ring.
    • Every time Undertaker comes to the ring, he'll stand outside on the corner of the ring apron, and motion with his hands to bring the arena lights back up. Sometimes he slowly raises his arms, sometimes he'll quickly throw them up. During one episode of Raw, Undertaker raised his arms quickly — and caught a faceful of Kane's pyro.
  • Tear Jerker: The ending of the WrestleMania XXVI match.
    • The WrestleMania XXVII match as well. It was just depressing seeing The Undertaker barely able to get out of the ring, even if he did win the match. The most depressing part must be that 9 out of 10 times, his exit in those conditions in kayfabe would've involved druids carrying him out and chanting and blue lighting and fog. None of that happened in this case, implying that it wasn't kayfabe.
      • Triple H, who was himself injured but able to leave on his own, was visibly concerned and even went to help Undertaker, only to be waved away by the official.
    • And now, the ending of the WrestleMania XXX match. It doesn't help that the camera also pans to the audience's shocked reactions.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: People had differing opinions on the Bikertaker gimmick. Though the "Big Evil" time period of said gimmick is seen a little more positively by most of the Biketaker detractors.
  • Took The Bad Gimmick Seriously: Though the gimmick would sound silly at first glance, it was perhaps Undertaker's sheer devotion to it that makes it work so well.
    • And it's not just him, either. The fans absolutely adore the undead version of Taker, to the point that when he came back as The Man From The Dark Side in 2004, every fan in Madison Square Garden came off their feet in absolute jubilation at seeing this much-beloved version of Undertaker return. The fact that it seems to be back for good just adds to it, as Taker claimed the main reason he went back to this particular version of the Undertaker gimmick was due to how much it meant to the fans.
  • Uncanny Valley: Undertaker makes use of this trope as part of the psychological warfare he plays on his opponents. Rolling his eyes back, sitting up right after taking a huge bump and appearing to impervious to pain are all things which make him appear inhuman.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Awesome as far as anything in professional wrestling can be. His entrance itself, the occasions where he shoots lightning at people, his symbols that spontaneously combust, among other things. It doesn't matter if it's fake, his kayfabe is still awesome.
  • X-Pac Heat: The low point of Taker's career was probably in the early 2000s, during and for a year or two after the InVasion angle. During the InVasion Taker refused to sell anything and looked bored and like he'd rather be anywhere else. It didn't just extend to WCW wrestlers though - in one incident he wrestled against A-Train and no-sold everything, just a week after Kane had Worfed all over the ring to help build A-Train as a monster. The X-Pac Heat came and went until Taker took a break and then came back with his original gimmick instead of as the American Badass.

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