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"Here was the difference between The Undertaker and every other performer on the roster: The Undertaker didn't sell. There was no visual indication that his opponent's moves were having any kind of real effect on him, and it made the character feel eerily indestructible, never more palpable than the moments of his eerie sit up, a move directly inspired by Michael Myers, in which The Undertaker would be on the receiving end of a devastating piece of offense, only to rise back to life. The sit up was a trademark of any Undertaker match, the moment his opponent's momentum was broken, and they'd remember they were in the ring with the Deadman."

GONG.

Mark William Calaway (born March 24, 1965) is an American retired professional wrestler who is the longest-tenured performer in WWE history, working under the name The Undertaker for over three decades with the companynote . He is one of the most memorable and recognizable superstars in the company's history.

His career is most notable for "The Streak"; in twenty-one appearances at WrestleMania, The Undertaker had never lost a single match, and every year since WrestleMania X-Seven, "The Streak" was a huge part of the build-up to the annual event, until Brock Lesnar finally defeated him at WrestleMania XXX. But even after that defeat, WrestleMania still builds The Undertaker's match as one of its biggest, almost exclusive, attractions; and the man himself keeps adding names to his long list of victims on his run of dominance at the event, ending at an impressive 25-2.

He and his (kayfabe) "half-brother" Kane were the last two holdovers from WWE's "Rock 'n' Wrestling" era of high-concept, comic book-style wrestling gimmicks, a decade thought to have perished with the Boogeyman. Even though an undead "zombie wrestler" with mystical powers sticks out like a sore thumb in the so-called "Reality" Era, fans still adore it anyway. Undertaker shed the voodoo gimmick for a more true-to-life one ("The American Badass") between 2000 and 2003, but he returned to it in 2004. He has also wrestled as a cult leader (the "Ministry of Darkness" angle) and a warlock. Yes, a murderous zombie cowboy biker priest who wrestles.

After his loss to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33, the Undertaker initially retired from wrestling. However, he changed his mind and resumed his career on a semi-retired status, willing to appear and even wrestle when he considers the match and opponent worthy. The results were by his own admission mixed. On November 22, 2020, thirty years since his debut at the first Survivor Series, The Undertaker formally announced his retirement, stating "My time has come to let The Undertaker rest in peace" and walking away from the ring one last time. Over a year later, it was announced that the Undertaker would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2022.

On 24 October 2023, he would open a YouTube channel, Six Feet Under with Mark Calaway, where he hosts a weekly podcast to share behind the scenes stories from his career.

When WWE crafted its controversial "50 Greatest Superstars of All Time" DVD set, the company polled its roster to create the list. Undertaker was #2 on the list — #1 was Shawn Michaels.

Not to be confused with The Coroner.


"These tropes will... REST... IN... PEACE!"

  • The Ace: The Undertaker is the ultimate McMahon wet dream: he's big and strikes an imposing figure, but also has the in-ring chops and mic skills to back up the hype. Hell, during his heyday back in the late '90s, the man was unbeatable, and he was capable of going toe-to-toe with just about every wrestler and style out there.
    • As further proof, he was still putting on matches that are rightly regarded as instant classics well into his 40s. See his WrestleMania matches against Shawn Michaels from 2009 to 2010, Triple H from 2011 to 2012, and CM Punk in 2013. In the WWE, only Chris Jericho, AJ Styles and the aforementioned Shawn Michaels can boast of being able to carry out matches as good as some of the ones The Deadman has pulled off at similar ages.
  • A Father to His Men: While he's known for demanding respect backstage from the rest of the locker room, he also gives it back in return. There are numerous stories of him keeping prima donna talent in check, giving insight to newer talent, and when the WWE started enforcing a dress code (in which wrestlers must wear business casual attire), he adhered to it despite getting exemption from it. Even wrestlers who've since left the company, including some who left for very acrimonious reasons, still speak incredibly highly of The Deadman.
    Mr. Kennedy: There's two mountains in the WWE. At the top of one mountain there's Triple H, who's throwing rocks down at you so he can keep the top to himself. At the top of the other mountain is the Undertaker, who's constantly reaching down to help you out so you can enjoy the view with him.
    • Ironically, Kane became something of a deputy on this in later years.
    • Before he became a part timer he was essentially the mentor to all the "big" wrestlers. Drew McIntyre talks a lot about this in one of his shoot interviews. Drew being mentored by Taker makes a lot of sense when you consider that McIntyre is almost an Expy of him in terms of size and skill set.
    • He was so well respected that wrestlers would reportedly come to him to ask about advice with their own personal problems. One such story involves Triple H asking him whether it was OK to date Stephanie McMahon.
    • Jim Cornette told a story about Taker deliberately taping up his fists directly in Shawn Michaels' eyeline during his match against "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, all but directly threatening to directly intervene should Shawn not drop the title clean to Austin, as Shawn had been potentially whining about doing backstage. When Jim Cornette has nothing but good things to say about you, you're definitely one for the history books.
    • The Miz was once banned from the locker room indefinitely — six months and counting at the time — for eating and dripping food over a referee's bag. The problem for Miz was that ban was enacted by Chris Benoit, who had killed himself and his family in the meantime, leaving no one very eager to lift it in his place. When Undertaker came back from part-time hiatus, he saw The Miz changing by himself in the hallway and rescinded Miz's exile.
    • During a roast, Taker talked about taking Booker T under his wing after he came over from WCW. He said he always thought Book had talent and enjoyed seeing him become a star in WWE.
    • Following the Montreal Screwjob, Taker confronted Vince in his office and threatened to beat the shit out of him and then quit if Vince didn't immediately apologize to Bret Hart, and he wasn't the only one planning on quitting.note  His actions basically saved the company, which is one reason why Taker got off scot free with threatening to pummel his boss into submission in real life.
  • All-American Face: Specifically during his "BikerTaker"/"American Bad-ass" run, especially during his last year or so before reverting back to the Deadman gimmick.
    • He proved to be a very non-standard example of this during the 1993 Survivor Series, where — despite being undead — he decided to stick up for America by joining the All Americans Survivor Series team.
      • In the video of the announcement that he was on that team, look at the American flag underneath his cloak: It's the "circle of stars" American flag from the mid 19th century. At the time, Undertaker's gimmick was that he was a mortician from The Wild West.
  • Ambiguous Criminal History: Admitted during his American Badass days. The first time HHH and Stephanie have him arrested, the latter arrogantly yells that he's going to jail. Undertaker casually says that he's been there before.
  • Ambiguously Human: The kayfabe nature of Taker's character isn't exactly clear. Is he a fully undead zombie re-animated by Paul Bearer? Is he fully human but magically enhanced by the urn serving as an Amplifier Artifact? Different angles and gimmicks have implied different things.
  • Amplifier Artifact: The urn that Paul Bearer carried with him brought The Undertaker power when he was down and out in matches earlier in his career. The contents of the urn have never fully been explained, though it could be interpreted as something like a Soul Jar. When it was finally opened in 1994, green fog came billowing out of it. It's been brought back a few times since; most notably in 2004 with his return to the Deadman gimmick, and in September 2010 with the return of Paul Bearer. CM Punk used it to his own advantage in their WrestleMania XXIX feud after Paul Bearer's death, even pouring the contents all over The Undertaker on Raw.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: It's often implied that The Undertaker is, in fact, Death incarnate.
  • Anti-Hero: A Nominal Hero when he's face and also has the stance of being one of the earliest anti-heroes in the WWE history. Several examples do predate him, though. Jake Roberts being one such example.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Kane, Vince McMahon, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Mankind, Yokozuna, Edge, Vickie Guerrero, Paul Bearer on and off, Paul Heyman, Kamala...
    • His largest, however, was probably Shawn Michaels. Until WrestleMania 25, Taker never managed to beat Shawn in a singles match. Also, Shawn's back injury that kept him out of the ring for four years while completely missing the business' biggest boom, the Attitude Era? It happened while fighting The Undertaker. 'Taker's also the one who ended up retiring Shawn for good in 2010.
    • In real life, Brock Lesnar. Brock was unhappy with Taker's refusal to lose to him cleanly at Unforgiven 2002 (necessitating a Hell in a Cell rematch) while Taker did not appreciate Brock's attitude. It still went on years later, as evidenced by the two having a brief stare-down after a UFC bout of Lesnar, and many interviews that showed that Lesnar either did not fully respect Taker or just skewered his perspective on how his animosity with Taker was. Given how reports indicate that Undertaker had pegged Brock as the one to break his streak in 2010, before Brock had even returned to the WWE, and Brock had gone to the hospital with Undertaker (who suffered a concussion in their match), it seems they had given up any animosity towards each other.
    • AJ Styles after Styles made it personal with Taker and involved Taker's wife Michelle McCool.
  • Artifact Alias: For a very brief time during the "BikerTaker" era, he was called by his real name in backstage segments but still referred to as "The Undertaker" when he was performing in-ring.
  • As Himself: Like many wrestlers, has done his own voice during animated crossovers or cameos. Such examples include
    • Playing a more humorous & heroic version of himself in Celebrity Deathmatch.
    • The 1999 show, Downtown had him voicing a parodied version of his Undertaker character. Once again, he is depicted in a heroic light when he saves the protagonist who mocked him early on.
    • Scooby-Doo! and the WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon has him voice a Comically Serious version of himself which seemed to be a mix of his Undertaker character and his down to Earth real life persona.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: If you ask a question like this, The Undertaker will ask you "What's your point?," as he did on the July 1, 2002 WWE Raw when Terri Runnels asked him if he was concerned going into his Ladder Match with Jeff Hardy, since he'd never been in one before.
    • When he ambushed Rick Flair's son David:
    David Flair: What are you doing?
    The Undertaker: What am I doing? I'm kicking your ass, what do you think I'm doing?!
  • The Baby of the Bunch: In real life, he's the youngest in the family with 4 older brothers.
  • Back from the Dead: Happens to him on several occasions.
  • Badass Biker: Both his American Badass gimmick and in Real Life.
  • Badass Boast:
    • To Shawn Michaels, prior to their epic WrestleMania XXV matchup:
      Taker: When I take center ring at WrestleMania, and I stand before my peers and all of the world, you then will realize that I am the most dangerous entity that has ever stepped foot in this ring. Shawn, you should have been more careful in what you wish for, because now you have opened Hell's gates.
    • In response to Kane declaring himself "The Devil's favorite demon";
      Taker: Have you forgotten, or have you just chose to forget, that the house that the devil lives in, I built!? Brick by fiery brick! And when I come calling, the devil still answers to me with "sir".
    • In response to Triple H denying his challenge for a rematch at WrestleMania and claiming he doesn't want it:
      Taker: You can lie to yourself. You can lie to Shawn. But you will not lie to me.
    • On an episode of Monday Night Raw prior to the SummerSlam 2015 match between Taker and Brock Lesnar, during a huge brawl wherein half the locker room was trying to separate them, Brock quite audibly said "I'm going to kill you, you son of a bitch!" to which Taker simply replied:
      Taker: You're going to have to!
    • He even did this in real life in the immediate aftermath of the Montreal Screwjob. Upon finding Vince hiding in his office, 'Taker pounded on the door and delivered the following (paraphrased) ultimatum.
      Mark Calaway: If you don't open this door and get your ass out here, I'm going to knock it down and kick it. If you still want to have a company tomorrow you'd better apologize to Bret Hart.
    • On at least one occasion, he wore a shirt that read "Loved By Few, Hated By Many, Respected By All." Pretty much speaks for itself.
  • Badass Cape: His Ministry of Darkness entrance attire.
  • Badasses Wear Bandanas: His American Badass gimmick had him wear an American flag style bandana.
  • Badass Longcoat: As part of his entrance attire.
  • Badass Normal: As a biker, he didn't have supernatural powers but was still a dangerous force to be reckoned with.
  • Bash Brothers: With Kane. Their tag-team name is even "the Brothers of Destruction".
  • Becoming the Mask: During the early part of 1999, The Undertaker was running a cult-like stable called the Ministry of Darkness and was terrorizing the WWF. To sell the angle, many people were proclaiming that "Mark" had gone off the deep end and let the "Undertaker" persona overtake who he was.
  • Berserk Button: He has many that you should never push.
    • Stealing the urn.
    • A very, very easy way to piss off WWE Smarks is to disrespect The Undertaker in any way, shape, or form.
    • During the American Badass era, his then wife Sara was used many times by his foes (i.e. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Diamond Dallas Page, Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar) to try to weaken or distract the Deadman. This only served to make the imminent beatdowns more severe. Two decades and a new wife later, AJ Styles made the same mistake by insulting said wife while mockingly calling him an old man and taking shots at his life outside his Deadman duties. Styles got Buried Alive for his unkind remarks at WM 36 and was repeatedly told as such during it. To quote him, "Mess with my family, and I will hurt you."
    • Keep telling him constantly about how Brock Lesnar broke his undefeated streak at WrestleMania. Paul Heyman found this out the hard way.
    • During his original feud with Kane, Paul Bearer called his mother a whore. This caused the normally stoic Taker to absolutely lose it and furiously attack Bearer & Jerry Lawler when the latter laughs about it with Bearer.
    • Disrespecting the dead (especially Paul Bearer). CM Punk learned this lesson the hard way at WM 29.
    • Kidnapping & threatening to harm Paul Bearer which Paul Heyman & The Dudleys learn in 2004.
    • In Real Life, screwing with his coworkers. After the Montreal Screwjob, Vince McMahon learnt this lesson the hard way.
    • Detailed below, messing with Kane is a bad idea.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Very much with Kane outside of their sibling rivalry. Summed up best in his words to Stone Cold after he ambushed Kane.
    Taker: You decided to make this personal. Don't you realize, boy? When you jumped on Kane, you jumped on me.
    • When Kane had trouble sitting up after Mankind hit him with a sledgehammer, Undertaker stood over him with a look of concern and tried to help.
    • When Kane got ambushed by Austin during his Hell in A Cell match with Mankind, Taker tries to find a way in & eventually begins to scale the cell to go through the roof.
    • The Power Trip, consisting of Austin & HHH, ambushed Kane during his match with Rhino and break his arm with a chair. Taker ran back to the ring as Power Trip made their exit. Afterwards Taker helps Kane up the ramp & stops to check on him when he falls to his knees.
    • The most despaired case came from another of the Power Trip's attacks when Austin clobbered Kane with a chair to re-break his arm. An injured Taker is seen crawling toward Kane & can be heard off-screen repeatedly screaming "No" and yelling at Austin to leave Kane alone. He got to his feet outside the ring but took a chair-shot to the back from Austin, falling beside his brother.
    • Kane was taken out of action due to the above assault & Taker went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge the next few nights, beating up Austin & HHH. It continued to a handicap match at Insurrextion. Taker could only win the title if he pinned Austin but commentators note it's not just about the title, but getting revenge for Kane. He won via pinfall on HHH and beat him, Austin, and Vince with a chair much like Austin did to him & Kane previously. He makes his exit and does his trademark pose. Despite not winning the title, he won the fight & may have gotten some form of retribution for Kane, as noted by the commentators.
    • In their tag-match against Power Trip at Backlash, Kane's arm was still broken & Taker was reluctant to tag him in at first but does. Later in the match, an exhausted Taker refuses to tag Kane in again, motioning to his hurt arm which was already hurt more in the first tag-in. Taker was pummeled by Power Trip with Ross & Heyman noting that he was taking Kane's beating, which continued until Kane tagged himself in. A confused Heyman asked if Taker really had a heart and Ross said that he did because he's still a human being.
    • The brothers lost their belts in the above match but Taker seemed more worried about Kane, whom he crawls to check before he glares daggers at HHH & Austin, Jim Ross predicted that Power Trip will pay as long as Taker has a breath in his body.
    • Taker's protectiveness sometimes overrode reason. He's handcuffed & kept backstage by "cops" during Kane's match with HHH & Big Show. When HHH & Big Show assaulted Kane after the match, Taker clobbered the cops and ran down to the ring handcuffed. Being handicapped, he's easily beaten as well.
    • When Austin ambushed Kane during the latter's match with Kurt Angle, Taker wasted no time going after him. Michael Cole noted that Taker & Austin would have a match later that night, but only if Undertaker didn't catch Austin before that. note 
    • The WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 game shows this as well in Undertaker's Road to Wrestlemania story. Taker's concern & sadness when Kane's soul is taken by Boogyman. As well as him later freeing the mind-controlled Kane, checking on him afterwards, as well as giving a warm smile & nod after Kane thanks him.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To Kane, who seems to emulate him. A notable example was him teaching Kane to the Last Ride. Kane botched it the first time, so Taker showed him again & nodded in approval when Kane was successful. Michael Cole notes on Kane's second try that he's going to prove to his big brother that he can do it.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Monster Heel has just beaten everybody and seems absolutely unstoppable, not even John Cena can beat him! There he is, standing in the middle of the ring, the broken bodies of the roster surrounding him, how can anyone possibly... *gong* *Crowd proceeds to lose their shit*
    • Combined this with The Dreaded on the 1000th episode of RAW to keep SIX MEN from attacking Kane until his entrance was finished, at which point the two proceeded to demolish them. The crowd chanting "This Is Awesome" only adds to the moment.
    • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Triple H are about to beat up Lita. Cue Taker and Kane calmly walking down to the ring to stop it from happening.
    • Real life example: After the Montreal Screwjob Mark Calaway threatened to beat up Vince McMahon and quit if amends were not made, alluding that the other wrestlers were so upset there might not even be a WWF in 24 hours. See Papa Wolf below.
    • Plays this role in the WrestleMania XL Night 2 main event. Bloodline and The Rock had managed to thwart off the interventions from Jey Uso, John Cena and Seth Rollins and Rocky was about to put the finishing blow on Cody Rhodes when the all-familiar gong plays. Taker reminded Rock who is the true Final Boss of WrestleMania by putting him six feet under with a chokeslam and took Rock with him back to the underworld once he disappears from the ring.
  • Big Eater: To be expected, but is said to be this in real life. During an interview, his wife Michelle is asked what is his fav. thing to eat for breakfast.
    Michelle: Anything he can find in the fridge, and lots of it.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Used to put Triple H in his place on 2/20/12:
    Triple H: I looked you in the eye, and what I saw—
    The Undertaker: SHUT UP!!!
  • Black Cloak: He wore one when he was in the Ministry of Darkness. Afterwards, he wore this from WrestleMania 28 to WrestleMania 30 until he went back to the Badass Longcoat / nice hat combo for WrestleMania 31.
  • Blood Magic: When a feud is intense enough, the Undertaker will utilize this ability to play mind games of his opponents, ranging from having random objects or people bleed profusely, or having an entire arena rain blood.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: His various Face runs were played like this, not quite crossing into Dark Is Not Evil territory, has he never showed much affinity or allegiance to anybody except perhaps Paul Bearer and Kane. Best summed up during his confrontation with Jake Roberts in 1992 after he prevented the Snake from assaulting Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth.
    Roberts: You tell me right now, WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?!!
    Undertaker: Not yours...
  • Bookends:
    • His first WWE Championship win was against Hulk Hogan in 1991. His final WWE Title run ensued by beating Hogan in 2002.
    • He made his WWE debut on November 22, at Survivor Series 1990. Exactly thirty years later, at the same event, he made his final farewell to the WWE Universe.
  • Boxing Battler: Mark is a big MMA fan with a few sources noting him to have his black belt in Karate & BJJ, but he also sometimes uses a striker stance in the ring, even getting dubbed WWE's best pure striker during his American Badass years. This stuck even after he went back to being The Deadman, which showed best in his fight against Mark Henry & Viscera in 2007.
  • Brainwashed: The WWE novel Journey Into Darkness implies the reason for Taker's Ministry Heel Turn was because Paul Bearer began drugging and manipulating him.
  • Break the Haughty: During Taker's run as Hardcore Champion, he won a series of squash matches against guys half his size. When he bragged about how tough he was, The Big Show finally had enough of his crap and dared Taker to wrestle someone his own size. While Taker won the ensuing match, he was visibly in pain and leaning on the ropes for support afterward. He stopped shooting his mouth off for the rest of his title run.
  • Broken Win/Loss Streak: His winning streak snapped after WrestleMania XXX, where he was shockingly beaten cleanly by Brock Lesnar.
  • Brought Down to Badass: During the Badass Biker gimmick. Incidentally, it wasn't any one single event that transformed Undertaker into a non-supernatural character. Throughout the late 90s, he gradually became more humanized, talking and acting more like a person and less like a zombie specter. Then when he returned in 2000, he was a full-on human biker with no gimmicky powers. Still, he could beat the hell out of people and still occasionally struck fear into the hearts of his enemies.
  • Buried Alive: Several times throughout his career. In fact, only one Buried Alive match in which he has participated ended without him being buried alive - it even happened in (well, after) the first one with Mankind even though Undertaker won the match.
  • Cain and Abel: Undertaker's rivalry with Kane has the two brothers fighting at numerous times.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Undertaker's cult followers are officially called "Druids", despite the fact that they are obviously not your typical image of a druid. They are basically Christian monks, complete with dark habits and Gregorian chants.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
    • WWE tended to gloss over his Biker gimmick before his retirement. His Boneyard Match with AJ Styles had him come out as a Composite Character, complete with his biker attire.
    • His first WrestleMania match with Triple H got this as well it would seem, aside from a Continuity Nod given by HHH the day after WrestleMania 27, anyway. Not that acknowledging the fact that the two had been in the ring together before would have really hurt the build-up much.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: More specifically, "Can't Beat You at WrestleMania, Still Need You". This was found to be the real reason why Triple H initially refused to face him at WrestleMania 28, after being confronted by Shawn Michaels. Seeing how close Hunter came to beating him at WrestleMania 27, and putting the responsibilities of a COO above all else, Hunter refused to face him due to the threat of losing one of WWE's biggest attractions should he be defeated.
  • Captain Ersatz: Fire Pro Wrestling seemed to go with the American Badass version, but that's nothing a little editing can't fix...
  • Card-Carrying Villain: During his heel Ministry persona. Also, him referring to himself as "Big Evil" when he was a heel during his Biker days certainly qualifies.
  • The Casanova: Implied by Godfather during a worked shoot on Heat in 98 when offering him one of his "hoes." He says he has known Undertaker for a long time & knows for a fact that Taker likes hoes, then warns him "don't make me go back to dates, cuz you know you like hoes."
    • In addition to Godfather's comment on Heat, Kevin Nash said he & Taker frequented strip clubs in the 90's. When Vince made a rule prohibiting the clubs, Nash said he went to one anyway and saw that Taker was already there. There were also sources at the time making note of Taker leaving places with multiple women, plus an interview from Godfather years later where he shared that while other members of BSK went to strip clubs now & again, it was he & Taker who were there every single night.
    • Dutch Mantell shared a story, in an interview, about Taker being convicted in Wrestlers Court in the 90's for "Romancing the Rats." Wrestlers had plenty of "ring rats", aka groupies, who hung around. Taker was "too nice" to them, which Dutch noting could make things harder for other wrestlers.
    • Taker's Casanova history comes up briefly in Kayfabe during his Big Evil years when Heyman pays Tracy, an ex from Taker's past to say he's been having an affair with her and lied about being married. Initially, Taker claims he doesn't know her. The following week, he comes clean & admits that he knew Tracy and lots of women like her, but that was years before he met Sara.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Rest... in... peace!"
    • During his American Badass years, it was, "If you try me, I'll make you famous." and "This is my yard."
    • "You can't hide... from The Deadman."
  • Ceiling Smash: Inverted during his Hell in a Cell match with Mick Foley at the 1998 King of the Ring PPV, in which they brawled on the Cell's roof twice. The second time, 'Taker chokeslammed Foley through the roof, sending him crashing onto the ring below. And Foley still wanted to fight.
  • Chain Pain/Chained by Fashion: During his Bikertaker run, he carried a bike chain around with him for a time.
    • Hoist by His Own Petard: Brock defeated him in a Biker's Chain match at No Mercy 2003, though that was partially due to Vince McMahon's interference.
  • Character Filibuster:
  • Cheap Pop: 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-six 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.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: During one storyline in the early-to-mid-nineties Kama stole The Undertaker's urn of power. The Undertaker said that he now had to rely on his Creatures of the Night (his special nickname for his fans) to provide him with the power he needed to win matches. The fans were all too willing to oblige him, as by that point he was one of the most over guys on the roster, as he was almost universally loved by the fans.
  • Cold Ham: One of the silent versions but when he speaks, he chews the scenery! Hell, he doesn't even need to talk to do that. Pro Wrestling's undisputed master of the trope, and it really helps him stand out, considering what a World of Ham it is, since his opponents' hamminess often ends up looking like desperate posturing to hide how scared they are.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Isn't above going for weapons, Groin Attacks, etc., during his more-brutal bouts. Additionally, he'll even use his "powers" (e.g., his Light-Flicker Teleportation special effect) to get the drop on his more-tricky challengers.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: One was done in the late 90's.
  • Composite Character: Undertaker returned to his Deadman persona in 2004 which combine elements from his past gimmicks; he retained his Big Evil attire while wearing a long trench coat with a fedora like in his debut, uses his Ministry of Darkness supernatural powers and his signature sit ups. He also sometimes wears his old school attire that he wore before his Ministry gimmick.
    • In 2020, After AJ Styles made things personal with Taker, the Phenom opted not to go with his Deadman gimmick, but brought back his American Badass/Big Evil gimmick. However, there was a twist now: He still had his supernatural powers, being able to summon flames and teleport. Word of God says that his promos in the build-up to the match about the "Unholy Trinity" was actually hinting to the eventual composition of the Deadman, the Badass and Mark Calaway himself (in the case of the third one, it was the kayfabe-breaking elements such as his real-life wife Michelle McCool).
  • Commuting on a Bus: For the past few years, Undertaker would show up for the buildup for WrestleMania and his Streak, then leave again after said match was done. And that was before 2014...
  • Convenient Coma: In a 2010 storyline Kane 'found' The Undertaker in a comatose state, and had been on the warpath looking for the 'suspect' (turns out it was Kane who did it all along). In reality this is Real Life Writes the Plot; in his match the previous week with Rey Mysterio Jr., Undertaker legitimately broke his orbital bone.
  • Cool Bike: He rode to the ring in one as the Bikertaker.
  • Cool Old Guy: He is the second oldest man on the WWE roster (behind Sting), and still its biggest badass.
  • Cool Mask: For a brief period between 1995 and '96 Undertaker wore a The Phantom of the Opera-esque mask (this was needed to protect an eye socket that was broken by Mabel).
    • Apparently Mankind's iconic mask was based off of a design that Taker had rejected, it originally was covered in metal and looked more like a face plate.
  • Cool Shades: Part of his entrance attire during his Badass Biker days.
  • Costume Porn: Even moreso at WrestleMania. His costumes at WrestleMania 14 and 15 are good examples.
  • Creepy Mortician: What his gimmick is on the lower end of the supernatural scale. Fans eventually stopped thinking he was creepy but many were genuinely frightened when he made his first appearance. Looking at old WWF tapings from circa 1991 you'll often see crying children in the audience. Other wrestlers may not have ever gotten over it.
  • Crowd Chant: Anytime he says his Catchphrase, expect the crowd to say it with him. Also, anytime he wrestles, you can expect to hear "THIS IS AWESOME!" at some point.
    • And after what was then thought to be his final match at WrestleMania 33, the fans chanted "THANK YOU, TAKER!!".
  • Cult: The Ministry of Darkness was, in essence, Undertaker's group of followers who worshiped him and brutalized his enemies.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Paul Bearer revealed Undertaker's dark and troubled past after he refused to rejoin Bearer upon winning the WWF championship in 1997. He revealed that Undertaker's parents were killed in a fire (though who caused it has been retconned a couple times in kayfabe since), and that his Dead Little Brother Kane was Not Quite Dead. Undertaker explained his side of the story in another promo, which can be viewed here.
  • Darker and Edgier: If it was even possible to make the Undertaker character Darker and Edgier than he already was, it was done towards the end of the 90's with the formation of The Ministry of Darkness. This of course coincided with the WWF itself becoming Darker and Edgier, with the Attitude Era in full force.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: His arrival is signaled by a creepy "GONG", he wears black all the time and yet as a face he would only target the worst of the worst heels.
    • Dark Is Evil: During his Ministry era, and as a heel in general.
  • Dark Messiah: Again, the Ministry of Darkness gimmick.
    Taker: Accept the Lord of Darkness as your savior. Allow the purity of evil to guide you.
  • Darkness Equals Death: Downplayed. Being that pro wrestling is portrayed as a professional sport, no one is supposed to die (with rare exceptions involving supernatural gimmicks such as Undertaker's). That being said, if you've gotten on Taker's bad side and the lights suddenly go out in the arena while you're cutting a promo or in a match, accompanied by an ominous bell toll, you are pretty screwed.
  • Dead-Hand Shot: Downplayed, used during the video package for his match against Triple H at WrestleMania XXVIII. The package in question featured Undertaker watching footage of the prior year's WrestleMania match against Triple H. Despite winning the match at Mania XXVII, The Deadman was severely damaged, and a shot of his lifeless hand was a microcosm of the devastation he endured, driving him to challenge The Game the following year and solidify his superiority.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Especially during the Attitude Era.
  • Death Glare: More or less his default expression, especially noticeable during his slow entrance. In the ring, he usually mixes it with the Kubrick Stare just before locking horns with his foe.
  • Death Is Cheap: The Undertaker has "died" and risen from the dead several times over the years according to storyline. Being an Anthropomorphic Personification of Death itself seems to have that effect.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: When he originally appeared, he had this going on. Even then, he rarely lost clean. Additionally, he had his WrestleMania Streak, which remained unbroken until his 22nd appearance. In fact, ending said Streak had literally been stated time and time again to be a greater accomplishment than winning a world title - which was something everybody in this business aimed to do. Ending the Streak was considered to be a one-way ticket to the WWE Hall of Fame; the issue was actually pulling it off. There were numerous opponents over the years who Undertaker wanted to actually beat him at the Show of Shows, only for them to turn it down and willingly eat the pin out of respect. Vince McMahon agreed with or acquiesced to the opponent's wishes every single time... until 2014, where we saw Brock Lesnar finally put the Deadman's streak to rest at WrestleMania XXX, and it still took three successful F-5s (one of the strongest finishers around) to keep him down for good.
  • Demon of Human Origin: The Undertaker was one purely human but seems to have joined forces with the supernatural. He has died and resurrected a few times.
    • Mark played a similar character known as The Soul Chaser in Poltergeist: The Legacy, a Hellhound in charge of capturing souls that escape from Hell which is Jimmy in this case. When Jimmy sees him later in the episode, he says he thought he was dead (from falling on his own sword) and the Soul Chaser playfully remarks that he is dead.
  • Demonic Possession: Used this one time on Justin Roberts during his feud with Randy Orton going into Armageddon 2005. Varies between genuinely terrifying to really corny.
  • Dented Iron: The reason he rarely wrestles anymore. Triple H notes this on the 2/6/12 Raw as to why he won't wrestle Undertaker again—he knew that Taker was getting old and battered and he didn't want to fight that Undertaker; he'd rather have the memory of the man who he fought in last year's WrestleMania than put him down like a dying dog.
    • In this post-retirement interview, he reveals the extent of his chronic injuries: stiff neck, hip resurfacing surgery, vision problems from two orbital bone fractures, and blown knees that he's been putting off replacing.
  • Determinator: Maybe CM Punk put it best when he said: "I know what it takes to put Undertaker down. I don't know what it takes to keep him down." Then there's the fact that he was still wrestling at all, putting on top-card matches at WrestleMania while rapidly approaching the age of 50 and having sustained a host of injuries throughout his long career.
    • Brock Lesnar found out how to keep him down: Not one, not two, but three F-5s. Keep in mind, the name and execution of that move is themed after the highest category of intensity for tornadoes. The Undertaker was so determined and relentless that even with his body broken down and on the verge of collapse, the most legit badass in wrestling had to put him through three virtual tornadoes in order to take him down for the count at WrestleMania.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Expect people to freak out if The Undertaker ever loses, especially if it's clean.
    • The Boiler Room Brawl, where he lost to Mankind (although Paul Bearer interfered), cemented Mankind as a badass who took Undertaker to the limit in a a prototype hardcore match that would influence every hardcore match afterwards.
    • His first 100% clean pinfall loss on PPV was to WWE Champion "Stone Cold" Steve Austin at SummerSlam 98, some seven years into his run.
    • It finally happened. The streak has been beaten. Just look at the crowds reaction after it happened.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: During the "Higher Power" storyline.
  • Do Not Call Me "Mark":
    • Like many old-school wrestlers, The Undertaker prefers to be called "The Undertaker", rather than his real name while at work.
    • Ken Shamrock once called Undertaker "Mark" onscreen, trying to bring the then-leader of the Ministry of Darkness back down to Earth, who was apparently letting his wrestling character take over who he was. This was in a way both breaking Kayfabe and strengthening it at the same time, a bit of a Worked Shoot.
    • Hilariously invoked, and before the Internet had really spread the nature of kayfabe to a wider audience, on Celebrity Deathmatch's "Halloween Episode I" ; 'Taker had a Villainous Breakdown when his opponent proclaimed to know his deepest, darkest secret and then chanted in a completely juvenile neener-neener voice, "Your real name is Mark!"
    • Averted in an angle in 2002 during his BikerTaker persona. Paul Heyman (the manager of then-rival Brock Lesnar) paid off a woman to claim Taker had an affair with her, to strain the relationship between him and his pregnant wife Sara (who was his pregnant wife in real life) as a mental roadblock heading into a world title match with Lesnar. In an effort to give it some real gravitas, both women referred to him as "Mark" throughout the angle.
    • Completely averted in a WrestleMania X8 access interview where he was introduced as Mark Calaway and spoke candidly about himself, his career and some of the rumors at the time such as having to discipline Shawn Michaels (when he first retired) and The Big Show (on how he can be the best athlete in the world but can slack off.)
  • Does Not Like Spam: Mark (the person) absolutely hates cucumber to the point that he (according to Paul Bearer in a shoot) threw up bad because he found some cucumber in his drink.
  • Double Entendre: During his biker gimmick of the early 2000s, he began to refer to the ring as his "yard," and himself as "the big dog that runs the yard." Perhaps unintentionally, this can be interpreted with a double meaning in the context of his "Deadman" gimmick— it's his graveyard.
  • The Dragon:
    • He was used as this in the Corporate Ministry, which was a bit of a demotion from his earlier position as leader of the Ministry of Darkness.
    • Even before that he implied he was taking orders from a "Higher Power", which following the creation of the Corporate Ministry was revealed to be Vince McMahon.
    • He was also The Dragon to Vince again during the early days of the brand extension during his Big Evil run, until Vince decided to take a break from television appearances and Taker pulled a Heel–Face Turn.
    • He's even this to Vince in real life; his loyalty to the WWE, even when many other big names had or were considering jumping ship during the Monday Night Wars, led Vince to crown 'Taker the leader of the locker room.
  • The Dreaded: The tell-tale GONG alone is enough to cause those in the ring to straight-up lose their shit. Not even Vince McMahon, the boss himself, would ever willingly piss off the Undertaker (probably because the one time he did, Kane and Undertaker broke his leg).
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • He debuted with his natural red hair, was much paler, had fewer tattoos and less eye makeup, and had Brother Love instead of Paul Bearer as his manager.
    • Originally, he'd do the Sit Up after every move he took, to emphasize his undead-like Made of Iron. Later on, he only did it after taking a critical move, while just getting up normally most of the time.
  • Easily Forgiven: When it comes to Paul Bearer & Kane.
    • The former betrayed him & allied with Mankind in 96. For 2 subsequent years they feuded with Taker assaulting him on 5 separate occasions. Bearer blackmailed him, turned his brother against him, admitted to having an affair with his mother, called said mother a whore. Yet Taker re-allied himself with Bearer, claiming he helped "clear his mind", and the two began the Ministry of Darkness.
    • Kane is an even bigger example. He's started all but one of their feuds and Taker always ends up working with him again. He even declared in 2008 that fighting alongside Kane is one of the few things that bring him joy. Kane attacked Taker & left him in a vegetated state in 2010 which led to their last feud. In 2012, Taker once again seemed to have forgiven him since he showed up after a short hiatus to save Kane during the RAW 1000th episode.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Wendy. The late Paul Bearer shared that Taker acquired the nickname because of his red hair and says he hated it.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Despite his supposed retirement match against Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33, in the lead-up to WrestleMania 34 John Cena decided he wanted to challenge Undertaker to one last match. Considering how poorly-received Roman retiring him wasnote  and the fact that most people thought Taker's retirement match should have been against Cena, it's quite plausible that WWE would actually go through with it, Taker's health permitting. Surely enough, Undertaker did answer Cena's challenge at WrestleMania 34, proceeding to utterly squash Cena in under three minutes. Taker then returned for several matches over the ensuing two years, including a tag team match with Roman defeating Drew McIntyre and Shane McMahon where Reigns showed his respect for Taker, a victory over Goldberg, and a tag team victory with Kane over D-Generation X, before finally riding into the sunset with another implied retirement after burying AJ Styles alive and putting an end to The OC in the acclaimed cinematic Boneyard Match, before his true retirement at the 2020 Survivor Series in order to commemorate his 30 year anniversary in WWE.
  • Era-Specific Personality:
    • His original western Undertaker / zombie gimmick lasted until around 1996 when Paul Bearer abandoned him after the Boiler Room Brawl against Mankind at SummerSlam 96.
    • His Lord of Darkness era went from about late 1996 to fall 1998.
    • His Ministry of Darkness persona lasted until late 1999, though not without Villain Decay by the time the Corporate Ministry formed.
    • The American Badass lasted from his return in spring 2000 to Survivor Series 2001.
    • His Big Evil era started after Survivor Series 2001 to Survivor Series 2003 when he was Buried Alive by Kane.
    • His Composite Character resurrection of the Deadman gimmick has lasted since WrestleMania XX in 2004.
    • Referenced in 2011 with the "Last Outlaw", which emphasizes the western part of his character.
    • During his Hall Of Fame induction in 2022, all four variants on his iconic trenchcoat and hat look were lined up behind him.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Paul Bearer and the Undertaker have gone back and forth in this department.
    • Paul turned his back on Undertaker and siding with Mankind in 1996 after their Boiler Room Brawl match.
    • Undertaker would pay Paul back in 2004 by burying him with cement for being a weakness.
    • And then at Hell in a Cell 2010, Paul paid Undertaker back for that, siding with Kane in a Shocking Swerve.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Very much so. Insulting the Undertaker's mother is a quick way to receive a world class beatdown. When Paul Bearer reveals that he's Kane's father, nobody believes it at first. Backstage he & Kane had a convo about it, saying number of unflattering things which gets Kane a solid beatdown from the Undertaker the following RAW. A week after that, Kane & Paul get blood work done to prove Bearer's paternity which turns out to be true. Paul Bearer publicly called Taker's mom a "two-bit whore" which caused Taker to run to the ring so fast, the first camera missed his entrance, and he proceeded to beat down both Paul & Kane. Paul eventually makes a run to the back and Taker promptly chases after him. And this was only the first of many attacks. For weeks after, Undertaker cntinued to assault Paul at any opportunity, even going to his house to brutally maul him while he's still recovering from a previous assault.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • His original Heel–Face Turn occurred when he prevented Jake "The Snake" Roberts from hitting Randy "Macho Man" Savage's manager/wife, Elizabeth, with a chair.
      Roberts: Whose side are you on?
      Undertaker: Not... Yours.
    • March 17, 1998, although it's unclear if he knew she was hurt or demanding to resolve an issue, Undertaker arrived just as Kane was about to cause more harm to Sable after her match with Luna Vachon.
    • Interestingly, during his Ministry and Big Evil Heel runs, he no longer had these standards, as he tormented and attacked women with no problem, including hoisting Ken Shamrock's "sister" Ryan on the Ministry's symbol. Justified in the case of his Ministry run, as Taker has been heavily implied ever since that he was brainwashed by Paul Bearer during this period and therefore lost most of his (already few) morals.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: A grave digging zombie brought back to the living realm with his own ashes.
  • Everything is Big in Texas: He's from Houston and is definitely big.
  • Evil Laugh:
    • He did these more often during his Ministry of Darkness days.
      Undertaker: Where to, Stephanie? BWAHAHAHAHA!!!
    • Though on occasion, it resurfaced in other incarnations. See 1:41.
    • This is quite possibly the earliest instance of him using an Evil Laugh.
  • Evil Redhead: During his run in WCW as "Mean" Mark Callous, where his red hair was on full display.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: As a heel.
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: Kayfabe-wise, Taker is blessed with a voice that sounds like it's booming from the depths of Tartarus. However Mark Calaway's voice is quite different.
  • Evil Wears Black: As a heel.
  • Expy: The character was originally inspired by Michael Myers. His iconic "sit up" is a Shout-Out to the original film.
    • With the supernatural powers, having ties to the Old West, claiming to be a collector of souls, and adding his Badass Biker days, Taker could qualify to be one to Ghost Rider. Especially during his feud with AJ Styles
  • Eye Awaken: Right before he suddenly sits up.
  • Face: From 2002 onwards. Apart from a very shortly-lived heel run in 2015, he never went heel again - likely because he's so popular with fans everywhere that there was never any point to trying to get him booed.
  • Finishing Move: His main finisher is the Tombstone Piledriver, but other staple endgame moves include The Last Ride powerbomb, the Hell's Gate submission hold, and on rare occasion the Chokeslam (which is usually a signature move in matches, but can be used to keep foes down in non-match segments).
    • During the Biker gimmick, he would occasionally use a Triangle Choke as a finisher.
  • Five Moves of Doom: Played with in a 2010 storyline where Kane has stolen his power. He used some of his regular sequences of moves such as snakes eyes to big boot or a chokeslam only to have them be countered or ineffective.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: After Brock Lesnar put him down with a third F5 in WrestleMania XXX, if one paid attention, they could see Lesnar getting overwhelmed with emotion before using the cover pin to make sure Taker stayed down; they could also hear Lesnar manage to utter an emotional "Thank you, Taker" during the pin moments before the count of three, indicating that not only did Lesnar know he would end the Streak, but he had to do so under Vince McMahon's decision and with Taker's blessing almost four years earlier.
  • Fleeting Demographic Rule:
    • Prior to his 2020 retirement, Undertaker had been in similar storylines and feuds in his career. Evil Knockoffs of himself and Kane, Kane buried him alive in 1998, 2003, and 2010, he pulled a "Not My Driver" thrice, repeatedly killed his manager Paul Bearer, and so forth.
    • At WrestleMania 27, he faced Triple H for "the first time ever"...since, you know, WrestleMania 17. And the other countless times during their careers. Triple H finally gave this a Continuity Nod the night after WrestleMania 27.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: The beginning of his theme music, which sounds with the lights of the arena going dark.
  • Frankenstein's Monster: The October 26, 1998 issue of New York Magazine contained an article about Vince and the then-WWF which described Taker as "the WWF's gothic, Frankensteinian wrestler."
  • Genius Bruiser: Was a Fulbright Scholar who left college a few credits short of what he needed to graduate to pursue "this dream of wrestling," as he explained on his 2001 home video release Undertaker: This Is My Yard.
  • Genre Savvy: On the 4/1/2013 edition of Raw, while cutting a promo he was interrupted by a bunch of druids and Paul Heyman dressed as Paul Bearer. Undertaker stormed up the ramp to confront Heyman, only to stop and start attacking the druids, correctly predicting that CM Punk was disguised as one (An angle that's been done many a time). Unfortunately, while the idea was there, it didn't quite work out as the first two druids he attacked weren't Punk, giving enough chance for an attack from behind.
  • Gentle Giant: In Real Life, many wrestlers have commented that he's the Team Dad backstage. Despite the fact that he's over 2 meters tall and his personas like The Deadman can make him terrifying, he's actually one of the nicest wrestlers outside the ring, and he doesn't mind meeting his fans.
  • Ghostly Glide: Said to have this power as part of his gimmick, and in at least one WrestleMania event "floated" to the ring via a moving platform concealed under fog.
  • Gimmick Matches: He originated a number of them - Hell in a Cell, Buried Alive, and Casket matches.
  • The Gloves Come Off: Inverted at the 2001 King of the Ring pay-per-view. Diamond Dallas Page had been stalking Undertaker's wife, Sara, and The American Badass persona of The Undertaker does not play that shit. Before their "match" (WWE refused to sanction it because they didn't want to be legally responsible for what Undertaker did to DDP) Undertaker made it a point to slowly walk to the ring during his entrance, as the impending ass-kicking was a long time coming. There was no motorcycle and there were no theatrics. Not even any ring gear; just his character-themed T-shirt and jeans. Right before he got to the ring, he stood in Page's view and slowly put his gloves on. Presumably, as Jim Ross ascertained, Undertaker was "glovin' up" so he wouldn't break his hands on DDP's face.
  • Good is Not Nice: His face runs, except the ones during his Badass Biker days, had him in his usual Tall, Dark, and Snarky self.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Even as a face, he'll brutalize anyone who pisses him off.
  • Grandfather Clause:
    • Even after piledrivers were generally banned for safety reasons, he was allowed to continue using the Tombstone Piledriver. It was his (and Kane's) biggest Signature Move, for one thing, and for another, he had the technical skill to work it relatively safely. However, there were a few botched attempts, such as one that almost killed Bret Hart in 1996, and another that almost killed Goldberg in Super Showdown 2019, which was when even Taker realized that he could no longer do it the way he used to. With his retirement in November 2020, the Tombstone is now considered a dangerous move and retired for good along with him.
    • Born way back in 1990, the Undertaker gimmick was the last and greatest surviving example of the WWF "cartoon" era of silly, high-concept characters. How many other stars on the WWE roster could or did share the ring with Doink the Clown without looking out of place? This isn't to say that Undertaker didn't change with the times during his career, even dropping his kayfabe entirely during his American Badass years, but it didn't stick, and later he returned to the Deadman gimmick by popular demand. No new wrestler could get away with anything nearly as openly supernatural, but since he'd been doing it for over a decade and the fans absolutely love him, the gimmick had successfully lasted until his retirement. It was in early 2023 that Taker decided to retire the "Deadman" moniker for good.
  • Guyliner: To make him look more mysterious.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: During his Heel run as Big Evil from Nov. 2001 to Apr. 2002, this was a staple part of his character. He generally was never content and anything anyone ever said to him was met with him yelling at them or destroying anything nearby he could get a hold of. A perfect example is shown at the start of this video.
  • Handicapped Badass: His match against Brock Lesnar in WrestleMania XXX started out simple enough, until almost six minutes in, when Lesnar slammed Taker's head against the floor outside the ring, accidentally giving him a severe head concussion that lasted throughout the match. That concussion didn't stop Taker from kicking some serious ass... until about 25 minutes in, when Lesnar had to finish him with a third F-5 to end the Streak by pinfall. And even after his loss, Taker still managed to get up while concussed and walk out of the ring toward the backstage room, where he collapsed and had to be taken to a hospital for treatment. Downplayed in early 1998, in which Taker suffered a broken ankle and had to miss a number of dates throughout the month of June. It was when King of the Ring was arriving toward the end of June that he had to wrestle Mankind in a Hell in a Cell match while his ankle was starting to heal a bit.
  • Happily Married: To Michelle McCool since June 2010.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Taker has consistently switched between face and heel as the bookers require. It helps that he can easily be "dark" as either, and is consistently inconsistent in his allegiances, which is best exemplified during this segment of the Funeral Parlor, which marked his first Heel–Face Turn.
    Jake Roberts: You and I have a real problem. Now I'm standing here, and you need to tell me something face-to-face. Just who in the hell do you think you are, and whose side are you on? You tell me, whose side are you on? C'mon! Tell me! Whose side are you on?! Face to face. C'mon. Make up your mind, man. Make it up.
    Undertaker: NOT YOURS.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Sports a lot of leather outfits throughout the Turn of the Millennium up to The New '10s.
  • Hero Killer: He's one of the most notorious heels in the industry, and a match against the Undertaker has a long-standing reputation of being almost certain doom for whatever poor babyface has got himself into it.
  • He's Back!:
    • Undertaker has had a lot of comebacks like this in his career, the biggest one perhaps being his return to the darkside at WrestleMania XX.
    • Happens once or twice a year now because of his part-time schedule to aid the wear-and-tear he has taken over his long career. He takes time off between Survivor Series and the Royal Rumble, then again in the spring-to-summer months after WrestleMania.
    • After 2010, his appearances were limited to WrestleMania.
    • His return at Wrestlemania 31 after the end of the Streak, and proving that he still has it by taking down Bray Wyatt.
    • As Cena puts it, the fans wanted to see The Undertaker kick his ass and Tombstone him in front of 75,000 people at WrestleMania 34. He's right.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Subverted at his WrestleMania XXVII match. After a two-sided No-Holds-Barred Beatdown in which Triple H did everything from hit him with a sledgehammer to Pedigreeing Taker three times, Taker still wasn't down for the count. Then Trips hit the Tombstone Piledriver on him. But Taker kicked out of that, too.
    • It even goes a little deeper than that. Randy Orton seemed to have the upper hand against Taker at WrestleMania 21 but arrogantly tried to tombstone the Undertaker. It was reversed, and Taker gave Orton the tombstone for the win. This led some long-time viewers to expect that a beatdown and successful tombstone would eventually beat the Streak, making it even more alarming when it finally happened six years later and Taker still kicked out.
    • He would go on to subject Triple H to this at their WrestleMania XXVIII Hell in a Cellinvoked. First, there's the match type in itself, considering Triple H himself set the stipulation, and is known for having the most victories in HIAC. Second, there's the ending: after a long beatdown that had shades of their match last year, along with multiple sledgehammer strikes to the Undertaker's face (and a Sweet Chin Music from Shawn Michaels that Trips chained into a Pedigree, but that's beside the point), Taker finally got a hold of the sledgehammer, clobbered Trips with it, and did the Tombstone Piledriver for the win.
  • House Fire: This will always be what first drove a wedge between Taker & Kane. The details of the fire change depending on the writer, which brother is the heel at the time, and has to factor in when Kane, Taker, or Paul Bearer may be lying.
    • Originally Paul Bearer & Kane insist Taker set the fire. Taker told his side of the story & said Kane was the culprit while he tried to save his family.
    • After his Ministry Heel Turn at Judgement Day 98, Taker admits he did set the fire -because Kane was too weak to handle the Darkness & still is. He credits his reconciliation with Bearer as the latter clearing his mind.
    • In 2005, Michael Chiappetta wrote WWE novel, Journey Into Darkness, that tells Kane's story from the fire up to Judgement Day 98. In said novel, Taker is still the cause of the fire but his Ministry Heel explanation is retconned. The fire was an accident and, true to Taker's originally story, he did try to save his family by running to find help until he was intercepted & stopped by Paul Bearer.
  • How Much More Can He Take?: This became especially prevalent in his later matches, as the wear and tear from decades of wrestling had begun to take their toll on his body. That being said, he was still capable of putting on awesome matches against a vast litany of opponents; a true testament to his ability.
    • A kayfabe example: his WrestleMania matches were frequently squashes for many years. Then, starting with 23, Batista spends much of the match wiping the floor with him in what many thought was the match of the night. Each consecutive match from this point on sees Taker being beaten up more and more, often leading the announcers to shout this trope verbatim.
    • It was WrestleMania 33 that finally gave us the answer, being Speared through a table, absorbing a hellacious amount of chair shots, getting Superman punched 3 times, and taking 3 more Spears at the hands of Roman Reigns, the Dead Man lost for only the 2nd time at WrestleMania, and at long last, The Undertaker seems done for good.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: He's the Huge Guy to Michelle McCool's Tiny Girl. He was also the Huge Guy to his previous wife Sara's Tiny Girl. This is despite both of them being Statuesque Stunners.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Strictly Kayfabe speaking. Let's see, he uses Mindscrew warfare, warps the lines between fantasy and reality, screws with the laws of physics and logic on a regular basis, has unearthly control over lighting, sound weather and visuals, seems to be impervious to pain or immune to conventional physical harm, resides in the Uncanny Valley, can drive people he's feuding with insane or to hallucinate by employing standard Cosmic Horror Story tropes. If The Undertaker isn't an Eldritch Abomination himself, he definitely is in league with one.
  • Human Sacrifice: Starting after Undertaker rejoined Paul Bearer and shortly before the Ministry of Darkness was in full swing, when he attempted to embalm Steve Austin alive. He would then do a sacrificial blood-letting ritual to Dennis Knight, turning him into Mideon and making him insane. After this, he normally 'sacrificed' people by tying them to his "T" symbol, sort of a non-violent crucifixion. He's been known to do this a couple times since returning to his zombie persona in 2004.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: Mutually with Kane. JBL summed it up exactly.
    JBL: The brothers have had their differences. They will fight each other. But you mess with Kane, you get Undertaker. Mess with Undertaker, you get Kane.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Invoked by the Deadman himself. The main event of the King of the Ring was not the legendary Hell in a Cell, rather it was WWE Champion "Stone Cold" Steve Austin in a First Blood match. Kane threatened to set himself on fire if he lost, and when it looked like he was losing Taker proved that blood is thicker than water and interfered in the match, accidentally hitting Austin when he was aiming for Mankind; who had run in to attack Kane after the HIAC match where he was thrown off the top of the Cell (which Undertaker was in Real Life very reluctant to do, and done at Mick's insistence), through the roof on the cell (a chokeslam that went horribly wrong, and was by far the worst incident in the match) and slammed onto thumbtacks twice. Undertaker's interference angered Vince McMahon, and when questioned about it Undertaker was adamant that he...well, did what he had to do, despite threats from Vince.
    • This was also Undertaker's explanation for burying Paul Bearer in cement in 2004, since Bearer had become a weakness (he'd been feuding with Paul Heyman and the The Dudley Boys at the time, who had kidnapped Bearer in order to blackmail Undertaker).
  • An Ice Person:
    • Very downplayed. It was mentioned that when he entered the arena, the temperature would drop several degrees, reminding viewers of the "chill of death". This was supplemented with fog machines, like the vapors that come from ice.
      Jim Ross: It's colder than the other side of the pillow in here!
    • This made a nice contrast with his brother Kane who was associated with fire.
  • Important Haircut:
    • When he turned heel in 2002 during his "Bikertaker" era, he cut his hair short into a crew cut and stopped dyeing it.
    • In his 2012 feud with Triple H, he took a razor and started cutting his hair, while saying he didn't need anyone's sympathy. At WrestleMania 28, he removed his cloak to reveal a short mohawk. Same goes for WrestleMania XXX, when he removed his hat for the short dark-red mohawk.
  • Intimidating Revenue Service: As this promo shows, it's one of the three things he claims can't be beaten.
  • Insistent Terminology: The Undertaker's TX symbol. Whether it's in the form of a cross, a throne, or an emblem on his gear, it will always be referred to as a symbol. At best, it might be referred to as being "like a [cross/throne/insert use here]", but it's always called the symbol.
  • It Will Never Catch On: Even though he was what everyone could ever want in wrestling at the time, WCW did nothing meaningful with him (surprise, surprise). "Mean" Mark Callous asked for his release, jumped ship to the then-WWF, and the rest, as they say, is history.
  • Kayfabe: Calaway is very dedicated to the Undertaker character. So much so, some people (Vince, Austin, and Rock being notable for this) have made it their mission over the years to try to get Calaway to break character via various shenanigans. They would find out it's very hard to make Calaway break character.
    • In fact, Calaway is so dedicated to his character that only in the later stages of his career has he started doing shoot interviews (as Mark Calaway and not The Undertaker) regarding about his personal life and his early career.
  • Kick the Dog: Undertaker, during his "American Badass" run, pulled one of these when he did a Face–Heel Turn and forced Jim Ross to kiss Vince McMahon's ass.
    • Vickie Guererro. Yeah she was a bitch, but the torture Undertaker put her through...damn.
  • Killed Off for Real: Not literally killed, of course, but the way he left after WrestleMania 33 seemed to indicate that he had finally hung up the tights, effectively burying the Undertaker persona altogether after a match with Roman Reigns... until John Cena called him back for the next WrestleMania.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: He's a pretty standard protective brother, but he can get crazy. Stone Cold broke Kane's already injured arm. While that's not good, one could argue Taker took it a bit too far when he tried to strangle Austin with a chain & threw him through a glass window with Austin getting shards in his eye. A bleeding Austin had to be taken to the hospital but Taker intercepts the ambulance & drags Austin's stretcher out of it & punched him in the face while he still had glass shards in his eyes.
  • Kubrick Stare: That big, heavy brow makes him particularly effective at this.
  • Large and in Charge: As The Leader (or Disc-One Final Boss rather) of the Ministry of Darkness. He's also the tallest member at 6'10.
  • The Last Thing You Ever See: Often during promos before a Buried Alive match Undertaker would promise that the last thing his opponent will ever see is shovels of dirt.
  • The Leader: Here's a fun thing to do: Go to Google, type in "Locker Room Leader" and look at the name to pop up in the suggestions area. He's like a father figure to everyone in the locker room, even people older than him. Ric Flair recalls their WrestleMania match in both his book and his Hall of Fame induction and says Undertaker referred to him as "kid" during a spot despite Ric being 20 years his senior.
    • He was also the cult leader of the Ministry of Darkness as well.
  • Light-Flicker Teleportation: Usually accompanied by the trademark gong.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Compared to other similarly sized wrestlers, Undertaker is very agile (more so when he was younger). For instance, he can tightrope-walk along the very narrow and slick-looking top rope of the ring without upsetting his balance while holding his opponent in an armlock. He also often dives clear over the top rope to land on someone outside the ring, most notably during his first match against Shawn Michaels, where he took out over half the roster. When you see a 6'8" man bearing down on you from 8 feet in the air - run.note 
    • He's 6'8, pushing 300 lbs., over fifty and his body has broken down to the point where he can only wrestle a handful of times a year (mainly at the Big Four PPVs, and later being phased out of working all but WrestleMania)...and can still dive over the top rope to the floor when the time calls for it. Suffice to say, the crowd and announcers still lose their shit when he busts out the suicide dive.
  • Looks Like Cesare: Moreso early on when he used to wear more makeup.
  • Made of Iron:
    • This was ultimately his gimmick during the actual wrestling parts of shows. Undertaker would take vicious amounts of punishment, sometimes even another wrestler's signature move(s), only to do the famous sit up. Undertaker would occasionally even no sell chair shots, especially shots to the back from someone not known for strength.
    • What kind of punishment didn't Triple H inflict on him at WrestleMania XXVII? Taker suffered countless steel chair attacks, sledgehammers to the face, three Pedigrees, and even his own Tombstone Piledriver. Every kickout was as decisive as it could be, with Triple H wasting no time between each pin and the preceding move. It got to the point where, as Undertaker was (perhaps for the first time ever) trying and failing to sit up as he's known for, Jerry Lawler (on commentary) made a remark that it looked like Undertaker's nervous system was pretty much FUBAR. It seemed like if Undertaker breathed too hard, he would have dropped dead. And probably still kicked out of a pinfall attempt.
      • The following WrestleMania was (somehow) even worse. Triple H laid some vicious chair shots on Undertaker to the point that the viewers could clearly see the bruising on his back. On top of that, a sledgehammer alongside a Sweet Chin Music/Pedigree combo wasn't enough to put The Deadman away. Undertaker even remained as the only competitor standing after the match, despite taking more damage than he did at the previous WrestleMania (when Triple H was able to walk out of the ring, while Taker left on a stretcher, despite winning).
  • Mama Bear: His own mother is this. During an interview on Hot Ones, Sean asked if it was true that his mother yelled at Shane McMahon for accidently hitting him & making him bleed in their match. Taker laughs & said his mother "yelled at everyone" and it got to a point he had to stop bringing her to the shows in Houston. He closes noting that even though he's 6'10 and over 300 pounds, he's still her baby.
  • Maniac Tongue: Often he would stick out his tongue during the "Rest in Peace Pin", and also during his signature kneel and whenever he won a Championship Belt.
  • Manly Tears: In WrestleMania 30, the Taker can be seen shedding some tears after his first losing match of the yearly event.
  • Masking the Deformity: At Survivor Series 1995, Taker had to wear a gray Phantom of the Opera-esque half-mask to safeguard the orbital injury he had suffered from at SummerSlam while it healed.
  • Master of Disguise: Through the late 90s outside WrestleMania, Taker appeared as The Phantom of the Opera lookalike (complete with a mask to shield the orbital bone injury while it healed), a bat descending from the roof, and his own (kayfabe) half-brother Kane.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane:
    • Totally magic in his original zombie gimmick, totally mundane as the American badass and big evil. The maybe line is during the Ministry of Darkness and the Last Outlaw gimmicks.
    • Also applies to his WrestleMania performances. No one, in-universe, seems to know or care why he's (almost) unbeatable on the grandest stage. He just is.
  • Mirror Match: Undertaker vs. "Underfaker" at SummerSlam 1994. The story behind it was after Undertaker lost a casket match to Yokozuna at Royal Rumble 1994, he 'crossed over' into the afterlife. A few months later, "The Million-Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase claimed to have brought back The Undertaker and placed him in his Power Stable, the Million Dollar Corporation. This 'Underfaker' was really just a look alike, played by Memphis regular Brian Lee, real name Brian Harris who's also his real life cousin. Paul Bearer would deny that this was the real Undertaker, and he brought the real Undertaker to fight the fake one at SummerSlam 1994. Besides the fake one being a little shorter and slimmer than the real one they did look a lot alike.
    • The resemblance worked against the event, unfortunately. The live audience couldn't tell what was going on, and is pretty much dead the entire time. It's obvious both of them are growingly desperate to somehow salvage the match as it continues, but Undertaker's ultimate opinion on it years later would be that it was a good idea on paper that just didn't work in execution.
    • It could also have been a case of the audience knowing the real Undertaker's victory was a foregone conclusion, and that the crowd was just waiting for the end. It's worth mentioning that 'Taker's entrance drew a huge ovation, as did the activity after the match's end.
  • Mirror Monster: He's done this sometimes, most notably with Randy Orton.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: When The Undertaker rolls his eyes back.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: On April 6, 2014 at WrestleMania XXX, The Undertaker, a 49-year-old man whose Dented Iron status was already acknowledged on WWE storylines, entered a professional wrestling match and was booked as the loser against 36-year-old former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar. The entire sports world proceeded to collectively lose its shit.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Undertaker was genuinely afraid for his opponent's life when he accidentally sent Mankind (Mick Foley) through the roof of the cell during their Hell in a Cell match. He reported afterwards as feeling nothing but concern for Foley after the occurence. He still managed to avoid breaking character, however.
    • At least until Mick gets up off the stretcher and runs to the Cell to climb it. Again. The match itself doesn't show it but some DVDs that discuss the match has a shot of Undertaker legitimately shocked.
    • Kayfabe-wise, he's completely frantic when he accidentally KO'd his then wife, Sara. During his match with DDP, Sara began taunting & reprimanding him for harassing her. When Taker prepared to hit him with a chair, DDP dragged Sara in the way at the last second and ran off while an upset Taker laid over his wife. He was later show backstage pacing with an unconscious Sara in his arms, begging for her to wake up. The refs wanted to check on her, but a frantic Taker repeatedly yells at them to stay away. The tone of his voice also make it sound like he was about to cry.
    • After a match with Spike Dudley, The Undertaker would then chokeslam Spike hard to the outside of the ring. It would later be revealed by Spike himself that Undertaker did not want to do the spot as he could hurt Spike for real, but Spike pushed for the spot to also help put over Undertaker's Big Evil persona. After Undertaker chokeslammed Spike to the outside of the ring, you could actually see him look distraught while trying to not break character.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: If "Undertaker" is not enough for you, why not look at some of his red barons further down the page?
  • Never Say "Die":
    • In this case, it's "Never say kill" (words like "die," "dead," and "death" get thrown around during Undertaker storylines regularly). Undertaker threatened to "end" Shawn Michaels if he tainted his undefeated streak with biased officiating at WrestleMania XXVIII. Triple H also remarked that to defeat The Undertaker at WrestleMania, he would have to "finish" him.
    • Completely averted in his feud with Brock Lesnar towards SummerSlam 2015; during a brawl between them weeks before the event, and during the match at the event itself, Lesnar shouted at him "I'll Kill You!" The Undertaker's response in both cases was "You're gonna have to!"
  • New Friend Envy: When it came to Kane's bond with X-Pac to the point it had an awkwardly familiar premise. When they were mending fences, Kane still maintains friendship with X-Pac which neither liked. On two occasions when Kane was with X-Pac, Taker came out to give a glare which caused Kane to reluctantly leave with him. Eventually X-Pac told Kane he wanted nothing to do with him if he's with Taker again. In response, Taker came out to tell Kane he'd never make him chose, causing Kane to leave with him. After a match, Taker told Kane to come but he went to check on an injured X-Pac. A visibly disheartened Taker followed to pull Kane away, telling him it's over and to come with him. Kane reluctantly followed until the tron replayed Undertaker's attack on X-Pac. He then choke slams his brother and leaves with X-Pac who hugs him. Having chosen his friend over his brother.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: A Grim Reaper, an Evil Overlord a Badass Biker supposedly being part vampire, if George Napolitano's old books on wrestling (which were supposedly entirely written in Kayfabe perspective) are to be believed.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • Was on the receiving end at WrestleMania XXVII against Triple H.
    • Dished one out to David Flair when his father refused to face Undertaker at WrestleMania.
  • No Man of Woman Born: A common gag is for an overconfident wrestler to publicly claim something along the lines of "No living man can beat me!" or "I'm the toughest man alive!" Cue Undertaker. Elias saying "The next person to interrupt me is a dead man!" has gone downright memetic.
  • No One Could Survive That!:
    • The commentators play this trope straight often at WrestleMania, but more so about Undertaker's opponents than 'Taker himself. Perhaps the most memorable is Jim Ross exclaiming "I JUST HAD AN OUT-OF-BODY EXPERIENCE!" after he witnessed Shawn Michaels kick out of a Last Ride powerbomb at WrestleMania XXV.
    • The Undertaker had endured so much physical punishment at WrestleMania XXVII vs Triple H (to be specific: three Pedigrees, at least ten chair shots, a Spinebuster through the Spanish announce table, and a spear through the glass "Cole Mine"), that, after 'Taker kicked out of his own Tombstone Piledriver, Triple H looked like he was going to piss his trunks, despite Undertaker being down on the mat, looking as if a strong breeze might kill him.
  • No-Sell:
    • Part of Undertaker's gimmick is to no-sell shots that would fell lesser wrestlers, which fit well with his superhuman zombie gimmick. Sometimes, anyway. This was especially true early in his career. He hasn't no-sold moves much since he started his Biker gimmick, when he was at his most human. The depressing thing is the possibility that the reason he doesn't no-sell as much later in his career is because he can't, as he's over fifty years old.
    • Undertaker is known to dramatically sit up after taking a big beating and being flat on his back. He used to rise due to the power of the urn but does it automatically since the demise of the urn. Although this was hilariously subverted by The Rock. When he was about to do the People's Elbow, Taker sat back up. What does The Rock do? He stops, kicks him back down, and then does the elbow.
    • While his selling would never be confused with that of, say, Ricky Steamboat, if you look closely, there are times when his facial expression suggests that he is thinking, "What the hell have I gotten myself into here?" A good example of this is when he is outside the ring during is his match with Festus on the April 11, 2008 SmackDown.
    • He (and Kane) also has a post-move version - while the opponent showboats, he recovers, sits upright, and stares daggers at them.
  • Not My Driver: He pulled this on Stephanie McMahon in 1999, on Triple H and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin in 2001, and years later in 2009, did it again to Teddy Long.
  • Not So Stoic: Not counting his run as the Bikertaker from 2000 - 2004. We'd seen a few glimpses here & there, such as when Paul Bearer betrayed him for Mankind in 96. But it starts to show full force during the build up the Kane Storyline in 97. The biggest showing of Undertaker's human side came as he told his side of the story about the fire that claimed his parents. At one point, he mentioned that Paul Bearer dragged him to the neighboring funeral home and forced him to look at the charred bodies of his parents. It was that point where Taker seemed close to breaking as he described how he felt when he saw his mother. He had to stop & compose himself when he explained seeing the burnt remains of what was his family just two days ago.
    • Not even he could resist cracking a smile at Kane assisting D-Von Dudley in doing the WHASSSSUUUP — and yes, this was before he was wearing the half-mask.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • When the funeral bell rings and the arena goes dark for the Dead Man's entrance, it's a rare opponent who can keep from fudging their undies.
    • Related to his Dead Man Walking gimmick, we have the No Sell after a finishing move... where Taker simply sits up. It's rare to have an opponent not need a new wardrobe when they turn around to see him either sitting up, or on his feet and ready for more.
    • In the build-up to Backlash 2001, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Triple H were in the ring, celebrating the horrible treachery which got them their WWE Championship and WWE Intercontinental titles. In walk 'Taker and Kane. "The Rattlesnake" and "The Game" drop their beers, grab their belts and hightail out. Even in his mortal state, the Deadman scares everyone.
    • The Undertaker had a real life one at the infamous Hell in a Cell against Mankind. Not from the first fall, but upon seeing Foley climb off the stretcher, smiling, and running to the cage to climb back up. It's not shown during the match itself for more than a half a second on the King of the Ring 1998 VHS tape and DVD, but some video (such as Eve of Destruction) shows Taker is legitimately shocked. The Oh, Crap! can be interpreted as either Kayfabe that Mankind wants more, astonishment that he was able to get up or a real life concern of what else can happen.
      • He definitely had another real one shortly afterwards, when he chokeslammed Mankind onto the top of the cage, only for the cage to give way and for Mick Foley to plummet to the mat on his back (with a steel chair following him down to land on his face). It's minor, but you can see Undertaker recoil in shock as the wire panel collapses under Mankind's body. Taker would later admit that at that moment he genuinely thought he'd killed Foley.
    • Perhaps his first inversion was during Giant Gonzalez's debut — he was clearly not used to someone One Head Taller. However, this was later reversed at WrestleMania 9 — the surprise had long since worn off, and now it was Gonzalez's turn to be alarmed at such an Implacable Man.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Given how old he is (he was born in 1965 in Real Life, for those keeping track), it's a common occurence whenever he's been a face, but his and Roman Reigns' match against Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre at Extreme Rules 2019 is a example of this being highlighted. McIntyre is twenty years younger than 'Taker in real life and, presumably, in kayfabe, and not only described himself as a hybrid of all prior generations of wrestlers, but also spent a lot of the build-up to their match being disrespectful of 'Taker, claiming he didn't fear him and vowing to put an end to his legacy at the pay-per-view.
    • Inverted in WrestleMania VII (March 24, 1991), as Taker had just turned 26 when he faced off and defeated 47-year-old Jimmy Snuka with a Tombstone Piledriver. Other foes he had beaten in the other WrestleManias included 37-year-old Jake Roberts (at age 27), 39-year-old King Kong Bundy (at age 30), 36-year-old Diesel (WMXII) and 36-year-old Sycho Sid (WMXIII; both at age 31), 35-year-old Big Boss Man (at age 34), and 53-year-old Ric Flair (at age 36).
    • Played straight, however, with WrestleMania IX and in his later years, when he faced off against: 27-year-old Giant Gonzalez (at age 28); Kane (who was both 30 at WMXIV and 36 at WMXX while Taker was both 33 in the former and 38 in the latter); 31-year-old Triple H (at age 36); 30-year-old A-Train and 31-year-old Big Show (at age 38); 25-year-old Randy Orton (at age 40); 34-year-old Mark Henry (at age 41); 34-year-old Edge (at age 43); 34-year-old CM Punk (at age 48); 36-year-old Brock Lesnar (at age 49); 27-year-old Bray Wyatt (at age 50); and 42-year-old AJ Styles (at age 55). And out of all these wrestlers he faced, he lost to one of them (Lesnar, who ended the Streak).
  • Ominous Fog: Used in his entrances.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: When druids occasionally come into the arena preceding The Undertaker's entrance.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: His original theme music.
  • One-Man Army: Played with: Before the events of Wrestlemania XIX, Nathan Jones had been attacked and beaten down by the FBI, so Taker would have to face Big Show and A-Train alone in a handicap match. However, when Show and Train were getting the better of him, Jones showed up in a Big Damn Heroes moment by attacking Show during the match, allowing Taker to deliver the successful Tombstone Piledriver on Train, thus putting the Streak at 11-0.
  • One-Steve Limit: Odd example. When he began his WWE career, he was called "Kane the Undertaker" for the first few weeks.
  • Our Demons Are Different: One of his Red Barons is "The Demon of Death Valley."
  • Our Liches Are Different: He's most likely this rather than a regular zombie or vampire.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: His original gimmick was most like a Type V, with Paul Bearer having brought him Back from the Dead, however he is a master at mind games, is not a slave and displays powerful supernatural abilities. This gets a bit weird when you look at one of the books written by George Napolitano in the early 90s, which claimed the Undertaker was half human and half vampire and that he would do impressions of Dracula backstage.
    • Depending on the Era, he's more to a Lich and even had the urn as something of a Soul Jar.
  • Out of the Inferno:
    • Undertaker has occasionally "walked through" a wall of flames on the stage during promos to get his point across.
      Undertaker: I would walk through the fires of Hell to face you, Kane.
    • There's also the Inferno Match with Kane when he jumped out of the ring as it was surrounded by flames and clotheslined Kane.
    • In the 2010 Elimination Chamber PPV, he did get set on (non-Kayfabe) fire by his entrance pyro. He still competed.
      • Something similar happened to Undertaker at some point in 1998, when Kane's ring pyro went off right in his face instead of 'Taker's ring fog. He didn't appear fazed, but one could guess someone was probably fired over that; it's one of the few times anyone who saw him backstage would describe him as livid. If you play the footage at less than normal speed, you can barely see him flinch.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • In character occasionally, mostly to face a monster heel or during the Invasion storyline. In real life however he was very much this.
    • It was part of his debut at Survivor Series 1990. He had eliminated Dusty Rhodes from the Million Dollar Team (Ted DiBiase/Taker/Rhythm and Blues [Honky Tonk Man and Greg "The Hammer" Valentine]) vs. the Dream Team (Dusty/Koko B. Ware/The Hart Foundation [Bret/Neidhart]) match. Dusty attacked Brother Love outside the ring, and UT, who was still the legal man for his team, left the ring to make the save for his manager...getting himself counted out in the process.
    • When the Montreal Screwjob occurred Taker hunted for Vince McMahon and first said if he didn't get his ass out of his office he would beat the door down and kick it. When Vince did answer the door he was basically told, "If you want to still have a company tomorrow you better apologize to Bret Hart." He also said something along the lines of "Also, I'm quitting if you don't."
    • Apparently at WrestleMania XIV, Shawn Michaels was allegedly throwing a strop backstage and refusing to drop the title to Stone Cold for his first major victory. Michaels was threatened and told not to pull any funny business, with Undertaker even reportedly taping his fists after his match, where Shawn could see. While the "taped fists" account is debatable (denied by Shawn, confirmed by Jim Cornette, merely alluded to by 'Taker himself), the fact that threats existed is confirmed by all parties. If not for Taker, we might never have gotten the Austin Era at all. This is what Taker told everybody according to Shawn himself;
      Shawn: If this doesn’t go down the way it should, I’m going to have a big problem and Shawn is going to have a big problem. I’ll go over there and beat the heck out of him.
    • Undertaker's claim that The Big Show is one of the best if not the best athletes in the business, however he will get on his case if TBS is out of shape because of how good he can be when healthy.
    • And he stopped Batista from getting WWE Divas fired for rejecting his advances.
    • He's even exhibited this after his retirement. Taker attended the Ric Flair's Last Match event, and immediately after Flair worked the main event:
      Flair: My hand started trembling, but it was all dehydration. I had two doctors in there right away with me and everything, and The Undertaker came running in. I had like six beers there. He took them out of my hand and said, 'You’re drinking two Gatorades first.'"
    • While impossible to confirm, it is very possible his Papa Wolf attitude may have been inspired by none other than Dan Spivey when they were a Tag Team called The Skyscrapers in his "Mean" Mark Callous days. In a match against The Road Warriors, both Hawk and Animal began to take advantage of the relative newcomer in Mean Mark. Spivey, the veteran of the four, was having absolutely none of it. He broke kayfabe and proceeded to beat the ever loving shit out of both Animal and Hawk with a chair for doing so. You can watch the incident here.
  • Parts Unknown: Played with; the American Badass averted this entirely, but the Deadman is billed as being from "Death Valley." Death Valley is a real desert/town in California, but the lack of a state attached to the billing gave it the feeling of a Parts Unknown-style hometown. Later character moments have broken this somewhat, suggesting that the character's hometown is indeed Death Valley, California. At times, announcer Jim Ross has talked about Taker's opponents "trying to cut down this big California redwood."
    • As "Mean" Mark Callous of the Skyscrapers in still NWA respecting WCW in 1990 with Dan Spivey and, just once, The Masked Skyscraper ("Mean" Mike Enos) for their match against The Road Warriors at WCW WrestleWar 90: "Metropolis". However, when he was being managed by Paul E. Dangerously (Paul Heyman), he was billed from his real-life hometown of Houston.
    • During the American Bad Ass/Big Evil period from 2000 to 2003, he was also billed from Houston.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: From the "death is scary and therefore bad" perspective, The Undertaker is this trope personified. As The Phenom, there's no question he's some type of Halloween horror monster. As The American Badass, he's a violent biker with a sadistic side and powers of death hidden away. Yet he's been a face the vast majority of the time since his WWF debut, to the point seeing him as a heel at any point after his first 15 months was shocking and novel.
  • Physical God: The Undertaker has been portrayed as being equivalent to a dark god of sorts since WrestleMania XX, and has been, in Kayfabe, considered virtually unstoppable, especially at WrestleMania. As Bray Wyatt described it in 2020's The Last Ride documentary:
    Bray: Once he steps in the ring, takes that hat off, and he looks at you with those eyes, then you realize you're not looking at a man anymore; you're looking at a god. And as far as this industry goes, he is a god.
  • Playing with Fire: While not used as often as his Shock and Awe ability, the Undertaker has shown that his pyrokinetic abilities are on par with that of his brother, Kane. He has demonstrated this primarily whenever he and Kane were feuding with one another, or as part of his entrance.
  • Popularity Power: The Undertaker has consistently been one of the most popular and respected wrestlers in WWE for years.
  • Power Stable
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • During Fully Loaded 2000 Kurt Angle kicks out of a pin after a one handed slam. Undertaker turns to the referee and very clearly mouths "fuck you" as the ref protests and Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler discuss the language Taker was using.
    • In WrestleMania X-7 after defeating Triple H, you can see an exhausted Undertaker say "It's my fucking yard."
    • In WrestleMania XIX, he dishes out a "Bring It" to Big Show and A-Train with "C'MON, MOTHERFUCKERS!"
  • Prematurely Marked Grave: His WrestleMania XXX entrance is a subversion: It involved the coffins of everyone who fell to The Streak, plus one for his rival of the night, Brock Lesnar. The subversion comes with the fact that, well, that was the night Taker's WrestleMania streak ended.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Many fans got this impression during his facetime with Snoop Dogg. Biker Taker is a variable period. Many felt it was an indicator of his fly status but just as many coined it his "redneck" period. Once again, opinions are split when it comes to the American Badass.
  • Pride: Kane and Paul Bearer have cited it as Undertaker's greatest weakness back in their 2010 feud with him. And considering his demands for a rematch with Triple H at WrestleMania XXVIII from a match he won, simply because he refused to let the image of his Pyrrhic Victory be his lasting memory, they may have had a point.
  • Prophet Eyes: One signature taunt of his is to roll his eyes into the back of his head to invoke this appearance, usually during his entrances.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: The Undertaker is taken down to the mat, and all looks good for his opponent...and then he sits up.
    • Averted once in a match with The Rock: Rock was going for the People's Elbow, and Undertaker sat up before Rock could hit it, so Rock kicked him back down to the mat in order to hit the move.
      • It should be noted that The Rock is an exception to the rule; most attempts to avert the trope in this matter lead to ineffectual and often frantic efforts to make the Phenom stay down, generally ending in his getting up anyway, oftentimes with a big mitt wrapped around his opponent's throat for their troubles.
    • This is also how the Last Ride is frequently set up; his opponent has him trapped in the corner and stands on the first rope punching Taker repeatedly...until Undertaker grabs them by their tights. You'd think they would learn to stop doing that by now.
      • Of course, that would be like Ric Flair doing his Flair Flip into the corner onto the apron followed by him running to the other corner and climbing up and not expecting his opponent to slam him down to the mat. In other words, that kind of Once per Episode Genre Blindness is necessary for the match to work.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Purple is his secondary Color Motif after black.
  • Pyrrhic Victory:
    • He was barely able to defeat Triple H at WrestleMania 27, making his undefeated streak 19-0. But by the end of the match, he couldn't even get up to do his darkness salute. He was carried out in a stretcher. One has to wonder how much that took out of him. To put it in perspective, Triple H may have lost but he was still able to walk backstage on his own two feet when it was done.
    • At WrestleMania 28, he was able to leave on his own after failing to get up several times and then helped up by Shawn Michaels (who was the Special Guest Referee), and then helped to carry Triple H out with Michaels.
  • The Quiet One: Rarely talks, although he was more vocal in his Attitude Era & biker days. Said to be like this in real life as well.
  • Rain of Something Unusual: On the November 24th, 2006 edition of Smackdown, he used his supernatural abilities to make it rain "blood" on Mr Kennedy after announcing that their match at the next Survivor Series PPV would be a First Blood match.
  • Raised Hand of Survival: Did this at the end of the very first Buried Alive match after being buried.
  • Rape as Drama: Nothing ever outright stated, but during Taker's much darker Ministry years, it was toyed with as a possibility that he may have raped Ryan Shammrock & Stephanie.
    • With the latter, he'd kidnapped her at least twice. The first time she's kidnapped, she can't talk much about it and Vince, Lawler, and Cole wonder what Taker did to her. Things get a bit more overt after her Backlash 1999 abduction. Stephanie says she was stripped of her clothes & placed in robes for a Dark Wedding but also notes that Taker repeatedly touched her & whispered that she was his and couldn't do anything about it. Note that during the wedding itself, Paul Bearer flat out said that Stephanie was going to bear the "master's" children. After the wedding is crashed by Austin, Taker threatens him for ruining the wedding and says Stephanie was to be his wife and "servant."
    • Ryan Shammrock was another case. They sacrifice her on the symbol and she's not seen again until the next RAW. King mentions not knowing what Taker may have been doing to her all week and JR replies that he doesn't even want to think about that.
  • Recognizable by Sound: The mere sound of the gong brings audiences to their feet and makes just about anyone in the ring hope they're wearing brown wrestling attire.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Unlike the rest of his career, where he favored gray or purple as a secondary color to complement his black attires, Taker's Big Evil heel character in the early 2000s typically wore red accessories and accents, such as his bandana and occasionally his character-themed shirts. Fittingly for this trope, this was completely averted when he was a face character during that time.
  • Red Baron: Taker has been a force to be reckoned with for so long, that he's built up a slew of them - The Deadman, The American Badass, The Lord of Darkness, The Phenom, The Demon Of Death Valley, The Last Outlaw, and briefly, Booger Red (until someone told Jim Ross how stupid that sounded).
  • Redemption Demotion: Averted; whether he's face or heel, he's still one of the toughest wrestlers on the roster.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: After becoming the Deadman again in 2004, Taker was the more stoic & calm blue to Kane's more psychotic & violent red, fitting their color motifs. But originally, from 98 - 2001, Taker was Red to Kane's Blue. He was more prone to flying off the handle. Meanwhile Kane was still relatively naive, following the leads & orders of others like an attack dog.
    • When the brothers united for the first time, Bearer came out to confront Kane & called their mother a whore at one point. Kane stayed calm while Taker was ready to attack but backed off when Kane motions for him to do so. However once Kane figuratively & literally turned his back on Paul, Taker wasted no time clobbering him.
    • When Vince insults them & goes back on his deal of giving them a title shot for their bodyguard duties against Stone Cold, Kane remains calm in body language. Taker however was pacing & seething the entire time until he warned Vince to watch his ass. When Vince pushes his luck, Taker is the first to attack & cripple him. Kane follows Taker's lead with a few stomps but mainly keeps help at bay while Taker does most of the clobbering.
    • After a backstage attack by HHH and Big Show, Taker waits for the former in the parking lot. Kane comes out and tells Taker there are other ways to handle the situation & Taker wants to know when Kane became the voice of reason.
    • While discussing their upcoming match, Jericho comes into their locker room saying there was a traitor in their group & wonders why they were not at the meeting. Taker lays into Jericho for overstepping himself. When Kane tries to calm him down, Taker angrily tells his little brother to back off.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: He originally started as a Heel and has been one two or three more times. He retains his ferocity and brutality in all subsequent Heel Face Turns.
  • Resurrection Revenge: His revival as the "Deadman" persona in 2004, following him being Buried Alive by his (kayfabe) half-brother Kane after losing a match of that type against Vince McMahon back in Survivor Series 2003, with Kane proclaiming Taker to be "dead and buried forever". On the road to WrestleMania XX, vignettes and shenanigans started to distract Kane, making him lose matches, and interrupting his "Undertaker is dead" promos. Come the aforementioned event, Taker interrupted a match between Kane and Goldberg (who didn't want anything to do with the upcoming match and escaped after hearing the bell) and defeated his half-brother in order to secure his revenge.
  • Revenge: His modus operandi for attacking Lesnar on WWE Battleground 2015. He would've been content to let his loss at WrestleMania 30 go had Lesnar not kept reminding the world about it. Lesnar suffered some Laser-Guided Karma at Battleground as a result, with Undertaker not only costing him the title match against Seth Rollins but also laying Lesnar down with a low blow, a Chokeslam, and two Tombstones. Seth himself put it best during the 7/20/15 episode of RAW: "[Lesnar's] past caught up with [him]."
  • Ring Oldies: He debuted Nov. of 1990 and nearly 30 years later in 2020, he still made occasional in-ring appearances at age 55 whereas many wrestlers his age would be long retired from the business, making him possibly the oldest still active at the time. Up to his retirement in November 2020 he demonstrated that his age hadn't kept him from being one of (if not) the ultimate timeless badass legends wrestling has ever known.
  • Rise from Your Grave: After every Buried Alive match he's been in, though for most of them, presumably off camera. Usually accompanied by an iconic lightning strike when the audience does get to see it.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: One of Mark Calaway's finest real-life moments came in the immediate aftermath of the Montreal Screwjob. Taker tracked Vince down to where he was hiding in his office, pounded on the door, and told Vince that either he could come out and talk, or Taker was going to come in and beat the shit out of him. When Vince answered, Taker told him in no uncertain terms that he needed to apologize to Bret Hart immediately if he wanted to still have a company the next day, and that Taker would quit if he didn't. Vince complied.
  • Sentimental Drunk: On Stone Cold's Broken Skulls podcast, Taker noted he got this way with Godfather on numerous occasions. He'd be out of it & repeatedly tell Godfather how he loved him, then give him his rolex. Godfather always returned it the next morning & Taker always thanked him. He notes he's lost count for how many times he's given Godfather his watch when he was drunk.
  • Shock and Awe: The indoor lightning strike is one of his most used tricks, though only to intimidate, never offensively. Kane, on the other hand, when mimicking The Undertaker's powers, did strike a worker with a lightning bolt to prove he was more evil than The Undertaker.
  • Shovel Strike: Did this to Steve Austin at the beginning of the Ministry of Darkness angle. He also does this fairly regularly during Buried Alive matches.
  • The Show Must Go On: At the 2010 Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, he got set on fire during his entrance due to mistimed/misaligned pyrotechnics going off. Instead of going backstage to get the injury treated, he took off his smoldering jacket and went down to the ring where he was in a pod for his cue, being handed bottles of water to douse himself with in the meantime.
    • Another example is when he faced off with Brock Lesnar in WrestleMania XXX. The match started out simple enough, until Lesnar slammed Taker's head against the floor outside the ring almost six minutes in, accidentally giving him a serious head concussion that lasted throughout the match. Both men continued wrestling, however, although Taker had to take a little longer than usual to get up due to his concussion on quite a few occasions. Yet that concussion didn't stop Taker from kicking some serious ass... and then eventually giving the Throat-Slitting Gesture as a signal when it was time for Lesnar to finish him with a third F-5 and end the Streak under Vince McMahon's decision. And when the match was over, Taker was still able to get up after a few minutes and walk out toward the backstage room, where he would immediately be taken to a hospital for treatment.
  • Sibling Rivalry: With Kane continually from 1997 - 2009. Until their retirements, they had always been on the same page the few times they interacted.
  • Signature Move: The chokeslam, the flying clothesline, the Old School tightrope walk into jumping back chop, and the now-reserved-for-WrestleMania tope suicida.
  • The Silent Bob: Bearer was unusual as a manager in that his role was dualistic. He was the mouthpiece, but not because Taker couldn't work a mic. Taker wrestled so Bearer wouldn't have to. That urn was a nuclear button and Taker was the warhead.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: His wrestling attire. While he wears Badass Longcoats or Black Cloaks in his entrances, he'll take them off before the match starts. At times, he even takes off his top altogether.
  • Sorcerous Overlord: Kayfabe-wise (and most prominently during his Ministry of Darkness days). Humanoid Abomination powers? Check. An army of creepy Mooks (druids)? Check. Rule over a Mordor-like domain ("Death Valley" note )? Check.
  • Sore Loser: Subverted in 2015 his feud with Brock Lesnar. Taker wasn't angry at Lesnar for ending his WrestleMania Streak the previous year since streaks are meant to be broken eventually. Rather, he was more angry at Lesnar and Heyman for bragging about it non-stop for a whole year and the disrespect they had towards him.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: In NBC's 1-hour recut highlights of WrestleMania XXVII, Undertaker's entrance is redubbed with "E.T." by Katy Perry. Yes, that Katy Perry. Granted, the more sexual parts of the lyrics were omitted to fit the video.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Subverted. While part of his late career robe features them, he's a face.
  • Stalker with a Crush: He was this to Stephanie McMahon while in the Ministry of Darkness, having his minions take pictures of her in her home, and eventually kidnapping her and almost forcing her to marry him.
  • Standard Snippet: The "O Fortuna" section of Carmina Burana played at the start of his entrance for his match with Kane at WrestleMania XIV before his regular music started.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Has a habit of appearing and disappearing out of nowhere.
  • Still Got It: He seems to have to prove this more often these days.
  • The Stoic
    • In his early days when cutting promos with Paul Bearer, if you watch closely you can tell that he sometimes has a hard time maintaining the stoic act while Bearer is going on in his shrill voice and making hilarious facial expressions. Paul Bearer said in an interview years later that several times he was purposely trying to see if he could get Undertaker to laugh.
      • We may never know how many takes they had to do for those promos with Paul Bearer due to Undertaker giving in and laughing.
  • Super Serum: Taker admits to using steroids on Joe Rogan's Podcast.
  • Super Smoke: Whenever he is not wrestling, the Undertaker is always shrouded in a veil of smoke. Semi-lampshaded sometimes whenever he has a victim where he wants them, as they too are consumed by the smoke that surrounds them. His super smoke eventually became weaponized in his appearance in The King of Fighters All Star.
  • Surprisingly Happy Ending: Undertaker's last ten years in the WWE weren't exactly great. After losing his feud with Kane in 2010, he went on to become a part-timer who only fought once a year note . After his WrestleMania Streak was ended by Brock Lesnar at 30, and losing another time to Roman Reigns at 33, fans thought Undertaker was finally going to retire, but he came back for a few more years, participating in several less-than-stellar matches note . Surprisingly, at WrestleMania 36, he managed to bask in one final victory against AJ Styles and in a greatly reviewed match and retired at the end of 2020 with his head held high.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: One way his shocking defeat at the hands of Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XXX could be described. Undertaker, for all the demonic force-of-nature superpowers and incredible threshold for pain he's displayed over the years, is still physiologically human and has undergone an incredible toll in his career which has taken him almost completely out of play aside from WrestleMania season since Kane buried him alive for a third time in 2010. When he raised the lights as he would usually do on the steps for his entrance against Lesnar, his body looked worn and battered before Lesnar even touched him. The last two WrestleMania matches he needed to be helped to the back, and this time after going down to Brock he walked out under his own power but immediately collapsed and had to be taken to the hospital. Worked Shoot moments from Lesnar and his manager Paul Heyman regarding that night's events outright dismiss the Undertaker's persona of being a mythical god—mainly because Lesnar has earned that distinction, not only through breaking the Streak, but through developing a streak of his own, being undefeated in five pay-per-view matches with Undertaker as an opponent.note 
  • Tag Team:
    • (As "Mean" Mark Callous) The duo version of "The Skyscrapers", with Dan Spivey.
    • (As The Undertaker) "The Brothers of Destruction", with Kane.
    • (As The Undertaker) "Unholy Alliance", with Big Show.
  • Talk Show with Fists: Was often heavily involved with Paul Bearer's "Funeral Parlor" show; being The Stoic meant Undertaker couldn't be much of a host by himself of course.
  • Talking to the Dead: One backstage segment has him visiting his (kayfabe) parents' graves to talk to them about his issues with Kane and apologizing for having to break his promise not to hurt his younger brother.
  • Team Dad: Outside the ring, he is the unquestioned leader of the company's locker room, and often confronts other wrestlers whenever they act like assholes. Most famously, he was the one who confronted Vince over the Montreal Screwjob and forced him to apologize to Bret Hart, then at WrestleMania XIV put Shawn Michaels on notice not to screw "Stone Cold" either by telling everybody around them that Shawn would be in trouble or by taping his fists threateningly so Shawn could see it.
  • Technopathy: An extension of his power over lightning, The Undertaker can manipulate electronics. This is usually limited to messing with the lights, displaying images on the Titan tron or playing with the sound system but he has also made motor vehicles move without drivers.
  • Teleportation: He seems to be able to appear and disappear in the absence of light. Shut caskets, buried in dirt or even an arena whose lights were off of a few seconds.
  • Tempting Fate: As stated in The Worf Effect below, WWE loves to try and put new guys over fast by putting them in a storyline with The Undertaker. Unfortunately, the only person this seems to have worked with was Mankind (and to a lesser extent, The Great Khali, at least for a while). There is a long list of people who were supposed to feud with him who either disappeared almost instantly or never appeared at all (Nathan Jones, Hade Vansen, Mordecai). The lesson here seems to be: If you're an up-and-comer and they want you to feud with The Undertaker, resign and save them the trouble of future endeavoring you.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: On the next Raw after the final defeat of the Corporate Ministry, Vince McMahon announced that Undertaker got released from WWE. Eight months later, in comes Undertaker in his American badass persona. He was supposedly going to retire in 2012 after his match with Triple H at WrestleMania 28. It was called "The End of an Era" and it ended nothing: Triple H faced the Undertaker again, 6.5 years later. Undertaker was thought to have been retired by Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns, but neither has been the case. He's had subsequent matches with HHH and a return tag-team match with Kane as The Brothers of Destruction went against D-Generation X, as well as having a cinematic match against AJ Styles in WrestleMania 36.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: During the build-up to WrestleMania 25, instead of being afraid of him, other wrestlers were actively arguing over who would compete against him, determined to break "The Streak." His reactions made it clear he was not used to this.
  • That Man Is Dead: "That man", in this case, is "Mean" Mark Callous.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: He has been "killed" numerous times but keeps coming Back from the Dead. Averted in the few occasions where he's "Not Quite Dead".
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Undertaker to Jim Ross during a Face–Heel Turn when forcing him to kiss Vince McMahon's ass: "Pucker up, bitch!"
  • This Is Unforgivable!: His 2003 theme "You're Gonna Pay" is about retribution for some unspecified offense and the chorus includes the line "There's no forgiveness this time."
  • Threat Backfire: Around about the start of the InVasion, when Taker was in his American Badass persona, he threatened "Stone Cold" Steve Austin that he would "make [him] famous" if he messed with his family, specifically his wife Sara. This comment inspired Diamond Dallas Page to start stalking Sara as part of his plan to get into Taker's head and upset him because, as DDP explained in his promo when he revealed himself as the stalker, he wants to be famous.
    Diamond Dallas Page: Duh! Taker, you idiot, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's already famous!
  • Throwing the Fight: Assumed to have done this, costing him & Austin the Tag-Team titles against Kane & Mankind. He & Austin didn't get along and for weeks it had been speculated that he was in cahoots with Kane. Kane ends the match with a rather tame-looking chokeslam. After Kane got the pinfall, Taker instantly sat up and didn't appear to be hurt. Lawler freaks out, saying he knew Taker would screw Austin out of the title. Jim Ross gives Taker the benefit of the doubt for the chokeslam but Lawler points out that Taker is clearly not hurt. Austin also appeared to know something was up given the look he gave Taker after the match.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Not that Undertaker wasn't Badass before, but his 2000-2003 run as "American Badass/Big Evil" had him as just a Badass Biker with none of the supernatural powers he had in his previous gimmicks. This changed in 2020, when he brought back the gimmick in his feud against AJ Styles. Taker can still teleport and summon fire, as well as do everything else otherworldly that he's capable of.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • Cold cuts apparently, according to an old WWF magazine that might or might not be kayfabe.
    • Some fansites also list steak as his favorite food.
  • Tranquil Fury: Occasionally in character, but most notably in real life, according to Chris Jericho, after he received first and second degree burns from his own pyro before the Elimination Chamber match, he was in the training room with Vince McMahon and very calmly informed Vince that if he ever saw that pyro guy again, he would kill him.
  • Trash Talk
    • This is part of Undertaker's mic skill set, more so as Biker Taker but Deadman also has his moments.
      Undertaker: Punk escaped Hell in a Cell relatively in one piece, all he lost was his title. At Bragging Rights, I will take his soul. Rey Mysterio Jr., your tenacious heart is legendary, your courage unquestionable, but make no mistake about it, I will show you no mercy. And that brings me to Batista. Batista, our battles from the past are epic but even your strength and your rage will not be enough to save your soul.
    • Building up to his match with Kurt Angle at Fully Loaded 2000:
      Undertaker: I'm gonna kick your teeth so far down your throat you'll be able to chew your own ass out for pissin' me off.
    • His words to Vince when the latter calls him & Kane handicapped in 98.
      Undertaker: You need to watch your ass. Because the next time you get outta line with either one of us, you're gonna be the one handicapped. And this, I will promise.
  • True Companions: Similar to The Kliq, Taker has his own posse known as the Bone Street Krew, or BSK for short - Undertaker has the initials tattooed very prominently on his stomach. The group's members included Rikishi, the Godwinns, the Godfather, Paul Bearer and Yokozuna until the passing away of the last two. The reason the Krew is not as well known among wrestling fans is because, unlike The Kliq, the crew doesn't attempt any backstage politics. They're simply a circle of friends that hang together.
    • Charles Wright, aka The Godfather, is a standout example since he & Taker predate the BSK. They were friends before the latter even started working in WWE, having met while wrestling in Memphis back in 1989, and it was Taker who got Charles into the WWE. Charles said in 2015 that since Taker doesn't have many people in WWE to really talk to (given his age), he sometimes calls him when he really needs to talk.
  • 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.
  • Undertaker: Well, duh. The gimmick began as an idea from Vince on the Western undertakers, before the character changed to the Phenom, Deadman, and Bikertaker roles in later years.
  • Unequal Pairing: Ministry Taker x Stephanie during the lead up to the Dark Wedding. Stephanie was kidnapped on multiple occasions by the Ministry and was going to be forcefully wed to Taker who notes that she would've been his bride and "servant." After the marriage was thwarted, Stephanie mentioned that she was stripped of her clothes to be placed in dark robes for the ceremony and that Taker kept touching her, saying that she was his and couldn't do anything about it.
  • Unflinching Walk: His famous slow-paced entrance, which Mick Foley described as making him look like "a six foot, ten inch John Wayne. Damn, I wish I had an entrance like that." In almost 2200 matches, he broke this pace exactly once on camera, when some mis-timed pyro went off prematurely and he had to rush to avoid being severely burned.
  • Unnecessary Roughness: When Undertaker started using the Hell's Gate submission hold, it was presented as this, to the point where he was eventually banned from using the move (a ban which would come back to haunt him down the road in a match against CM Punk). However, there's also numerous segment and post-match attacks such as Tombstoning Vickie Guerrero 2-3 times and burning Edge virtually to Hell with his powers.
    • He defeated Kamala in a casket match at Survivor Series 92, and went so far as to hammer nails into the casket after the match was over. Commentator Bobby "The Brain" Heenan asked if Kamala could breathe in there.
  • Unrelated Brothers: While half-brothers in kayfabe, The Undertaker and Kane are not related in real life.
  • Unwilling Suspension: When the Ministry of Darkness used to hang people from Undertaker symbols above the stage as a 'sacrifice'. Undertaker later did this to Orlando Jordan in 2004 as part of a Call-Back angle with JBL.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Most WWE wrestlers these days have personas that could conceivably exist in the real world, whereas the Undertaker wouldn't be remotely out of place as a Kinnikuman character. No one bats an eye.
  • Urban Fantasy: Depending on the era, Undertaker could come across as this depending on how many other supernatural gimmicks were going on at the time and who he was feuding with.
  • Verbal Tic: As pointed out by the many posters in the Comments section of this video, Calaway tends to say "you know" a lot when he's nervous.
  • [Verb] This!: After Undertaker tapped out to Kurt Angle while simultaneously pinning Angle's shoulders to the mat, Chris Jericho poked fun at The Deadman about it on the following week's episode of SmackDown:
    Jericho: I think we should change your name from "Undertaker" to "The Undertapper". [laughs obnoxiously]
    Undertaker: That's what you think? Why don't you tap this? [pops Jericho in the mouth]
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: with Kane, who he's feuded and tag-teamed with (the "Brothers of Destruction") since Kane's debut in 1997.In 2009, he cut a promo saying few things that bring him joy are fighting alongside & against, Kane.
    • Kane granted the latter part of that wish in earnest and pretty much curb-stomped him the following year, thanks to Real Life Writes the Plot with a little help at one point from The Nexus.
    • While Kane & Taker's relationship is strictly brothers, 98-2000 played with Will They or Won't They? with numerous hints of them being in cahoots & numerous others questioning if they were together (after their first feud), and later questioning if they'd gotten back together after their subsequent feuds.
    • With Godfather in life early on. During an interview, Charles said they drank & beat each other up a lot until they woke up bruised one morning & decided they had to stop. He ends noting how close they are, the wars they've been through fighting, drinking, and problems with women. Finally he closes noting that he doesn't know Taker as everyone else does. To him, he's not Taker, he's "Big Dog" and his brother.
  • Weapon Stomp: Played this trope straight in his WrestleMania XXVIII match against Triple H. Hunter's last hope towards the end of the match was to use his sledgehammer to fend off Undertaker's Heroic Second Wind. As he reached for it, a black boot pinned the hammer to the mat. Triple H looked up and probably saw his professional wrestling career flash before his eyes as Undertaker simply shook his head.
  • Welcome to Hell: Started his promo on Kane and Paul Bearer on the March 2, 1998 Raw with these three words.
  • Wham Episode:
    • WrestleMania XXX's Streak match between Undertaker and Brock Lesnar. Twenty-one victories in, Brock Lesnar conquered the Streak, handing Taker his first-ever WrestleMania loss twenty-three years into Undertaker's career.
    • WrestleMania XXXIII's ending in which, after losing to Roman Reigns, the 'Taker dons his gear, stops, then gently removes them and lays them on the ring, disappearing into the fog for what seems to be the last time.
    • Then in the 25th anniversary episode of Raw, Taker shows up again to deliver an ominous message to the crowd involving the opponents he'd beaten (Austin, Foley, Kane, etc.).
  • Wham Line:
    • The buildup to his and Triple H's rematch at WrestleMania XXVIII has been a succession of these week after week. First was a wordless one after 'Taker's return (which was surprising on its own), when Hunter patted him on the shoulder to signify the refusal of his challenge. Then came Hunter finally giving in and setting the match... in Hell in a Cell. Then after that, it was the reveal of Shawn Michaels as guest referee. Let's just say they went overboard trying to make up for the buildup (or lack thereof) for their match last year.
    • Toward the end of WrestleMania XXX's match against Brock Lesnar, we get this from the announcer after the ring of the bell, followed by Stunned Silence:
      Michael Cole: The Streak... is over!
    • And then there's from his 2018 brief comeback, no less!
      The Undertaker: I declare for all of those who have fallen, it is truly time... you rest... in... peace!!
  • What Happened to the Mouse? / Bittersweet Ending: His 2013 run ended with him going up against one of the members of The Shield, Dean Ambrose, to avenge his brother, Kane. Although he did win the match (handing them their first loss) the group subsequently ganged up on him and put him through a table. He wasn't seen for the rest of the year.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Quite literally in this case. After Undertaker defeated Edge at SummerSlam 2008 in a Hell in a Cell match, he pushed Edge off the top of a ladder through the mat - and the hole soon had flames coming up from it, symbolic of Undertaker sending Edge to be swallowed up by "the fires of Hell". Why had he done this? Because Edge had almost gotten him banned from WWE for life.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Undertaker's opponents generally react in this way to his superhuman durability at WrestleMania, especially since WrestleMania XXVII, when (and this is probably an understatement) Triple H handed Undertaker his ass for nearly the entire match. Three Pedigrees. A chair to the skull. Spinebuster through the announce table. Triple H even used Undertaker's own Tombstone Piledriver at one point. Undertaker kicked out every single time, and eventually, Triple H was so taken aback that he looked absolutely terrified, like he'd seen a ghost... even though Undertaker was prone on the mat and looked like a strong breeze might kill him.
  • Wild Card: One of the most iconic tweeners in the business. It doesn't matter whether he's a heel or a face, the crowd love him, and he'll fight whoever he wants to fight. His only relatively consistent loyalties are to Paul Bearer and Kane, and prior to Bearer's death those three turned on each other whenever it suited them and were never all on the same page at once.
  • Will They or Won't They?: with Kane in a toyed-with fashion. Their relationship is strictly brotherly but over the years had many of the same showings as an off & on Soap Opera relationship.
    • After their first feud in 98, there's some strange interactions between them that hint at collusion such as Taker stopping Austin from counting out Kane, trying to count out Road Dogg when Kane got the pinfall, Kane stopping Mankind from attacking Taker with a chair, and Taker seemingly taking a dive to Kane during the tag-team Champions match with Austin, given he sits right up after the pinfall count.
    • During the above back & forth, Taker tombstones Kane during a match to "prove" he's not in cahoots with him, but Vince comes out the following week to explain why Taker's protest examples don't prove anything.
    • When Vince & Austin ask Taker if he's involved with Kane, Taker defensively tells them to go to Hell. Later when Vince inquires again, Taker refuses to answer him.
    • A big example happens when they finally reveal themselves as a team and Vince comes out to say they "have finally come out of the casket."
    • In 99, Kane became friends with X-Pac which Taker hated. Taker begins talking to his brother again, wanting Kane to join him & X-Pac says he wants nothing to do with Kane if he's back with his brother. Taker comes out to tell Kane he'd never ask or make him chose, causing Kane to leave with him. They officially reunite but when Kane went to X-Pac's rescue against Big Show later, Taker went to the ring & glared daggers at his brother, causing the latter to reluctantly leave with him again.
    • They basically break-up when Taker brutally choke-slams X-Pac (which Kane doesn't see at first). Kane leaves with Taker, but goes back to check on X-Pac who's unconscious in the ring. Taker follows Kane to the ring to pull him away from X-Pac, tell him it's over & to come on. Kane reluctantly follows until he sees the chokeslam replayed on the tron & returns the gesture, chokeslamming Taker & carrying X-Pac from the ring. X-Pac hugs Kane while Taker glares menacingly at both men. The situation with Kane, along with costing him the Frist Blood match with Austin, makes X-Pac a target which Taker wasted no time getting practice on the following RAW.
    • Starting 2000, they clearly weren't close but worked as an effective tag-team until Kane chokeslams Taker after a match. They feud again, leading to a Summerslam match which ends in a DQ when Kane flees the ring after Taker unmasks him. Toward the end of the year & into Jan. of 2001, Taker & Kane have reluctance to fight each other during a 6 man tag-match, when Kane tags w/ Rock to face Taker & Rikishi, he ends up chokeslamming the Rock which causes Taker to get the pin. Taker also shows up to save Kane from Rikishi. All said instances cause JR & King to speculate on the brothers reconciling until it finally comes to light.
  • The Worf Effect: WWE loves having new guys beat Taker into a pulp to make them look like major threats. It rarely works, mostly due to the fact that that they have a bad tendency to do this with guys that really have little in the way of talent (Mark Henry, The Great Khali, Vladimir Kozlov, etc.) and the fact that Taker is probably the only guy in the company no one wants to see lose, especially once his appearances became sporadic to the point of being a sort of "special occasion". Because of this, most of his Worfings aren't losses. He'll get beat up but once it's time for a real match he'll usually win.
    • The supposedly unbreakable plexiglass seen in structures such as the Elimination Chamber and Michael Cole's "coal mine" have repeatedly proven breakable by the Undertaker.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • Shawn Michaels and Mick Foley. Nobody's ever gotten as close to ending the Streak as Shawn Michaels did at WrestleMania XXV (at least until WrestleMania XXVII, and then WrestleMania XXX), and with Mick Foley, it's kinda obvious.
    • One could argue this to be the case with Hulk Hogan as well, as the two have traded wins and losses and are at 2-2 each. The kicker is that all four matches were championship bouts.
    • Brock Lesnar, after ending The Streak, has a very good case. Against Undertaker one-on-one, Lesnar is 4-1-1. The Deadman's only win? 2015's SummerSlam, which was marred by Undertaker TAPPING OUT, and then using a low-blow to get the jump on Brock after Lesnar thought he had won because the bell rang. Lesnar is also the only man to defeat Undertaker inside Hell in a Cell twice, and Brock eliminated Undertaker last in the 2003 Royal Rumble to win the match.
    • While subtle, Shane McMahon earned Taker's respect for a similar reason that Mankind did - namely, his willingness to leap from the top of the Cell during their WrestleMania match, which Undertaker acknowledged by lightly patting Shane's cheek prior to hitting the Tombstone on him. This was made much more explicit in the run-up to 2016's Survivor Series, when Taker came back to deliver a message to Smackdown's Survivor Series team, up to literally tipping his hat to Shane. However, this was later subverted in 2019 after Shane made a Face–Heel Turn and became, in 'Taker's words, a victim of his own greed and ego; he intervened in a handicap match Shane arranged that pitted him and Drew McIntyre against Roman Reigns on Roman's behalf, saying that he could no longer abide Shane's constant abuse of his power, and joined forces with Roman against Shane and McIntyre for a No-Holds-Barred Tag Team match at Extreme Rules.
    • At WrestleMania 36, AJ Styles seemed to have earned Taker's respect. Taker says Styles was tougher than he gave him credit for, that he fought his ass off, and that it's not many people who ever gave him that fight.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Kayfabe-wise, he isn't shy about this when he's in Heel or rampage mode. His fight with Chyna shows it when he shoves her by the face and later chokeslamed her. Averted by Mark in real life, and even during the chokeslam, he is notably easier on her than he would be on male wrestlers doing the stunt.
  • Wrestling Family: Brian Lee aka Underfaker, Ron and Don Harris are his cousins.
  • Wrestling Psychology: Well-known for his solid grasp at this, especially during the latter stages of his career, where he'd act less like an unfeeling "zombie" and more of a vulnerable figure. It's part of what earned his two WrestleManias against Shawn, and later HHH, critical acclaim.
  • Wrestling Monster: Trope Codifier, along with Big Van Vader.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: In an unused camera feed that has since been shown in some videos, Taker had the same reaction as Jim Ross at the same time when the latter yelled, "Are you kidding me?! [Mankind] wants to climb back up!" Combined with "Oh, Crap!", this reaction had Taker scrambling back up the Cell, hoping to get back to the top before Mankind did.
  • You Leave Him Alone!: Has this moment when trying to save Kane from The Two Man Power Trip. Kane was trying to save him but got beaten down by the duo who began trying to break his already hurt arm. Being beaten up plus taking a sledgehammer shot to the head, Taker can only crawl toward Kane while repeatedly yelling "no." After Stone Cold snaps a chair on Kane's hurt arm, Taker can then be heard off-camera screaming "leave him alone!"

Alternative Title(s): Undertaker

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The American Badass

During the early years of the Attitude Era, the Undertaker made a brief stint as a biker who kicked ass.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / BadassBiker

Media sources:

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