There are very few people who have not heard of ‘The Undertaker’ or seen his wrestling matches. To most of us, his entry music was an unprecedented combination of fear and excitement while watching WWE on the screen of Ten Sports as a child. The unstoppable Undertaker, Mark William Calaway, said goodbye to the ring this week.
In the final episode of WWE documentary ‘Undertaker: The Last Ride’ aired on June 21 on the WWE Network, the wrestling entertainment star announced that he is not willing to step back inside the ring as a professional wrestler anymore.
However, The Phenom hinted that he might reappear if Vince McMahon, the CEO of WWE, needs him in the future.
Being one of the biggest names in the entertainment wrestling industry for nearly 33 years, Mark Callaway in his emotional message said, “I’m at a point that this time the cowboy really rides away.”
"If there was ever a perfect ending to a career, that right there was it. If Vince was in a pinch, would I come back? I guess time would only tell there. In case of emergency, break glass, you pull out The Undertaker. I would consider it. At this point in my career, I have no desire to get back in the ring," he said in the WWE Documentary.
His legendary unbeaten streak at Wrestlemania was once at 21-0, longest in the history of the industry until 2014, when Brock Lesnar capitalised on him for the first time to break that streak in Wrestlemania which served as the early sign of him retiring.
The Undertaker, also known as the Deadman, previously retired on-screen in 2017 after being defeated by Roman Reins in Wrestlemania 33 where after the match he took off his trademark gloves, trenchcoat, and hat only to leave them onstage. However, due to unsatisfactory audience response, he returned the next year against John Cena.
His final match against AJ Styles was a pre-taped cinematic ‘boneyard’ fight which was very well received by the fans as well as the critics. Once titled, ‘American Badass’ won the match in style at Wrestlemania 36. AJ Styles himself tweeted that it was a ‘great honour’ for him after knowing that it had become the last match of the WWE legend.
The Undertaker started his journey for World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) in 1987 and later switched to World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1990 where he found his fame after having his on-screen debut in late November that year at Survivor Series as part of Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar Team.
Mark Calaway retained the World Heavyweight Championship three times and WWF/WWE Championship four times.
The Undertaker, despite his many highs in stage appearances, was criticised for some of his lackluster performances in later part of his career especially after his famed streak was broken in 2014. Many critics argue that it was the perfect time for him to retire.
Many myths circulated back in the late 90s about this phenomenal wrestling entertainer. Younglings were amused to know that Undertaker ‘came back from the grave’ and he is a mystical demonic fighter from hell. His stint with another WWE superstar Kane as ‘Brothers of Destruction’ is still hailed as one of the most famous of industry.
Unlike many WWE megastars, Mark Calaway has a shorter appearance on the silver screen as he starred in three animated films and played a side role called Hutch in the feature film ‘Suburban Commando’ (1991).
Fans and co-stars have been pouring love and respect for him on twitter as #ThankYouTaker became trending shortly after the episode premiered. His iconic career will be hailed by wrestling-enthusiasts forever.