With this being the 30th anniversary weekend of The Undertaker’s debut at Survivor Series, staff will share their memories of his time. Over the next few days, the staff here at ProWrestlingPost.com will come together to share their thoughts on The Undertaker. We present to you 30 Memories of The Undertaker. Today Mike Bryan and Graeme Bremner share memories 30 – 21 of his time in the ring and what he meant to them.
Graeme: I’m not sure where to start with remembering the career of The Undertaker in a way that does him justice, but I’ll try. It can’t go any worse than the last time I wrote about the Undertaker when I was a small child and asked to write who my favorite person was. The result of that assignment left one of my first teachers rather concerned that I had a rather morbid fascination with a different kind of Undertaker, different from the biker from WWE I remembered at that time. The earliest memory I have of watching The Undertaker was a VHS we had at the time of Wrestlemania X-7 when Undertaker was the coolest guy on the roster, in my opinion. The big jacket, the bike, the hair, and most importantly, the music.
The introduction I had to The Undertaker was different from the normal deadman persona most grew up with. My first introduction was to The American Bad Ass. Although the earliest introduction I had to Undertaker was some old tapes of 2000/ 2001 WWE shows, I started really watching Raw and Smackdown consistently sometime in 2005.
30 Memories Of The Undertaker
30. The Undertaker Vs. Batista
The first Undertaker rivalry that really gripped me was his feud with Batista. When Taker won the Royal Rumble in 2007, I was intrigued as to who he’d challenge. The moment was built up weekly, and eventually, all the champions lined up, and The Deadman stopped at Batista. The story was a simple one. The battling champion defending his title against The Deadman’s supernatural force. The WrestleMania opponents learned to work together and had some real depth to the story heading into WrestleMania 23. The match itself was incredible. It stole the show for me. Despite me being a Batista fan as a child, the moment Taker took the knee and held the belt, it resonated with me. That moment was the first Wrestlemania Moment that I remember sticking with me.
His feud with Batista lasted through to the end of 2007. The pair had a series of battles over the World Heavyweight Championship. The Last Man Standing match at Backlash almost topped the Wrestlemania match. A steel cage match on SmackDown ended in a narrow decision. Everything led to Hell in a Cell at Survivor Series. This feud warranted the cell; after everything they’d been through, this was how to settle it. Undertaker was attacked by Edge at the Survivor Series in 2007 during a Hell in a Cell match with Batista. Edge dressed as a cameraman attacked The Undertaker, costing him the world title.
29. The Undertaker Vs. Edge
Undertaker went from the above feud with Batista to his next great rival – Edge. Edge would capture the gold at Armageddon 2007 to end the year. Undertaker would earn the opportunity to challenge Edge for the title at WrestleMania. Edge presented a different challenge to The Undertaker, and it almost was like the champions were challenging The Deadman. The streak felt that important. The match with the champion legitimized Edge as a wrestler. This wasn’t the brawl of the previous year. Edge slowed things down, and while the story was, Edge had Taker scouted. The match ended with Taker locking in a triangle choke called Hells Gate on Edge to win by submission.
The rematches between the two would take different turns. With Edge losing at Backlash again to the Hells Gate submission. The Undertaker would drop the gold due to it being stripped by Vickie Guerrero after the Hells Gate submission was deemed unsafe. The Judgement Day PPV would come, and the match ended with Undertaker winning by count-out. But Vickie would deem it invalid as the match was not won by pinfall or submission. The stage was set for One Night Stand, where the match would be a TLC match. What a match the pair had. It was the only TLC match Taker would be a part of. Undertaker would lose, meaning he was out of WWE as per the stipulation of the match. It wouldn’t last. Edge would upset Vickie, his on-screen girlfriend, and the SmackDown manager, who reinstated the Undertaker for Summer Slam.
30 Memories Of The Undertaker
28. Summerslam 2008
The match at Summerslam with Edge was inside Hell in the Cell after months of animosity. It was unlike their previous encounters; there was no counter wrestling. This was the most personal match in the series. Edge would hit flurries of offense at Taker, and both men told the story that needed to be told. Undertaker was back for revenge for Edge forcing him out of WWE, and Edge was going to pay. The end of the match came when Taker threw Edge off a ladder through the ring. Almost to the depths of hell itself was a moment in itself. It was a satisfying payoff to their feud.
27. Wrestlemania 27
While many hold Takers legendary bouts with Shawn as his best work, I feel his match with Triple H at WrestleMania 27 was his best WrestleMania outing. Triple H and The Undertaker were the last two titans of an era of wrestling that’s hailed as the greatest ever – The Attitude Era. This match marked the end of their respective full time runs in the company as both would only wrestle sporadically after this. The match itself was No Holds Barred, and the streak was on the line. Triple H and Taker waged war in the kind of match that almost rewound the clock ten years. The simplicity of Triple H trying to beat the streak and Undertaker defending it.
The match was breathtaking. I’d recommend revisiting it to anyone who hasn’t seen it or hasn’t watched it in a long time. It’s different from the wrestling matches he had with Shawn. This was closer to a brawling style of a match with some great psychology. The point at the end of the match when Taker just does enough to win the match but can’t stand is a moment to behold.
30 Memories Of The Undertaker
26. Thank You Taker
Undertaker has given himself to the industry for 30 years. That’s a staggering amount of time to do one thing. He kept kayfabe alive in a world where kayfabe is sadly dead. The biggest thing I would thank Undertaker for is the streak; that was a wild ride. I grew up watching Taker’s feuds with Batista, Edge, Mr. Kennedy, CM Punk, and many others. While I maybe didn’t grow up with the original Undertaker the way some did, he still played a massive part in making me a fan of professional wrestling. If this is the final goodbye for Undertaker on Sunday, it’ll be a sad day for wrestling fans but a curtain call on one of the greatest careers in WWE.
Mike: To me, The Undertaker isn’t just a character; he is what wrestling is all about. The main idea of professional wrestling is to make a connection with the fans. The Undertaker has gone above and beyond, making a lasting connection. You can go anywhere in the world, and even non-wrestling fans know who the Undertaker is. The biggest draw at WrestleMania is always the presence of the Phenom. There will never be another Undertaker. He is in a class by himself.
30 Memories Of The Undertaker
25. SummerSlam 1994
Immediately when I think of The Undertaker, I think of my hometown of Chicago, IL. Two events in particular that made a lasting impact on me were Summerslam 94 and Wrestlemania 13. Summerslam 94 was actually the first pay per view I ever attended. It was held in Chicago on August 29, 1994, at the brand new United Center. The event was billed as “So Hot it’s Scary. ” The main event featured Undertaker vs Ted Dibiase’s Undertaker. In January at the 1994 Royal Rumble, The Undertaker challenged Yokozuna for the WWF Championship in a casket match. Undertaker ended up losing that match and was put in a casket by Yokozuna with help from the WWF locker room.
This was the first time anyone had got the upper hand on The Undertaker. A few minutes after Taker was thrown in the casket, the lights went out in the arena. Undertaker appeared on the Titan-Tron and gave the eerie Spirit of the Undertaker promo. Vowing he will not rest in peace. Undertaker had disappeared from the WWF until August at Summerslam. In the meantime, Ted Dibiase claimed he had repurchased the Undertaker. Week after week, a duplicate Undertaker would do DiBiase’s bidding.
The real Undertaker was about to make his return.
I remember sitting in the arena and the lights going out. It was pitch black besides one light shining out of Paul Bearer’s urn. The lights would flicker like lightning as I got chills. Just then, we heard the familiar dong of the bell. I think everyone had chills going and down their spine as the real Undertaker made his way to the ring. Many fans do not regard this match as an undertaker classic; however, being there and seeing the undertaker entrance was an experience I will never forget.
30 Memories Of The Undertaker
24. WrestleMania 13
My second biggest memory of the Undertaker was actually my first WrestleMania. WrestleMania 13 was also held in Chicago, at the Rosemont Horizon on March 23, 1997. To this day, this WrestleMania is my favorite of all time. That night three matches paved the way for the beginning of the Attitude Era. WWF was slowly becoming more gritty and adult-oriented. Fans started cheering for the bad guys and booing the good guys. The whole dynamic of wrestling was about to change. However, one thing remained the same…The Undertaker.
At WrestleMania 13, Undertaker became WWF Champion for the second time defeating Psycho Sid in the main event. I remember seeing those two monsters stare each other in the face. I remember the vibrations going through the arena as chokeslams were given and I remember the moment Undertaker pinned Sid. The crowd was deafening. I never thought I would ever be at a WrestleMania, much less an Undertaker title victory.
23. Rivalry with Triple H
As far as rivalries go, no Undertaker rivalry made a bigger impact on me than his rivalry with Triple H. Triple H and The Undertaker had met several times during the WWF New Generation era. However, nothing would match their rivalry that started at WrestleMania 17 and continued until the End of the Era Hell in a Cell Match at WrestleMania 28. Triple H is my favorite heel, and Undertaker brought that mean streak out of him. I remember at WrestleMania 17 on April 1, 2001, when HHH and Undertaker were fighting in the crowd, and they made their way to this platform.
All of a sudden, you just see Undertaker grab HHH and chokeslam him through the crowd. It’s like, wow, HHH just disappeared. It was definitely a WrestleMania moment. At the end of that match, when HHH hit Undertaker with the sledgehammer, I thought Undertaker was out cold. Then all of a sudden, Undertaker hit HHH with The Last Ride. It was just unbelievable. This story continued ten years later On April 3, 2011, WrestleMania27 in Atlanta, GA. I remember HHH taking the Undertaker to the limit.
There were several instances where Undertaker could barely get up under his own power. I remember the image of HHH covering Undertaker for the pin and sticking out his tongue to mock The Deadman. Still, Undertaker kept continuously kicking out. HHH hit him with everything he had, including Pedigree’s, but Undertaker kept kicking out. I remember thinking to myself the Undertaker’s streak has to be over tonight. Once again, the sledgehammer came into play. When HHH went to hit the Undertaker with the sledgehammer, out of nowhere, Undertaker caught HHH in the Hell’s Gate submission.
30 Memories Of The Undertaker
22. The Emotion He Created
I remember my roommates and me screaming at the tv. HHH was within two seconds of taking out the Undertaker but submitted to the move, still holding the sledgehammer. I remember after the match seeing that The Undertaker could not get up under his own power. He had to be stretchered out. The next year HHH and Undertaker’s rivalry continued at WrestleMania in Hell in A Cell. This was the End of an Era Match. I remember the cell even had Metallica’s song The Memory Remains as its theme song. What a way to settle a rivalry. Not only that, but Shawn Michaels was the special guest referee.
These two legends gave everything they had in this match. I thought for sure The Game was going to take Undertaker’s streak. HHH hit The Undertaker so hard with a steel chair you could see the welts on his back. I remember HHH yelling, “You end it, or I will.” After several pin attempts by both legends, HHH finally grabbed the sledgehammer. Once again, the sledgehammer came into play in their match, which I thought was excellent storytelling. The finish was Undertaker stopping HHH from using the sledgehammer. With one last ounce of strength, HHH gave Undertaker the DX crotch chop, and Undertaker leveled HHH with the sledge.
Undertaker then picked up HHH and hit the tombstone for the win. What an awesome series of matches told over the years. I gave a standing ovation to Undertaker, HHH, and Shawn Michaels. I have nothing but respect for all three.
21. Part of My Life
The Undertaker was a part of my childhood and adulthood. It’s been almost three decades of watching this Phenom become a legend. Undeniably wrestling will be missing an important piece of the puzzle once Undertaker finally rides off into the sunset. I truly believe that Mark Calloway gave this character life. Anyone else, and we wouldn’t be looking at this impressive of a career. From the moment he walked into our lives at Survivor Series 1990 to the moment he’s inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, Undertaker left his mark on wrestling.
Thank you, Undertaker, for putting your life on the line every night to entertain us. Surely Undertaker’s legacy will never rest in peace.
Keep with us here at ProWrestlingPost.com. There will be more memories from the staff tomorrow in part 2 of 30 Memories Of The Undertaker.
“Scream” vedette David Arquette has an extreme passion that almost cost him his life — professional wrestling.
Two years ago, Arquette faced off against ex-con Nick Gage in a deathmatch, the most hardcore style where the wrestlers swing chairs, baseball bats and the like.
With blood gushing from his neck, Arquette gets up and tries to pin Gage but can’t. He jumps out of the ring, holding his neck. Then, he climbs back in and smacks Gage with a folding chair. After a couple of minutes, though, Arquette is the one who gets pinned.
“It nearly cost me my life, ” Arquette told the Star of the match. “I was in way over my head. I was about half an inch from death…”
Arquette decided to go back into the ring after fellow pro wrestler Jack Perry, the son of late actor Luke Perry, assured him that he wasn’t bleeding to death. Perry is the one who took Arquette to the hospital.
Arquette told the Star : “I could hear Luke but I couldn’t see him, ” Arquette told the Star. “I said : ‘Luke is it pumping ? ’ because I was worried I was bleeding out and he said : ‘No it’s not pumping. ’ I knew at that point I wasn’t dying immediately, I could try to finish the match. ”
Arquette has had a lifelong love affair with wrestling, which is traced in a new documentary, “You Cannot Kill David Arquette. ” The film tells of how Arquette has spent the past two decades trying to earn back the respect of the wrestling world — after he won the 2000 World Championship Wrestling heavyweight title as a publicity stunt for his movie “Ready to Rumble. ”
In those years, the 49-year-old Arquette has battled heart problems and drug addiction. After the Gage match, Arquette’s wife, Christine, told him : “I just feel like you want to die, ” the actor recalled.
“I don’t want to die but life is painful, ” Arquette told the Star. “If you have addiction issues like I do there’s an element in the back of your head that the addict is literally trying to kill you. You have to find ways to deal with it so you don’t continue to kill yourself, either slowly or quickly. ”
For Arquette, wrestling helped him deal with the deaths of Luke Perry, a close friend who died of a stroke, and his transgender sister, Alexis, who died of a heart attack.
“Losing someone is really painful but a few things have happened to make me feel we are all much more connected, ” Arquette said. “For wrestling, you shave everything and at one point I was looking at my arms and it was like I was looking at Alexis’ arms, as being transgender she would shave them… For a deuxième it was like I was looking through Alexis’ eyes… I think we’re a lot more connected than any of us know. ”
Through the film, Arquette has finally learned to accept himself. “I accomplished what I set out to do, ” Arquette told the Star. “I wanted to prove I could be a wrestler. And through this whole experience, I figured out – and it’s ironic – I need to stop beating myself up. I had to stop attacking myself and be kind to myself, as corny as it sounds.