Rise no more
After 28 years, WWE phenom The Undertaker has left us.
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Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to pay tribute to The Undertaker, a giant among men (literally – the 52-year- old stands 2.08m tall and weighs over 140kg). Having made his debut in 1990, The Demon From Death Valley has left the ring, losing his final match to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33 on 2 April. Let us now pay our respects to the most iconic WWE Superstar in history.
THE DARK SIDES
Born Mark Calaway, The Undertaker walked out of pay-per-view special Survivor Series (November 1990) having destroyed legendary wrestler Dusty Rhodes in a tag team match with “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase. His gimmick was a mortician from the Wild West, with grey gloves, boot spats and a striped tie. His character/costume changes over the years have included: Deadman debut (1994-1998): purple instead of grey, with darker hair. Ministry Of Darkness (1998-1999): flowing cape and a different beard. American Bad-ass (2000-2004): bad- boy biker look, jeans and a bandana – and much shorter hair. • Deadman Rises (2004-2017): back to the trench- coat and mortician widebrim hat look, but in all-black.
A dark and sadistic character like The Undertaker gave WWE CEO Vince McMahon a blank canvas for new fights. Besides the Casket Match (like against Yokozuna at the 1994 Royal Rumble), Taker revolutionised the WWE with the Buried Alive (1996) and Hell In A Cell (1998) matches, both against Mankind.
“After 27 years, my body’s taken a beating,” Taker revealed in January. He had a serious back injury in 1994, then had his orbital bone (cheek) shattered in 1995 and “too many concussions to count”. He underwent double knee replacement surgery in the mid2010s and is rumoured to have already undergone career-ending hip replacement surgery after WrestleMania.
REST IN PEACE
Taker’s fans aren’t the only ones sad about his retirement – Roman Reigns collapsed and sobbed backstage after their bout. “I’ve been a fan since I was a child,” he reveals. “This is my biggest match and changes my career. I cannot thank him [Taker and Mark] enough for choosing me to be his final opponent.”
The Undertaker bid farewell to the WWE Universe at WrestleMania.
Roman Reigns was visibly upset after his match with Taker.
Mark left his Undertaker legacy in the ring as promised.