Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Undertaker

The Undertaker is another wrestler that has not retired from the ring yet. But it makes him no less worthy of being featured in the Hall of Respect. The Undertaker is one of the most recognized wrestlers performing today. One of the longest tenure wrestlers the Undertaker has created a unique persona and will never be replicated again. Rather using his famed Tombstone piledriver or going Old School you know that when the Undertaker was in the ring you were going to get entertained.

Ring Names Used: Texas Red, The Commando, The Phenom, The Punisher, Punisher Dice Morgan, “Mean” Mark Callous, Cain the Undertaker, The Undertaker
Billed Height: 6'8”-6'10.5”
Billed Weight: 280-330lbs
Billed From: Death Valley, Houston, TX
Debut: 1984

Titles Held:

World Heavyweight Championship 3x
WWE Championship 4x
WWF Hardcore Championship 1x
WWF Tag Team Championship 6x w/ Steve Austin 1x, the Big Show 2x, the Rock 1x, and Kane 2x
WCW Tag Team Championship 1x w/ Kane
Undefeated Wrestlemania Streak 19-0

The Early Years (1984–1990)

The man who would become the Undertake made his debut in 1984 with World Class Championship Wrestling using the name Texas Red. His debut match was against Bruiser Brody. After four years with the promotion he left for Continental Wrestling Association. During this time he wrestled under several different gimmicks. On April 1, 1989 he won his first ever title, the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship by defeating Jerry the King Lawler. The Undertaker would go on to win the WCWA Texas Heavyweight Championship while performing under the name the Punisher.
Soon the Undertaker would join WCW and compete under the name of Mean Mark Callous. Mean Mark would be managed by Paul E. Dangerously. As a single wrestler he would gather up wins against the likes of Johnny Ace and Brian Pillman. At the Great American Bash he lost in a match for the NWA United States Championship against Lex Luger. His final match with the promotion would be against NWA World Heavyweight Champion Sting on September 1, 1990. 

After leaving WCW he had two small stints in New Japan Pro Wrestling and the USWA. On October of 1990 he signed to compete in the WWF.

World Wrestling Federation/ Entertainment (1990–present)

The Deadman Arrives (1990–1994)

On November 19, 1990 he made his WWF debut using the name Cain the Undertaker on WWF Superstars. The WWF had come up with the Deadman persona by modeling him after an old western mortician, complete with trench coat, black hat, and gray gloves and boot covers. The Deadman persona was impervious to pain, and the Undertaker would no-sell his opponents attacks to pull it off. At the November 22 Survivor Series the Undertaker made his first appearance as the mystery partner of Ted Dibiase and his Million Dollar team. During the match the Undertaker eliminated Koko B. Ware and Dusty Rhodes before being counted out.

A short time later the Undertake was given to Paul Bearer from Brother Love. Paul Bearer would accompany the Undertaker to the ring brandishing an urn from which the Undertaker seemed to draw mystical powers. During his instal run as a heel, after defeating his opponents he place them in a body bag and carry them to the back.

The Undertaker's first Wrestlemania match would come at WrestleMania VII against Superfly Jimmy Snuka. Thus beginning the streak. The Undertaker's first main feud was against the Ultimate Warrior. The two would feud for about a year before the rivalry ended.

Following this he would have small feuds with Randy Savage, Sid Justice, Sgt. Slaughter, and Hulk Hogan. At the Survivor Series he defeated Hogan to win his first WWF Championship with help from Ric Flair. At the time he was the youngest WWF Champion in history. WWF President Jack Tunney would order a rematch six days later at This Tuesday in Texas in which he lost the title back to Hogan.

Over the next few years he would have some small feuds. Turning face against Jake “the Snake” Roberts and defeating him at Wrestlemania VIII. At Wrestlemania IX he defeated Giant Gonzales. Throughout 1992 and 1993 he feuded with various wrestlers managed by Harvey Wippleman. This would culminate with a WWF Championship Casket match against Yokozuna at the 1994 Royal Rumble.

With the help of several villainous wrestlers Yokozuna won the match sealing the Undertaker in the casket. After the match the Undertaker's “spirit” appeared on the video screen warning that this wasn't the end of the Undertaker and he would return

The Return and Mankind (1994–1997)
After Wrestlemania X, Ted DiBiase introduced the world to what he claimed was the returning Undertaker. But it was really an imposter dubbed the UnderFaker. At SummerSlam, The Undertaker returned to challenged the imposter. The Undertaker using three Tombstones defeated his doppelganger. At Survivor Series in a Casket Match rematch against Yokozuna, the Undertaker emerged victorious.

Following his return and throughout most of '95 the Undertaker would go on to feud with various members of the Million Dollar Corporation. At Wrestlemania XI while facing off against King Kong Bundy, Kama would steal his urn and later melt it down to wear as a chair around his neck. After defeating Kama at SummerSlam the Undertaker injured his orbital bone and would leave for awhile.

Upon his return he would wear a phantom of the opera like mask. In a championship match against the Bret Hart, Diesel interfered in cost him the match. At a later PPV while in a cage match against Bret Hart, the Undertaker would burst from under the ring and drag Diesel underneath with him. This feud culminated at Wrestlemania XII.

The next night during a match with Justin Hawk Bradshaw, the mysterious Mankind would make his debut attacking the Undertaker. Over the next few months Mankind would continue his assaults on the Taker costing him matches. At SummerSlam that year, the Undertaker faced off against Mankind in the first ever Boiler Room Brawl. During the match Paul Bearer the Undertaker's long time manager turned on him costing him the match. The Undertaker/Mankind feud continued leading up to a Buried Alive Match. After the Undertaker won the match the Executioner and several other wrestlers attacker him and buried him alive. The Undertaker would return to challenger Mankind in a match where Bearer was suspended over the ring, with the stipulation that if Taker won he would get Bearer alone in the ring. Over the next few months Taker would continue to feud with Bearer's proteges leading up to a match against the newest member of the group Vader.

Following the end of that feud the Taker would return his focus on championship gold.

Brothers of Destruction (1997–1998)

At Wrestlemania 13 the Undertaker accomplished his goal defeating Sycho Sid for the WWF Championship. Afterward Bearer would attempt to rejoin with the Undertaker threatening to revel his “biggest secret” if he didn't comply. In the storyline Bearer announced that the Undertaker was a murderer. As a child the Taker had apparently burned his family's funeral home (where Bearer worked), in the process killing his parents and his younger half-brother. Bearer said that he knew all of this because the Undertaker's half-brother, Kane was till alive, burned and scarred but alive. The Undertaker said that Kane was a pyromaniac and he had been the one to start the fire.
In a match against Shawn Michaels, at Badd Blood after Michaels had cost him the title to Bret Hart, the Undertaker would compete in a Hell in a Cell match. During the match, Kane would make his debut, ripping off door to the cage and delivering a tombstone to the stunner Undertaker, costing him the match. Kane and Bearer would challenge the Undertaker to a match, but the Undertaker would refuse to fight his brother.

Kane and the Undertaker would form a brief partnership after Kane saved him from an attack by D-Generation X. The Undertaker faced Shawn Michaels in a coffin match at the Royal Rumble. During the match, Kane betrayed his brother, trapping him in the coffin and padlocking the casket shut before setting it ablaze. When the casket was reopened the Undertaker was gone. The Undertaker would go on a two month hiatus returning to challenge his brother at Wrestlemania XIV.
The two's rivalry would continue leading to the first ever Inferno match at Unforgiven. Afterward, Mankind would restart his feud with the Undertaker. The two would do battle in a Hell in Cell match at King of the Ring. During this match, the Undertaker threw Mankind off the roof of the cage crashing down into the Spanish announce table below them. He would then choke slam mankind through the roof of the cage onto the ring below before eventually pinning him for the win.

The Undertaker would go on to win the tag team titles with Stone Cold Steve Austin from his brother Kane and Mankind. The title run would last only a month as they would lose them back to Kane and Mankind. 

The Undertaker would go on to become the number 1 contender against Austin for the world title. Shortly before their match at SummerSlam, the Undertaker would revel that he and his brother Kane were now working together. The Undertaker would ultimately lose this match though to Austin. In a triple threat match for the title against his brother Kane and Austin, Kane and Taker would both simultaneously pin Austin after a double choke slam. The title was declared vacant and the two brothers would fight for the title. During the match Paul Bearer seemingly assisted Kane by handing him a steel chair. While Kane had his back turned both Bearer and the Undertaker him with the chair. Austin the special guest referee refused to count the pin, attacked the Taker and counted out both men.

The following night on Raw, the Undertaker announced that he had reconciled with Paul Bearer and that they were going to unleash their Ministry of Darkness on the WWF. During the storyline he admitted that it was he that had set the fire and blamed Kane for it. The Undertaker would go on to feud with Austin for having cost him the championship. During the feud, he would attempt to embalm Austin, have Kane committed to a mental asylum, chain Austin to his symbol and hoist him above the arena. All of this would lead up to a match with Austin in which he would lose due to interference from Kane.

The Ministry of Darkness and the Corporation (1999)

The newly formed team of Justin Hawk Bradshaw and Faarooq begin competing under the name the Acolytes. On one episode of Raw the duo attacked Dennis Knight, kidnapping him and claiming that they were taking him to “he.” In January of 1999, the Undertaker would return, now sporting a more Satanic look and persona. It was reveled that the Undertaker was the “he” the Acolytes were talking about and the Undertaker proceeded to re-christian Dennis Knight into his Ministry as Mideon. The Undertaker stated that he was now taking order from a higher power. 

At the Royal Rumble, the Undertaker and his minions attacked and abducted Mable, dubbing him Viscera the following night. The Undertaker soon recruited the Brood (Edge, Christian, and Gangrel) to his Ministry as well. The Undertaker stated that he wanted the WWF and wanted to rid it off Vince McMahon.

McMahon would claim that the Undertaker was taking his gimmick too far and that he now really believed himself to be the Lord of Darkness. McMahon would try to stop the Undertaker having him compete against his own brother in a second inferno match. The Undertaker emerged victorious and reduced the WWF's chairman to tears as he lit a teddy bear on fire that had once belonged to Stephanie McMahon.

After the Undertaker left a burning symbol in the McMahon's front yard, Vince ordered his enforcer the Big Boss Man to face the Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match at WrestleMania XV. The Undertaker would win the match and the Brood would appear and hang the Bossman from the cell after the match.

The Undertaker would go on to kidnap Stephanie McMahon only to be foiled by Ken Shamrock. In retaliation the Undertaker would abduct Shamrock's sister Ryan and attempt to sacrifice her on one of his symbols. The Undertaker would punish Christian for allowing Shamrock to obtain information to find his sister. The Brood would then break away from the Ministry following this. 

At Backlash, McMahon would send Shamrock against the Undertaker. After the match the Shamrock would be attacked by the Acolytes and the Undertaker would kidnap Stefanie in her limo.

The following night the Undertaker attempted to marry Stephanie in a Black Wedding. After attempts by Ken Shamrock and the Big Show to stop the ceremony it would be Steve Austin himself coming to the aid of the chairman's daughter. On the first episode of Smackdown The Undertaker would merge his group with Shane McMahon's Corporation form short lived Corporate Ministry. Eventually it would be reveled that the Higher Power was actually Vince McMahon. 
The Corporate Ministry would go on to dissolve, and the Undertaker would form the Unholy Alliance with the Big Show to win the tag titles. Eventually the Undertaker who was needing time off for a groin injury was written out of the storylines when he quit rather then take orders from Vince McMahon. It would be eight months until the Undertaker was seen again. 

Big Evil / American Bad Ass (2000–2003)

Upon his return the Undertaker took on a vastly different look and persona. The Undertaker returned under a new persona of a biker. Gone were the supernatural allusions, the Gothic attire, and the familiar undertaker music. The Undertaker would ride to the ring on a motorcycle, wear sunglasses and a bandana to the ring. He now used rock songs as his entrance music.

The Undertaker's return saw him take on the McMahon-Helmsley Faction. His main target was WWF Champion Triple H. At King of the Ring that year, Undertaker teamed up with Kane and the Rock to beat the team of Triple H, Shane & Vince McMahon. Kane would ultimately turn on his brother and lead to another short feud between the two.

The Undertaker next feuded with Kurt Angle for the WWF Championship. During the feud Angle gained the upper hand when he switched places with his brother Eric Angle. The Undertaker would compete in the Six Man Hell in a Cell where he choke slammed Rikishi off of the roof of the cell.

Kane and the Undertaker would then reunite as the Brothers of Destruction. The team was dominate but unable to capture the tag titles. At WrestleMania X-Seven he defeated Triple H to become 9-0 at the grandest stage of them all. Triple H would retaliate forming the Two Man Power Trip with Stone Cold Steve Austin to challenge the duo. The Brothers would trade the tag titles with the Power Trip continuing their feud. Until eventually, Kane and Triple H were both injured and the feud moved on to Austin and the Undertaker feuding over the WWF championship.

As the Invasion angle begin to unfold, the Undertaker was pitted against Diamond Dallas Page. During the storyline Kane and the Undertaker would win the WCW tag titles. As the angle winded down, the Undertaker would team up with Kane, The Rock, Chris Jericho, and the Big Show at Survivor Series to take on the Alliance’s team of Steve Austin, Booker T, Rob Van Dam, Shane McMahon, and Kurt Angle. The WWF superstars would emerge victorious thanks to a defection by Kurt Angle back to the WWF.
Following the conclusion of the Alliance angle, the Undertaker would once again turn heel. Shortening his hair and calling himself Big Evil. At Vengeance, the Undertaker defeated Rob Van Dam for the Hardcore Championship.

The Undertaker would then move on to feud with the Rock. This feud carried on from the Royal Rumble all the way until No Way Out where the Undertaker lost due to interference by Ric Flair. The Undertaker upset challenged Flair to a match at WrestleMania X8. Initially Flair refused till the Undertaker begin taking out those close to him, first Arn Anderson, then Flair's son David Flair. After the Undertaker threatened to do the same to Flair's daughter, Flair accepted. The Undertake would go on to defeat him at WrestleMania that year.

After winning the number one contendership for the world title, the Undertaker would go on to defeat Hulk Hogan for the belt. The Undertaker would go on to turn face again following a brutal match with Jeff Hardy which he raised Hardy's hand after defeating him. The Rock would later win the belt away from the Undertaker.

The Undertaker started a feud with Brock Lesnar. The rivalry would see them firth at Unforgiven and in a Hell in the Cell match at No Mercy. Following the lost to Lesnar the Undertaker would then go on another hiatus after being thrown off the stage by the Big Show.

At the Royal Rumble the Undertaker returned to restart his feud with the Big Show. The Undertaker would go on to defeat both the Big Show and A-Train in a tag team handicap match at WrestleMania XIX.

The Undertaker would spend the remainder of the year with both Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar for the World Title. Due to interference by Vince McMahon during his match with Lesnar, the Take began a feud with him. At Survivor Series the Undertaker lost in a Buried Alive match to McMahon when Kane interfered. This would spark another hiatus for the Undertaker.

Back to the Deadman (2004-2007)

Leading up to WrestleMania XX, Kane was haunted by vignettes proclaiming that the Undertaker would return. The Undertaker would return at WrestleMania with Paul Bearer in his Deadman persona. In his return match he defeated Kane. Later in the year Bearer was kidnapped by the Dudley Boyz at the urgings of Paul Heyman. The idea was that Heyman had taken control of the Undertaker by holding on to Bearer. A the Great American Bash, the Undertaker fought the Dudleys in a handicap match where the stipulations were that if the Undertaker did not lie down and let them pin him then Heyman would bury Bearer in Cement. The Undertaker defeated the Dudleys and stopped Heyman before he could bury Bearer. But then the Undertaker himself buried Bearer claiming that he was just a liability now and that he had no use for him anymore.

Following this the Undertaker would set his sights again on Championship gold. Feuding with JNL, Eddie Guerrero, and Booker T over the title. The Undertaker would defeat Heidenreich at the Royal Rumble in a casket match for costing him the title at the previous PPV.

Prior to WrestleMania 21 Randy Orton challenged him to a match. Randy Orton using his Legend Killer character threatened to end the Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania. Even with help from Cowboy Bob Orton, Randy was unable to defeat the Deadman at WrestleMania, losing and bringing the Deadman's streak to 13-0. For most of the remainder of the year the Undertaker would continue on with his feud with Randy Orton. The competed in a casket match and a hell in a cell match throughout the course of this feud. After his Hell in Cell win at Armageddon the Deadman would take another hiatus from wrestling.

Starting from the Royal Rumble and going into WrestleMania 22, the Undertaker found himself involved in a feud with Mark Henry after he cost him several championship opportunities. The Undertaker would once again emerge victorious and keep the streak alive for another year.

Following this the Undertaker engaged in a rivalry with the debuting Great Khali. The Undertaker would be taken out by Khali at Judgment day and would not return until July. Upon his return the feud continued with Khali. As SummerSlam the Undertaker defeated him in a Last Man Standing Match.

The Undertaker would then begin lengthy program with Mr. Kennedy. Kennedy cost the Undertaker two World Heavyweight Championship opportunities. The Undertaker and Kennedy would continue to feud going into 2007.

New Era another World Heavyweight Championship (2007-2008)

At the 2007 Royal Rumble the Undertaker entered the Rumble at number 30 and would go on to win the match. The Undertaker would challenge Batista for a match at WrestleMania using the guaranteed match he had won at the Royal Rumble. At Wrestlemania 23 the Undertaker defeated Batista to win his first World Heavyweight Championship. The Undertaker would lose his belt after a serious of incidents. First he was involved in a steel cage match with Batista. After the match Mark Henry returned and attacked the Deadman, immediately following the attack, Edge cashed in his Money in Bank contract to defeat the Undertaker for the belt. As the Undertaker laid there druids appeared and carried him out of the ring and into the backstage area.

The Undertaker would again nurse another injury and set out till Unforgiven. The Undertaker returned and got his revenge on Mark Henry. At Cyber Sunday the Undertaker renewed his rivalry with Batista. They would again compete against each other at a Hell in a Cell match at Survivor Series. Due to interference by Edge, Batista retained his title. Following this the Undertaker tombstoned Smackdown General Manager Vickie Guerrero in retaliation. Theodore Long would then make a Triple Threat match for Armageddon that Edge would ultimately win.

In the Elimination Chamber match at No Way Out the Undertaker would win to become the number one contender for Edge's title at WrestleMania XXIV. The Undertaker would win the match winning the title and taking his streak to 16-0. Following a series of rematches for the belt, the Undertaker would ultimately lose the match in a TLC match at One Night Stand after La Familia interfered on Edge's behalf. The Undertaker per stipulation was forced to leave the WWE.

Return to SmackDown (2008–2009)

In July of 2008, Vickie Guerrero announce that the Undertaker had been reinstated and that Edge would face him at SummerSlam in a Hell in a Cell match. After his win, the Undertaker chokeslammed Edge from the top of a ladder through the ring canvas.

After attempting to get some retribution against Vickie Guerrero he begin a feud with the Big Show who interfered on Vickie's behalf. The two would go on to feud for several months leading into the first part of 2009.

Soon after the Undertaker was confronted by Shawn Michaels who wanted to end the Undertaker's WrestleMania streak and pointed out that up to that point the Undertaker had never defeated him in a one on one match. In what would be the match of the year, the Undertaker defeated Shawn Michaels to keep his winning streak intact. He would go on another long hiatus after the Wrestlemania match.

Feud with Shawn Michaels Continues (2009–2010)

The Undertaker returned at SummerSlam attacking CM Punk. At Breaking Point the Undertaker attempted to defeat CM Punk for the World Heavyweight Championship. He would lose the match after Punk but him in the Anaconda Vise and the referee called for the bell despite the Undertaker never submitting.

The feud continued up to the Hell in a Cell PPV in which the Undertaker finally defeated Punk for the title. The Undertaker would go on to successfully defend the belt against Punk on four separate occasions. The Undertaker would go on to defend the belt successfully against Batista and Rey Mysterio.

At the Elimination Chamber PPV, Shawn Michaels upset that the Undertaker had turned down his rematch for Wrestlemania interfered in the championship match costing Undertaker to lose the match and title to Chris Jericho. The Undertaker would go on to accept Michaels challenge under one condition Michaels had to put his career on the line.

Michaels agreed and the Streak vs Career match was set for WrestleMania XXVI. The Undertaker would go on to win after another amazing match between the two, forcing Shawn Michaels to retire. After the match as a sign of respect the Undertaker shook Micheal’s hand.

Another Run in with Kane (2010)

After WrestleMania the Undertaker went on another long hiatus. Returning to SmackDown on May 28 in which he defeated Rey Mysterio for a spot in the Fatal Four way match for the World title. Due to several injuries that he obtained during the match, the Undertaker was written off camera for awhile. Kane claimed to have found the Undertaker in a vegetative like state. Rey Mysterio would get the Undertaker's spot in the match and Kane would go on a mission to find out who had done that to his brother.

Kane and the Undertaker both blamed each other for the attack and feuded throughout the summer. At SummerSlam the Undertaker returned to confront both Kane and Mysterio. Kane was revealed to have been the attacker and overpowered the Undertaker. Kane would go on to challenge the Undertaker for the belt at Night of Champions. After successfully defeating him the two feuded through Bragging Rights over the belt. The two would engage in a Buried Alive match, that saw the Nexus interfere and bury the Deadman. The Undertaker needing time off for another injury would stay off the air for several months.

The Last Outlaw (2011–present)

After the Royal Rumble in 2011, promos begin airing showing that the Undertaker would be coming back on 2-21-11. On that episode of Raw, the Undertaker returned. But his return was interrupted by a returning Triple H. in a surreal moment with no words spoken a challenge was issued between the two for WrestleMania XXVII. The two agreed to a No Holds Barred match. The Undertaker won the match after surviving three pedigrees and a tombstone from Triple H. The Undertaker managed to lock on the Hell's Gate and force Triple H to tap out after being locked in it for several minutes. The Undertaker would be carried out of the ring on a stretcher, but his WrestleMania Streak was intact at 19-0.

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