Over three decades ago, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) introduced fans to possibly the most iconic, and potentially the most infamous wrestling persona of all time. On November 22, 2020, The Undertaker has finally hung up the boots, and called it a career.
Nov. 22, 1990 marked the very first WWE Survivor Series pay-per-view, and it also marked the debut of WWE’s designated deadman. The Undertaker, the alter ego of the very real, and not un-dead Mark Calloway, debuted alongside “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, and was a dominant entity in his very first match.
Thirty years later, on Nov. 22, 2020, The Undertaker gave his farewell to the WWE, and to his thousands of fans. The WWE, and fans all over the world celebrated the long and coveted career of the deadman in WWE.
Trevor Dusky, a 41-year-old man of Cambridge, has been a wrestling fan pretty much his entire life. When asked about The Undertaker retiring, he said, “It’s really sad to see; it makes me feel old. This guy was my idol growing up. He debuted when I was 10-years-old, and I remember being absolutely horrified of him. As I grew older, so did he, and that’s a really scary reality. Even our childhood heroes aren’t immortal.”
Over the course of The Undertaker’s career, he held countless championships, and had many accomplishments. The Undertaker is a 7-time World Heavyweight Champion, 7-time Tag Team Champion, the 2007 Royal Rumble winner, and he main evented WWE’s premier annual event, Wrestlemania, on 4 different occasions, and had a win/loss record of 24/2 at the showcase of the immortals.
The Undertaker’s legendary streak is one thing fans will never truly forget. The phenom went undefeated at Wrestlemania from 1991 when he defeated Jimmy Snuka at Wrestlemania VII, all the way until Wrestlemania XXX in 2014. The streak consisted of 21 consecutive Wrestlemania victories for The Undertaker, and it’s likely his record will never be touched.
Some of his best work came out during his Wrestlemania encounters against the likes of Canadian wrestler Edge in 2008, Shawn Michaels in 2009, and 2010, and Triple H in 2001, 2011, and 2012.
One of the most intriguing aspects of The Undertaker is how the persona had to constantly adapt and grow to stay fresh with the times. The Undertaker gimmick went through multiple incarnations, such as the deadman, the cooperate minister, the American bad-ass, and finally the most iconic iteration of the character, the phenom.
Ryan Knight, founder of the Knights of the Squared Circle podcast, said, “The Undertaker persona is truly an unexplainable entity in the wrestling world. I started watching wrestling in the mid-2000s, when Undertaker was in his peak. The fact Mark Calloway was able to successfully pull off this mystical character for so many years, is truly a testament to the legacy of The Undertaker. The Undertaker will be fondly remembered as one of the best to ever do it all thanks to the man behind the gimmick, Mark Calloway. As the deadman would say, may he ‘rest in peace.’”