The Dead Man IS Dead
September 1, 2006 by Ryan McKeown
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This article is about one of the WWE's most popular and longest contracted wrestler, The Undertaker.
I've been a fan of the Undertaker for a long time but I am sick of seeing the Dead Man gimmick, I know most people will be on me for writing this article but it is something I've needed to get of my chest for a long time.
Mark Calloway, better known as The Undertaker, debuted with the WWE at Survivor Series 1990 and had a year long undefeated streak, culminating with a six day reign as WWE Champion. The Undertaker since has feuded with some of the best and not-so-best the WWE has offered and has the most impressive streak in the WWE, a 14-0 record at Wrestlemania where he has beaten Jimmy Snuka, Jake Roberts, King Kong Bundy, Diesel, Sid, Kane, Big Boss Man, Triple H, Ric Flair, A-Train & Big Show, Randy Orton, and Mark Henry.
The Undertaker debuted as a zombie type character whose power came from the Urn, which was supposed to carry his "remains", carried by his manager Paul Bearer.
The Dead Man gimmick was an awesome one when it was done properly and the Undertaker came out actually looking like a zombie. However, when the Undertaker formed the Ministry of Darkness the character went down hill. The character went from being a zombie to a devil worshiping cult leader (his devil was Vince McMahon). Luckily this only lasted from the beginning of1999 to the end of September when the Undertaker left to have groin surgery, and then pectoral surgery.
Then at Judgment Day 2000 new life was breathed into the Undertaker character when the he returned during the Iron Man Match between the Rock and Triple H for the WWE Championship. The Undertaker returned as a biker using Kid Rock's American Bad Ass as his entrance music and the character was given a nickname.
The American Bad Ass was a great new character for Mark Calloway and an unexpected way for him to go. He was a dominant force in the WWE for a year after his return. Then when Vince McMahon bought WCW the Undertaker began feuding with Diamond Dallas Page, who was stalking his wife Sara. This was a great way to make the Undertaker one of the leaders of the WWF during the InVasion angle. The Undertaker was a mainstay in WWE during his American Bad Ass period, which included his fourth and to date final WWE title reign.
Then in late 2003 Vince McMahon defeated the Undertaker in a Buried Alive Match at Survivor Series with help from the Undertaker's brother Kane. The Undertaker was gone for two months until a GONG during the Royal Rumble announced he would return soon. For me the GONG caused me to stand up and say one thing, "WHAT THE F***!!!" Then at Wrestlemania XX, The Undertaker made his return to defeat Kane, as the Dead Man, which is what made me so mad.
The American Bad Ass was an awesome gimmick, whereas the Dead Man is outdated, stale, and now just plain stupid. Mark Calloway should make the smartest wrestling move he can make if he wants to be the American Bad Ass and get more title shots, which he deserves. That move is only three little letters, T...N...A!
by Ryan McKeown
It seems a little silly to me to suggest that a four-time world heavyweight champion and seven-time tag team champion who has beaten everyone and been a pioneer of some of today's most popular matches, as well as participated in some of the most exciting matches ever, should leave the company he has been with for nearly sixteen years. Whether his gimmick is stale, or not, for him to leave his legacy (and presumably relaxed schedule) to go to a much smaller company which has nothing to offer him (other than a match with Samoa Joe, which I would enjoy seeing...and Abyss...ugh) would add nothing to his career. I've watched The Undertaker since the day he debuted in the WWF. His character, while still similar, has evolved greatly. Watch his first match and compare it to the matches he had with Kurt Angle in February. There's a completely different character in there.
There are a lot of people who think his character is stale--I think it's fine. There are just as many people who didn't like him as the "American Badass," especially when his name was still The Undertaker. Yes, his gimmick is a testament to early 90s wrestling, but he has done an excellent job of developing his character. The man may not have a whole lot of time left in the ring--I'd like to see him go on for another couple of years, hopefully passing the torch onto the next big star at WrestleMania (again, I would love it to be Samoa Joe). Overall, I appreciate this article as your opinion, but I have to disagree with your assertion that going to TNA would be his smartest career move.
Xavier Gillard wrote:
I think I can't disagree more with you that I am now. First, I found the title of your column very misleading. I thought you would speak about the Undertaker's last matches, especially his feud with Khali, as I was very concerned with the fact that he seemed tired, slow and not able to wrestle properly. His match in the Punjabi Prison with the Big Show was certainly the worst match of the Undertaker I had ever seen. It was lame, slow, without any technical move, the so-called Punjabi Prison semed effectless on both the wrestlers and the ending was just ridiculous. Of course, I'm just referring to the PPVs, because I have no possibilities to see the Dark Matches he does.
But no, you chose to tell us that the Undertaker sucks and that the American Bad Ass was much better. I don't agree at all, even if I respect your opinion. It was a shock for me to discover that the Undertaker had gotten rid of his gimmick. It was even sad, because with the American Bad Ass, the scary, gloomy guy just turned into your average wrestler ! I mean, most of the interest of the Undertaker was that he always made frigthening appearances, striking fear down the heart of his opponents and giving the most delicious chill to all the crowd!
With the American Bad Ass, what did you have" Just a guy on a Harley.
Period. It could have been SC Steve Austin on his quad, it would have been the same. He was still a wonderful wrestler, but he had lost all his flavour. He had lost all the flavour he had gathered as the Undertaker. So I was more than happy to see him going back to his old gimmick, even if I regret that Paul Bearer is no longer a part of the show...
About moving to TNA. I think that you won't ever see that, according to how much money Mark Calloway is paid to be the Undertaker. He makes a seven figures salary, plus first-class plane tickets, hotel accomodations and ground transportation every week! Vince McMahon knows that the Undertaker is such a big drawer of crowd that you can bet he will never let him go so easily... And I don't think TNA has what it needs to compete on that aspect of the things !
mohamed abdel wahab wrote:
Look you have a two bad point and a good point.......... Takers Deadman gimmik rocks so shut the f**k up...And him moving to TNA is the biggest load of bull sh*t ive ever heard,but i agree with you that he needs more titles and title shots
James Watts wrote:
I think the real reason that Taker has dug up (no pun intended) the Dead Man gimmick is because he's gonna leave pro wrestling soon, and he wanted to do that gimmck one last time before he left because he enjoyed doing it so much. He said in an interview for his special edition magazine that he wanted to "put on that hat and coat one last time and ride into the sunset", and I think that's what he's doing.
R.D. James wrote:
While I wholeheartedly agree with you; that the Deadman gimmick is past it's sell-by date, I feel it would, at this time, work better than the American Badass gimmick.
Where the ABA Undertaker was a legitimate tough threat in the ring, he didn't have the same prescense, or Undertaker 'aurora'. The Deadman, however, is portrayed as the master of mind games, with just one gong striking fear into the heads of faces and heels alike.
Also, I felt that the ABA gimmick was a bit generic, and by the time it has over at Survivor Series 2003, it was the right time to end that chapter of Undertaker's career. The Deadman may be old, but the vast mind games and flexibility of speciality match types he can partake in gives the character many levels that very few gimmicks can reach.
To summize, the Undertaker will wrestle for perhaps another year or so, and then it is over for him; and in that short time, the fans will love him, regardless of the gimmicks staleness. When fans were getting tired of it in the late 90's, they changed it, and it gave him a whole new lease of [character] life. But bearing in mind that his career is dwindling out, and is almost over, why bother yet again repackaging him" It would be totally unrealistic. I completely agree with WWE's philosophy on this - 'if it ain't broke, why fix it"'
Jason "Xtremefalls" Simmons wrote:
The Undertaker deciding to go to TNA would be the dumbest thing since me deciding to read this column. Not only could he not use the Undertaker gimmick but no one would care.
Paul McCarthy wrote:
like a lot of people i like the undertaker and i liked the american bad ass gimmick
even though i found it a bit odd that this dead man was all of a sudden one of us
i wanted the old taker back but when he came back i was dissappointed and nowadays i miss the american badass i have the iron man match and i love when taker comes out and cleans house it sends a chill down my spine. thumbs up on the article mate!
Ian (UK) wrote:
ok first my name is Ian povey im from Kent in England an well dude to be honest your crazy this gimmick never gets old matter of fact come to fink of it i no why aswell..........its because an undertaker is some one who makes coffins (or use 2 at least) he also put the dead person is the coffin ok......now if you look at this gimmick it portrays that type of person that's one reason why its still good if you want any more then just email me an I'll be glad 2 give you them
Chris "chrisher" Fisher wrote:
First off, i respect your opinion but i disagree, Taker was at his worst during his american bad ass stage it annoyed me and i felt that, although 'Taker was being himself, it dragged on far too long.
Perhaps i'm being too harsh as his feud with Kurt Angle, culminating in their wonderful judgment day match, was outstanding. But I was excited to see the return of "the Dead Man". He has been missused but i beleive that it is more beleivable as a returning dead man then a returning bad-ass. It's not too 'bad' if he leaves evry other week.
To be honest if you beleive that 'Taker would go to TNA you need your head examined lol (i know this isn't MSN but i felt that neccesary). He wouldn't leave McMahon if he stalked sara like DDP once did.
Dude, he said in an interview he hated the American Badass gimmick, and he won't go back to that I'm sure because he hated it. I hope he doesn't but it was ok but the deadman is great. They took the deadman gimmick from him and that was like changing Road Warrior Animals gimmick, even though without Hawk Animals career was going nowhere unless you include frickin' Heidenreich. Taker is slowing way down anyway, and is about done and it would seem pointless to give him a new gimmick at this point anyway because that would just put more into it than the Undertaker is doing anyway.
Hotstuff Returns wrote:
You are an idiot, obviously. Nobody...and I mean NOBODY(except you) liked the American Bad Ass gimmick. Which is why a mere month after it debuted the announcers started calling him the Undertaker again. The fans didn't buy it. They didn't like it. And they eventually got what they wanted again...the REAL 'Taker. How old are you" Like 12" Maybe you should watch a few more years of wrestling before you form an opinion.
I AM a wrestler, who was trained by the General Skandar Akbar and I've been a fan since the Von Erichs ruled wrestling. I know what makes a good show. You obviously don't have a clue.
Mike Timko wrote:
You are absolutely insane for insinuating that the Undertaker should go to TNA. Not only is he extremely loyal to the WWE, but he calls his own shots. He decides when he wrestles, who he wrestles, and the result of the match. He has control over his character, and he decides his own fate. He's going to get to go out on his own terms. He's going to hand pick who ends his undefeated streak at Wrestlemania. It doesn't make any sense for him to leave the WWE. As for your point about the American Bad Ass character coming back, you can forget about that. Yes, that character reflected more of Mark's actual persona, but everyone wants to see The Dead Man. You never mess with a classic. You shouldn't change a character simply because something else would be fresh. That's flawed thinking. It also doesn't make sense because Mark is close to retirement. No one wants to see him go out with the American Bad Ass character. Guys should go out with the character that they came in. That would be like Hulk Hogan retiring as Mr. America. No one wants to see that happen.
ryan metcalfe wrote:
I completely disagree!!!!!! The Undertaker has managed to keep his character alive and fresh throughout the years. His change to the American Bad Ass was a good run and a break from the same old gimmick , BUT the DEAD MAN image is what makes Mr. Calloway so recognizable. Besides with the number of years Mr. Calloway has with the company I'm pretty sure it was his decsision. The thought of the Undertaker moving to TNA is not only ridiculous but utterly DISRESPECTFUL!!!!!!!!
Mitchell Viss wrote:
I can partially agree with your views on the Undertaker. Paretically on how the Undertakers gimic is outdated. "Dead" has and still is being done in wrestling promotions across the world. Whereas in the other hand "badass"
still seems fresh and it feels like there is more to expand into with the badass gimic. I must say, i have begun to predict when lightnight will strike and when the undertaker will suddenly pop out of caskets and freakishly enter the ring when the lights go dim. This much you are correct on.
But your final statement make no sence, because you are only viewing part of the picture. From an average wrestling fans perspective (average meaning they watch every week, attend an occasional show, maybe buy an HBK shirt and have their personal likes and dislikes) a title may seem like the world to a superstar. It may seem like all of wrestling is about who has the belt and how long does he have it and how long can he keep it. Now dont misunderstand me, the title is prestigious and wanted in the eyes of many, if not all. But it makes no sence for the undertaker to throw away a contract for millions and millions of dollars to travel to a brand that is is debt for the sake of a title. Not to mention that TNA's fanbase is a minute precent of the WWE's fanbase. It can be argued how many fans will tune into TNA to see the undertaker, but one problem with this is that the Undertaker already worked a limited schedule. WWE fans bairly see the deadman and he is supposto be a main eventer. He wasnt even in a match at Summerslam! Although thats another story....f***in kali. A title is good, but not good enough to sacrifice millions of dollars for, expecially for someone who has held the title 6 times over. Im sure if Undertaker wanted one last title run before his unavoidable retirement, it would only end in a certan demise that might be at wrestlemania, therefore ending his 14-0 winning streak. Or i could be wrong, and it could just end with the undertaker retiring and being stripped of the title or he may not want another title run at all. I cant say, im not the Undertaker.
Sam Richards wrote:
Undertaker was and still is one of the best wrestlers of all time and yes he doesn't get any title shots with wwe but losing a wrestler like the undertaker would damage the rating so much that tna and wwe would end up going into a feud possible ending in one company being destroyed and I will not stand here and let ether tna or wwe die just because some stupid git is wining and complaining about how bored he is of the deadman cause he like the American badass; yeah I like him to but I never got to see the deadman before the American badass and so I enjoy seeing him like that. But one thing there is that I do agree and is that undertaker needs more title shot and less screwjobs.
Jon Bodkin wrote:
Ryan, Ryan, Ryan..... Shame on you for writiing such a blasphemous article on one of the greatest mainstays in the WWE and quite possibly the best gimmick ever in wrestling.
True that the American Bad Ass gimmick was a good one, because it was fresh and something new for 'Taker, and for the fans. They could have used it for quite a while with great success. But how could it make sense to have 'Taker come back as the American Bad Ass at Wrestlemania XX when he was buried alive at the hands of his brother Kane""" That makes about as much sense as an WCW storyline. The fans knew what was coming as soon as it happened. They hungered for it and yearned for it, because they got tired of the Bad Ass gimmick. Vince McMahon gave the fans what they wanted; they wanted old school 'Taker. Now it's true that they haven't quite perfected the gimmick this time, with the combination of both the Bad Ass and the Deadman. I personally would have preferred strictly the Deadman gimmick, with the purple gloves and boots, trenchcoat and trademark fedora. He looks more human now, which I prefer the zombie look as well, drawing power from the urn. But the fact is, I'm sure I speak for a lot of fans, I still get chills whenever the lights go out, and that gong eerily tolls throughout the arena. Everybody knows who's coming; the Deadman is going to work. The Deadman is here to say, and you sir, are sadly mistaken if you think that the Deadman is going anywhere.
Robert Wood wrote:
Ok, first of all your dead wrong, Just Shut up. He is defiantly not Dead. Mark Calloway is a lock for the HOF. He is one of the best. ABA was good....but think of the pop he got when He returned at Wrestlemania 20. He is the Deadman and always will be. TNA""" are you crazy!!! TNA is terrible.....He is way too good for TNA. He will never go to TNA. He had the chance for a while if he wanted too. Taker will stay with WWE till the end. Oh yeah The Deadman is not outdated and you better do your F***ing homework, the Deadman has said he wants to be the Deadman and... to tell you he has won the WWE title 3 times as the Deadman....and once as ABA.....So I do not want to here it.....Shut the Hell up you have no clue what your talking about.
Ernesto Diaz wrote:
I clearly see you are not an Undertaker fan anymore sice he changed his American Badass gimmick. Well let me tell you something. American Badass or not he is still a great wrestler. The Deadman gimmick attracted more fans than the American Badass. Sure it was a great gimmick but it got boring after a while. Also the moe to TNA is not a great move. Sure it's a good company, but not a place I would like to see the Deadman. His career is coming to an end too. So if he retires from WWE (the coompany he's been most loyal to) we are probably not goin to see him again. So too bad for TNA.
Keith G. wrote:
I just have to chime in and say I was not a fan of the American Bad ass gimmick - to me instead of "The Undertaker" we got "The Trucker-biker" I was waiting for him to cut a promo at a Denny's the whole time.
"This is MY YARD, I'll have another bucket of sausage and a fritter when you get a chance AND OH YEAH Listen up (insert name here) If you think your gonna win this sunday Fat Chance! - hey can I get another cup of coffee."
And beating on DDP didn't do him any favors. Page was never presented as a threat to him in the ring and it made for stinky matches of Dead man chasing around the Everyman's Yogi.
I'm not a Kid Rock fan but that was way better music than Limp bisquick trying their best to write a song that Weird Al could make fun of. Rollin' not Rolling mind you but Rollin'. ' ' ' ' these things are so cool ' ' ' ' yeah put after everyword and you've got a rap metal album. Actually how about Dead Man Inc.' see isn't that better"
My point is NO! It was not good it was wrong and bad. Badong, that gimmick was Badong'.
Dustin Federico wrote:
I am a long time reader of the OWW columns, and this has to be one of the dumber ones I have read no offence. For one thing, from what was on every single wrestling news site, it was Undertaker's idea to go back to the "Dead Man" before he were to retire. Undertaker has enough pull backstage that if he ever wanted to be the "American Badass" again, Vince would probably let him. Also, the reason Undertaker does not get more title shots is because he does not want to be on Smackdown every week, why give him the title if he will be there maybe once ever month or two"
Not to mention even if he were to leave the WWE, it would be real stupid for TNA to hire him. TNA is already over crowded, struggling to get a 2 hour show, if they hired him it would make it even worse for the wrestlers in TNA still waiting for their push. Not to mention Undertaker does have quite the ego and would cost a big hunk of cash which TNA would want to avoid.
Ryan Metcalfe wrote:
I have to say that I completley disagree with this article. First...Mr. Mark Calloway,or The Undertaker , (the man , the gimmick , the legend) is an institution in the wrestling buisness. He is without a doubt the top locker room leader, and as far as talent goes, extremely versatile. He can make you scream his name in support or cringe and boo in disgust, no matter what gimmick he portrays. Yes the American Badass was refreshing BUT the franchise leans on the DEAD MAN. For you to say that your a fan of the Undertaker and then suggest he move to TNA is outright DISRESPECTFUL!!!! you may as well spit in his, the fans and the industries face. Like him or not The DEAD MAN is staying right where he belongs until HE decides otherwise....Thank You
Brian L. wrote:
Although I may disagree with a lot you have to say, I'm not going to get all over for this article. I would like to point out that the American Bad Ass character was not an unexpected route, nor was it unfamiliar territory for the Deadman. Before his debut in what was the WWF Taker was a bad ass biker known as Mean Mark Calloway (I can't recall where he was wrestling at the time), and in real life Mark Calloway is a biker who has several custom made bikes. Secondly, as the Taker is closing down his career I find it fitting that he has returned to his deadman gimmick- it was with this role that he had most of his greatest matches and held the most titles. Also I would eat my hat if he showed up on TNA, mainly because he stuck with Vince through a lot of tough times and is now only wrestling on a occasional basis. I, much like most do not like to think of wrestling without the likes of the Taker, but his time has come. Taker I would like to thank you for all the great matches you've had, and the few left to come, and would like to wish him the best. Enjoy the rest Deadman, you've damn well earned it.
Ryan McKeown, I have to say that I'm appalled at your comments about the Undertaker. Yeah, ok, call me a 'Taker mark, and I say "so what"" The Undertaker has by FAR been my favorite wrestler since his debut in 1990, and WILL be my favorite wrestler until I am finally cast away from WWE (and with the state of WWE's creative team, that may be sooner rather than later). And I still, to this day, get goosebumps whenever I see his entrance or even hear the music! And if you listen to the crowd's reactions whenever that bell tolls, you'll see my point. The fact is that the Undertaker's persona, his entrance and his mindset still capture the imaginations of MILLIONS of people across the planet. Granted, his American Badass gimmick was incredible, but the Deadman still gets the nod from me because after 16 years, he has proven that he can still pull it off.
Paul Reich wrote:
You cannot be more wrong about him returning to his Deadman gimmick. In my opinion, seeing The Undertaker looking like n American Chopper reject did nothing for the character. Returning to his classic look is one of the best moves that man has made.
Brent Matthew Denny wrote:
I am a huge Undertaker fan myself I loved it when he joined the WWE/F back in 1990 even though I do admit I wasn't a fan when he first entered I was interested and shocked by what the Undertaker done in the ring the way somebody would hit him and he wouldn't even act like they had done anything and just walk towards them. However over time I have become a huge "creature of the night"
I would like to point out that I do not believe that any of the announcers in the early days of the Undertaker when he had Paul Bearer carry the Urn around ever said what was actually in the urn. They did all wonder and speculate but nobody I don't believe ever really knew until Royal Rumble 1993 when during the Yokozuna vs Undertaker Casket match the Urn was opened and green mist or smoke poured out of it (By the way I was a fan by this point 1993)
The Undertaker has been at the forefront of many landmark/firsts in the WWF such as.
Hell In A Cell
Boiler Room Brawl
An he has got to be a top contender for the title of longest superstar ever to serve with the WWE/F.
He has also helped to make practically anybody you care to mention from Austin to HBK to John Cena he's even managed to carry some less than talented superstars such as Giant Gonzales Kamala and most recently The Great Khali.
I also agree that when Mark Calloway came back with a completely new gimmick and attire and started calling himself the American Bad Ass it was a cool idea I'm not 100% sure it has as good as ring as "The Deadman The Undertaker"
if you compare "The American Bad Ass The Undertaker" then again when you take into consideration the fact that if he had come back under another name it may not have worked at all considering he is known by WWE/F fans as The Undertaker.
Anyway I also liked it when the American Bad Ass turned heel and made that overweight jackass of an announcer J.R kiss Vince's butt and started demanding respect from everybody.
I also think that the return to his roots in other words Mark's turn back to the darkside (so to speak) was a good move. An I have to disagree with you as far as the Deadman gimmick being old and stale is concerned also think that I am not the only one who feels this considering how the fans in nearly every arena and especially at Wrestlemania chant "Undertaker"
An I also disagree that Mark should go to TNA as the American Bad Ass he should stay with the WWE and end his career in the WWE maybe end it by finally being defeated by a worthy opponent at Wrestlemania such as Hulk Hogan or somebody (the reason I said Hogan is because the men have faced off twice and Undertaker has defeated Hogan twice so it could be like the Rock vs Austin
An I do agree that Mark/The Undertaker deserves more title shots deserves to be pushed more and pardon the pun deserves more respect than what he has been getting because I feel him being used now and then is disrespectful to what the man has done for the company this isn't the first time I've felt this however that's besides the point.
I personally think that the Deadman gimmick and the Undertaker is far from dead however I do feel that the WWE is killing the Undertaker and the Deadman gimmick and disrespecting Mark by not using him more and giving him more title shots considering the last time he held the Championship or rather the last time he held the main title was when it was known as the Undisputed Championship so I think and personally feel it is high time that the WWE took another walk on the Darkside and I think now is the perfect time considering that they could have him feud with either Edge (after the feud with Cena) or have him feud with Batista or King Booker after their feud.
Dan F from Kent, England wrote:
Firstly let me say that the column was well written. Secondly i agree with what you have wrote because, I for one, feel the deadman has been around long enough even though i am still a fan of him. I feel he has more than left his mark in the WWE. I mean who is going to be able to top his wrestlemania record"
But in my opinion he should now retire since he has had a more than decent career in the WWE and due to the fact that unless he wants to, the WWE will not let him go to TNA.
But that being said, if he is going to stay at WWE i would personally like it if he went back to the american bad-ass gimmick again.
Mike W. wrote:
From the looks of it, you're just someone who would find any excuse to bash WWE. You bash them because you hate the Deadman character and you would rather see the American Badass. But it's not about what you or and other fans want, it's about what Mark Calloway/The Undertaker wants.
Undertaker himself probably wanted to be the Deadman again. When it comes time for Mark Calloway to retire, he probably wanted to leave WWE the same way he came in, that being as the Deadman. Undertaker has enough power backstage that he can do whatever he wants. If he wanted to keep the Badass character, he would've requested that and his request would've been granted.
The same thing can be said about why you think he deserves more title shots or title reigns. Like I said before, Undertaker can pretty much do what he wants. The reason he's not World Champion is because he doesn't want to be World Champion. If he did want another World title reign, WWE would probably be more than happy to give him one. Being a World Champion would mean being a full-time wrestler, something Mark Calloway doesn't want to be.
And another thing, there's no way in hell Undertaker would ever or should ever go to TNA. First of all, he wouldn't be able to be The Undertaker, which would more than likely hurt. Second of all, he would be paid a lot less in TNA. Third, it would mean working more dates, something he doesn't want to do. Moving to TNA would be a major step down for The Undertaker.
Basically, it all comes down to what Mark Calloway wants. And he obviously wants to be the Deadman.
Youre entitled to your opinion, even though Deadman Taker rules. Sure, the Deadman gimmick is outlandish and could be outdated but look what else we have in WWE at the moment. The Highlanders, one of the most stereotypical gimmicks I have ever seen. We just had Burchill, a freaking pirate. We have Booker T thinking he is a king (ALL HAIL, btw). We have vampires, we have boogeymen, we have teachers, we have transvestites, we have mental retards, we have Samoan tribesman whose thumbs can crush a mans throat and we even have an Asian redneck. The deadman gimmick seems to fit right in, seeing as outlandish gimmicks have risen again in WWE.
Also, Taker most likely would never be in TNA because of the costs of bringing Taker in and TNA would most likely order Taker to do his running plancha every single week, which is no doubt amazing that someone his size and maybe even his age can do it, but considering how bad Taker's knees seem to be this would bring Taker even closer to retirement.
I cannot even think of where to argue with you on this collumn. First and foremost, you clearly have no knowladge whatsoever on Mark Calloway's, nor the Creative Team's ideas for the Undertaker gimmick. First off, The Undertaker is one of the few WWE Superstars with creative control. Do you know what that means" It means that Calloway gets to decide what he does with his character, and outcomes to various matches. I noticed you said Calloway should go to TNA to get title shots, that's my next issue. Calloway has stated that he has accomplished all he wants to in his career, and that his four WWE Title reigns have been enough. Next, it was Calloway's choice to bring back the Deadman Gimmick, not Vince McMahon, Calloway wanted to have one last run before he retired as the Deadman. Next, The Ministry was an amazing revival for Calloway's career, and the Corporate Minstry was one of the best angles of the late 1999's, it's a shame Calloway had to get injured. I am one of the biggest Undertaker marks/fanboys I've ever meet, and Calloway should've retired two years ago. However, I'm thankfull that Calloway has been willing to stick it out for a few more years, despite injureis, a family, etc. If you're an Undertaker fanboy as I am, then you should appreciate what Taker has done for the WWE, the fans, and for up-and-coming Superstars. Taker has put them all over, Orton, Heidenreich, all of them. We owe Calloway for the years of entertainment!
Fraser Allen (UK) wrote:
Have to say Ryan that I do agree with you on the Undertaker, the American Bad Ass gimmick was great and came just in the nick of time as before he got injured in September 1999, crowd reaction for him was barely minimal and they seemed to have lost interest.
However, since returing as the Dead Man in 2004, it has got very tedious although he is 43 and only wrestles part-time now, maybe this is the gimmick he wants to retire on. It's hard to say where they can go now, there are rumours he will retire next year along with Kane in a match at Wrestlemania, 16 years is a long time in any job and he has been the best gimmick wrestler the WWE has ever had.
One thing I disagreed with, is the TNA thing, the Undertaker will not leave the WWE in search of title shots there, I'm fairly sure that would not interest him and think back to 1993-1995, he was stuck in awful feuds with Giant Gonzalez/Mr Hughes/Fake Undertaker/IRS/King Kong Bundy/IRS, then was the opportunity to go to WCW and get those title shots. Nowadays he has a very well paid job, being a part-time wrestler in the WWE and has still got a shelf-life, although I'll be very interested to see what his next feud will be and to be honest I can't think of one.
Ryan my name is Dan and i completely agree with what you say about the undertaker using his badass gimmick however one thing i dont agree with is undertaker going to T.N.A he is the WWE's biggest star and if he left he wud just br forgotten about because a lot of my friends who like wrestling dont like T.N.A. and would never watch it
Court Jester wrote: I don't think TNA's the answer. I think retirement is.
Danny Carrisosa Jr. wrote:
I feel the same way. Undertaker was getting more title shots as the American Bad Ass. He was also able to talk about a lot more things than, "Look into the Eyes of the Dragon" and "Rest In Peace". He was able to be himself. As the American Bad Ass he was allowed to use a finisher (Last Ride) that would not injure his knees (Tombstone Piledriver). At the time he had came back at WrestleMania XX, I thought it was great, but as months went on, he made more infrequent appearences. I believe the Undertaker/Great Khali feud was wasted. My dad and I believe that a Big Show/Great Khali feud might have worked better. The Punjani Prison match was wasted at the Great American Bash with out the guys whose gimmick went along with it. The "Dead Man" gimmick should be layed to rest...in pieces.
Jonathan Preston wrote:
Hey Ryan here's a thought. You know who should go to TNA" The Game Triple H!! Uh wait a minute maybe Batista should go to TNA. Yes definitely, Batista and Triple H should go to TNA. That sounds ridiculous doesn't it" It almost sounds as ridiculous as The Undertaker going to TNA. Why a thought like that would creep up in your head, I have no clue but you sir have no idea what your talking about. The Undertaker to TNA" You've got to be kidding me!! I almost fell out of my chair when I read this crap.
The Deadman Gimmick is classic Undertaker, that never gets old my friend. Honestly, I think the WWE made a mistake giving him the Biker Gimmick, but I have to admit that gimmick fit him too, but not like the Deadman one. What really put this article over the top though was the TNA comment though. I mean that was just stupid!! The Undertaker has been in the WWE for 16 years, he's a future hall of famer, he doesn't wrestle all that much like he used too, Vinnie Mac caters to him, plus he makes a 7 digit salary a year. Do you think TNA could do that for him. Well, its obvious that you don't know the answer to that, so I'll answer it for you. NOOOOOOOOOO!!! Ryan do yourself and all of us a favor. Please don't write pointless columns like this again!!!
Dimiter Kiossev wrote:
I think it is obvious even by the number of replies to this column - that the Undertaker won't die - and his act stale or not still attracts more fans that Cena can atract in his whole career!
About the ABA gimmick - it is mainly liked by people who started watching wrestling by the time he debuted it - and don't know his earlier self. Obviously kids :)
Undertaker to TNA" That would be a very bad career move for somebody like The Undertaker mate. I now wish WWE kept the American Baddass gimmick on Taker as I now realise that I prefer The Baddass, but this talk of him going to TNA doesn't sound too good in my opinion.
And about Taker retiring because he is "too old" is outrageous. Undertaker is only 44, where as older people are still wrestling such as Ric Flair (57), Fit Finlay (47") and occasionally Hulk Hogan (53).
Roland, wrestling addict from the Philippines, wrote:
I'll just make this short and sweet... I don't care if he is The Deadman or The American Bad Ass because I like both characters... The two have their own uniqueness in them that both characters can't give justice if they try to do one trait from one character to the other... I mean, imagine the American Bad Ass having the lightning effects, or The Deadman doing the angle with Diamond Dallas Page... it just won't fit... but the idea of Mark Calloway leaving WWE to TNA, or any other wrestling promotions outside WWE is plainly stupid... as one guy said, if he leaves the company just to have a gimmick reborn is impossible... maybe you have already forgotten what happened to The Dudley Boyz and Spike Dudley... Another thing, besides Triple H and Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker is the only one who can call his own matches, decide the winner of his matches, choose his opponents, and make his own scripts... and as far as I can remember and as I know, Mark Calloway is the only wrestler I've known to have the highest level of fidelity to his company... I've never seen any other wrestler that can ever be compared to the loyalty that he has given to WWE... So again, the thought of him going somewhere else is ludicrous! So better have that idea to Rest In Peace...
Captain Mick Sparrow wrote:
i am guessing that The Undertaker will probably show up in TNA in the future because a friend of mine said that TNA is now at a point where they can become head-to-head competition with Vince, now having said that let's just imagine if IMPACT! move's to a Monday Night Time slot with Spike TV and compete's with Vince (aswell as reviving the Monday Night War's) Vince is bound to compete with Jeff Jarrett's TNA and i have said this for a long time Vince McMahon in my opinion will end up buying TNA and will probably use IMPACT! as a separate brand from RAW/SD/ECW, think about it. Vince has replaced Velocity with ECW and if Vince did end up buying TNA he could replace Heat with IMPACT! and The Undertaker will perhap's apear on IMPACT! in that way i know it sound's crazy and that it might never happen but it's just my opinion.
Rob Cohen wrote:
I find myself in agreement with the majority of the people here. The American Badass gimmick was NOWHERE NEAR as compelling as the Deadman. On One hand, you have a biker with a chip on his shoulder demanding respect. On the other, you have a force of darkness which breaks for no man, and at one time, was the person whom bad gimmicks died against. Sure, on his return at Judgement day where he laid everybody flat out where they stood, that was pretty kick ass. Hell as ABA, he was responsible for a bunch of segments I got a pretty good laugh out of. It's just that the Deadman gimmick transcended just basic entertainment. There is just so much you can do with that kind of character that you could never possibly dream of with a Biker who has a chip on his shoulder.
Granted, I didn't REALLY start hating the ABA gimmick until he started that "Big Evil, Red Devil" crap, where one day he came out and DEMANDED respect... That was fuggin' retarded. He already had our respect, why demand something you already got"
Now as for 'Taker in TNA... One, the wrestlers in TNA put on a much more physically demanding performance in the ring. Two, TNA hasn't worked all the kinks out to even be concidered a true threat to WWE's supremacy just yet. Give them a little time, and then just maybe they'll be a threat. Three, 'Taker is the franchise player of the WWE, regardless of how often he matches up anymore. He and Triple H are currently the highest billed guys there. If 'Taker were to join TNA, he would legitamize the company overnight, much like Hogan did for WCW. Unlike WCW however, TNA doesn't have much to offer 'Taker other than a speedier retirement as he pushes his body to work matches that keep pace with the TNA roster.
Bottom Line is, 'Taker is beginning to get past his prime physically. It's hard for me to say it, because I'm a huge mark for the guy, but it's true. If he isn't looking to hang up the boots anytime soon, I expect it not too far down the road anyways. I just hope that when he does leave the business, he doesn't pony up that Wrestlemania streak breaker to a guy like Khali... He may be big, but good god, never hand that guy a microphone! LoL.
Well that's my two cents, If I'm wrong, well I want exact change.
jill farraway wrote:
I have been a fan of the deadman since i was introduced to wrestling by my uncle, and even though i didnt have the pleasure of seeing the original Deadman i believe that the American Bad Ass gimmick was put to rest at the right time. The ABA gimmick suited the Attitude era but now it would be to common. The Undertaker stands out in all of the wrestling codes as their are none like him, i mean look at Abyss,Mankind and Kane they all pretty much have the same gimmick ( crazy masked madmen). i have to say that the ladder match with Jeff Hardy for the undisputed title on the 1st of july 2002 was perhaps one of the greatest matches i have seen (being both an Undertaker fan and a massive Hardy Boyz fan) and that was probably the only time i took an intrest in the ABA. Now as The Phenom, The Deadman, The Undertaker is a major attraction of the wwe and anyone lucky (funny choice of words because most people will beg to be anywhere but in the ring with him) enough to step into the ring with him will have the experience of a lifetime. Going to TNA would be ridiculous. What do you guys think of the upcoming Mr Kennedy vs The Undertaker Match" oh and by the way when you talk about loyal superstars how come no one ever mentions Scotty-2-Hotty, Smackdown's favourite beat up toy"\
Chuck D wrote:
I for one, enjoyed seeing Mark C. as himself (the American Bad Ass). But since 06 is his last year in WWE, I think he is just staying to make his Wrestlemania record a amazing 15-0. But the Dead Man cannot die. Because no matter what he is the Undertaker, I went to a ECW/SmackDown! taping in Trenton, NJ and the last match was a Dark Match, a Handicap match between Khali and Henry VS. The Undertaker, The Undertaker performed great, he just seemed tired, he seemed to be giving it his all. And in real life im sorry to ruin many of my fellow fanatics fantasies, Taker is only about 6'0 to maybe (at most) 6'5 and he looked much older than he is in the dark match. Don't get me wrong I was screaming my heart out the entire match for one of my all time favorites the Undertaker. And about The Undertaker not evolving, that's not true. The newest Undertaker is a mix between the Undertaker of the 90's and the American Bad Ass. he no longer wears mid evil armor and he throws the fist up after he wins (while standing atop the titantron). All in All, Taker is still great to watch IMO,and I will with out a doubt miss him when he retires, and when he retires the following Wrestlemania they better induct him into the Hall Of Fame.
Brian Bertrand wrote:
Undertaker in TNA""" HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! If he used the American Badass gimmick in TNA, what would he be called" The Undertaker name is already trademarked by the WWE and there's no way in Hell the WWE would let him take that name with him to other promotions. Mark Callaway's only resort is to se his "Mean" Mark Callous gimmick from WCW in order to keep his career going with other promotions if he DECIDED to go to TNA, which is unlikely.
Diogo Dias wrote:
Taker on TNA"""""Come on, shut the f**k up. Itīs true Taker deserves more title shots, but the dead man gimmick is the best gimmick iīve saw, maybe with some exceptions. Undertaker still has a lot of fight in his body, his match with Kurt Angle at No Way Out was the best match iīve saw this year, the WWE is not using Taker well, but thatīs their problem because i love watch Undertaker fight and iīm not the only one.TNA would not make a good use of Taker, belive me.
Brian J. Adkins wrote:
The original idea of the Undertaker was simply to have a "super-villain"-type character to battle the "Superman"-type hero in Hulk Hogan. It was designed for set of the very young. I have never liked the "invincible zombie" routine. It`s boring and lacking in other ways to later,better matches with Mankind,Austin,Triple H,etc. due in no small part to showing some vulnerabilities.
The biker gimmick was to steer away from what the company felt the fans wanted at the time. A more relatable character to the audience and not such a cartoon caricature.
When WrestleMania XX came around they brought back the original idea for the anniversary show. Unfortunately,some of the silliness came back as well-i.e. "supernatural/magical powers"-which have nothing to do with wrestling.
However,the man that portrays him has combined,for the most part,the best of both the `Taker and biker gimmicks,so that you get a 'cool'-looking character with a stand-out entrance (although he does take too long to get to the ring) and who incorporates actual wrestling holds and even some mixed martial-arts moves into his matches and does not simply rely on the "invincibility" gimmick of old.
I do not foresee any other company in his forseeable future. He simply has too many advantages for himself in WWE.
Bjarme Andreas Skoveng wrote:
Hmph!... A couple of months back, I wrote an article about how/why Undertaker should hang up the boots (and got majorly flamed, which I deserved). But I did NOT say that his gimmick was bad. Ok, I say it was ineffective, but it still rules. I don't think Mark Calaway neither can nor want to change his gimmick. The Deadman gimmick might not work as for 'scaring' the other wrestlers, but it still make major emotions among the fans. He makes people cheer and chant for him like Hogan did/does. I think that Mark Calaway might appear as a bit grumpy, but news articles, fan gatherings, show reactions, conventions and charity campaigns has proven time and again that he truly is a peoples' guy. And he is more than willing to give something back. Because there nothing else the people wants to see him do than those things he loves to do; wrestle, perform, get reactions, stir people's emotions, and come back the next night and do it all over again. Yes, maybe it would be for the better for Mark Calaway to jump over to TNA, but changing his gimmick!"" Are you stupid!!" The Undertaker character is the part of this man we love the most! You seriously want to take that away!"
On the other hand, we all know what happens when WWE guys leave WWE for TNA. They change. Well, at least they change their names. Dudleyz became Team 3D, Christian became Christian Cage (yes, I know he used that name also before WWE and probably copyrighted it to himself), Rhyno became Rhino, Billy Gunn became Kip James, and so on. And I do admit that I don't feel comfortable with the thought of Undertaker not being named Undertaker. But I say that there is so much more to a gimmick than just a name. 'Taker has proven that before, and would do it again if he were to be a TNA-guy.
But back to Undertaker, regardless of brand and promotion; this character is main event material, this character is a draw card alone, and this character has more influence and impact on people than a roster, any roster, combined! And you, my friend, are making me shudder in disgust with your article. Shame on you for disrespecting the only man who can (and both should and will) outmatch Hogan's popularity.
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