The Undertaker is undoubtedly one of the biggest Superstars in the history of sports entertainment. He has performed and entertained the pro-wrestling fans for three decades. However, there are very few names in the business, if any, that can be included in the same bracket as The Deadman.
While The Undertaker has a long list of WWE accolades attached to his name including the iconic WrestleMania streak, there’s more to him than his legendary gimmick. It is important to note that when The Undertaker first started ruling the business, the wrestlers worked hard at maintaining kayfabe.
But things have changed a lot in the last decade, and now, Superstars who once shared the locker room with The Deadman often share amazing stories of the man who is one of the most respected wrestlers in WWE history.
Fortunately for us, these backstage stories allow us to look at not just The Undertaker, but also the man behind that gimmick – Mark Calaway. The living legend has etched his name with golden ink in WWE history, but not everyone is familiar with the lesser-known chapters that unfolded away from the spotlight.
In this article, we will revisit five incredible backstage stories about The Undertaker that you should know. So, without further ado, let’s begin.
#5 The Undertaker wrestled despite sustaining second and third-degree burns
Even though the WWE creative have control over most of the things that transpire inside the ring and out of it, sometimes even they are forced to face situations where they can’t predict the sudden turn of events.
But it takes a much stronger man to stand in the face of unforeseen adversity and still manage to come out on top. And if you wish to find someone like that in WWE, your search will end with The Undertaker.
The entire pro-wrestling community will agree that The Undertaker is one of the toughest Superstars to have ever graced the squared circle. Now, there will be a few who would say how can you claim that someone is ‘tough’ when the entire in-ring action is scripted and fights are choreographed?
Well, if you are one of them, then I suggest that you watch the 2010 Elimination Chamber match.
If you didn’t know, The Undertaker was severely injured even before he could make it to the ring. In an unfortunate turn of events, The Phenom was legitimately burned by the pyro techniques during his own entrance.
Despite that, he walked down the ramp and went inside his pod. Before he had to come out and wrestle, The Undertaker was seen pouring cold water over his neck and shoulders that had sustained second and third-degree burns. But that was still not enough to stop him from delivering a good performance at the PPV.
Eventually, The Undertaker lost the match after interference from Shawn Michaels. This set up their rivalry, which would then see its final chapter at WrestleMania.
Hence, it shouldn’t be a surprise that so many WWE Superstars draw inspiration from this living legend even to this day.
#4 The Undertaker choked Kurt Angle
The Undertaker is one of the few wrestlers who represents the epitome of loyalty towards their company. For a Superstar of his stature, there were several who wanted him to perform at their wrestling shows, and they were all ready to pay.
Even Vince McMahon knew that he had the best of the best and always kept The Undertaker as one of his top priorities. But it was also The Undertaker’s loyalty towards his boss and WWE for which he deserves every bit of appreciation that he receives today.
While there are many stories about The Undertaker’s unmatched loyalty towards Vince, there’s one incident that always stands out. This story dates back to the 2001 Insurrextion PPV in the UK following which The Phenom boarded a chartered plane that was also being used by Vince McMahon and Kurt Angle.
The Undertaker was injured and needed rest, so he intended to use the traveling to get some much-needed rest. While he fell asleep, Vince and Angle got engaged in a playful altercation. The commotion ended up waking The Undertaker up who saw Angle attacking his boss.
Without wasting a second, ‘Taker walked up to them and caught Angle with a tight hold around his neck. An infuriated Undertaker wouldn’t let go of Angle’s neck and the latter was struggling to say that he was being choked.
Soon after that, the others informed him that Vince and Angle were only joking, and finally, he let the Olympic gold medallist slip from his hold. While others took several minutes to come to terms with what had just happened, The Undertaker walked back to his seat and decided to complete his nap.
#3 The Undertaker let Chris Jericho kiss him
While almost everyone in WWE seems to be in awe of The Undertaker, former WWE Superstar Chris Jericho took his admiration for The Phenom to another level when he said that he wanted to kiss the iconic Superstar.
Y2J recalled the time they spent in Tokyo where they went out to drink and Jericho was trying to kiss The Undertaker.
It took a three-hour-long drinking session before The Undertaker gave in to Jericho’s wish. But he only allowed Jericho to give him a peck on his cheek (Jericho stated that he wanted to kiss The Undertaker on his lips).
Y2J jumped at the chance and planted an honest mark of admiration on his friend. Years later, Jericho shared this hilarious story and spilled the beans about his infamous demand from The Phenom. Here’s what Jericho was quoted saying:
“And, I spent one night in Tokyo. About three hours we spent hanging out with him. And, we were in another world that night. And, I was trying to get him to let me kiss him on the lips. And, he would not let me kiss him on those [lips]. But, then he finally acquiesces to let me kiss him on the cheek. So, yeah! That was my activity with the [Undertaker] that night. I got to kiss the Undertaker on those cheeks. There you go.
#2 The Undertaker subtly threatened Shawn Michaels before the WrestleMania 14 main event
During his prime, The Undertaker was the undisputed leader of the WWE locker room. And that shouldn’t be a surprise because of course, no one would want to mess with The Deadman. He was famous for resolving any backstage altercation and ensured that personal grievances of the Superstars did not affect the product. But it wasn’t always a smooth ride for The Undertaker.
Back in the late 90s, WWE Superstar Shawn Michaels was famous for his unpredictability. Several backstage sources claimed that it was difficult to work with HBK. Sometimes, there was genuine concern about him acting as per the script.
The same thing happened ahead of WrestleMania 14. As per the plan, Michaels was supposed to drop his title to ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin. But the WWE creative feared that HBK wouldn’t do that during the match. This didn’t sit well with The Undertaker who then took a moment to send a subtle yet stern message to Michaels.
As revealed by Bruce Prichard, The Undertaker took a seat backstage right before Shawn Michaels was about to make his entrance. Before HBK walked out, he saw The Phenom seated in a gorilla position with folded hands and a piercing gaze which was enough to communicate that he wanted Michaels to go out and ‘do the job’.
“Undertaker was seated directly in front of me and he sat there and wrapped his hands as Shawn Michaels made his way to the ring. There was a subliminal message there, ‘I’m going to be right here when you come back to make sure you do business’. That was the message”, recalled Prichard.
#1 The Undertaker gave life-changing advice to Triple H
While we already know that The Undertaker used his intimidating persona to keep the locker room in check, you would be surprised to know that he also went above and beyond to help his colleagues even when they were struggling with extremely personal issues.
A great example of this would be his advice for Triple H which definitely changed The Cerebral Assasins life.
Back when Triple H had just started dating Stephanie McMahon, he would often receive dirty looks from his peers who believed that it was only his ploy to get further in the business. This really bothered him, and Hunter was confused about what he should do. Luckily for him, he chose to go to The Undertaker for his advice.
The Undertaker, who was already quite close to the entire McMahon family, listened to Triple H quite intently before making a beautiful suggestion. As revealed in the book, WWE: The Attitude Era, The Phenom told Triple H that he and Stephanie should not pay any heed to the opinion of others. Instead, they should follow their heart.
Triple H took his advice and decided not to let anyone’s comments affect his relationship with his then-girlfriend. In the years that followed, their love grew stronger and the couple has now been happily married for 17 years. As for The Undertaker, it was just this little piece of honest advice that nudged The Game into making one of the best decisions of his life.
Years later, Triple H returned the favor by helping The Undertaker during one of the most difficult periods in the latter’s career that shook The Deaman’s confidence and caused him to drown his self-doubt.