The newest WWE Hall of Famer, The Undertaker, aka Mark Calaway, had wrestled on the independent circuit before joining WWE. He was a huge man with the in-ring ability of a shorter wrestler.
During his time in the indies, Calaway met and faced many WWE superstars even before becoming The Undertaker. A couple of those superstars were Stone Cold Steve Austin and Razor Ramon.
Recently, a resurfaced video by WrestlingRambles89 shows Stone Cold Steve Austin talking about his experience watching The Undertaker in his early days.
Austin said, “I wrestled a couple of times with him, I could hear the higher spots, he just had to smoke me and beat me on TV and I was horrible and he goes to WCW. He is the part of Twin Towers or whatever they were and Dan Spivey. What awesome look and even when he was the Punisher, Mean Mark all the stuff you just knew. I mean, he was so big and intimidating.”
He added, “This guy’s has star written all over him. I don’t know if he’s going to put the pieces, but he’s got star written all over him. Sure enough he goes to WWF, and they put that Undertaker gimmick on him and there’s nobody that could have pulled off that gimmick like Mark did. Nobody.”
Austin and Taker had locked horns before in the United States Wrestling Association (USWA). Mark Calaway went by the name of The Punisher and Master of Pain during that time. The Undertaker wore a mask that covered his entire face and was a heel.
The Undertaker mainly wrestled with USWA and WCCW from 1987 to 1989 before moving to WCW for sometime in 1989. Taker also briefly wrestled in NJPW before returning to the USA and joining WWE.
The Undertaker was a Paul Heyman guy
The Undertaker also had an infamous short run in WCW. There he picked a heel character that went by the name Mean Mark Callous.
The Undertaker quickly teamed with Dan Spivey to reform The Skyscrapers team; a young Paul Heyman managed Taker during that time. Heyman also managed his tag for a while until Spivey left WCW.
The Deadman had some singles matches too while Heyman was his manager. Taker’s major match in WCW was against Lex Luger for the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship at The Great American Bash, which he lost.
Apparently, after feeling questionable about his future, Taker left WCW as he went to Japan and left USWA for a short while until he landed on the gimmick of The Undertaker in WWE.