The Undertaker is an American professional wrestler signed to WWE. He is the company's most tenured performer, and he's also the only remaining active competitor from the very first episode of WWE Raw in 1993. Calaway began his wrestling career with World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) in 1984. In 1990, Calaway signed with the World Wrestling Federation and The Undertaker was born. The rest, as they say, was history!
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Jim Ross On Undertaker – Wyatts Angle At Hell In A Cell, WWE Missing Opportunity For Young Talent
Recently on the Ross Report, WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross took issue with the post-match angle between the Undertaker and the Wyatt Family at WWE Hell In A Cell 2015, as none of the babyfaces in the locker room attempted to make the save as ‘the Deadman’ got beaten down and taken away by Bray Wyatt and his underlings.
According to Ross, WWE missed the opportunity to elevate young, up and coming talent by aligning them with the Undertaker, as no babyfaces even attempted to come to the Undertaker’s aid when he was being assaulted by the Wyatt Family after his main event match against Brock Lesnar at WWE Hell In A Cell.
“If you’re like me, you’re wondering why didn’t somebody, some kid, some young star, come out to help the Undertaker after all the Undertaker has meant to the [professional wrestling] business,” Ross declared. “Wouldn’t you think some of those young bucks would come out and try to help Taker and then get shut down by the bad guys? It would give the Wyatts somebody to work with because they aren’t going to work with the Undertaker every week on [WWE Monday Night] RAW.”
Ross stated that WWE still could have achieved its desired end result with the Wyatt Family going out on top as the event went off the air, even if some babyfaces tried to help the Undertaker.
“[WWE] missed the opportunity to get some young babyfaces involved, even though they would get shut down, but they’d come out one or two at a time and get shut down by the four [heels], but [the babyfaces] are showing respect for the Undertaker.” Ross continued, “I just thought [WWE] could’ve got everything they wanted out of it. [WWE] still would have left the way [it] did, [the Wyatts] just would’ve stepped over more bodies and [they] shut down the babyfaces that had the right fighting heart. They had the spirit, but they were just outmanned.”
In addition to believing that WWE hurt all of its babyfaces in the locker room, Ross also claimed that JBL and Jerry ‘the King’ Lawler buried themselves by not trying to make the save for the Undertaker.
“I felt strange that here’s JBL and Lawler, both of whom are known to be competitive, fighting guys, both in fighting shape, and they’re appalled at this, and the more they talked about it, the more I thought, ‘God, they’re burying themselves!’ because both of them are babyfaces character-wise, more often than not, and Lawler certainly is. JBL still [has] got his look. He looks good in his suit and the whole deal, big guy. And, man, they’re sitting there, feet from the Undertaker, with all this respect, but [they] are not going to help him.”
In addition to sharing his thoughts on the Wyatt Family’s post-match angle with the Undertaker, Ross reviewed WWE Hell In A Cell on this episode of the Ross Report.
source: The Ross Report
I’m 50/50 on what JR said. I think it’d have made sense for Kane to help Taker. They’re brothers. But for taker to have to be saved by commentators, young bucks, it’d sort of “weaken” him to a degree IMHO. But if the post-HIAC RAW involved some young talent cutting promos or challenging The Wyatts or before facing them in a match, did an interview where they spoke of what Taker meant to them and the Wyatts taking him out was disrespectful so they’re gonna make them pay for it or something to that effect, that would get young talent over and give the Wyatts someone to work with without compromising the status of Taker’s character.
Just my opinion. Any other thoughts?
- silver soul on November 2nd, 2015 says:
The commentators could have called for help. True, some of the younger talent could have tried, it wouldn’t weaken Taker. It still would take a group (Nexxus. Wyatts. Etc.) to lay Taker out. I can see where JR is coming from.
- reddevil69 on November 2nd, 2015 says:
Undertaker shouldn’t need to be rescued by anybody!!! What is this damsel in distress crap!!!! I think the whole Taker/Lesnar deal was lame overall. It seemed very forced to me. In 25 years of watching Taker its been one of the most disappointing feuds in my opinion. It’s like they realized the Streak match was awful, Lesnar shouldn’t have ended it and now they had to make up for it….except, if it was that important and Taker wanted revenge why didn’t he go after him right at Wrestlemania? Instead he faces Wyatt, and now we get that again? He already beat him. Taker came back to avenge the streak and got his ass kicked….he cheated at summerslam cuz he can’t beat Lesnar clean then loses in the cell, then gets his ass kicked again by the Wyatts….
Taker from a character/gimmick perspective should never be a victim ever….its a work, I don’t care how old he is….how come HBK can beat HHH, Orton, Benoit, Jericho, Flair, Kurt Angle etc when he made his comeback….then Hulk Hogan who is just a man as a gimmick was able to beat him in 2005 at 53 years old, and Shawn was only 40? But Taker at 50 who is a supernatural character who’s not a mere mortal can’t beat Lesnar at 38? It’s either a work or its a shoot…..if I want to watch a shoot then I’ll watch UFC…..
Vince claims that WWE is entertainment, it’s scripted, so why is it unrealistic to script The Deadman to beat a mortal man? They sell shoot and realism when it justifies their lame creative and booking yet they sell fire and brimstone when it lends to “storytelling”??? I think they’ve taken a big crap on the legacy of the character…..all these kids today like my daughter, all they see is him getting his ass whooped the past few years……even against Punk three years ago he barely won the match at Mania…Superman doesn’t lose his power because he turns 50, neither should the Undertaker character. All this low blow ball shot baloney is a joke!
- Anan on November 3rd, 2015 says:
That’s true. Taker’s been saved/helped by others probably less than 10 times. The only times I can remember that happening:
1991 – Flair assisted Taker in defeating Hogan for the World Title at SSeries. He only came out because he had a problem with Hogan because it was clear that without Flair, the dominant Undertaker would’ve won.
1995 – The Smoking Gunns, Diesel and HBK helped Taker out on RAW. I don’t exactly remember who he was being saved from, but I believe The British Bulldog and Yokozuna may have been two and maybe Mabel too.
1997 – Bret unintentionally or not helped Taker win at WM13 as he interfered and hung Sid’s throat in the top rope just prior to him getting tombstoned. Bret was fully heel by this time and prior to the match, Bret cut a promo telling HBK to stay out of the match, told Taker their friendship was over and then Sid hit a powerbomb on him and told Bret to get out of the ring because after he was done with Taker, he’d finish off Bret in the back.
1998 – Kane saved Taker from DX and then they saluted each other. At the Rumble, Kane saved Taker when 6 men were pounding on him. Of course this turned out to be a ruse as Kane beat down Taker, chokeslammed him into the casket, locked it so he couldn’t get out, then set it on fire.
1999 – Taker was helped/saved more than once here. Backlash, Taker won his match with Shamrock thanks to Bradshaw. Either one of both of The Acolytes or Mideon and/or Viscera took Taker’s place in a match. KOTR 1999, HHH assisted Taker in retaining the World Title over The Rock. Fully Loaded 1999, Vince and Shane both interfered in the 1st Blood match to try and help Taker to win.
2000 – During a match between Taker and Benoit on Smackdown, Kane came and along with Benoit, pummeled Taker in a corner. Rock ran out and helped Taker.
2003 – APA reunited on Smackdown by running out and helping Taker fend off the three members of the FBI.
2006 – Taker was taking on Mark Henry. MNM came out and the three of them worked on Taker till Angle came out to help him out. He hit a German suplex on Mercury and Nitro, Taker hit a big boot on Henry.
Those are the ones based off my memory. There may have been more instances in Taker being saved that I left out, some probably involving Kane. I know he showed appreciation to Smoking Gunns, Diesel, HBK in 1995 and the APA in 2003 for their assistance by shaking their hands.
But despite the above, I still agree with you, Thomas because for most of his career, whether he won, lost, whatever happened to him, he went through, survived and lived to tell about it all on his own.
- Just Another Mankind on November 4th, 2015 says:
Great.. 1st we got replays of 2002 & WM (Undertaker got his ass kicked by Lesnar all the time/Then feuds with Wyatt) & Now they say Undertaker needed help
what happen to my Undertaker who would’ve beat the fuck outta 10guys at 1 time?
what happen to my Undertaker who will hv guys ran all over the place just by the sound of his gong?
Those good old storylines are long gone.
Whats the point of even calling him Undertaker anymore eh?
WWE Creative&Vince should’ve just call him as Mark Callaway then
If they’re soooo into this idea of selling his character as mortal & the idea of ‘Undertaker can be beat, Undertaker can be destroyed too’
- Jess on November 4th, 2015 says:
Dude, he is basically mortal because his streak got ended. If you don’t like it, don’t watch the current product.
Taker passed the torch to Lesnar, it’s obvious. Quite frankly, I don’t care about the ending of the HIAC match because the match itself what amazing.
- Anan on November 4th, 2015 says:
To observe Taker’s mortality over the years, I have always believed Taker’s mortality began to show in his 1996 feud with Mankind. His mortality went further when Kane showed up. The ABA phase was comprised of a completely mortal human Undertaker.
But as The Deadman/Hybrid, Taker’s mortality was accelerated even farther in the WM27 match with HHH and more so after as he was carted out of the arena. The end of The Streak to me only signified that Taker is no longer immortal at WM and is now capable of being stopped and losing as by this point, it has been done before.
- reddevil69 on November 4th, 2015 says:
If he’s mortal than why is Wyatt stroking himself over siphoning his power a week after HIAC? You seem to want to have it both ways just like WWE does with their flip flop booking and pick and choose character development. When it serves to put someone over he’s mortal, when it serves to further an angle with a supernatural twist then he has powers. I guess they are relying on blind loyalty of Undertaker fans to just take whatever they feel like throwing at us and we are just to accept it like the two posts above. If Undertaker is involved than its perfect no matter what right?
- Jess on November 4th, 2015 says:
Bray is the closest thing to a modern day Undertaker. Taker getting his soul sucked outta him is basically saying that he’s mortal. Like Anan said, Taker has slowly become more and more mortal. Now that Taker is in his “hybrid” persona it’s showing us that he’s more mortal.
BTW, before anyone mentions it, I’m not implying that Wyatt is a replacement, I’m just saying that he’s the closest thing to Taker.
Like I said, if you don’t like what you see, why are you still watching??
- silver soul on November 4th, 2015 says:
I was just saying that there’s somethings to be said about the fact that it usually takes more than one person to lay Taker out. Yokozuna had most of the locker room behind him, Giant Gonzales had to use chloroform(kind of dumb), nexxus had to use numbers…and the Wyatts. This is consistant with Takers being portrayed as a tough win. I hated that they resorted to having Taker use a low blow not once but three times….that made him look weak more so than someone, out of respect not his need, could ever do.
- Thy Serpent on November 5th, 2015 says:
I’d like to add. ‘Taker’s role has changed. We cannot expect him to be like he was before. He is and / or WWE is making him do what any other veteran would have, use his huge status to put over talent or elevate them. There are multiple instances of other legendary wrestlers doing the same. It is a phase in one’s WWE career after they serve the company for several years and establish themselves as legends. I don’t like it, but this stage eventually had to come. I am not saying he will lose every match, but he will more often than earlier. Someone mentioned about his role being like a gatekeeper and that sums it up perfectly. I am just glad that he is in good health and we are getting to see more of him.
- reddevil69 on November 5th, 2015 says:
I don’t see how Taker potrayed as being old, mortal and weak gets anyone over. All it means from kayfabe storyline is that these talents are beating up on a shell of a once dominant force. Its wrestling. It’s a work, they can book Undertaker to look any way they want. He still looks strong, he’s in good shape, so why script him to look weak? Do fans of the character really enjoy this? Is this the ideal Undertaker gimmick to satisfy his fans?
- Anan on November 5th, 2015 says:
Yes. When Taker began, he was the dominant one defeating and destroying anyone and everyone in his path. That changed in 1996. 1996 is when his role started to be putting others over. You have to remember by 1996, he only had one Title run which was only 6 days. Fans knew that. During the build to his match with Bret Hart at the Rumble, both Taker and Paul Bearer brought up how fans were asking when will Taker get a Title shot. He could have won it. But instead he decided that it was better for business to have Bret face Shawn at WM12 so he took on Diesel in a match that looking back on it now, I realize that is when he really started to show his mortality. They even spoke of it the following night when he faced Bradshaw saying how Taker was in a grueling war and you have to wonder what that took out of him. Diesel was Taker’s first real WM challenge unlike the squashes he had at the event prior to WM12. I kind of wanted the Taker/Diesel program to go on a bit longer, but with Nash on his way out and Taker would have been the perfect one because of his character to write Nash out of the WWF, they went with a debuting Mankind for Taker’s next feud. Foley stated that was Taker’s request and it was obviously granted. Mankind’s debut feud with Taker and in his 2nd PPV match, KOTR gets a win over him, a type of win I don’t believe anyone since or before has had over Taker. It wasn’t a pinfall victory. Since then Taker directly or indirectly has put over talent after talent in some way, shape or form and continues to do just that today except now in the twilight of his career, he’s doing it much more often just like any veteran does or should do. Even when he does get a victory which is really for the sake of the fans’ feel good moment so they go home happy, not for Taker as he no longer needs a victory to validate himself, his career or his legacy. And when he does win, he is still putting talent over as the said talent can brag about how he took The Phenom to his limit farther than before which is evidenced by the look on Taker’s face after his win. He looks spent, he’s exhausted, etc like he’s been in a war that he just barely managed to get a win in.
- reddevil69 on November 5th, 2015 says:
Silly me. Now I understand. All those 7,8,9 and 10 year old kids all understand how its booked. They aren’t disappointed when the one true cartoon gimmick, the superman of wrestling gets beaten up, resorts to cheating with low blows, gets beaten up again, loses and then beaten up some more and carried out. It’s because he’s old and is supposed to put other talent over. Here I thought all this time it was entertainment, not real. WWE’s mantra is they give fans what they want…..I guess the majority of fans that still watch all wanted the streak to end and Taker to return for revenge only to look like a chump by cheating then getting whooped again,not once but twice on the same night.. it all makes sense now. Hogan at 53 can beat HBK at 40 but Taker at 50, his only purpose is to get other people over at his character’s expense.
- FLY YOU FOOLS on November 6th, 2015 says:
Dude, he is basically mortal because his streak got ended. If you don’t like it, don’t watch the current product.
Taker passed the torch to Lesnar, it’s obvious. Quite frankly, I don’t care about the ending of the HIAC match because the match itself what amazing.”
– It’s a typical way to degrade somebody who doesn’t think like we do or have different opinions. Kinda like when poltical maniacs brags ‘If u don’t agree with the goverment, go out of this country’. Those fans still watch because they still have that LITTLE faith in wrestling. maybe one day WWE can come out with great stars/storylines again (maybe not close to the attitude era-ish, but at least it’s good), &What does WWE do with that LITTLE faith these fans have? They shit on it. &Rubbing it all over their faces. We all have moved on, from WM30. the day your so called mortal Undertaker lost. We have. We accepted it.
&instead, this summer WWE gave us all a false hope. a hope for revenge from Undertaker against Lesnar. All of the fans are excited, ready for Undertaker to kick Lesnar’s ass. I can basically count with 1 hand, the amount of people online who thought Undertaker returned just to get hiss ass kicked again. The story behind his return was to shut up Heyman&Lesnar, instead, WWE gave both of them more reason to brag as being the 1 who totally destroyed Undertaker.
That’s not putting anyone’s over – (The words hv been misused by wrestling geniuses. Put over someone means to push a younger talent. LESNAR DONT NEED NO PUSH,He too, is considered a legend of hisntime already)
That’s not passing the torch – (Believe me Undertaker gave Lesnar that 2002,2003&At WM. How many Torches does Lesnar NEEDS? )
Fans not getting what they wanted, for buying into false hope.. &Just because you get what you wanted – doesn’t mean you can tell us to stop watching if we don’t like it. we all love the Undertaker as much as you do. We all pay to watch the show. Maybe when the Undertaker returned during the summer, you already hoped&expected for Undertaker to get his ass kicked for the zillionth time&maybe you’re happy when it was done, or get some kind of orgasm watching Undertaker ‘passed the torch’ time&time again to Lesnar. I don’t know. I won’t judge you.
- Thy Serpent on November 6th, 2015 says:
@reddevil69. Yes Hogan beat Shawn Michaels. But, the same Hogan passed out from a bear hug by Brock Lesnar. Imagine, a guy who was able to kick out of every wrestlers finishing move, was always able to break any submission hold passes out to a bear hug and that was not even Lesnar’s finishing move. WWE does this to older wrestlers. Fortunately, they haven’t made Lesnar beat ‘Taker in a squash match. I didn’t like that trilogy thing. I’m glad it’s over and hopefully we can see some good matches with ‘Taker feuding with someone else.
- Jess on November 6th, 2015 says:
Why the frick would I get an orgasm over wrestling? You’re gross like why would you even think that? When Taker returned, hell yeah, I was excited, I enjoyed his match at SummerSlam and I enjoyed his match at Hell in a Cell.
When I said that if you don’t like the product, don’t watch it, it’s because you moan and groan about the product like, why do you even watch it? But obviously, feel free to continue watching it because I can’t stop you.
I never hoped Taker got his ass beat. I wanted him to win but I didn’t really care because he put on a great match and I have respect for both men, even though I’m not a Lesnar fan.
The way I see it, is that Taker did pass the torch to Brock. But the WWE wanted to show that Brock is unstoppable.
- silver soul on November 6th, 2015 says:
The Streak was not equivalent to the “immortality” of the character. Further more, did anyone actually said that Taker was immortal? When he debuted, he was this imposing mysterious man. When did he become “undead” or “immortal” anyway?
You all are right though, he is losing in ways that cheapen the persona. It was never like he couldn’t be beaten…but it was something special when he was cleanly beaten. There was a time when his entrance, though long, was special…now it just seems long in a parody sense of his entrance. Are times changing? Is it the wrestler who needs to change? Idk, but I think we can all agree that Taker is and will always be special to wrestling. He has put over others throughout his career. His kind of draw and success will never be duplicated.
- Anan on November 7th, 2015 says:
To add to your point, WWE is using the torch that Taker passed, that being Brock Lesnar as a way of elevating a future talent. Because sometime, a talent will get a major boost by beating Lesnar and by doing so Taker would have indirectly elevated someone because he’s the one who passed the torch to Lesnar, who got beat by whoever beat him.
“Taker’s role has changed. We cannot expect him to be like he was before.”
I don’t know if WWE is “making” him do anything. At this point, I think a lot of what Taker does in his choice. Staying active, putting someone over are I believe some of those things. Anyone can see that the angle that took place during the Taker/Heidenreich Casket match at the 2005 Royal Rumble was done to set up a future Kane/Taker vs Snitsky/Heidenreich as both interfered in the match. But did the tag team match happen? Nope. Instead Taker worked a PPV match with Luther Reigns who looked a hell of a lot better thanks to Taker than he probably was at that point. From there, Taker spent most of 2005 feuding with Orton. Reportedly, facing Orton at WM21 was Taker’s request as he saw something in Orton. Taker requested Angle to break The Streak the following year. This was confirmed by Angle. Angle stated he didn’t want to break it, he just wanted to face Taker at WM. Reportedly Taker requested Kane to break it too, but Kane declined. The fact that Angle confirmed Taker wanted him to break The Streak, it means Taker was ok with it being broken.
Taker’s legacy is his character, both in and out of the ring. His character in the ring is the longest running gimmick going from a cartoonish gimmick to a serious one to a now Hybrid mix of both. The Hybrid allows The Deadman to be more mortal than The Deadman has ever been. His character out of the ring….respect, locker room leader, doing what is best for business/putting business ahead of himself/having the business’ agenda, not an agenda of his own. The only two who come close to that is Kane and Sting.
Speaking of Sting, I want to share a portion of an interview he did that relates to your and my point(s):
Should you lose at Night of Champions, does it paint a picture that you were brought to WWE primarily to put others over rather than enhance your own legacy?
I had my time. There’s no question about that. For a guy my age to be where I am right now is, to me, next to impossible. And yet, I’m here. It’s not about Sting, not anymore. You’re asking a straight-up question, I’ll give ya a straight-up answer. That’s it, and I am just fine with that.
That is or should be the role of every other veteran from Sting’s generation and after. That includes, but is not limited to Jericho, Kane, HHH, Taker. Even HBK from a non-wrestling perspective. In order for business to thrive, survive, progress and have a future, you have to build a solid future. Those veterans, as great as they are, as many fans as they have, as happy as people will be that they’re seen and win, they are not the future. You can’t build a future around them. You have to use them to help build a future. Even Cena, the last 2-3 years or so has transitioned into that role.
If they win, the win isn’t for them. The win serves two very important factors:
1. Give the fans a “feel good” moment so they’re happy.
2. Elevate the future. Think about it. Cena has how many victories, how many Title wins, how many times has he appeared at WM, main evented a big PPV? He’s the top guy and will be till he’s gone. What would it do for a Seth Rollins, a Ziggler, a Kevin Owens, a Cesaro, etc if they defeat a John Cena? What would it do for a young talent to defeat a veteran like Sting who people who’ve followed his career know all that he’s accomplished? What will it do for someone to beat the man who beat 21 years of dominance in the 21 straight wins at WM, The Undertaker? The answer to these questions are WWE’s primary focus or should be.
Like Sting, those aforementioned veterans had their time. And it was great. but to partially quote and rework Cena’s theme song lyrics accurately to make a point, “The veterans’ time are up. The future’s time is now.”
The future IS now.
- Shaun on November 7th, 2015 says:
I’m pretty sure Mr. McMahon made all of the decisions on what you said Taker’s had his choices on. That’s not Takers choice then. If the boss says they’re doing it, then it’s happening whether the talent wants to do it or nix it. Angle made his comment and obviously Mr. McMahon chose another route. It’s like Hunter has said repeatedly throughout his career. Taker does everything Mr. McMahon asks him to do because he always wants to give back to the business and organization that made him who he is.
- Anan on November 9th, 2015 says:
Sorry must’ve overlooked that. I was gonna reply with saying it might be both of their decisions which you;re right, it could be. Maybe Taker requests and sometimes it’s granted, sometimes not. I’ve always heard wrestlers say, especially the last few years in out of character interviews how they’ve pitched ideas to management, to the office, to Vince, etc. Some wrestlers even offer pitching idea as advice to whoever wants to be successful in the business.