The inevitable has happened. The Phenom has left the stage, possibly never to come back.
The aura, the mind numbing entrance theme, the gruelling look in his eyes and the slow, cold & intimidating walk down the aisle, for 27 years we’ve been witnesses to the most iconic sports entertainer bar none! The Undertaker!
Last night at the 33rd edition of the wrestling extravaganza known as WrestleMania or better known as the ‘Devil’s Playground’, the WWE universe witnessed the end of quite simply the most iconic, legendary and larger than life superstar, the Undertaker! Nothing could ever surpass his contribution to the sports entertainment industry, not now, not tomorrow and not ever. He is by a country mile the greatest wrestler to have stepped foot into the WWE and the sports entertainment world. There are superstars like The Rock, Hulk Hogan, John Cena, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Bret The Hitman Hart and numerous others who have made WWE a worldwide sensation, and then there’s this man, The Phenom – The Undertaker.
From that ghostly and at the time almost surreal walk down the aisle of Survivor Series 1990 to perhaps the most iconic image of all the Wrestlemanias; his hat and coat lying on top of his gloves on the backdrop of the legendary Wrestlemania 33 logo, the Undertaker has amplified his other-worldly aura in the past three decades.
This article is not a hyped shower of praises about a gimmick played by Mark William Calaway to show that he’s superhuman. It’s simply a tribute to the man who has been an inseparable part of millions of childhoods. So many of us have grown up seeing the Undertaker portray and quite simply bring to life one of the most feared, respected and talented wrestlers of all time. From the myths like ‘The Undertaker murdered his family and burnt his half-brother Kane and that he has 9 lives’ to seeing him change personas yet sustain his stature and strike fear into his opponents, Taker has managed to awe so many children all over the world. His cold-blooded stares, the jaw dropping suicide dives, the 300 pound jumps from the top rope, the Chokeslams from top of the cages, the chilling roll of the eyes and numerous other patent Undertaker things have kept on amazing the onlookers time and time again. It was almost a certainty that no matter what year or decade it is, WWE and The Undertaker will always go hand in hand.
(Note: For those who believe that wrestling is fake, log on to YouTube to understand the difference between the terms ‘fake’ and ‘scripted’.)
Image Credits: Wwe.com
The hellacious 1998 Hell in a Cell vs. Mankind, the Buried alive match vs. Kane, the grueling Hell in a Cell mayhem vs. Brock Lesnar, the heart stopping 4 consecutive WrestleMania matches vs. Shawn Michaels and Triple H, the list of Undertaker’s best ever matches can go on and on. That is why is so hard to come terms with the fact that the inevitable has finally happened and we might never see The Deadman step foot into the squared circle again. At 21-0 ‘The Streak’ was matched by nothing else across sports and had remained a sensation for over 2 decades. Today it stands at 23-2, seemingly blemished yet unparalleled. There will be hundreds of new WWE superstars in the future and so many records will be broken, but one thing is for sure, there will never be quite something like ‘The Streak’ and most certainly there will never be another ‘Undertaker’.
The lights have gone off, the torches have run out of fire, the smoke has receded and the bells have stopped tolling, signalling the end of the most successful wrestling career. All of us knew this day would come, yet all of us hoped it never really did.
A WWE fan like me and millions across this world will be waiting for the lights to go off once more, the bells to toll, the smoke to spread across the arena & The Phenom to rise from the grave, never to go back again!