There will never be another professional wrestler that will be able to match what Mark Calaway was able to do as The Undertaker. While his wrestling career first began in 1984 with World Class Championship Wrestling, Calaway really got his start in 1990 when he debuted as The Undertaker. For nearly 30 years, The Undertaker would bring one of the most awe-inspiring characters to life in front of crowds around the world.
That career ended earlier this month after losing to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33. A man who was known for creating goosebumps along the skins of millions of fans – usually just by the sound of his music – would decide to walk away from the squared circle; leaving his hat, gloves and coat behind. The Undertaker was one of the most unique and mysterious wrestlers in WWE history.
But there was more to Calaway than just the lighting, fireballs and organ music that were part of his on-screen aura. Over the years, fans have learned some interesting stories about The Undertaker behind the scenes. Never really from The Deadman himself. He usually isn’t much of a talker. Instead, some of the people he’s met and worked with have shared some insane stories that show he had interests beyond the world of pro wrestling.
Some have tales of him being a fan of strippers. Others have stories about how he used to partake in both alcohol and drugs. And then there are stories that confirm how scary and intimidating he was to his coworkers and others. The following are 15 of the most insane backstage stories about The Undertaker.
15 The Undertaker Fears Cucumbers
Even the powerful Superman of comic book fame had his kryptonite. For The Undertaker, his weakness did come from something green. A green vegetable, to be exact. It certainly seems weird to think that the wrestling character who seems to have control of lightning and death would be afraid of cucumbers. His former manager Paul Bearer would reveal Undertaker’s hate for the cucumber during an interview with Jim Cornette for Ring of Honor.
Bearer said it had something to do with his parents making him eat them when he was younger. The hate was bad enough to make him nauseous. Bearer even told a story about how a floating cucumber slice in Undertaker’s iced tea made The Deadman throw up at a Waffle House. Undertaker’s former manager apparently knew of how he was pranked by someone putting cucumbers into his ring gear.
14 Undertaker Wanted to Face John Cena in His Last Match
As if fans who already didn’t like Roman Reigns needed to have another reason to shower him with deafening boos. Reigns is now apparently the big dog that has claimed WWE as his yard after seemingly retiring The Undertaker at WrestleMania 33 earlier this month. The final moments made many wrestling fans very sad as The Phenom took off his gloves, coat and hat and left them in the ring.
Now if only Undertaker would have been able to wrestle the man he wanted to be retired by in the first place. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reported that The Undertaker wanted to face John Cena in his final match. However, the matchup between WWE icons was reportedly shot down by Vince McMahon, who felt the torch needed to be passed onto the man he wants to be the WWE’s next top face.
13 How The Undertaker Allowed The Rock to Go Over
While The Undertaker was never known for deliberately going against the wishes of Vince McMahon and the creative team, he did have some creative control during the height of the Attitude Era. He could always take a loss to another wrestler he didn’t feel was ready and counter with a pitch that he lost via something like outside interference or a chair shot being a factor. In other words, The Undertaker had a say in who got to go over on The Deadman.
The Rock once told a story in the 2000 book “The Rock Says …” about how he was booked to defeat Undertaker during an episode of RAW. The Rock said he asked The Undertaker about the reported clean finish. The Undertaker confirmed and said it was The Rock’s time. The Rock felt impressed and moved by the gesture and he thanked Undertaker for it.
12 The Undertaker May Have Caused a Rule on Strip Clubs
Kevin Nash has always been known to say controversial things about many of his peers. This includes calling wrestles like Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit “vanilla midgets.” There was also the time he alleged that The Rock was gay. But he had a lot of positive things to say about The Undertaker during a sitdown interview with Joe Dombrowski in 2014. He did have an interesting story involving their mutual love for strip clubs.
Nash said that Vince McMahon once called both of them into his office about wrestlers not being allowed to go to strip clubs anymore - particularly Nash and Taker. Not long after, Nash said he went to a club late one evening, er, morning, and didn’t see anyone else that would rat him out. Moments after sitting down, he saw a large man in a leather coat, waving at him. Nash ended the story with “Good man, Taker.”
11 Deadman Gave Blessing to Triple H Dating Stephanie McMahon
One thing that fans have learned about The Undertaker through the years is how he was a leader in the locker room. With that kind of reputation, it wouldn’t come as too much of a shock to hear that many of the top superstars had approached The Deadman for different kinds of advice. Triple H wrote about his request for dating advice in his chapter of the WWE’s Attitude Era Book released in 2015.
Triple H wrote about asking Undertaker about his thoughts about possibly dating Stephanie McMahon, the boss’s daughter. The Game was dealing with a lot of heat from the rest of the roster to the rumored relationship. Triple H would ask Undertaker for his thoughts, who would ask him if he was willing to risk his career in case things didn’t work out. When Triple H said he was willing, Taker told him that it was no one else’s business but his and hers.
10 That Time When Undertaker Caught on Fire
The Undertaker has been known for having one of the coolest entrances in professional wrestling history. Over the years, a number of things have been added to go along with the iconic organ music - e.g. lightning, smoke and even great balls of fire. During a 2010 pay-per-view, one of those fireballs coming from the stage actually hit The Deadman when he obviously wasn’t expecting it.
The fire coming from the stage actually ignited his jacket, which he quickly removed during the event. Undertaker’s usually slow walk to the ring was just a fraction of the time for that event as he ran towards the Elimination Chamber. Reports from after the show found The Phenom was irate over the pyro technician's mistake. After Taker held a short meeting with Vince McMahon, the pyro tech was fired, probably for his own safety.
9 Undertaker Stretches Stone Cold to the Limit
The Undertaker seems to not be a big fan of jokes. Or empty threats for that matter. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin learned this lesson the hard way back in the 1990s. During an episode of The Steve Austin Show, Stone Cold had a funny story from their days working for a small promotion in Tennessee before their time in the WWE. Austin apparently joked with Undertaker about “stretching you out there.” Austin said he was joking. The Undertaker didn’t laugh.
Austin quickly learned that The Undertaker was not someone known for having a normal sense of humor. His jokes got him stretched out during a six-man tag team match. Austin recalled getting about two or three holds that twisted him up like a pretzel. While his intentions were not to hurt Austin, a point was made and it was heard, or felt, perfectly clear by Stone Cold.
8 The Undertaker Persuades Chris Jericho Back to Work
It probably wouldn’t come to anyone’s surprise that The Undertaker can be quite an intimidating figure. Who else in WWE history has created goosebumps on millions of fans arms over the course of three decades? But it turns out that he also has a way of intimidating his peers behind the scenes. Chris Jericho commented on a situation where he was forced to go back to work in his book “The Best In The World: At What I Have No Idea.”
After a moment where a fan threw a battery at Jericho, he walked up to the head of security at the time and told him he wouldn’t go back out to the ring. As Jericho was throwing what many would consider a tantrum, The Undertaker happened to be standing behind Jericho questioning Jericho’s decision. The Deadman than asked if Jericho thought that was the best idea. Jericho described it sounding very similar to tough guy actor Clint Eastwood. To no one’s surprise, Jericho would go back out later that night for his scheduled match.
7 Helping Vince McMahon In “Fight” With Kurt Angle
The first thing that this part of the article will teach readers is that The Undertaker is willing to stand up for his boss, Vince McMahon. It was the kind of lesson that Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle learned the hard way. In Angle’s autobiography, Angle wrote about how Mr. McMahon once took him down to the ground. That one time would be brought up repeatedly by McMahon. Angle then apparently tried to jump the boss any chance he got. It was just harmless horseplay between Angle and McMahon, who had forged a very close friendship. Well, at least it was supposed to be.
In one instance, Angle looked like he was getting the upper hand on the boss on a flight. The “scuffle” would awake The Deadman from his slumber. Unaware of the light-hearted nature of this “fight,” The Undertaker got ahold of Angle and placed him in a chokehold that knocked the Olympic hero out cold. At least Undertaker apologized to Angle after he was told that the scuffle was a joke. Angle accepted his apology, knowing better than to exact revenge on The Undertaker.
6 Forming the Bone Street Krew
During the 1990s in WWE, The Kliq - Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash - were not the only backstage faction that had some power. The Undertaker also had allies of his own through the members of his Bone Street Krew. The group included The Undertaker as the leader with his on-screen manager Paul Bearer, Mideon, The Godfather, Rikishi, Brian Adams, Henry Goodwin and Mr. Fuji.
Along with Undertaker, Yokozuna was a founding member. There were stories that the BSK was formed to go against HBK’s The Kliq long ago. However, some wrestlers like John “Bradshaw” Layfield and Michaels have claimed there was never a war between the two. But the members of the BSK were close enough for all members to get “BSK Pride” tattooed across their abdomens.
5 Undertaker Was Infatuated With Jenna Jameson
The Undertaker has been known to be a big fan of getting tattoos. When he was in the prime of his career in the 1990s, he met a young Jenna Jameson at a Las Vegas tattoo parlor. Yes, the same Jenna Jameson known for being in adult films. In her autobiography, she wrote that The Deadman apparently thought she shouldn’t be working there because he allegedly thought she was an undercover cop. Later on down the road, the two became friends to a degree and he was attending one of her dance shows.
Another patron asked her what she wanted to drink. Undertaker responded with what he would have and for the patron to have “a shot of shut the f--- up.” Jameson also recalled Taker speaking that he would beat up her boyfriend and take her with him. She obviously felt he was serious enough to find her boyfriend and bolt out of the club. That was the last time the two had seen each other, according to Jameson.
4 Allegedly Shared Acid With Justin Credible; Hissing At Him
The Undertaker has been known to have his fair share of alcohol, trips to the strip club and other fun adventures. Justin Credible told a story in 2012 that may have revealed that The Deadman also used to enjoy recreational drugs. In the early 1990s, Credible was working in the WWE as Aldo Montoya and was taking a flight to events in India. The Undertaker was sitting in front of Credible and handed him a piece of paper that had a tab of acid.
According to Credible, The Undertaker decided to mess around with Credible once he was tripping on acid. After allegedly getting his attention, Taker would hiss like a cat at him. It was a funny story that actually may have showed that The Deadman did indeed have a sense of humor; which was contrary to the popular belief of most fans.
3 Saving Bruce Prichard From Car Jacking, Or Worse
If you haven’t figured it out by now, The Undertaker was considered a very intimidating person. He has been known to be able to persuade people to do things they originally didn’t want to - e.g. the earlier mentioned story about getting Chris Jericho to return to work after a fan incident. But sometimes, The Undertaker could make his point without having to say a word or make any movement. Bruce Prichard shared a story about this on Steve Austin’s podcast in 2013.
When Prichard worked for WWE as Brother Love, he was the original manager for The Deadman before being replaced by Paul Bearer. Both were in a rental car after a show and got lost in a not-so-pleasant part of town. Prichard would get out of the car to ask for directions. He apparently asked the wrong man who was looking to rob Prichard. That was seemingly the stranger’s plan until he saw a very large man with a pale white face staring at him. The stranger would then be on his way without further trouble.
2 Jake Roberts Gets Undertaker Drunk
Jake “The Snake” Roberts has been known to have his addictions to alcohol. It was well-documented in his final years in professional wrestling and how he was saved by Diamond Dallas Page in the “Accountability Crib.” While he has not been out drinking like he had been in his heyday, he still shares some interesting drinking stories. One features a young Undertaker who had just joined the WWE.
In an interview with Busted Open Radio, Roberts mentioned Undertaker approaching him for his knowledge of good strip clubs. The two then found themselves arguing about who could drink who under the table. The young Phenom would find out the hard way that it’s not necessarily easy to out-do Roberts when it comes to drinking. The Undertaker apparently needed to have his stomach pumped afterwards due to the threat of alcohol poisoning.
1 Ready To Take Action If HBK Didn't Job To Austin
Shawn Michaels had quite a negative reputation as he neared the end of his first run with the WWE in 1998. The Heartbreak Kid was still under a lot of scrutiny in the time after the 1997 Survivor Series fiasco involving Bret Hart at the Montreal Screwjob. The WWE had booked Michaels to defend the WWE Championship against “Stone Cold” Steve Austin at WrestleMania XIV. History shows that Michaels would drop the title to Austin.
But there were many backstage who thought HBK was going to change his mind at the last minute. That’s where The Undertaker told everyone other than HBK that if Michaels didn’t drop the title, there were going to be problems for HBK. Michaels admitted in an interview with Sports Illustrated that he was intentionally making everyone “sweat it out.” It apparently worked as Undertaker was apparently waiting with his hands taped for a fight; just in case.