For WWE fans everywhere, The Undertaker is more of a living legend that a mere man. While most wrestling fans have stopped believing years ago that Mark Calaway is indeed an undead professional wrestler, that still does very little to diminish the aura of The Undertaker. He’s been with the WWE for nearly 26 years, and, in that time, he has remained one of the most intimidating and awe-inspiring presences that professional wrestling has ever produced. In all likelihood, the day The Undertaker retires is the day he officially enters the Hall of Fame as one of its most deserving inductees.
There is another side to The Undertaker, however, that fans don’t always get to see. Behind the scenes, The Undertaker is known as the undisputed leader of the locker room. He’s the guy that other wrestlers turn to whenever they need anything, and he’s the guy that steps to any other wrestler whenever they get out of line. How did he achieve this incredible position? Well, it definitely took years. But over the course of his career, there's no denying that The Undertaker is the man that every Superstar looks up to.
15 Busting Into The Bar Like John Wayne To Break Up Fights
The old days of professional wrestling are filled with stories of performers that lived their gimmicks. At a time when promoters were interested in still maintaining the illusion that wrestling was real, certain wrestlers went out of their way to stay in character no matter where they were. Of course, this was a little more difficult for The Undertaker who was essentially portrayed to be an undead wizard. Leave it to Mark Calaway to find a way to present himself as both an otherworldly creature and a locker room leader, though.
According to Mideon, he and some other wrestlers were having a few drinks in a bar one night when one of them got into a fight with a local. Suddenly, a door flew open and The Undertaker’s silhouette stood in the frame “like a John Wayne movie.” The Undertaker not only managed to subdue the two fighting men but took the wrestler out back for a strict verbal beatdown.
14 Stretching Steve Austin To Teach Him Respect
Even before he was The Undertaker, Mark Calaway was establishing a reputation as a leader of men in the professional wrestling business. He’s always been the kind of guy that’s had a special place in his heart for protecting the illusion of the business, even in an era where most people are aware that professional wrestling is scripted. As such, he’s also a guy that’s big on making sure any young superstars don’t get too big of a head too early on in their careers.
Steve Austin remembers learning this the hard way, as he once told a story on his podcast about threatening to stretch Calaway out before a match they had in their pre-WWE days. Austin was only joking, but Calaway wasn’t about to let some young wrestler think that they were going to take advantage of him. As such, Calaway decided to actually stretch Austin during the match and teach him a lesson about empty threats in the process.
13 Drinking With Jake The Snake To Prove He Could Hang With Anyone
You don’t become the leader of a professional wrestling locker room without proving that you’re one of the boys first. Guys like Vince McMahon may command respect due to who they are, but even they have spent years proving that they are willing to do everything that they ask their performers to do and have no problem hanging out with them on the road. So, when The Undertaker was just starting out in WWE, he knew he had to show everyone he could hang with the best of them outside the ring as well as inside of it. In order to do so, he asked Jake Roberts out for a night of drinking and partying. Despite Roberts' protests that The Undertaker would die if he tried to keep up with Roberts, the two went out anyway. The Undertaker ended up needing to get his stomach pumped, but the fact he still wrestled that very night entrenched him as one of the guys.
12 Remaining A Professional Even When He's On Fire
A big part of what makes The Undertaker so legendary among wrestling fans is actually his entrance. Even if you’re not a big fan of the guy in the ring, it’s hard to deny that he’s got one of the greatest entrances in all of wrestling. That’s especially true of his more elaborate PPV entrances which are usually complemented by extras, props, and pyro. That pyro ended up backfiring on The Undertaker at Elimination Chamber 2010, however, as a malfunction in the pyro delivery system led to The Undertaker suffering some pretty nasty burns. Naturally, he continued to wrestle the scheduled match anyway. When he got to the back, however, he went straight to Vince McMahon. He told him that he didn’t want money or an apology, but rather just wanted to make sure that something like that never happened to anyone again. He also said he never wanted to see that pyro technician again. Vince told him he understood, and the WWE has had a new pyro guy ever since.
11 Intimidating Chris Jericho To Get Back To Work
Chris Jericho is something of a modern wrestling miracle. In an age where the bad guys are almost always cheered more than the good guys, Jericho remains one of the few wrestlers that is able to attract genuine heat from fans when he really wants to. It’s an incredibly impressive talent, but it has gotten Jericho into some tricky situations in the past. Jericho recalls one such instance in his Best in the World book when he performed in front of some particularly angry fans at a WWE show. One of them even threw a battery at Jericho.
Upset that this had been allowed to occur, Jericho went to the back and told their head of security that he’s wasn't going back out there until something was done about the situation. Also standing there was The Undertaker. He looked at Chris and simply asked “You sure that’s the best idea?” Jericho proceeded to go back out to the ring shortly thereafter.
10 Requiring CM Punk To Dress Like A Champion
As mentioned, The Undertaker is an old-school kind of wrestler. He believes in certain etiquette and behavior that not every other wrestler may necessarily believe in. This has led to some fans and wrestlers saying that The Undertaker is a little out of touch with modern times, but nobody denies that The Undertaker sets a very clear example for how he expects other wrestlers to present themselves through his own actions. So when CM Punk won the World Heavyweight Championship as a member of the same SmackDown roster The Undertaker was on and proceeded to still dress super casually outside of the ring, The Undertaker reportedly took offense and suggested that CM Punk start dressing like a champion.
Always one to march to his own drum, Punk respectfully declined. Whether or not that refusal led to Punk dropping the belt to The Undertaker shortly thereafter remains unconfirmed.
9 Making Sure That The Rock Got Over
There’s a big difference between being a promotion's top star and being the leader of a locker room. For instance, while the top star might be cautious when it comes to losing to up and coming young wrestlers, the leader usually understands when it’s time to put personal politics aside and do what’s best for business. The Rock remembers learning that The Undertaker possessed this very selfless quality when he was informed that he would be beating The Undertaker on an episode of RAW early on in his career. Even though The Undertaker could have refused to lose or changed the finish so that The Rock won by nefarious means, he chose to lose cleanly to the Rock Bottom right in the center of the ring. The Undertaker told The Rock that he understood it was The Rock’s time to become a star and that he wanted to help him get there.
8 Helping To Prove Ric Flair Was Still A Legend
By the time that Ric Flair made his way to WWE, he was already one of the most respected professional wrestlers on the planet. Not only did he spend the better part of the ‘80s touring the planet as the NWA world champion, but in that time, he had managed to build a reputation for himself as one of the most gifted in-ring workers on the planet. Still, not everyone in WWE was sold on Ric Flair. He may have been a legend, but some felt he spent his best years working for another company.
Their worries were seemingly validated during an early match that Flair had against The Undertaker in which Flair missed his trademark corner flip spot. The Undertaker wasn’t phased by the botch and managed to immediately set Flair up for the spot again. Flair said in a later interview that he was shocked that The Undertaker would be able to so act so quickly just to make Flair look good, but thanked him for it as everyone in the back couldn’t stop talking about how well he hit his second attempt.
7 Serving As Stephanie McMahon's Unofficial Bodyguard
Vince McMahon may not be your average dad, but he is still a dad. As such, when his daughter Stephanie got a little older and started to go out more, he started to worry about what trouble she might get into. However, Vince did have two distinct advantages over the average worrying dad. The first was that Stephanie often traveled with her dad. The second was that he had The Undertaker to rely on for those moments when Stephanie wasn’t close by.
Yes, according to WWE legend, Vince McMahon assigned The Undertaker the very important task of making sure that Stephanie McMahon was safe whenever she went out. As The Undertaker was a fan of going out to bars and clubs himself, he had no trouble being Stephanie’s bodyguard. As for Stephanie, she had no trouble while going out so long as The Undertaker was around.
6 Having Final Say On Triple H's Marriage Proposal
The marriage of Stephanie McMahon and Triple H was not only one the better storylines of the Attitude Era, but it was a very real event that forever altered the political landscape of WWE. Fans and wrestlers alike were all a little curious as to what ramifications an active wrestlers marrying the boss’s daughter was going to have, but the most nervous one of them all may have just been Triple H. Knowing full well that his proposal was going to be controversial, he did the formal thing and decided to make sure that it was okay with Vince McMahon before he asked Stephanie. Vince told him that he had no problem with it, but he made the rather unusual request that Triple H ask The Undertaker for permission as well. Why? Well, Vince knew that The Undertaker spoke for the other wrestlers meaning that if he was okay with it, everyone else would be. Luckily, The Undertaker gave his blessing.
5 Forcing Vince McMahon To Confront Bret Hart After The Montreal Screwjob
Just because Vince McMahon trusts The Undertaker with the safety and future of his daughter as well as to be the voice of the boys in the back, it doesn’t mean that the two always see eye-to-eye. Vince McMahon respects The Undertaker as much as anyone and the same goes for The Undertaker’s feelings towards Vince McMahon, but business is business, and occasionally, the two disagree on something. While most of these disagreements have been lost to time, the one that is most certainly still remembered occurred shortly after The Montreal Screwjob.
After Vince McMahon screwed Bret Hart out of the title, there was a lot of confusion in the back regarding what just happened. Once The Undertaker figured out what happened, he went straight to Vince’s locked door and demanded that he talk to Bret. This led to the infamous backstage confrontation that is so often associated with the event.
4 Establishing The Bone Street Krew To Challenge The Kliq
In the mid-90s, WWE was dominated by a faction known as “The Kliq.” Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Razor Ramon, Diesel, the 1-2-3 Kid, and Triple H suddenly started to rule the backstage political landscape. Suddenly, every man in the group found themselves in a top position within the company and anyone not in The Kliq had to wait for seconds. Well, everyone except for The Undertaker, of course, who still commanded a great deal of respect. In order to make sure The Kliq didn’t get too out of control, The Undertaker led a group known as the Bone Street Krew whose sole purpose was to hang out, have fun, and make sure that nobody got too out of line in the back. The Undertaker also made sure that everyone in his crew was well taken care of, and he often kept many guys like Savio Vega employed until they no longer wished to be.
3 Taking Down Kurt Angle For Messing With The Boss
Many wrestling fans are aware of the infamous plane ride from hell and all the drinking, nudity, drug use and generally regrettable actions that went along with that faithful voyage. Among the many events that occurred on that plane ride, one of the most entertaining to imagine has long been the supposed shoot fight between Curt Hennig and Brock Lesnar. However, that isn’t the only time that two WWE members have gotten into a wrestling match high above the sky.
In his autobiography, Kurt Angle recalls a game that he and Vince used to play that involved both men trying to surprise the other with a takedown. One day Vince took down Angle by surprise and endlessly bragged about it, so Kurt waited for his opportunity to get even. On a flight from Europe Angle managed to surprise McMahon with a takedown. In the process, they woke up The Undertaker who, unaware of this game, assumed that Kurt was legitimately fighting McMahon. The Undertaker’s quick takedown and choke out of Kurt reminded everyone that nobody was immune from The Undertaker’s wrath.
2 Serving As The (Mostly) Fair and (Mostly) Impartial Judge Of Wrestlers Court
Much has been made of The Undertaker’s role as judge of wrestlers court. For those of you who don’t know, however, The Undertaker often presides as the judge of a makeshift court system that wrestlers will force other wrestlers to attend whenever they violate rules, both written and unwritten. It’s a way for everyone to keep everyone else in check and The Undertaker is often the one to ultimately determine the sentence. One of the more amusing stories involving The Undertaker and wrestlers court occurred when Edge and Christian were called before the group in order to answer for some personal time they spent with one of the writers and his family.
Knowing they were in a bind, they proceeded to gift The Undertaker with motorcycle magazines, booze, and boxing videos. An ecstatic Undertaker met the two after the trial and informed them that he didn’t think this one was going to make it on their permanent records.
1 Intimidating Shawn Michaels Into Doing The Right Thing
The Undertaker and his Bone Street Krew may have done their best to keep Shawn Michaels and his crew in check, but Michaels managed to skirt the system just often enough to get under The Undertaker’s skin. Shawn Michaels' selfish nature back in those days combined with his attitude and short temper made him pretty much the exact opposite of The Undertaker. Although The Undertaker couldn’t always get Shawn to do the right thing, when it came to his WrestleMania XIV match against Stone Cold Steve Austin,
The Undertaker wasn’t going to take any chances in terms of Shawn refusing to do the job and put over the red-hot Austin as planned. According to some, The Undertaker confronted Michaels before the match and began dramatically taping his fists up while informing Michaels of what he was going to do to him if he didn’t lose to Austin. The match, as you might know, went off according to plan.
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