Since November 22, 1990, one constant has been part of the WWE. A figure clad in black and grey, wearing a trench coat and striking fear into everyone who stepped into the ring with the Phenom. Koko B. Ware was the first to feel the Reaper's Tombstone. From that point until today, all who have stepped into Big Evil's yard have felt his wrath.
The Conscious of the WWE is the stalwart of the company. Having worked for the WWE since 1990, the Deadman has seen and been a part of the highest highs and bore witness to the lowest lows. Backstage, he is the judge and the jury of Wrestler's Court. He is reportedly the man who made Vince McMahon talk to Bret after Montreal, and was set to make Shawn Michaels famous had he not done the honors for Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania XIV.
Surviving through three different eras is no small fete. He is one of the last wrestlers who debuted when everyone was a larger than life character. When everyone became a larger than life version of themselves during the Attitude Era, he stayed in character, only with the twist that Mark Calloway has stopped playing a character and started believing that he was an actual demonic undead creature from beyond the grave. He showed vulnerability and himself when he became the American Bad Ass. He's been the Deadman again ever since WrestleMania XX.
On Sunday November 22, 2015, exactly 25 years to the day the Phenom first stalked his way to the ring, we celebrate the standard bearer of not just the WWE but the industry as a whole. He is truly the Last Outlaw, the last of a breed that isn't made anymore. Here are 25 reasons, just a small fraction of the moments that make the Demon of Death Valley the legend that he is.
26 25. Evilroonie (Raw After the Bell, August 12, 2002)
25 24. The Burning Chair (Monday Night Raw, March 9, 2015)
24 23. Burying Hulkamania (Survivor Series 1991)
23 22. Bagging Up Victims (Various)
22 21. "Whose side are you on?" "Not yours." (Superstars, February 29, 1992)
21 20. Silent Stare (Monday Night Raw, February 21, 2011)
20 19. Death Comes to London (Summer Slam 1992)
19 18. The Ultimate Fear (Superstars, April 13, 1991)
18 17. "Where to, Stephanie?!" / the Black Wedding (Backlash 1999, Monday Night Raw 04/26/1999)
17 16. The American Bad Ass (Judgement Day 2000)
16 15. The Return of the Deadman (WrestleMania XX)
15 14. Accepting Kane's Challenge (Monday Night Raw March 2, 1998)
14 13. The Deadman Debuts (Survivor Series 1990)
13 12. The Demon and the Vulture (WrestleMania IX)
12 11. Taking Diesel to Hell (In Your House, February 18, 1996)
11 10. Laughing at the Beast (Summer Slam 2015)
10 9. Destroying the Ring (Royal Rumble 2006)
9 8. The Lord of Darkness (the Attitude Era)
8 7. "My God, They've Killed Him!" (King of the Ring 1998)
7 6. Crucifying Stone Cold (Monday Night Raw, December 7, 1998)
6 5. Tombstone in Penn Station (Shotgun Saturday Night, February 8, 1997)
4 4. War with Hardy (Monday Night Raw July 1, 2002)
3 3. End of an Era (WrestleMania XVIII)
2 2. Edge and 'Taker Go to Hell (Summer Slam 2008)
1 1. The Greatest WrestleMania Match Ever (WrestleMania XXV)
Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker were the two longest–tenured members of WWE. Both were on the first Raw and the first Hell in a Cell. There could be no more fitting battleground than WrestleMania XXV for the two legends. Mr. WrestleMania against the Streak, the dark Undertaker against the light HBK. Quite possibly the most hyped match in WrestleMania history and the only one to actually exceed any and all expectations. From the video package, to the entrances; Shawn descending to the ring from the Heavens as the Undertaker rose to the ring from the depths of Hell; to the heart–stopping 30 minute match, every fan and wrestler alike knows to bow down in adulation and respect for these two and the greatest match in WrestleMania history.
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