The Undertaker is a figure in the WWE that has managed to inspire fear and awe through his appearance alone, but at times in his storied career, he has been able to do much the same through his promo skills.
Although considered more for his in-ring ability and character work over the last three decades, he has managed to hit talking segments out of the park through an innate understanding of his character. Whether a ghoulish zombie or a surly biker or somewhere in between, the Deadman has captivated, intimidated, and entertained with his words in many effective promos. Let's take a look at 10 of the best promos over the career of The Undertaker.
10 This Tuesday In Texas (December 3, 1991)
Undertaker's early career was marked by promos largely led by the ghostly Paul Bearer, but Taker would always manage to add a sinister period to Bearer's haunting words.
This promo hyping the rematch against Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship illustrates the character's lust for the souls of his opponents, perhaps even more so than his desire for the championship itself, and makes good use of Taker's low-down vocal tones in order to show how monstrous he could be. Though his time as a foil for Hulk Hogan was short, promos like these illustrate his ability to menace and enthrall.
9 Royal Rumble (January 22, 1994)
For decades, audiences have been attracted to the supernatural aspect of The Undertaker's character, and it is perhaps no more on display than in this promo following his casket match with Yokozuna at the 1994 Royal Rumble.
In a chilling video from inside the casket, Undertaker makes a promise that he will return to seek his vengeance on Yokozuna and the foes that have beaten him, and he will not "rest in peace". A truly eerie spectacle that is unforgettable to a generation of wrestling fans, and still holds up today as illustrative of Undertaker's spooky nature.
8 Monday Night Raw (October 7, 1996)
Undertaker has been at the genesis of many unique match types in WWE, perhaps none more odd than the Buried Alive match. Before its first-ever occurrence at the 1996 In Your House pay-per-view aptly named Buried Alive, Undertaker cut a ghoulish promo against his opponent, Mankind, explaining that he will do whatever it takes to destroy the deranged wrestler.
Undertaker has often effectively used imagery in his promos to put his audience in a state of unease and tension, which he also employs here asking you to "imagine what it would be like trying to claw your way out of a bottomless pit". A spooky and chilling offering to accompany an equally ghastly stipulation.
7 Monday Night Raw (March 2, 1998)
The introduction of Undertaker's brother Kane during the WWF's Attitude Era led to some of the most compelling television the company has ever produced in its history. In the midst of gloating about the Undertaker's then-two month absence from the WWF, Paul Bearer and Kane were interrupted by the epic return of the Lord of Darkness. In an unforgettable sight, Undertaker rose from a casket and bellowed that he was "the demon who will lead you to eternal damnation".
The Undertaker has perhaps never looked more other-worldly and larger-than-life than he did here, walking through fire to challenge Kane to a match at WrestleMania XIV.
6 Monday Night Raw (June 1, 1998)
The Attitude Era was a time for the WWF that led to a greater blurring of the lines between its characters and their performers, and even a legend like The Undertaker would get in on the act. In a "worked-shoot" promo, the Deadman spoke in a manner much closer to the real-life Mark Calloway, airing his grievances about how much Vince McMahon had used him over his then nearly ten-year career.
This slight peek behind the veil of such a protected character was revolutionary for its time as Undertaker spoke of how McMahon never saw him as a true representative of the company, even after other wrestlers left for "greener pastures".
5 Smackdown! (March 8, 2001)
As Undertaker's dark persona was shed in the new millennium, he adopted a more true-to-life biker character that allowed him to speak more plainly than ever before. In this face-off against Triple H, Undertaker hits many of the trademarks that would typify this character, including referring to the ring as "my yard".
In fact, a few lines from this promo would make its way into Undertaker video packages of the time, such as the reference to his "decade of destruction" and the classic, "I'll make you famous". The American Bad-Ass persona allowed the Deadman to show a more human side of himself, one that fans connected to just as much.
4 Monday Night Raw (November 26, 2001)
This promo from RAW served as the lead-in to a heel turn for the Undertaker's character, and an obsession with respect that would come to define the American Bad-Ass. In speaking directly to Vince McMahon, Taker once again managed to work in a few "worked shoot" references, including the names of wrestlers considered off-limits at the time (like Bret Hart).
It's interesting to see the Undertaker character hit his low point by admitting he had kissed Vince McMahon's rear end the most out of anybody, and then lash out at announcer Jim Ross who refused to do the same, in a low-down turn for a beloved character.
3 Smackdown! (November 13, 2003)
Another Buried Alive match brought out a familiar dark side to the American Bad-Ass, as Undertaker spoke in a taped promo on Smackdown about how he would bury Vince McMahon in "the most brutal evening of [his] life". Taker again uses imagery reminiscent of his promo seven years ago against Mankind, as he describes grabbing McMahon by his neck, and covering McMahon in dirt up to his head so that he can think on his past sins.
A grisly promo for a surprisingly violent and edgy program in the Undertaker's long history.
2 Monday Night Raw (March 9, 2009)
The feud between Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker was revived in 2009 to great acclaim, and it was a promo confrontation between the two that summed up the story of a rivalry revived.
Undertaker's voice rumbled as he warned Shawn not to get his hopes up for beating him at WrestleMania with the Streak on the line and that his dreams would be laid to rest along with his soul by "the most dangerous entity that has ever stepped foot in this ring". A terrific lead-in to one of the most beloved matches in WWE history at WrestleMania 25.
1 Monday Night Raw (March 29, 2011)
Just two years after facing Shawn Michaels for the first time at WrestleMania, Undertaker would find himself across the ring from another familiar opponent: Triple H. In this promo face-off a week and change away from WrestleMania 27, Taker declared that his then-unbroken streak would still be alive no matter what Triple H would do.
Undertaker then uses HBK as an example of how The Game would fail, a point that Shawn could not refute. The promo managed to weave together the complex histories between the three and asserted Undertaker as the top of the mountain as far as WrestleMania is concerned.