Since his debut in 1990, The Undertaker has remained one of the most important figures in the WWE. He has been active through different eras of wrestling, seeing plenty of Superstars come and go during his lengthy stint. Retirement scenarios have been in place in the past decade with fans convinced that the next year would likely be his last as an active wrestler, although Taker continues to resurface. And while we know he doesn't have much left in the tank, Taker is still not ready to hang up the boots just yet.
In the past few years, he has moved away to a much lighter schedule, making only a few appearances per year. And while he has been absent from the locker room, he is still the most important figure whenever Taker is back around. Considering that he has been employed by the WWE for 28 years now, he has built numerous relationships with his co-workers, some of whom happen to be his real life friends as well.
Unlike most top WWE stars, 'Taker tends to be admired by most Superstars regardless of the period in which they met him. But in the wrestling industry, it is guaranteed that you will have heat with some performers along the way and 'Taker has been no exception in that regard. While you won't find many who have harsh words towards him, there are still many wrestlers who weren't on the best terms with The Deadman. Here are 10 wrestlers The Undertaker is close to and 10 he keeps his distance from:
20 Close To: Kevin Nash
Early in their careers, The Undertaker and Kevin Nash had many things in common as both were trying to climb up the ladder. Having similar build and being pushed due to their size led them to hang out even more in real life as they could relate to each other as far as professional wrestling. But they soon realized that the two men shared common interests away from the ring - which led them to grow closer on a personal level. Nash and 'Taker were known for being party animals at some point - leading to a newly introduced rule by Vince McMahon.
19 Keeps His Distance From: The Great Khali
In 2006, The Undertaker was given a major task of putting over The Great Khali. Given the lack of wrestling and mic skills from Khali, he clearly relied on his size and strength to be pushed to the top. At the time, he was still very green as an overall performer, making The Undertaker's job a tough one. And considering that Khali was immediately booked like a main eventer, as he easily manhandled The Deadman, it did create some rift between them behind the scenes. During a past interview, Khali indicated that their on-screen grudge carried to backstage as it appears that they never got along even when the cameras weren't rolling.
18 Close To: Bret Hart
As a young wrestler coming up in the WWE, The Undertaker gained a friend in Bret Hart who looked out for him and showed him the ropes. Taker has credited Hart for providing him with immense help early on, especially since he carried their matches to an extent while also making the former look good in the ring. In the aftermath of the Montreal Survivor Series, The Undertaker was upset at the betrayal by Vince McMahon and confronted him in the locker room. Hart would end pen a letter to The Undertaker in which he practically passed the torch as the leader of the WWE locker room.
17 Keeps His Distance From: Mr. Kennedy
There was a time when The Undertaker was one of Mr Kennedy's biggest supporters. While the latter clashed with a number of Superstars, he did earn Taker's respect as he was bringing something new to the table. According to Kennedy, Taker went as far as to request working a storyline with him. But it seems like Kennedy always let Taker down in one way or another from his botches to suspensions. And when word got around that Kennedy would be drafted to Raw, Taker had some advice for him regarding the transitional period and fitting in on the red brand. Kennedy would go on to ignore Taker's advice as his run was short lived on Raw prior to his release.
16 Close To: Kane
Early in his career, Kane had struggled to really find a suitable fit in the WWE - hopping from one bad gimmick to another before he was finally given the character that made him famous. Just about WWE were about to give up on him, it was The Undertaker who pushed for Kane to be given the gimmick - believing that he could run away with it. They had been friends around the time and only grew closer as they feuded and partnered up for a number of years. To this day, Kane and Taker remain great friends outside of the ring.
15 Keeps His Distance From: Bob Orton
In 2005, The Undertaker was engaged in one of the company's top feuds against Randy Orton, who would later bring his father Bob Orton for assistance. Bob's prime days were well behind him at that point, but he did serve in earning Randy even more heat as a heel, while making his son's job easier by breaking the rules to win. Bob's last WWE appearance came at Armageddon in 2005 when he was involved in the Hell in a Cell match between Randy and Taker - which eventually led to his release from the company. The bout got bloody to say the least, and given that Bob Orton had a blood condition without informing Taker - The Deadman was frustrated to learn that he hadn't been made aware.
14 Close To: JBL
When JBL was still an up and coming wrestler, The Undertaker had already established himself as a top star in the WWE. Despite his immense success, Taker was still very close with a number of WWE Superstars - many of whom were just getting started - and it's no wonder since he has always played an important role behind the scenes. JBL and Taker remained close throughout their WWE stint and even worked together in 2004 with the former getting a victory over The Deadman. And considering that Taker was among the groomsmen for JBL's wedding, that speaks volumes about their personal relationship.
13 Keeps His Distance From: Matt Hardy
As we all know, The Undertaker respected The Hardy Boyz in the early 2000s, and showed his appreciation towards Jeff's works during their famous title match. And while he had been on good terms with Matt, that changed due to an incident that took place at Survivor Series 2005. The Undertaker had been booked to take out every single Superstar in the ring, including Matt Hardy, who opted to go against the booking by rolling outside the ring. When The Undertaker was informed that Hardy had avoided taking a Chokeslam, he confronted him about it with some harsh words backstage.
12 Close To: Triple H
When Triple H was still a new WWE Superstar, he didn't immediately make too many friends backstage. And considering that he chose to associate with Shawn Michaels, it's no surprise that The Undertaker wasn't exactly a fan of Triple H at first. Michaels' immature antics also brought out the worst in Triple H, although the latter would change his ways during the late 90s. And that's when his relationship with Taker turned on a more positive note. The 2000s brought them much closer to each other, especially since they often collaborated whether in the ring or the WWE locker room.
11 Keeps His Distance From: Muhammad Hassan
Muhammad Hassan may have been among the top heels of the WWE during the mid-2000s, but despite being put into angles with top names such as Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels and John Cena - he didn't stick around due to unforeseen controversy. During his one year stint with the WWE, Hassan didn't make many friends in the locker room and was hazed by a number of veterans.
The Undertaker was also not fond of Hassan's attitude and lack of respect towards some veterans, putting the young Superstar in a tough position. After having been involved in a feud with Taker in his final weeks with the WWE, Hassan was written out of the show following a one-sided loss to The Deadman.
10 Close To: Steve Austin
While Steve Austin and The Undertaker didn't exactly click inside the ring, they certainly got along well behind the scenes. There was mutual respect between them throughout the Attitude Era, especially since both were very dedicated to the WWE. They shared some interests outside of the ring as well, which only facilitated their personal relationship especially since both loved hanging out at the bar when they weren't competing. They formed a bond in the late 90s to early 2000s when they were constantly on tour with each other. And while both stars have had their fair share of problems over the years, they never clashed and remained on great terms from the 90s until recent times.
9 Keeps His Distance From: Sim Snuka
Sim Snuka, also known as Deuce during his WWE stint, had a career costing botch. At WrestleMania XXV - as Deuce was going through a transitional period between gimmicks - he was given the role of a stunt cameraman during a match between Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker. When the latter went for a dive over the top rope, Michaels moved away as Deuce was supposed to catch 'Taker - but he failed to do so. That resulted in a scary fall for Taker who was fortunate enough to not have gotten seriously hurt in the aftermath. Needless to say, Taker was far from pleased with the botch and Deuce was released from the company just two months later.
8 Close To: Ric Flair
Despite being two of the most popular Superstars of all-time, the friendship between Ric Flair and The Undertaker isn't so known to the public. While we know some of their closest associates, Taker and Flair have been on great terms since The Deadman arrived in the WWE. They remained on good terms even when Flair worked for WCW, but grew closer upon his return to the WWE. When Flair announced his retirement from the company, Taker broke kayfabe by coming out to salute The Nature Boy - which speaks volumes regarding his respect and admiration towards him. More recently, Taker was one of the few wrestlers invited to Flair's fifth wedding.
7 Keeps His Distance From: Melina
By so many wrestlers' accounts, Melina was among the least popular Superstars behind the scenes. She landed in trouble a number of times, causing many headaches for the WWE as many of her peers weren't very fond of her attitude. Despite all the controversy surrounding her, Melina managed to remain with the company until 2011 when they finally had enough of her antics. But she got on The Undertaker's bad side in 2006 when both Superstars were on SmackDown as Melina had a number of incidents brought forward against her. She was taken to the Wrestler's Court, which was ran by Taker himself at the time - as he believed that it was time to deal with the growing concerns.
6 Close To: Shane McMahon
It's well known that The Undertaker is one of the few wrestlers who has some control when it comes to his booking, especially as he has gotten older. Having been a WWE star his entire life, Taker is one of Vince McMahon's favorites, earning him a special treatment. And while he may have Vince's respect, Taker has been friends with Shane since around the time he arrived to the WWE. Shane opened up in an interview about his longtime relationship with The Deadman just as they were gearing up to wrestle at WrestleMania 32 in a Hell in a Cell. If Taker hadn't been so fond of Shane outside of the ring, it's unlikely that he would gone have through with this match.
5 Keeps His Distance From: CM Punk
If there's one thing a Superstar should never do, it would be ignoring advice given from The Undertaker. That's exactly what CM Punk did in 2009 after he was finally crowned as the World Heavyweight Champion, and Taker approached him about the way he carried himself as champion - claiming that he needed to be an all-around professional from attitude to clothing. Punk had no interest in giving in to Taker's suggestion and continued doing his own thing, which apparently earned him plenty of heat behind the scenes and has been attributed as the reason behind his championship loss against Taker.
4 Close To: Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle came into the WWE in the late 90s and no one quite took to the business of professional wrestling as quickly as him. The Undertaker was always one to recognize talent in someone and Kurt Angle certainly was someone special. Angle has told stories on how Taker was instrumental in helping him get over and learning the business. To get an idea of how much Taker respected Angle, Taker offered Angle a shot at breaking the streak back in 2006, but the WWE went in a different direction. With Angle now back in WWE, him and Taker's friendship picked up right where it left off, when Angle left the company all those years ago.
3 Keeps His Distance From: Chris Jericho
Given that The Undertaker and Chris Jericho have been two of the most prominent figures of the WWE from the 2000s, most fans would assume that they are on great terms. And while they may not be beefing per se, there was major heat between when Jericho arrived to the WWE. Known for his edgy promos and antics, Jericho offended Taker in his second promo ever for the WWE when he referred to The Deadman as boring. According to Jericho, Taker was very upset with the comment and confronted him about it - while he also speculates that it held him back for some time before he finally got his career back on track.
2 Close To: Brock Lesnar
When Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker worked together in 2002, they weren't exactly on the best of terms as the latter didn't want to lose to the former at such a fast rate. But they eventually turned into great friends as they spent more time around each other and Taker gained plenty of respect for Lesnar as a worker, and talented all-around performer. Even when Lesnar was away from the WWE, Taker attended one of his UFC fights and spoke highly of him during an interview. And considering that he signed off on Lesnar ending his undefeated streak at WrestleMania XXX, that should tell us just how close they have been.
1 Keeps His Distance From: DDP
When DDP arrived to the WWE, he was greeted with a massive ovation from the fans. While he had expected to be inserted into the main event picture - especially since he was immediately placed into an angle with The Undertaker - DDP's WWE run couldn't have turned out to be any worse. DDP claimed that Taker wasn't a fan of his scripted matches style, and complained to Vince McMahon about it. And given his status in the WWE, Taker also had a say in the outcome of their feud which resulted in DDP looking weak at the end. While they never clashed behind the scenes, the two stars always kept their distance from each other as they never clicked on a personal level.