The Undertaker is considered the most respected wrestler in WWE history. His career is still going after nearly three decades of bring a relevant player in WWE. The character seemed silly in theory, but the work done with it truly made it one of a kind. Behind the scenes, Undertaker was a locker room leader, especially in the 90s. When a wrestler developed a huge ego or did something that rubbed others the wrong way, Undertaker stepped in to keep them in check. Many stories portray Undertaker as being Vince McMahon’s right-hand man that isn’t afraid to speak out about something.
The Undertaker is like any other wrestler when it comes to making friends and enemies in the business. Something that sets Undertaker apart is that his negative stories of interaction with another wrestler were usually due to trying to send a message of that person needing to change their ways backstage. On the other side, Undertaker also managed to make many special bonds in his career. We will look at both sides when it comes to the long WWE run of the deadman. These are eight wrestlers that felt Undertaker’s heat in real life along with another eight that he loved.
16 Heat: CM Punk
The controversial attitude of CM Punk has landed him in trouble with various wrestlers throughout his career. Punk had a few enemies in WWE during his first few years on the main roster. The World Championship reign of Punk in 2009 ended in disappointing fashion. Undertaker destroyed Punk in a Hell in a Cell match lasting less than 10 minutes.
Rumor has it Punk lost the title to Undertaker as punishment for a backstage issue between the two. Undertaker talked to Punk about needing to dress better to represent the company as the World Champion.
Punk showed zero interest in listening to Undertaker’s criticism and continued wearing his normal clothes. The Undertaker feeling disrespected by Punk likely played into WWE having the title switch in anti-climatic fashion.
15 Love: The Godfather
The infamous Bone Street Krew became a backstage clique in WWE during the mid-90s. Shawn Michaels and his friends in the Kliq were establishing power in WWE. Their group would have Vince McMahon’s ear and attempted to use their power to hold down others at certain times. Undertaker decided to respond by making his own crew.
The Godfather was one of the wrestlers to become part of the BSK. Both guys were good friends behind the scenes after Godfather worked against Undertaker during his run as Kama Mustafa.
Undertaker and Godfather were each considered two of the tougher guys in the locker room which bonded them. Godfather having a great relationship with Undertaker and many other credible people in WWE played a role in him getting inducted into the Hall of Fame even though he was primarily a mid-carder.
14 Heat: Rusev
A recent instance of someone feeling the heat of Undertaker featured a controversial match change. Rusev was originally announced to face Undertaker in a Casket Match at the Greatest Rumble event in Saudi Arabia. TMZ filmed Lana and Rusev cutting a promo talking down to Undertaker.
Michelle McCool posted a message on Twitter implying she was upset at the foolish decision of these two to trash her husband.
Shortly after her social media posts, WWE announced Chris Jericho was replacing Rusev against Undertaker. It became even more confusing when WWE once again changed the match back to Rusev being the opponent of Undertaker. The best bet here is that Undertaker demanded the match get changed before hearing the full story and giving Rusev his match back.
13 Love: Jim Ross
The legendary commentary work of Jim Ross is how most fans remember him, but he had many other roles. Ross could be argued as the second most important person for WWE behind the scenes during the Attitude Era. The jobs of JR saw him scout talent and deal with the complaints of talent behind the scenes to keep them happy.
Undertaker often dealt with Ross at the time when it came to his pay or other business-related issues.
Obviously, JR did a great job keeping Undertaker happy if he never left WWE during the hottest era in wrestling. Undertaker reportedly played a role in Ross making surprise appearances to provide commentary for his WrestleMania matches against Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Roman Reigns through the years.
12 Heat: Big Show
Big Show and Undertaker have a good relationship today, but their early interactions were not as warm. Undertaker had the job of working with all the new big men entering WWE during his prime. Most were flops like Giant Gonzalez and Kamala. However, a few like Big Show had the potential to become successful stars for WWE for many years.
Big Show had a bit of a learning curve when making the jump from WCW to WWE. His prior run in WCW saw him doing anything he wanted with little to no help improving. Undertaker was shocked to see some of the mistakes Big Show made when they were teaming with each other or facing off as opponents. Big Show has stated in numerous interviews that Undertaker chewed him out backstage with verbal punishments in hopes of getting rid of the rookie mistakes he’d make in the ring.
11 Love: Kane
The kayfabe brotherhood between Undertaker and Kane being portrayed as siblings on WWE television has led to them developing a similar relationship in real life. Undertaker was the one to suggest Glenn Jacobs for the role of Kane to work with him all the way into WrestleMania XIV. Jacobs had struggled with terrible gimmicks like Isaac Yankem and Fake Diesel in his prior WWE stints.
The legends became extremely close friends behind the scenes.
Their friendship is being proven in the most shocking of ways as Undertaker is appearing at an event to help Kane’s bid for Mayor of Knox County. It is extremely rare for Undertaker to make a public appearance, but he feels it is worth it to help one of the people in wrestling that he loves dearly.
10 Heat: Chris Jericho
Much like Big Show, Chris Jericho was welcomed into WWE with the harsh warnings of The Undertaker whenever he did something wrong. The legendary debut of Jericho with the end of the millennium clock is celebrated today, but most don’t remember his initial gimmick. Jericho would interrupt credible WWE stars on the microphone and run them down for being boring.
The Undertaker was the most respected guy in the WWE locker room and Jericho trashed him on the mic in a way that called out his talent rather than his character.
This led to Undertaker confronting Jericho backstage and giving him some harsh words to make him realize WWE was very different to WCW. Jericho has stated it helped him and he learned a lot from Undertaker through the years.
9 Love: Steve Austin
The Undertaker would become one of Steve Austin’s greatest rivals during the Attitude Era. Austin and Undertaker always had good chemistry going back to the early hot run of Austin as a heel challenging Undertaker’s WWE Championship reign. The roles would be reversed in 1999 when Undertaker was the heel leader of the Ministry of Darkness.
Austin and Undertaker brought huge success in the ratings and buy rates. In fact, the top WWE rating for a match featured Austin and Undertaker deliver huge numbers in the main event slot. Austin has stated that Undertaker was one of his closest friends behind the scenes and they keep in touch today. Despite Undertaker reportedly being fine with it, Austin was not happy about the booking decision of WWE to end the undefeated WrestleMania streak of the deadman.
8 Heat: Vince McMahon
The Undertaker is one of the few wrestlers to develop a very close relationship with Vince McMahon, but that didn’t stop them from butting heads. Everyone viewed Undertaker as the leader of the locker room for his ability to call out anyone he felt needed to be called out. McMahon wasn’t exempt from this when he did something that crossed the line.
The Undertaker was the one to confront McMahon following the Montreal Screwjob.
Reports indicate that Undertaker banged on the door of Vince’s office until he opened it. Undertaker demanded that McMahon go to talk to Bret Hart and face the consequences for screwing over one of the boys. Hart punched out Vince to give him a black eye for weeks. This may not have happened if Undertaker wasn’t there on this night.
7 Love: Edge
Edge was one of the all-time great WWE stars that shined in every role. It didn’t matter if he was a maniacal heel or a humorous face. Edge had the talent to make almost any character work to success. The journey from the mid-card to the top of the WWE was one that Undertaker immensely respected. Edge has stated that Vince McMahon considered changing the plans for the WrestleMania XXIV to have someone else face Undertaker.
This wasn’t flying with Undertaker as he felt Edge deserved to be in the main event. Undertaker and Edge had a great match closing the show in entertaining fashion. The respect of Undertaker for Edge ensured the match would take place. Edge has expressed a lot of appreciation for Undertaker looking out for him numerous times through the years.
6 Heat: Melina
The old eras of WWE saw the wrestlers engaging in more controversial backstage moments before the company tried to clean up its reputation. One of the old things that went down on a regular basis was Wrestlers’ Court. Whenever the locker room felt someone deserved to be called to trial for their actions, Undertaker would serve as the judge to decide their fate.
Most wrestlers would get away with just having to buy a bottle of alcohol for Undertaker as their punishment, but things were worse for Melina. Many of the talent believed Melina’s ego was growing out of control and she had to be put in check. The Wrestlers’ Court led by Undertaker ended with Melina in tears. It was obvious that this version of the court went too far. WWE has since stopped the wrestlers from doing this and it would likely be met with punishment today.
5 Love: Rikishi
The Bone Street Krew featured Rikishi as one of the members as a close friend of Undertaker. Rikishi had the biggest break of his career in 2000 when the trio of him, Scotty 2 Hotty and Grand Master Sexay found success as Too Cool. WWE wanted to elevate another talented performer into the main event picture as a heel to work against Steve Austin, The Rock and Undertaker.
All three men were happy when Rikishi was the one chosen to be revealed as a mysterious heel wrestler that ran over Austin with a car. Undertaker and Rikishi worked together at most of the house shows which was a breeze for two friends. Rikishi even trusted Undertaker enough to get chokeslammed (or pushed) off the top of the hell in a cell for a dangerous spot.
4 Heat: Diamond Dallas Page
Diamond Dallas Page joining WWE during the invasion angle gave hope to many fans that WCW would have some solid representation. The introduction of Page saw him revealed as someone that was stalking Undertaker’s wife Sara for many months. Undertaker destroyed DDP on just about every show they faced off on despite the latter needing the booking help.
Fans are still unsure today why Page would get decimated by Undertaker and moved into a forgettable mid-card role.
Hardcore Holly’s book provided an insight into their backstage issues. Undertaker was upset at DDP writing out pages of moves and ideas for their match. This issue intensified when Undertaker disliked how Page was selling for him at house shows. It all culminated in DDP getting buried and used terribly during his WWE career.
3 Love: JBL
One person to develop a close relationship with Undertaker through the years was JBL. WWE allowed Bradshaw to become a locker room enforcer in the 90s as one of the longest tenured wrestlers. Undertaker had pull over everyone but his refusal to shut down JBL showed their friendship was a factor. Bradshaw got a spot in Undertaker’s Ministry of Darkness faction which ended up being a huge break for his career.
Undertaker elected to put over Bradshaw when he became the JBL character for his long WWE Championship reign.
Some wrestlers have speculated that JBL became a close friend of Vince McMahon solely due to his relationship with Undertaker. McMahon is prone to develop more respect for someone that gets an endorsement from his most loyal employee.
2 Heat: Shawn Michaels
The biggest instance of someone having backstage heat with The Undertaker took place at WrestleMania XIV. Undertaker had a match with Kane that night which had no issues since both men got along well. However, the main event of Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin with Mike Tyson as the enforcer saw The Undertaker get upset.
Michaels reportedly considered refusing to put over Austin and wanted to get the win or he’d go home without dropping the title.
Considering WWE invested a ridiculous amount of time, money and effort into setting up Austin as the guy to lead the company into the future. Urban legend has it that Undertaker confronted Michaels backstage and essentially threatened him. If Michaels didn’t put over Austin on that night, he may have had a beating in his future from Taker. The two ended up becoming close friends during Michaels’ second run in the 2000s.
1 Love: Triple H
Undertaker seemed to have a dislike of Triple H much like Shawn Michaels during the 90s. Both members of the Kliq were considered petty jerks that would try to sabotage others to get ahead. Triple H’s reputation started to improve when Michaels retired in 1998. The passion of Triple H for the company won over many of his former critics.
Triple H and Undertaker were two of the few wrestlers to last from the Attitude Era into the current era as part-time wrestlers. Undertaker had some of his best classic WrestleMania matches against Triple H in 2011 and 2012. Triple H having two matches in a row with Undertaker at back-to-back WrestleMania events proved just how much respect Undertaker had for him. According to Triple H, Undertaker played a huge role in making him feel better about dating Stephanie McMahon when he was enduring heat from the rest of the locker room for it.