Wrestling Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What were the reasons behind the american badass gimmick change?

personally I thought the ministry undertaker was the best version of taker and his character was still hot and popular before he went out with the injury.

Did the wwf think the character had become stale?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
607 Posts
Re: reasons for the undertaker gimmick change?

Dude went really hard and non-stop through the height of the attitude era and really the whole 90s decade and was injured and exhausted as fuck when he left in '99. He had nagging injuries and a bad groin tear that couldn't heal because even when they designed ways for him to not be physical (staying at ringside, sitting on commentary, etc.) he kept jumping into the fray and mixing it up.

He needed a break and from what I read he made some lifestyle changes during his time off that he felt were better/healthier. He said in many interviews at the time that he'd developed a new lease on life and wanted to reflect that in his work. It wasn't so much that they felt the gimmick was stale because he'd done a good job of evolving it and it was still popular with fans. I think it was more Calaway being sick of the shtick and needing a change. Though the deadman is and always will be my favourite, I loved the ABA/Big Evil in all of it's forms and think he nailed it. Always gave him huge props for doing what many would have thought unthinkable, evolving through such a dark and mysterious yet believable character that was hugely over and dependent upon kayfabe to what he became in 2000 and then back again. It's amazing that he did that so successfully when pretty much anyone else would have bombed and seen their demise. It's so indicative of his talent and quality as a performer.
 

·
Currently booking tonight’s card...
HBK ⚜️ SAINTS ⚜️ CSRO
Joined
·
2,734 Posts
Re: reasons for the undertaker gimmick change?

It always came across that Taker needed a change up. Maybe he felt the phenom stuff ran its course through the 90's and since he would be making a return in 2000, it seemed like as good of time as any to try something different.

Personally, I never liked the biker Taker. It obviously worked and it was over... but I was not a fan when he was doing it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,508 Posts
Re: reasons for the undertaker gimmick change?

I've read somewhere that he hated The Ministry gimmick but I don't think that's the reason.

Whatever the reason is, I loved the ABA/Big Evil Taker. Thought he was so cool and badass. It's a shame he gets a lot of hate for that gimmick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,334 Posts
Re: reasons for the undertaker gimmick change?

He didn't hate the Ministry gimmick he hated the Corporate-Ministry.

Also Russo was the mastermind behind that entire angle, and he was gone in 2000, so Taker probably had creative control over his character then and did what he wanted to do for the first time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
844 Posts
Re: reasons for the undertaker gimmick change?

I don't think there was much to it. I remember listening to a Taker interview on the web right after he debuted the new American Bad Ass gimmick and he basically just said it was a way of updating and bringing his character into the new millennium.
 

·
#HAIRBEAR #TEAMPALE
Joined
·
5,256 Posts
Re: reasons for the undertaker gimmick change?

dead ma gimmick was getting stale regardless of what ppl say 15 years later.

it was a good move. not like he stayed that way. and he did this

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
Re: reasons for the undertaker gimmick change?

I thought the Biker era of Taker had a good little run. I remember watching Judgement Day 2000 live and marking the fuck out when he appeared on the motorcycle for the first time after being gone for so long. But then I was pissed that he ended up causing HHH to win the title..
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
18,555 Posts
Re: reasons for the undertaker gimmick change?

Undertaker probably just felt his character, a zombie, didn't fit in the realistic Attitude era so he decided to start playing as himself. McMahon hated the change.

- Vic
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
607 Posts
Re: reasons for the undertaker gimmick change?

Undertaker probably just felt his character, a zombie, didn't fit in the realistic Attitude era so he decided to start playing as himself. McMahon hated the change.

- Vic
I don't think he did. He never would have gone with it and promoted it and supported it so much if he hated it. Also Vince was all about reality and Attitude at the time and he loved motorcycles in real life and often enjoyed gimmicks that spoke to him and he could live vicariously through.

I read the former WWE writer's interview (Alex Greenfield was it?) who mentioned that Vince doesn't like to be reminded of Taker's ABA persona, or at least that's how dirtsheets interpreted it and now they relate it as Vince hating the gimmick. I think people took his words out of context. He never said Vince hated the gimmick, he said that Vince does not like comparing and conflating the two when coming up with ideas for their current product and he insinuated that Vince wants to view them as separate entities and not to even try going a different route with Vince. Most likely this is because Vince is fiercely protective of Undertaker's mysterious deadman persona and he might see trying to connect it to the ABA or bringing in elements of that time would damage it and remind people that he's human and ruin the mystique.

This is all along the same vein as Undertaker never appearing in the audience at the Hall of Fame even when he's always there backstage, Taker never giving interviews although he's one that people want to hear from the most, Taker never shown doing promotional work or hanging around in backstage vignettes. It's not because Vince would hate it or think it wouldn't work, only that he views it as going against what Taker's character is about and potentially damaging to the aura.
 

·
Currently booking tonight’s card...
HBK ⚜️ SAINTS ⚜️ CSRO
Joined
·
2,734 Posts
American Bad Ass was a welcome change for me. I used to eyeroll at some of The Deadman's "powers". It felt too childish at the time. He was still a fave of mine, anyways.
I will agree that around 1998 there were some embarrassing/cheesy moments with lightening bolts hitting certain targets on the stage and things like that, which was hard to watch with a straight face...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,334 Posts
American Bad Ass was a welcome change for me. I used to eyeroll at some of The Deadman's "powers". It felt too childish at the time. He was still a fave of mine, anyways.
I eye rolled the ABA personally, seeing as how a couple years earlier we had the DOA doing the exact same gimmick. I loved 97-99 Taker far more than regular Mark.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
He wanted to switch it up, that's all. He needed a refresher! I thought it worked marvelously and I enjoyed it, very much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Undertaker is one of the best of all time, and being the best means knowing how to reinvent yourself and change to stay fresh. That's what he does on a constant basis. There's nothing more to it. And goddamn did he whoop some ass as Big Evil. The heel Big Evil shit was some of his best work ever when he cut the hair off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
American Bad Ass was a welcome change for me. I used to eyeroll at some of The Deadman's "powers". It felt too childish at the time. He was still a fave of mine, anyways.
Wrestling is just a live action comic book to me. I love the more theatrical elements like powers. I want Alexa Bliss to bust out some fairy powers.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
18,555 Posts
I don't think he did.
It was Andrew Goldstein actually:

It's so funny. I brought it up. I was just like, 'Oh, I love the American Badass gimmick. I loved hearing Undertaker cut actual promos and come down on the motorcycle and come down with contemporary music and be sort of human.' Bruce Prichard shot me a death look that said don't ever bring that up in front of Vince because Vince is so protective of Undertaker's character and mystique. And rightly so, its money. As Triple H has been saying, there's equity in the mysterious mystique of Undertaker.
And the point stands.

- Vic
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top