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Discussion Starter #1
Well, yet again the Undertaker is M.I.A. due to an injury, and we're all left wondering when he's coming back and who he will face at WrestleMania. But the biggest question on my mind is how he will return this time. It seems that he "returns" one or two times a year, and quite frankly it's getting kind of old. Moreover, I hate to say it, but the Undertaker character, the Dead Man, is getting pretty old and boring as well (in my opinion). I know he's a Legend, he is among the Elite, high atop the pantheon of immortals in WWE lore. Everybody respects the Undertaker and his place in WWE history. But still, he seems to be out of place in the current WWE landscape. He is really the only guy left with a kind of over-the-top gimmick, a comic book character persona. It just doesn't fit in with what WWE is doing right now.

So how can Undertaker's next return be something fresh, something interesting, something that would help him work well with the new guys like Del Rio, Barrett, Sheamus, Miz? I say you free him of the Dead Man gimmick and bring him back as a kind of quasi-American Badass Undertaker. Make him human again. Give him the ability to speak his mind, to talk like a real person without trying to sound all mystical and supernatural. I know, that goes against the very essence of the Undertaker, and believe me, during his first run as the "American Badass" about 10 years ago or so, I was one of the people who couldn't wait for him to return to his old persona. But now, we've had 20 years of the Dead Man, and I think that its time to put him to rest. In my opinion, this is exactly the direction WWE are going, which is why after he was "buried alive" they showed the video clip of him walking from the darkness into the room full of light. Or maybe that's not what they meant at all, but still I think it could work.

In reality, I have no idea what WWE and Undertaker have planned for the future, this is obviously all speculation and wishful thinking on my part. But in my mind, this would be a great way to bring Undertaker back for a few more years as a relevant and interesting face. It would be a benefit to some of the younger heels to have a chance to work with an experienced veteran who can be a great mic worker if given the chance. It's time for the old Undertaker to Rest in Peace. Bring back the motorcycle. Maybe him and Alberto Del Rio could have a drag race.
 

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While I do think Taker going back to the ABA days would make for much more entertaining feuds and give younger guys someone who can really push them up the card. Under his deadman gimmick that is a bit difficult to do a lot because he's supposed to be this all powerful being and isn't expected to lose at all. It makes it harder to make younger guys look as good as they can against him, so in that sense making him human would make it more acceptable in the audience's eyes if he lost a bit more to put over younger guys. I also think that due to the fact he always seems to have knee problems, as the ABA he wouldn't have to do the tombstone anywhere near as much as he is now, and thus it would maybe slow down the nagging injuries Taker has built up. Not to mention as the ABA, his mic skills wouldn't be hindered and he can cut some great promos.

But on the other hand, Taker should go out how he came in, as the deadman. He doesn't need a farewell like Shawn and Flair had. Does he deserve one? Yeah, but he doesn't need one. And since he probably only has a couple of years left, he should stay in the deadman gimmick and just play it out for the next 2 years. Besides, when he's inducted into the hall of fame, he can speak his mind then and that can somewhat be a farewell, even if it's several years down the line after he retires.
 

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I don't think anybody with the power to do so would even consider dropping the deadman gimmick. Even for those who have been watching since before Undertaker first debuted, whenever somebody even mentions his name, the deadman is the very first thing that comes to everyone's head. Nobody would first associate Undertaker with the biker gimmick and then the deadman gimmick. Being the Demon of Death Valley is his legacy and his lasting mark on the wrestling world.

Personally, I could never tire of watching the guy, because I don't attempt to hide that I believe he's the single greatest wrestler of all time. Having said that, I wouldn't be against a little change. He usually does tweak things here and there over time to stay somewhat fresh, even if it's just wearing a different coat or working on a new move.

I would like it if the whole 'Deadman Inc.' fanbase name rolled around again, and it'd be pretty awesome to hear deadman Undertaker threatening to 'Make You Famous!' to somebody. I'd hate to see a fully humanized 'Taker though.
 

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While I do think Taker going back to the ABA days would make for much more entertaining feuds and give younger guys someone who can really push them up the card.
he hasnt got long left in the WWE though everyone can see it i hate to even say it because hes one of the reasons i keep watching. but hes too old to do th ABA gimmick again, id love for him to do it and i hope im wrong but, if hes going to be leaving soon id rather him do it as the dead man.
 

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Yeah, the legendary deadman will always be remembered as the DEADMAN! But remember he changed from ABA into the deadman gimmick when he was buried alive a few years back.
While he's a bit too old to go back to ABA, i think a different gimmick would be a breath of fresh air, the whole conjuring lightning thing and dragging kane under the mat is getting so old. And quite silly now everything is more realistic.
I think he DOES need a more human approach for a while, until finally returning as the deadman before he retires and has a final match with the gimmick he has served for such a long time.
 

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The Winds of Change
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Well, yet again the Undertaker is M.I.A. due to an injury, and we're all left wondering when he's coming back and who he will face at WrestleMania. But the biggest question on my mind is how he will return this time. It seems that he "returns" one or two times a year, and quite frankly it's getting kind of old. Moreover, I hate to say it, but the Undertaker character, the Dead Man, is getting pretty old and boring as well (in my opinion). I know he's a Legend, he is among the Elite, high atop the pantheon of immortals in WWE lore. Everybody respects the Undertaker and his place in WWE history. But still, he seems to be out of place in the current WWE landscape. He is really the only guy left with a kind of over-the-top gimmick, a comic book character persona. It just doesn't fit in with what WWE is doing right now.

So how can Undertaker's next return be something fresh, something interesting, something that would help him work well with the new guys like Del Rio, Barrett, Sheamus, Miz? I say you free him of the Dead Man gimmick and bring him back as a kind of quasi-American Badass Undertaker. Make him human again. Give him the ability to speak his mind, to talk like a real person without trying to sound all mystical and supernatural. I know, that goes against the very essence of the Undertaker, and believe me, during his first run as the "American Badass" about 10 years ago or so, I was one of the people who couldn't wait for him to return to his old persona. But now, we've had 20 years of the Dead Man, and I think that its time to put him to rest. In my opinion, this is exactly the direction WWE are going, which is why after he was "buried alive" they showed the video clip of him walking from the darkness into the room full of light. Or maybe that's not what they meant at all, but still I think it could work.

In reality, I have no idea what WWE and Undertaker have planned for the future, this is obviously all speculation and wishful thinking on my part. But in my mind, this would be a great way to bring Undertaker back for a few more years as a relevant and interesting face. It would be a benefit to some of the younger heels to have a chance to work with an experienced veteran who can be a great mic worker if given the chance. It's time for the old Undertaker to Rest in Peace. Bring back the motorcycle. Maybe him and Alberto Del Rio could have a drag race.
Really interesting post man. I have actually had thoughts about this recently. 'How will Undertaker come back this time?' You've got to think about this from Mark's perspective, because after all, he is the man who has the final word on what happens with the Undertaker's character. He has earned that right. Vince would let him do what he wants because he understands that Mark has the legacy of The Undertaker closer to his heart than anybody else. The two have always had a deep relationship not only because of the success they've had together over the decades, but because of the loyalty he has shown to Vince and the WWE since day 1. The Undertaker stuck with the WWE through some tough times and always had the company's best interests at the front of his mind over anything else. If something would be good for the storyline or just the general 'overness' of an angle Mark would support it behind the scenes. If he could respect the decision, he would support it...and Vince is aware of that. And if the 'something' being discussed included Undertaker in it, then the more the merrier. Vince and Mark both share such an extremely strong and deep understanding of the business that they have made incredible business partners...because that is basically what Undertaker has been for Vince all of this time.

Taker has had one of the most incredible, epic careers that any superstar past, present or future could ever wish for. His career has reached the level of Hogan, Austin, Rock, Triple H, Ric Flair, HBK and others. In fact, I would say that it has surpassed many of those who I just listed based on just tenure alone. But Taker's legacy goes beyond just tenure - even though SO DAMN MUCH was accomplished in that time. Taker has a record that no other man will ever have, and that is an 18-0 record at Wrestlemania that isn't finished yet.

The Streak at this point, has become bigger than either World Title at Wrestlemania. Facing HBK at back to back Wrestlemania's, and winning both times put it up on that next level. Combined with the facts that he retired Shawn the second time, and that we will probably have the honor of seeing at most in my opinion, two more Undertaker Wrestlemania matches. It is monumental. These last two matches, and the way Undertaker returns and finishes out his career will truely seal the legacy that is the Phenom.

Now even though the larger than life, mythical character of The Undertaker is so incredible to watch every time you see him slowly make his way to the ring, the questions still stand. Has the gimmick played its course? Is it time for Undertaker to come back with a bit of a freshened mold of his character?

The Undertaker has probably been my longest favorite since watching WWF from when I was small. I use to honestly be fascinated by how mysterious and scary he was. Seeing his entrances live so many times over the years has also let me feel the presence the character has in person. Anyone who has been to a WWE event, long time fan or newer fan, knows what I am talking about. It is truly awesome to witness. However, as much as the Dead Man character has a special place in my heart, Chris32482 has a point. The Dead Man character does seem a bit out of place in today's WWE. It is almost to the point where you can't put certain people in feuds with The Undertaker anymore, because they just wouldn't...work. The gimmick has become somewhat stale, not because the gimmick itself isn't captivating anymore, but because the environment it exists in is on a whole other planet.

I think the best thing for Undertaker to do upon his return (or possibly even after he comes back the second time after his Wrestlemania 27 return which I'm assuming he will be) would be a somewhat meshing of his personas. After all, The American Bad Ass character was an instrumental player in Undertaker's career because it rejuvenated him so much and made him actually human. And let's not forget that he had a pretty good Undisputed Championship run, taking the belt of Hogan, and then setting up for Rock/Brock to be able to happen. He wasn't even pinned when he lost the belt to The Rock as well. The whole initial Brothers of Destruction run was something new and interesting at the time too.

With Mark's career winding down, one has to think forward to how he will put the cap on his illustrious career. Mark has given his life to not just this business, but this company. I have got to think that he is going to want to be able to exit in a much more natural and real way...even though for the majority of his career he has been the complete opposite of that - super natural. When the time does in fact come for Undertaker's final match, and his innevitable induction into the Hall of Fame, do you really want him to just disappear in a cloud of smoke? Do you really want him to just "descend back to hell"? Honestly, I would like a realer version of the Undertaker, one that is in many ways reflective of who Mark is as a person (which the American Bad Ass character wasn't very far off from lol). I think when the time comes for Undertaker's final match/feud, he needs to be human. It will be an extremely emotional time for him, and I think it would be much more natural if the character of The Undertaker were humanized for it. It doesn't necessarily have to be a carbon copy of the American Bad Ass character, but something new and fresh, but at the same time - real.

In closing, I'd like to say one more thing. It is something that has been a point of discussion and arguement in the IWC for a very long time and that is, "Will The Streak end at 20-0 or 19-1?" I think there are strong, valid points for both sides of the arguement, and as much as I feel Mark has earned the right to go 20-0 at Wrestlemania - I think he will leave the business on his back, just like so many of the other greats. You look at guys like Austin, Flair, Rock, Shawn. They were sent into retirement by losing their final match. Mark is old school...the most old school guy left on the active roster and he has such a deep respect for the business. That is what it comes down to and always have come down to for Mark: respect. I believe that he will want to put over who ever it may be that faces him in his final match. I think in his mind, it would only be right. Not to mention it would bring the character of The Undertaker back to earth, and remind people that while he is one of the greatest ever, no ONE PERSON is bigger than the business. And I think that the best way for Undertaker to be able to go out that way, would be with a more humanized version. It just wouldn't be right for the timeless Dead Man, to be dethroned after seeming unstoppable for over 20 years.

Here are a few videos from the summer/late 1999 before he had to take time off. This is similar to how I would have Mark have his final run as The Undertaker, so that he could appear, well...real again. I mean, he doesn't have to comepletely do away with every piece of the Dead Man persona, he could easily just be a scary ass dude who everyone knows deep down is the Phenom. Check them out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ex3cspstmo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uO4xZ0n1N0&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2jnnW3dQ4I&feature=related
 

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Discussion Starter #9
NoLeafCloverRKO, you make some good points about Undertaker possibly going out on his back and using his remaining time to help put over new talent. Hopefully the WWE and The Undertaker see it that way too. Taker is kind of like Jericho in that he could lose 100 matches and it wouldn't damage his legacy at all. Even if Taker lost his last match at WresteMania, it wouldn't matter, because as much as it has been hyped in the last few years, the Streak is not what defines his career. However, for the guy who BEATS the Undertaker at 'Mania, it would be HUGE. So it's a good trade off if you ask me. And like you said, The Undertaker's last run in the WWE is sure to be an emotional time for him and for the fans, and it would be much more memorable and enjoyable for everyone if he approached it with more humanity than what the "Dead Man" character could allow. No matter what happens, The Undertaker's career, his legacy, and his body of work over the last 20 years is untouchable, so there should be no concerns about how his last few years affects any of that. All that really matters is that we, the fans, enjoy it, and the most you could hope for is that it can have some relevant impact for the present and the future. I hope WWE and Undertaker keep that in mind.
 

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NoLeafCloverRKO, you make some good points about Undertaker possibly going out on his back and using his remaining time to help put over new talent. Hopefully the WWE and The Undertaker see it that way too. Taker is kind of like Jericho in that he could lose 100 matches and it wouldn't damage his legacy at all. Even if Taker lost his last match at WresteMania, it wouldn't matter, because as much as it has been hyped in the last few years, the Streak is not what defines his career. However, for the guy who BEATS the Undertaker at 'Mania, it would be HUGE. So it's a good trade off if you ask me. And like you said, The Undertaker's last run in the WWE is sure to be an emotional time for him and for the fans, and it would be much more memorable and enjoyable for everyone if he approached it with more humanity than what the "Dead Man" character could allow. No matter what happens, The Undertaker's career, his legacy, and his body of work over the last 20 years is untouchable, so there should be no concerns about how his last few years affects any of that. All that really matters is that we, the fans, enjoy it, and the most you could hope for is that it can have some relevant impact for the present and the future. I hope WWE and Undertaker keep that in mind.
For sure man. It's nice to see someone else share the views I have on the topic. Like you said, we can only hope WWE keeps in mind how important the end to his career is done - because at the end of the day, it's all about the fans.
 

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Great post NoLeafClover. Just a few points I wanted to talk about.

The Streak at this point, has become bigger than either World Title at Wrestlemania. Facing HBK at back to back Wrestlemania's, and winning both times put it up on that next level. Combined with the facts that he retired Shawn the second time, and that we will probably have the honor of seeing at most in my opinion, two more Undertaker Wrestlemania matches. It is monumental. These last two matches, and the way Undertaker returns and finishes out his career will truely seal the legacy that is the Phenom.
I agree with this and think it's incredibly important when talking about the last (what I presume will be) two years, or two Wrestlemania's of his career. It's obviously winding down and I wouldn't be surprised to see him just wrestle three months each of the two years to cover Mania both of them. I think that after his incredible matches at both WM25 and WM26 they need to do something special. Now I don't think much can top those two matches, or his part in the reitrement of HBK but they do need to add something extra to make these last two as memorable or to make them seem as big a deal as they have been the last two years.

Now even though the larger than life, mythical character of The Undertaker is so incredible to watch every time you see him slowly make his way to the ring, the questions still stand. Has the gimmick played its course? Is it time for Undertaker to come back with a bit of a freshened mold of his character?
And I do feel that they do need to do something like this to achieve such a thing.

However, as much as the Dead Man character has a special place in my heart, Chris32482 has a point. The Dead Man character does seem a bit out of place in today's WWE. It is almost to the point where you can't put certain people in feuds with The Undertaker anymore, because they just wouldn't...work. The gimmick has become somewhat stale, not because the gimmick itself isn't captivating anymore, but because the environment it exists in is on a whole other planet.
I agree with this. The Undertaker with his current gimmick does not fit in the WWE right now (neither does Kane for that matter) because the company has gone the route of ditching gimmicks and going more for reality based characters. I also think that with WWE and their youth movement, it makes it very difficult for any young superstar to gain anything from Undertaker because his gimmick makes sure nobody can actually beat him. Nobody can get elevated from him because it's impossible for him to look weak. I think this needs to be changed, and I think in these last two years where the audience might become quite sympathetic towards the Undertaker as they know his career is coming to an end...they need to let them.

In order to do that I think they need to make his gimmick more human.

I think the best thing for Undertaker to do upon his return (or possibly even after he comes back the second time after his Wrestlemania 27 return which I'm assuming he will be) would be a somewhat meshing of his personas. After all, The American Bad Ass character was an instrumental player in Undertaker's career because it rejuvenated him so much and made him actually human. And let's not forget that he had a pretty good Undisputed Championship run, taking the belt of Hogan, and then setting up for Rock/Brock to be able to happen. He wasn't even pinned when he lost the belt to The Rock as well. The whole initial Brothers of Destruction run was something new and interesting at the time too.
Also agree with this. I wouldn't want him to completely ditch the deadman gimmick, but I don't want him to keep it in full either. The mixing off ABA and Deadman would be just about right. Leave enough of the deadman gimmick for him to still be a mystery etc but add on elements that might make him a more sympathetic face, or elements that would enable him as a character to be more emotional, therefore letting the audience be more emotional.

When the time does in fact come for Undertaker's final match, and his innevitable induction into the Hall of Fame, do you really want him to just disappear in a cloud of smoke? Do you really want him to just "descend back to hell"? Honestly, I would like a realer version of the Undertaker, one that is in many ways reflective of who Mark is as a person (which the American Bad Ass character wasn't very far off from lol). I think when the time comes for Undertaker's final match/feud, he needs to be human. It will be an extremely emotional time for him, and I think it would be much more natural if the character of The Undertaker were humanized for it.
Exactly. I think he will retire at WM28 and I just don't feel it would be right to send him off 'in a cloud of smoke' as you put it. For a guy who's been int he company the best part of two decades he needs a sendoff to match it. I don't think it would be enough for him to just 'disappear' he needs a proper sendoff and a proper HOF induction. He obviously can't do that as his current persona, he needs to become more like himself in order for him to actually get the send off he deserves.

I think he will leave the business on his back, just like so many of the other greats. You look at guys like Austin, Flair, Rock, Shawn. They were sent into retirement by losing their final match. Mark is old school...the most old school guy left on the active roster and he has such a deep respect for the business. That is what it comes down to and always have come down to for Mark: respect. I believe that he will want to put over who ever it may be that faces him in his final match. I think in his mind, it would only be right. Not to mention it would bring the character of The Undertaker back to earth, and remind people that while he is one of the greatest ever, no ONE PERSON is bigger than the business. And I think that the best way for Undertaker to be able to go out that way, would be with a more humanized version. It just wouldn't be right for the timeless Dead Man, to be dethroned after seeming unstoppable for over 20 years.
But with this, I don't know. It's such a major thing right now that...I don't think it would be right for it to end to be honest. In that way Undertaker would be unique, NOBODY has ever done such a thing. I can't see anyone on the current roster now who I would like to end the streak, nobody. I thought that HBK was THE perfect candidate as he's a legend in his own right, he gave a match for the streak the best possible match he could. If it ended to him, it would have been ended to one of the biggest legends in WWE history.

But now? I don't think any of the top stars could do the streak justice in ending it. Undertaker obviously isn't the guy he uused to be in the ring and I don't see anyone who could end the streak while having it go out in a blaze of glory, in an amazing match for the ages. I just don't feel it would be right for any of the current crop of main evneters to take it out, and I certainly don't agree with the 'up and comer should end it' argument because after defending it against a bunch of true greats, it would demean it. If anyone should end it, a legend should end it imo.

So as for the last couple of Mania's. Just to make them special I would, as you said, humanise Undertaker. At WM27 I would have Undertaker vs. Triple H w/ HBK as special referee. There you have him facing one of the biggest names still left in the company, add on the guy who he had the last two legendary Mania's against and it could be huge.

Then at WM28 have Undertaker vs. John Cena. The face of the company vs. the biggest legend in the company. It might not be the best match, but the match would sell itself. It would be the biggest match they could do. So that would be his last two Mania's sorted for me. He could retire against John Cena, coming out on top. Having them show their respect etc. I wouldn't mind it like that.

Wow...I didn't mean to go on for so long :p
 

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He needs to put over a promising young talent at WM, then retire. He's too old, it's not amusing to watch him wrestle anymore, his gimmick is stale and past the point of no return, and he almost never puts anyone over.

It's time for him to go.
 

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He needs to put over a promising young talent at WM, then retire. He's too old, it's not amusing to watch him wrestle anymore, his gimmick is stale and past the point of no return, and he almost never puts anyone over.

It's time for him to go.
How about every Wrestlemanaia, like versus HBK (twice), Edge, Randy Orton, etc....He is still great in the ring, it's just that he's at his best at Wrestlemania (most superstars are, this is THE PPV of the year).

As for his gimmick, I don't think he needs to change it much since he only has 1-2 years left, and will probebly only be around for the Road to Wrestlemania anyway. No, the focus shouldn't be on putting people over (unless it's WM, if you want him to lose...), but on the storylines/riveries leading up to Wrestlemania. 2 years in a row, Taker/HBK stole the show. I'm not sure who he's facing this year, but there's no reason for him to start putting people over, as he's so close to retirement already. Might as well EITHER let him leave with the streak intact, or let Taker put over a rookie in The Biggest Show of Them All.

Edit: @ louis1711 - Taker put over Kane - 3 times! Hell, he even put over Khali at one point. However, he's a legend and deserves strong booking since HE IS the main attraction at Wrestlmania. Taker sells tickets bro.
 

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As much as i love Taker's American Badass gimmick, the legendary Dead Man gimmick is what 'made' him, and he should retire as one, honestly i don't want to see humanized Taker when he retires, it would be kinda...boring, his retirement moment should be fitting with his over the top and mysterious persona, but that's just me.
 

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Ive personally have been bored of taker since 2008 i think he needs to retire. He looks pretty bad and has alot of injurys he needs to just lose on the way out at wrestlemania to put someone over.
 

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Really interesting post man. I have actually had thoughts about this recently. 'How will Undertaker come back this time?' You've got to think about this from Mark's perspective, because after all, he is the man who has the final word on what happens with the Undertaker's character. He has earned that right. Vince would let him do what he wants because he understands that Mark has the legacy of The Undertaker closer to his heart than anybody else. The two have always had a deep relationship not only because of the success they've had together over the decades, but because of the loyalty he has shown to Vince and the WWE since day 1. The Undertaker stuck with the WWE through some tough times and always had the company's best interests at the front of his mind over anything else. If something would be good for the storyline or just the general 'overness' of an angle Mark would support it behind the scenes. If he could respect the decision, he would support it...and Vince is aware of that. And if the 'something' being discussed included Undertaker in it, then the more the merrier. Vince and Mark both share such an extremely strong and deep understanding of the business that they have made incredible business partners...because that is basically what Undertaker has been for Vince all of this time.

Taker has had one of the most incredible, epic careers that any superstar past, present or future could ever wish for. His career has reached the level of Hogan, Austin, Rock, Triple H, Ric Flair, HBK and others. In fact, I would say that it has surpassed many of those who I just listed based on just tenure alone. But Taker's legacy goes beyond just tenure - even though SO DAMN MUCH was accomplished in that time. Taker has a record that no other man will ever have, and that is an 18-0 record at Wrestlemania that isn't finished yet.

The Streak at this point, has become bigger than either World Title at Wrestlemania. Facing HBK at back to back Wrestlemania's, and winning both times put it up on that next level. Combined with the facts that he retired Shawn the second time, and that we will probably have the honor of seeing at most in my opinion, two more Undertaker Wrestlemania matches. It is monumental. These last two matches, and the way Undertaker returns and finishes out his career will truely seal the legacy that is the Phenom.

Now even though the larger than life, mythical character of The Undertaker is so incredible to watch every time you see him slowly make his way to the ring, the questions still stand. Has the gimmick played its course? Is it time for Undertaker to come back with a bit of a freshened mold of his character?

The Undertaker has probably been my longest favorite since watching WWF from when I was small. I use to honestly be fascinated by how mysterious and scary he was. Seeing his entrances live so many times over the years has also let me feel the presence the character has in person. Anyone who has been to a WWE event, long time fan or newer fan, knows what I am talking about. It is truly awesome to witness. However, as much as the Dead Man character has a special place in my heart, Chris32482 has a point. The Dead Man character does seem a bit out of place in today's WWE. It is almost to the point where you can't put certain people in feuds with The Undertaker anymore, because they just wouldn't...work. The gimmick has become somewhat stale, not because the gimmick itself isn't captivating anymore, but because the environment it exists in is on a whole other planet.

I think the best thing for Undertaker to do upon his return (or possibly even after he comes back the second time after his Wrestlemania 27 return which I'm assuming he will be) would be a somewhat meshing of his personas. After all, The American Bad Ass character was an instrumental player in Undertaker's career because it rejuvenated him so much and made him actually human. And let's not forget that he had a pretty good Undisputed Championship run, taking the belt of Hogan, and then setting up for Rock/Brock to be able to happen. He wasn't even pinned when he lost the belt to The Rock as well. The whole initial Brothers of Destruction run was something new and interesting at the time too.

With Mark's career winding down, one has to think forward to how he will put the cap on his illustrious career. Mark has given his life to not just this business, but this company. I have got to think that he is going to want to be able to exit in a much more natural and real way...even though for the majority of his career he has been the complete opposite of that - super natural. When the time does in fact come for Undertaker's final match, and his innevitable induction into the Hall of Fame, do you really want him to just disappear in a cloud of smoke? Do you really want him to just "descend back to hell"? Honestly, I would like a realer version of the Undertaker, one that is in many ways reflective of who Mark is as a person (which the American Bad Ass character wasn't very far off from lol). I think when the time comes for Undertaker's final match/feud, he needs to be human. It will be an extremely emotional time for him, and I think it would be much more natural if the character of The Undertaker were humanized for it. It doesn't necessarily have to be a carbon copy of the American Bad Ass character, but something new and fresh, but at the same time - real.

In closing, I'd like to say one more thing. It is something that has been a point of discussion and arguement in the IWC for a very long time and that is, "Will The Streak end at 20-0 or 19-1?" I think there are strong, valid points for both sides of the arguement, and as much as I feel Mark has earned the right to go 20-0 at Wrestlemania - I think he will leave the business on his back, just like so many of the other greats. You look at guys like Austin, Flair, Rock, Shawn. They were sent into retirement by losing their final match. Mark is old school...the most old school guy left on the active roster and he has such a deep respect for the business. That is what it comes down to and always have come down to for Mark: respect. I believe that he will want to put over who ever it may be that faces him in his final match. I think in his mind, it would only be right. Not to mention it would bring the character of The Undertaker back to earth, and remind people that while he is one of the greatest ever, no ONE PERSON is bigger than the business. And I think that the best way for Undertaker to be able to go out that way, would be with a more humanized version. It just wouldn't be right for the timeless Dead Man, to be dethroned after seeming unstoppable for over 20 years.

Here are a few videos from the summer/late 1999 before he had to take time off. This is similar to how I would have Mark have his final run as The Undertaker, so that he could appear, well...real again. I mean, he doesn't have to comepletely do away with every piece of the Dead Man persona, he could easily just be a scary ass dude who everyone knows deep down is the Phenom. Check them out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ex3cspstmo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uO4xZ0n1N0&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2jnnW3dQ4I&feature=related
This is one the single best posts i've ever read on any forum to do with anything. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of it and would encourage others to take the time to do the same.

Thank you for putting your thoughts and opinions on here in this manner, a credit to the IWC.
 
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