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Discussion Starter #1
So let’s say in an alternative reality, The Undertaker didn’t debut in 1990 and instead debuts in today’s era. People often say only Mark Calaway could get The Undertaker character over and as successful as it become, but do you think this would be the case today? Baring in mind how different wrestling is today with kayfabe non-existent, less unique characters now and social media scrutinising everything, do you think The Undertaker would be rejected instantly by crowds as a joke, or would Taker still have made it work even today? We are so used to The Undertaker now that it’s seen as normal, but the reaction to someone pretending to be a dead guy an debuting in 2020 would be interesting.
 

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THE MAN has come around to collect her debts.
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Well if an immortal dark clown could work in the modern era, then the Deadman could work. Especially seeing as Mark Calloway is far better than Bray in every area. People want to see that over the top kind of stuff. That’s why The Fiend worked and that’s why Shayna Baszler was trending #1 after biting Becky. It’s also why the Lana/Lashley/Liv wedding segment was so popular. That’s what wrestling has always been about. Pure stupid entertainment. It’s why someone like Becky who is very average in the ring is able to stay over, because she’s entertaining playing a badass, whether some find it believable or not. It’s why The Fiend can no sell everything and still remain over.

If Taker were to debut today, people would eat that shit up. The only condition is that it would have to make sense from a storyline and booking point of view.
 

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If the Undertaker of 1990 debuted today it might work for a short while but ultimately fizzle out because his matches were really bad.

If undertaker from 1996-99 debuted today yes I think he could be success.

Wyatt is not really good comparison. Wyatt's a much more interesting promo and it's much easier debut as part of a top faction like Wyatt family and work all time great faction in Shield to get over than debuting on your own.
 

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Yes, and he'd probably debut as a face. The occult, macabre and esotericism are more popular than they ever were. Of course, he probably wouldn't debut as a Spaghetti Western Undertaker/Mortician as that is far too campy, but more akin to his Ministry of Darkness gimmick. The additional stuff they can now do with effects and make-up (see Bray wyatt and Demon Balor) would also make the gimmick seem way higher budget.
 

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Sure - it could (and would) work.

But - you also have to understand that some people would call it "cringe", etc and make posts about how bad it is.
 

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He would have been fine because he had decent mic skills, extremely good look and good charisma. His in ring work would have been criticized but he would have eventually improved.

I am assuming that Vince was invested in making Calaway a star like he was back then, and plus if his health was great then nothing would have stopped Undertaker from becoming a huge star.
 

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that's a good question. I'm not sure. Honestly, probably not. At least, the long-term success of the undertaker definitely wouldn't exist. I can see them building the character just to feed him to someone and then he gets the Strowman treatment. The ups and downs wouldnt exist
 

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Sure - it could (and would) work.

But - you also have to understand that some people would call it "cringe", etc and make posts about how bad it is.

This. It would work, but be seen as hokey, indy bullshit. His fans would say he is the biggest and best thing ever and his detractors would say he's killing the business.

No different than what already goes on every day
 

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No.

Near 7 foot brawlers dont exist today. Certainly not ones who dont flip.

Gimmicks barely exist today.

He would be Mark Callaway, the bodyguard of someone like Rollins.

If he debuted as The Undertaker we all know against The Fiend at wrestlemania it would be crapped on by everyone.
 

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No and not really because of his own doing but WWE's booking would ruin it, WWE rarely get it right these days with big men or "paranormal" gimmicks. Look at Bray Wyatt the first time round, rarely won a match when it mattered which absolutely ruined all credibility. Strowman the same, built up to be a monster then fed to Lesnar, since then has been nothing more than a mid-carder.

Also in this day an age, people online would certainly moan about the gimmick and say how corny it is, like they do with Wyatts Fiend gimmick. It's easy to say "Oh they wouldn't as Takers better etc" but they would, because you've got to remember we're talking if Taker had never debuted until NOW which means nobody would know immediately how good he is and people would hate on the gimmick straight away.

So, in short no. It would likely fail due to poor booking decisions and thickle WWE fans (not the majority) who can't suspend belief long enough to buy in to the gimmick.

P.S The Fiend is a perfect example, sure he got a great reaction initially but let's be honest? In a year or two, we know that it's very likely he will be mid-card or even a comedy act. These gimmicks don't last in the current WWE product.
 

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Unfortunately nowhere near as much compared to a time gimmicks were serious business in wrestling so in a Workrate dominated era? No.

The Fiend has has an alter ego working for him which is why fans love him from going cheesy fun loving sociopath to a complete monster, Taker was pretty much built on sheer presence of his nature but promos and such were not as diverse as Wyatt honestly to me it would fall flat sooner in today's WWE, He's beloved and legendary for his craft already but as a new guy he wouldn't get over anywhere near as much.
 

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It would work just fine today. If an evil, immortal clown like The Fiend can get over and sell tons of merchandise, then The Deadman character certainly can.

Would they have the creativity and ingenuinity to create a character like that today, though? I seriously doubt it, especially since cartoonish gimmicks like these are no longer the norm like they were back then. Nowadays most people's characters are much more toned down and 'realistic'. At best, Callaway would debut as The American Badass character, which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.
 

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Sure- he would be the ultimate enemy / ally for the fiend as they can go many creative ways with it.

They could have him debut asan ally to the Fiend and then slowly turn him face by having him snap out of Brays influence .

The matches between those two would be a spectacle and I def see them main eventing mania or at lest have a top match spot.

Also Prime taker vs Lesnar, Roman, Drew etc would be a few fun feuds they could make.

With that being said I def see the American Bad Ass gimmick as something that would be a lot more over today than the hocus pocus taker. Him coming out with the Harley to kick ass will def get him over even today
 

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Amazing how Vince made it look so easy to come up with a convincing character in 1990. He had so much faith in his creation that The Undertaker is one of a few wrestlers to win the championship in the first year of their debut. It would have to be heavily modernized in order to pull it off. The look would be different, the gimmick matches would have to be a totally new style and by that I mean "casket match" would be a thing of the past since most departing Americans are choosing cremation over burial, and therefore "buried alive" match would seem outdated, and "inferno match" would have a totally new meaning, a dark one.

It could be pulled off, but it can't be The New Undertaker, or Undertaker 2.0. It would require a dark storyline where a young kid has finally grown enough to seek revenge on Kane or The Undertaker for what he did, but never told. Basically, we would be convinced that the new guy is heel, only for it to be eventually revealed that he isn't.

Maybe something along the lines of Enoch who has this dark gimmick, but in a convincing, resonating persona who is younger, talented and good on the mic, a new type of giant with longevity. Basically, it cannot be about winning streaks at WM, cannot be about winning the championship in his first year....it would be the upper-mid who is great at storylines. Cannot be part of a stable, ever, never needs assistance from anyone, never cheats to win even if he becomes a heel, a convincing heel, not the annoying heels like Seth.

It could work in 2020, but it sure won't look like it was easy back in 1990.
 

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Nope. He needs to be booked perfectly to get even a little bit over. WWE can't book anything these days.
 

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There really isn't much room for debate here. The Fiend is WWE Champion in 2020, so of COURSE the Undertaker (in one form or another) could both survive and thrive in today's WWE. That's all there is to it.
 

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There really isn't much room for debate here. The Fiend is WWE Champion in 2020, so of COURSE the Undertaker (in one form or another) could both survive and thrive in today's WWE. That's all there is to it.
I don't think there is any doubt whether or not he would initially be a success but I think it's more realistic to say he would likely not have the longevity if he was to debut now. The fiend is a great example of it as you pointed out, it's not even been a year and you've already got people becoming tired of him and turning on him on top of the people who from the very start said he was cringe/corny.

Don't get me wrong, The Fiend is still one of the most over acts in WWE right now but be honest? I a few years time will he be? I doubt it very much. Due to thickle fans and poor WWE booking, I don't see the Fiend having longevity. Wouldn't surprise me if he is comedy act within a few years and takes another hiatus to reinvent himself again like with the previous Bray Wyatt character.

P.S I enjoy the Fiend, so this is not a bias hate bashing, it's my honest opinion about the state of the current WWE product and audience. These characters very rarely last in this day in age.
 
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