The below was written by Sideshowbob – enjoy!
Since it’s likely a slow week, I figured I would send another semi-incoherent rant. This time, since I raised the question of IF the 1/2/12 promos are Undertaker, why oh why would his character be using Twitter… From a logic standpoint. Well from that it devolved into WWE & Undertaker on one side and logic on the other.. What you get is a trip down memory lane… So, here’s a bit ‘o history lesson on our pal, The UNNNNdertakerrrrrr
Incarnation of Devastation: The Life and Death of The Undertaker, the first time…
So once upon a time the Million Dollar man needed a mystery partner to wrestle on his team. Not like a partner to wrestle these days, this was back in 1990. It mean something different. This was in the day of target silhouettes for mystery partner ads, not ones that looked (and wrestled better than) Billy Gunn. So the Survivor Series comes and this guy called The Undertaker comes out. To complete silence. Except for the kid that yells ‘hey you’re Mean Mark’.. But at the time, this was creepy scary to kids because THIS character was entrenched in realism. Don’t believe me? Just check out the leotards, leg warmers, AND morticians’ gloves. REAL GREY GLOVES. Spooky stuff for kids. I’m not making this up, google it…
So then The Undertaker gets named Kane but quickly gets stripped of his dead & burnt brother’s name, which unknowingly foreshadowed his debut… Old WWF tried to have continuity? Wow. But I’m getting ahead of myself.. So the Undertaker debuts and makes his huge impact by defeating Koko B. Ware and Dusty Rhodes. No not Dusty from NWA, this was PolkaDust, who was much easier to defeat. Then Brother Love gives the Undertaker to Paul Bearer, much like the Hercules trade, but with a decidedly different outcome. Taker then goes on to beat up some jobbers by choking them until he could hit a tombstone piledriver. It wasn’t being hit with “The Tombstone” it was a tombstone piledriver. Just ask Monsoon, he’ll tell ya. And then he would stuff them in bodybags, to further bring a realism to his character. He’d kill ya dead.
Suspending my suspension of disbelief for a moment – Somewhere about here I really have to wonder what the hell he (Mark) was thinking of his WWF run up to this point. I mean his matches consisted of punch, kick, choke/smother, roll your eyes to the back of your head, and a tombstone piledriver. Occasional walk the rope. But seriously you have to wonder what was in his head at this point. But he’s STILL so sold on his character that he won’t discuss it…
Royal Rumble brought no love as he was eliminated by The Road Warriors. And Rocco. And the illustrious streak begins with a bang by beating Hogan to… Oh wait, no his Wrestlemania streak begins with Jimmy Snuka. Because Jimmy Snuka was winning matches then. Supa supa supa-squash.
Then there was some twisted shit about Ultimate Warrior getting locket into a casket. Then Warrior needed to learn the ways of the darkside from Jake the Snake Roberts to help him defeat The Undertaker. He buried Warrior up to his head and told him to stare at a skull. Contemplate. Alas Horatio… Then Roberts puts a cobra in a box and proves you can never trust a snake, and sides with The Undertaker. On a personal note, I thought this was THE COOLEST PAIRING EVER at this point.
Oh hey NOW comes the Survivor Series, The Gravest Challenge. Get it? GRAVEst challenge? This match was shit. Absolute shit. But the ending… Oh I love it for its historical purposes… Ric Flair slides a chair into the ring and Hogan gets tombstoned on it for the title. Jack Tunney then decides it can’t go down this way due to the interference, so we get This Tuesday in Texas. To break it down – you paid for a PPV Sunday night, as a glorified advertisement for ANOTHER PPV SIX DAYS LATER??? With ZERO buildup? Wow. That took balls or stupidity, and my guess is the latter…
So Tuesday in Texas his magical urn of sitting up gets opened, and this time, we get (allegedly) dead people ashes thrown in Undertaker’s eyes by The Real American Hulk Hogan. Human(?) remains as an offensive weapon. Jack Tunney says enough of this bullshit, you’re both stripped and the winner will be crowned at the Royal Rumble. Wait so Taker uses a chair and he’s a ‘bad guy’ but Hogan throws Granny’s ashes into Taker’s eyes and he’s not held accountable by the public yet? AND gets the # 20-30 preferential treatment? Damn. Loyalty sure was blind in those days.
Despite not winning this Rumble, Taker’s mannerisms started getting mocked a little, getting the crowd to chuckle at the rediculosity of the whole damn thing. Think I’m wrong? Look at the crowd during that nad shot by Flair. Or even more so, when Piper decided to “help” Taker choke out someone. Actually, I don’t think anybody BUT Roddy Piper could have pulled that shit off. Best Rumble ever and I’m sure he was just glad to be a part of it. But he’ll never break kayfabe to tell you or I that.
So Taker helps Jake sneak a cobra into the Macho Man’s wedding, but then turns on Jake when he was about to blast Liz with a chair. Why? Everyone else got to blast Liz those days apparently and that even got turned into a Ric Flair line. Alas, Taker turns good and the Snake man falls victim to the streak. Tombstone on the outside looks like shit by the way. Speaking of, I know we all bitch about WWE’s liberal editing these days but can you imagine if McMahon went all-out George Lucas on us? We’d have Leprechauns and Dinks running everywhere on these old matches…
The Undertaker follows up by mocking and taunting aka BULLYING Kamala before defeating him at Wembley Stadium. And continued to follow Kamala around all to yet another match at Survivor Series. And people bitch about Daniel Bryans’ push? Puh-lease.
Taker continues his streak (Not the WM one, but the shitty opponents one) when Giant Gonzalez eliminates Taker from that years Rumble wearing a Wookie onesie, complete with airbrushed abs and pubes. Oh wait – 2 FOR 1!! Giant Gonzales helps Taker keep the streak alive by being DQ’ed at Wrestlemania IX for using chloroform. For the record Taker came to the ring that day trying to avoid having a vulture shit on him or peck out his eyes. I wish it would’ve pecked out mine though. Also around here is also when Taker starts calling fans “Creatures of the Night” and kids that look a lot like Stephanie and Shane show up around the country with black wreathes and have Addams Family makeup. This dragged on for months. Somewhere in there, Paul Bearer had the urn taken from him. But at Summerslam (93) Undertaker finally gets the best of Gonzales, and bests him with a flying clothesline if I remember right. Yep, chloroform, a giant sas-crotch suit, a vulture and a flying clothesline define this feud.
From here, The Undertaker joins the “All-American” team at Survivor Series. I should note that *IF* we were supposed to be guessing just how long this undead mortician has been around for before using his undead prowess to become a wrestler, it is alluded to here. When joining the team, The Undertaker opens his jacket and reveals the 13-star “Betsy Ross variant” which was in use 1777-1795. So, for those still reading, you just had a legit history lesson there… Anyway he joins the team and Yokozuna turns out to be afraid of caskets.
That signals our transition to Royal Rumble 1994… Damn. Well this match sure showed the flaws in the concept of a casket match didn’t it? Taker about had the match won and Fuji had a bunch of people run in. The urn was taken AGAIN but this time smoke poured out. To his credit, EVERYONE hit move after move on Taker before he got put in the casket to lose the match. **This match signaled something different from the WWF at the time. Everytime you hear the rules and say “Well why don’t they just ________” well, this time they actually did.
Casket match means no DQ? Well why DON’T all the bad guys team up and take him out? They used logic. In the same match as a smoking casket and a magic urn. THAT is when they decided to make people use their brain?? I dunno, you sort it out. Then Taker delivers a promo allegedly from within the casket before flying away. And so ends part one of the journey. This is where the Undertaker died the first time. Just like the purist in me keeps Jason in Friday the 13th 2-4, then 6-9, then X onward as separate incarnations, so is the Undertaker. Born somewhere between 1777-1795, decided to start a wrestling career in 1990, and met his demise at the hands of a Samoan pretending to be Japanese and wearing a big bow on his ass, helped by Adam Bomb, Jeff Jarrett and their ilk. I imagine this is how The Highlander would have abruptly killed off Connor McCloud if it was written by a wrestling promoter…
Tags: CB's World, the undertaker, undertaker, WWE, WWF