What doesn’t break you, only makes you stronger. True words have never been said for any wrestler but the Undertaker. For most of the past two decades, wrestling fan boys all across the globe have uttered Mark Calaway’s wrestling moniker either in the spirit of religious fervor and admiration or with the disgust of a vanquished opponent. Such was his dedication and loyalty to the WWE that he never considered himself or any other wrestler bigger than the federation. Here is a man who pulled off his gimmicky masquerade in such convincing fashion over the last twenty years that even today he wouldn’t be easily recognized out on the streets in his original avatar. When inside the ring, he became the mysterious man people wanted to witness beating the living daylights out of his opponents. When outside the ring, he disappeared in the crowd much like any comic book superhero. For this very reason, so many are still unaware of the real man behind the mask. His real personality has never revealed itself as it did in the lives of the Rock, Hulk Hogan, Triple-H and Chris Jericho.

Personal Life

Mark WilliamCalaway born on 24 March, 1965. He had taken an avid interest in basketball and wrestling during his time at high school. He was a member of Basketball team at Waltrip High School. In fact at one point he was so brilliant at basketball that his coach strongly discouraged him from practicing wrestling any further. His performances in high school basketball games won him several accolades and even scholarships from esteemed colleges. This is when Mark Calaway started putting on masks while wrestling so as to hide his identity from his basketball coach. Nevertheless his undying passion and zest and his gigantic build ensured he was equally competent at professional wrestling too.

Professional Life

In 1989 at the age of 27 Mark joined the WCW under the ring name of ‘Mean’ Mark Callous. His team didn’t however stay together for long and broke up in 1990 after which he left for the then WWF (World Wrestling Federation). Mark made his debut as The Undertaker in the Survivor Series in the same year and his victory over the mighty Hulk Hogan in 1991 to win the WWF Championship announced his arrival in the wrestling arena. Even the dead man avatar of The Undertaker was a massive hit with the audience. The Undertaker's character was claimed to possess mystical powers, such as teleportation and influence on fire and light. Despite some critics claiming back then that the gimmick wasn’t going to last more than a year, it has done so till date and how.

In early 1994, the reigning champion Yokozuna faced the Undertaker in two of the most famous Casket matches in WWF history. In the first one, Yokozuna teamed up with other wrestlers and defeated the Undertaker after several ambushes. The ‘spirit’ of Undertaker appeared from inside the casket, warning that he would return. In reality, he had sustained a back injury that necessitated a timeout. Months later the Undertaker was resurrected and he emerged victorious in an epic encounter at Summer Slam 1994.

Since then The Undertaker has come back over and over again to defeat the likes of Bundy, Kama Mustafa, King Mabel, Batista, Mark Henry, Shawn Michaels, Edge and Triple-H over the years to win one Championship after another, sometimes even wearing a mask similar to that used in The Phantom of the Opera.

Even in 2008 when he went on to lose the championship to Edge in a TLC match, he had to disappear from the WWE for two months only to be reinstated later that year at WWE Summer Slam where he out wrestled Edge in a grudge match. After Wrestlemania 26, the Undertaker took a hiatus again as his body was slowly showing the effects of aging. It was revealed that the Undertaker would now only be wrestling part time. However, he returns every year around the Wrestlemania season and can still put on the match of the night with any opponent pitted against him. In such an encounter in 2012, he returned once again to defeat Triple-H in one of the greatest 'Hell in a Cell' matches of all time at Wrestlemania 28.


His Legacy

The Undertaker has the most impressive streak in sports-entertainment history at the Wrestlemania. He has competed in 20 Wrestlemania matches and won every single one of them and the streak as of now stands unbelievably at 20-0. The ‘Phenom’ will be always remembered as the most athletic man to ever set foot inside the squared circle. Every night he would put his body on the line to entertain his fans with moves like the Chokeslam, Tombstone, Piledriver and Hell's gate. His matches may not have always impressed all and sundry but the persona that he carried to the ring more than made up for it. The Undertaker is the cornerstone of the WWE and will always remain so. When he retires completely from active competition it would be impossible to fill the huge void left behind by him. Such is his legacy.


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