Everyone is talking about The Undertaker right now because the former WWE Champion seems to be transitioning into a new phase of his career, and he’s booked some interesting public appearances in the months to come.
For many wrestling fans The Undertaker is considered to be an iconic character, but Taker took a break from his classic gimmick for a little while when he introduced the world to the American Bad Ass in 2001.
Eventually he reverted to The Dead Man gimmick a few years later when he returned to face Kane at WrestleMania 20, but Bruce Prichard revealed on a recent episode of Something To Wrestle with Bruce Prichard, that Taker hated the idea of bringing the gimmick back.
“Mark Calaway hated the idea, absolutely hated the idea of coming back as The Dead Man because he thought with the American Bad Ass character he was multi-dimensional and he wasn’t doing the head snaps and everything. He could work and go out and have a different style of match and he felt that if he came back as the Dead Man that he would have to go back to the Dead Man persona in the ring. We all felt, ‘Look, let’s give them that at WrestleMania (The Dead Man), but then you can evolve in the ring with your work. You can work like the American Bad Ass, but you’re The Undertaker. You’re in your old garb.’ It was a battle. It was a multi-month battle to really convince him that this would work and he didn’t think that people wanted The Dead Man back, he really didn’t. He just wanted to continue on with The American Bad Ass and felt it was a step back to go to the old Undertaker.”
Bruce went on to say that it took some convincing to sell him on the idea.
“I could say a lot of begging, but it was a constant dialogue of, ‘We could do this,’ and he would come up with, ‘What if I’m presented with this situation? How would this Undertaker react?’ We worked through all of that and it took awhile, but we said, ‘Take this time off. Grow your hair out and if it completely sh*ts the bed and the audience is like, ‘Nah, we don’t like it,’ then we can always go back.’ He’s like, ‘Goddamn, you can’t go back.’ ‘Yes, you can. We’re gonna try it.’ Finally, he just gave in and said, ‘OK, I’ll try it. I’ll do it.’ The rest, as they say, is history.”
Are you glad that he went back to his old gimmick, or do you think he should have stuck with the American Bad Ass character? Sound off in the comments below.