The year 2000 wasn’t just a time to be afraid of the world ending due to Y2K, but it also meant a change was on the way for The Undertaker. For years Mark Calaway’s character was The Deadman. He was spooky, ominous, and dangerous. When Taker started riding a motorcycle to the ring while wearing leather it kind of threw fans for a loop.
It might have been a real change for Taker, but through the years he was able to transform his character in ways to not only evolve himself but build on his persona. The American Badass character was very important to Taker’s career as it morphed into the Big Evil persona which eventually led us back to a new revolutionized Deadman.
“The American Badass was just a reinvention for Taker,” Bruce Prichard explained on Something To Wrestle With. “It was something to get him out of The Deadman persona and to be able to let that character grow.”
“I don’t think that Vince [McMahon] ever saw The Undertaker in its original incarnation being gone forever. But I do believe that Mark [Undertaker] saw the American Badass as the character he wanted to be. He wanted to be The Undertaker but not having to do The Deadman walk and the signature Undertaker stuff. If that makes any sense to you.”
“Undertaker — Mark Calaway is a motorcycle riding badass son-of-a-gun. And that was The American Badass character was more true to who Mark Calaway is than I guess The Undertaker character and he liked it.”
When asked why fans seemed to miss the old Deadman character and the American Badass character didn’t resonate with the WWE Universe more Bruce was honest with his reply.
“They knew The Deadman and that’s what they wanted. They wanted their old Undertaker. They wanted The Deadman, they wanted to head snap, they wanted the Tombstone.”
Since Taker’s career is seemingly over at this point it would be nice to have him back with any persona… as long as they don’t bring in “Corporate Calaway” because that would probably be an awful idea. However, another run with the American Badass would be just fine by us.
After all, any Undertaker is better than no Undertaker as long as it’s not a Fake Undertaker.