The Undertaker - WWE's greatest legend
I was shocked when i saw the Undertaker first appeared on my t.v screen as a child. His tall dark and muscular stature gave me chills down my spine. When his eyes rolled back, i thought that he was beyond human. I watched as he performed the tomb-stone piledriver on his victims and thought - "he is dead." As he lay in the ring motionless, the Undertaker folded his arms over his motionless body and the referee counted "1! 2! 3!" It was over as the Undertaker slowly walked away victorious to the pace of his exit theme song.
I've watched many of the Undertaker's matches and i have been shocked to see how he somehow overcome the impossible. At one point, the Undertaker was superhuman to me as i saw him obliterate foes far bigger and stronger than him in the ring. I've also seen him fight against multiple attackers all at once. I truly believed the Undertaker was invincible and this deeply frightened me when i saw how much power he had.
Over the years, i've come to the realization that the Undertaker is without a doubt the greatest wrestler in the WWF/WWE. The Undertaker has held an undefeated streak at Wrestlemania along with several titles. Most of all, he's defeated many with such fury and extreme brutality. There are many reasons for why he is the most feared wrestler to ever walk among the other WWE superstars.When the Undertaker walks to the ring, he brings a mysterious and eerie presence. Usually, pro-wrestlers boast of how great they are but what makes the Undertaker dangerous is that he is rather quiet. When he makes a threat, he speaks with bone-chilling promise. Each time an opponent faces the Undertaker, i notice a look of fear and regret. This is common among all of the Undertaker's enemies. When they stare into his ghoulish and dark face, it's as if they stepped into the ring with death itself. The Undertaker fears no one and this is what makes him dangerous. He is a reaper coming to steal away hope and life itself from those who dare to challenge him. When the bell sounds, the Undertaker raises his fists and all hell breaks loose.
Since the dawn of his career, the Undertaker has been dominating the best from left to right. Many of his matches barely lasted a minute as the Undertaker delivered powerful and often extreme tombstone after tombstone. Only in later eras was the Undertaker urged to take his opponents safety and modified his tombstone piledriver by tucking their head beneath the knees. The Undertaker was clotheslined by high flying wrestlers several times but nevertheless stood standing as if nothing happened. He was young and skinnier but grew larger in later years. He's attracted the attention of and defeated popular wrestlers such as Jimmy Snuka, Hulk Hogan, Mankind, the Giant Gonzalez, etc. He's dependable and main event material. He has been in the WWF/WWE for around 25 years and has evolved ever since. This is the main foundation for why he is the greatest legend in wrestling history. Despite holding few reputable titles, his ring performance is the grand equalizer of his career.
# of times held:
Unified World Heavyweight Championship
Texas Heavyweight Championship
WCW Tag Team Championship
World HeavyWeight Championship
WWF Hardcore Championship
The Undertaker is called the best pure striker in WWE history and for good reason. He is a trained MMA fighter in Brazilian Jiu jutsu and maintains a solid stance when striking. He is strategic as well as devastating regardless of who he faces. The Undertaker circles his opponents until he manages to toss them against the turnbuckles. This is a bad position for them to be in as he combines strength with speed in his punches, striking them at the most vulnerable areas. The Undertaker gives them no room to breathe and shortly after, he continues with a clothesline. The Undertaker carries a series of devastating moves to wear down and seriously injury his opponents when wrestling. The Undertaker has a tremendous amount of strength, balance, agility, and speed in his wrestling style which distinguishes him from your typical giant.
The tombstone pile-driver is probably the Undertaker's most devastating move. The Undertaker provokes his opponent to make an attack from the other side of the ring and once they commit, he drops his weight and flips his opponent onto his shoulder, gripping the back of his or her neck before finishing a body lock. He then drives his weight, his opponent's, and gravity all on the opponent's skull. This move can lead to paralysis and damage to the vertebrae. Very few are able to kick out once the tomb-stone has been delivered.
The chokeslam is a simple move but the Undertaker delivers with such power which is enough to stun his opponents, knock the wind out of them, and damage their backs.
The Undertaker is a master user of this move. He almost always use this move as a counter to a submission or pinfall by his opponent when he is grounded. The Undertaker will grab his opponent's arm, pull him in, place the lower part of his leg in the throat of his opponent, and wrap his hands around his opponent's neck. The Undertaker will then pull the opponent's head while simultaneously pushing his leg against the opponent's throat. It's difficult for oxygen to pass through as the larynx is compressed, causing opponent's to lose consciousness. This leads to pain and a fight or flight response. It can also cause opponents to spit blood. It is difficult for the Undertaker's opponents to break this hold successfully.
The Undertaker uses this well in combination with other moves such as snake eyes. The Undertaker grabs his opponent, pushes them across the ring to build momentum, and delivers a powerful kick to the head as he or she comes close to him. The impact has them on the ground within a split second, giving the Undertaker enough time to perform yet another move such as a Chokeslam.
The last ride:
This power-bomb is probably the most devastating of the Undertaker's moves. He lifts his opponent's higher and extending his arms above his head before slamming them to the ground.
The Undertaker grabs his opponent with his or her stomach on his shoulder, both facing the same direction. He then throws his opponent face first onto the third turnbuckle and usually performs a flying clothesline or a boot to the face afterwards.
This move was used in the Undertaker's early career and is still feared in the modern WWE. The Undertaker usually grabs a dazed opponent's arm, twists it around, climbs to the top turnbuckle, walks along the tightropes with perfect balance, jumps, and slams down on his opponent's back. I would imagine it would paralyze the arm, almost pulling it out of it's socket.
The Undertaker usually places his opponents hung over the ring ropes. He then climbs the steps, walks along the ring apron, and execute a leg drop on his opponent's sternum or throat.
The Undertaker usually performs the flying clothesline to a stunned opponent by building momentum and leaping in mid-air with his arm extended. This move works exceptionally well to take down bigger and stronger opponents such as the Great Khali.
This is a dangerous move. The Undertaker runs from across the ring and gracefully dives into an opponent outside the ring, crashing his whole weight onto him or her.
The Undertaker's persona
What made the Undertaker so great was his mysterious, dark, eerie, and undead gimmick. Very few wrestlers are able to develop such a complicated character with a solid and overpowering presence. The Undertaker philosophically speaks in riddles, parables, but his non-verbal communication is also powerful. His glare is full of supernatural force and power. When he is angered, he often takes his frustration out on those who have wronged him - giving him a more frightening appearance. What made him so phenomenal was his usage of psychological warfare.
His most memorable catch phrase is "Rest in Peace!" serves to terrorize opponents but also to excite the crowd.
Immunity to pain and emotion:
The first psychological tactic is that the Undertaker shows complete immunity to pain and emotions such as fear. The Undertaker gives the impression that he is beyond human and indestructible. Due to his weight and high tolerance for pain, this is what makes the Undertaker a fearsome foe in the ring.
The Undertaker also rolls his eyes at the back of his head, giving him the iconic and shocking "Deadman" appearance. Sometimes he sticks his tongue out of his mouth while performing this gesture.
The Undertaker when feuding with another pro-wrestler, will engage in mind games to cause great distress and agitation. When the Undertaker plays mind games, he presents himself as a paranormal entity controlling the forces of nature. I know of no other wrestler with such a vast array of theatrical performances.
After the Undertaker has been seemingly knocked out cold, he suddenly sits up and hisses at his opponents. This gives his terrified opponents the impression that he is invincible and immune to the pain of every signature move.
The Undertaker's iconic symbol is the decapitation gesture before he is about to deliver a fatal blow. With a snarling face or eyes rolled back, he signals the end for an opponent. It serves as a way to build anticipation in the crowd and also to shock his opponents.
This pose establishes the Undertaker dominance over the ring and sends a message to those who oppose him.
The Undertaker is the greatest because he somehow manages to test his skills against competitive opponents despite being almost indestructible. His best feuds were with the Ultimate Warrior, Giant Gonzalez, Mankind, Stone Cold, Kane, Batista, and so forth. The Undertaker along with the creative team understood that he needed to evolve. It is thus that the Undertaker's moves and gimmicks adapted to the times.
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The undefeated streak:
The Undertaker held one of the longest and greatest streaks in WWF/WWE history. He has defeated the most popular and talented wrestlers at Wrestlemania for over 21 matches. The Undertaker has consistently proved throughout his time in Wrestlemania that there is he is the most fearsome and ruthless wrestler of all. Despite having his streak broken by Brock Lesnar, he is still remembered as WWE's greatest legend.
In summary, the Undertaker has already did his time and service to WWE for over 2 decades. He will be forever missed by millions of fans despite being a bit sluggish in recent matches. The Undertaker will finally rest in peace as he retires from the universe.