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The Undertaker's Early Years

Updated on December 13, 2012

The Undertaker's Early Years in Wrestling

It all began in 1984 when a guy named Mark Calaway began his career in professional wrestling with World Class Championship Wrestling as "Texas Red." By way of different aliases through the years, he has gone on to become one of professional wrestlings most popular charactors.

Mark Callous Begins His Career

It was in 1984 when his professional wrestling career began in World Class Championship Wrestling as "Texas Red." He also used aliases such as "The Master of Pain" and "The Punisher" while employed there. He moved on to World Championship Wrestling in 1989 as "Mean" Mark Callous. It was when WCW didn't renew his contract that he joined the World Wrestling Federation (Which became WWE in 2002) as The Undertaker.

Calaway debuted in the then WWF at a taping of WWF Superstars as "Cain The Undertaker." The character of The Undertaker was modeled after morticians from old Western movies. He would enter the ring wearing a trench coat, black hat, and grey gloves and boot covers. His character was known for "No-Selling" (Being impervious to attacks).

"The Master of Pain" VS Jerry Lawler

You can see a lot of the classic wrestlers of the time in this video including Ronnie Gossett the controversial manager and bookmaker in the industry.

Undertaker Shows His Tombstome

It was on November 22, 1990 that The Undertaker debuted at the annual Pay-Per-View (PPV) called Survivor Series. He debuted as a heel (non-fan favorite) and was the mystery partner of "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar Team. In his first match he debuted his Tombstone Pile driver finisher against Koko B. Ware, eliminating him. Calaway was able to eliminate Dusty Rhodes as well before being counted out himself from the match.

The Undertaker won the World Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Title (his first) at the 1991 Survivor Series (1 year after he debuted) against "The Immortal" Hulk Hogan. "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair assisted with the win by slipping a chair under Hogan as Calaway Tombstoned him on top of it. The reign would be short-lived as Hogan recaptured it just six days later at "Tuesday in Texas."

Undertaker Fan Favorite

The Undertaker started his first Face (Fan favorite) run in February of 1992. The face turn was initiated when Jake "The Snake" Roberts tried to attack the manager/wife of Randy Savage, Miss Elizabeth, and The Undertaker thwarted the attack. Roberts would be Undertaker's second WrestleMania victim after Jimmy Snuka from the year before (Thus beginning the WrestleMania winning streak of Calaway).

Calaway would take his first of many hiatus from wrestling in January of 1994. The match to explain his time away was a casket match held at Royal Rumble. He went one-on-one with then WWF Champion Yokozuna. Yokozuna was able to seal Undertaker in the casket and win the match thanks to the help of other heel wrestlers. To forewarn his return, Undertaker's "spirit" appeared from inside the casket on the video screen.

The Undertaker Is Back

At WrestleMaina X in 1994, Ted DiBiase would introduce the returning Undertaker. This was in fact an imposter played by Brian Lee, another wrestler. The presence of the imposter would cause Calaway to return as Undertaker and defeat the Undertaker (as called by fans) at Summer Slam. The battle would be Calaway's toughest as Undertaker would take three Tombstone Pile drivers before being pinned.

The Undertaker continued a feud with Yokozuna at the November Pay-Per-View entitled Survivor Series. They had a rematch that was once again, a casket match. Undertaker ended up being the victor this time around. Undertaker continued to feud against Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar Corporation. The Undertaker gained the 3rd win to his WrestleMania streak when he pinned King Kong Bundy at WrestleMania XI.

The end of his destruction of the Million Dollar Corporation happened at the 1995 SummerSlam when he defeated Kama in a casket match. The Undertaker injured his orbital bone near his eye forcing surgery and he would be out until the 1995 Survivor Series. The Undertaker made his return with a mask on, a Phantom-like gray mask.

Undertake Wins 4th Wrestlemania

The Undertaker had a WWF Championship match against Bret Hart at the 1996 Royal Rumble and lost his mask and match due to interference by Diesel. A month later Diesel was facing Bret Hart in a steel cage match for the belt when Undertaker burst through from under the ring and dragged Diesel underneath, giving the win to Hart. WrestleMania XII against Diesel was Undertaker's 4th win in his WrestleMania streak.

Undertaker and Paul Bearer

The very next night after the 1996 Royal Rumble was the debut of a new wrestler- Mankind, in a match against Justin Hawk Bradshaw (later known as John "Bradshaw" Layfield). Mankind would go on to ambush and cost matches for Undertaker for many months. Battles brewed into crowds, backstage areas and then finally boiler rooms. This marked the first ever Boiler Room Brawl match for SummerSlam.

During this match Undertaker, needing rejuvenation, reached for his urn that his manager Paul Bearer held on to. Bearer betrayed his client and hit Undertaker with it, allowing Mankind to lock in the Mandible Claw on Undertaker giving him the win. At the Pay-Per-View entitled In Your House: Buried Alive; Mankind and Undertaker had another match. This time a buried alive match.

The Undertaker had the match won after a choke slam into the open grave but interference from several superstars, including The Executioner, ended up with Undertaker being buried alive. The Survivor Series marked Undertaker's return once again as he faced Mankind once more. This time with the stipulation being if Undertaker won, he'd be able to get his hands on Bearer, hanging 20 feet above the ring.

Undertaker ultimately beat Mankind but Bearer escaped his wrath when The Executioner attacked Undertaker again. The Undertaker defeated The Executioner at In Your House: It's Time in an Armageddon rules match. Vader then ignited a feud with Undertaker once Executioner was disposed of. They had a match at the 1997 Royal Rumble which resulted in a win for Vader when Paul Bearer interfered on behalf of his new protégé.

Promo interview with Paul Bearer and Undertaker

Mean Gene interviews the two about the upcoming 1992 Summerslam. The undertaker speaks.

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    • Otto Phillips profile image

      Otto Phillips 5 years ago

      Good lens! Huge Undertaker fan!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      awesome love the undertaker