The Undertaker


The Undertaker

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Mark William Calaway (born March 24, 1965) is an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name The Undertaker. He is signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), wrestling on its SmackDown! brand.

Calaway began his wrestling career with World Class Championship Wrestling in 1984. He joined World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 1989. When WCW did not renew Calaway's contract at the end of 1990, in November of that year he joined the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), which became WWE in 2002. Currently, Calaway is one of the senior performers in WWE, having joined in 1990. He is one of only two wrestlers to have appeared on the very first episode of Raw who are still with the company today. The other is Shawn Michaels.

He is undefeated at WrestleMania with a 15-0 record and is a five-time world champion (four-time WWE Champion and one-time World Heavyweight Champion). He was also the winner of the 2007 Royal Rumble.(Credit: Wikipedia)

Early Career

Mark Calaway made his debut in 1984 in Dallas, Texas based World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) under the ring name "Texas Red". He wrestled his first match against Bruiser Brody. In 1988, he left WCCW and wrestled for several territories under several gimmicks. On April 1, 1989, in the United States Wrestling Association, he was booked to win his first professional wrestling title, the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship, defeating Jerry "The King" Lawler, under the ring name "The Master of Pain".

World Championship Wrestling (1989–1990)

His first mainstream exposure was in World Championship Wrestling (WCW). While there, he was known as "Mean" Mark Callous and wrestled as part of the Skyscrapers tag team along with "Dangerous" Dan Spivey managed by Teddy Long. During his time in the Skyscrapers, he and Spivey were involved in a feud with the Road Warriors, but Spivey left before the feud came to an end. Calaway then took on the guidance of Paul E. Dangerously and muscled his way through Brian Pillman and Johnny Ace. His most famous match in WCW was against Lex Luger for the NWA United States Championship at The Great American Bash, which he lost when Luger pinned him after a clothesline. WCW declined to renew Calaway's contract, and he signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in late October 1990. During that time, he also toured New Japan Pro Wrestling.

World Wrestling Federation/ Entertainment (1990–present)

Debut and WWF Championship (1990–1991)

Calaway made his WWF debut on November 22, 1990 at Survivor Series as the mystery partner of Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar team. Approximately one minute into the match, Undertaker eliminated Koko B. Ware with his finisher, the Tombstone Piledriver. He also eliminated Dusty Rhodes before being counted-out. After Survivor Series, Calaway was called "Kane the Undertaker" at several shows until "Kane" was dropped from his name, and he reverted to simply "The Undertaker". The appearance of Undertaker was modeled after a mortician from old Western movies, with the character being supposedly impervious to pain and possessing supernatural powers, such as teleportation and manipulation of flames and lightning. It was at this time that the Undertaker switched managers from Brother Love to Paul Bearer.

He made his WrestleMania debut at WrestleMania VII, squashing "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka. After a year of B-main events with Ultimate Warrior in body bag matches, Randy Savage, and Hulk Hogan, he was booked to defeat Hogan to win his first WWF Championship at Survivor Series. In the storyline, WWF President Jack Tunney ordered a rematch for This Tuesday in Texas six days later, where Undertaker dropped the title back to Hogan.

Early feuds (1992–1995)

After Undertaker's ally Jake "The Snake" Roberts lost a match to Randy Savage, Roberts tried to attack Savage's manager/wife Miss Elizabeth with a steel chair when the Undertaker stopped him, turning him face. The Undertaker defeated Roberts at WrestleMania VIII. He then feuded extensively in storylines with wrestlers managed by Harvey Wippleman throughout 1992 and 1993, most notably Kamala, whom he faced and defeated in the first televised coffin match in WWF history at Survivor Series, and Giant Gonzales, whom he defeated by disqualification at WrestleMania IX and by pinfall at SummerSlam. In November 1993, he challenged then-WWF Champion Yokozuna to a casket match at the Royal Rumble. At the Royal Rumble, Yokozuna sealed Undertaker in the casket with the assistance of several other heel wrestlers, winning the match. The Undertaker's "spirit" appeared from inside the casket on the video screen, warning that he would return. This began Undertaker's first hiatus. In reality, he had a back injury that was getting worse and needed time off.

After WrestleMania X, Ted DiBiase introduced the Undertaker back to the WWF. This Undertaker, however, played by Brian Lee, was dubbed "Underfaker" by the fans and led to the resurrection of the real Undertaker and a battle at SummerSlam between the two, where the real Undertaker won the match after three Tombstone Piledrivers. At Survivor Series, Undertaker had a rematch against Yokozuna, once again in a casket match, with Chuck Norris as a special guest enforcer to keep anyone from interfering in the match. Despite interference from King Kong Bundy, Bam Bam Bigelow, and Irwin R. Schyster, the Undertaker won the match by delivering a running big boot to Yokozuna, which pushed Yokozuna into the casket, and then closing the lid.

Throughout most of 1995, the Undertaker feuded with members of Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar Corporation. At WrestleMania XI, while Undertaker was facing King Kong Bundy, Kama Mustafa stole the Undertaker's source of kayfabe power, the urn, and disrespected the Undertaker by converting it into a large gold necklace. As part of the angle, the two faced each other in a casket match at SummerSlam, which the Undertaker won. Several weeks later, as part of his storyline, the Undertaker was assaulted by Yokozuna and King Mabel, which led to a legitimate injury of his eye orbital bone, forcing Undertaker into a period of absence for surgery.

Pursuit of the World Heavyweight Championship (2007–present)

Undertaker won his first Royal Rumble match after Shawn Michaels attempted Sweet Chin Music, and Undertaker ducked and lifted Michaels over the top rope for the victory, which was a spot, or preplanned move. He became the first man to enter the Rumble at number 30 and go on to win the match. He then began an angle with Batista, whom he defeated at WrestleMania 23 to win his first World Heavyweight Championship. On the next SmackDown!, Batista entered the ring and declared that he wanted a rematch in the form of a Last Man Standing match at Backlash. The rematch ended in a draw when neither man was able to answer the ten-count after Batista speared Undertaker off the entrance stage, causing the steel pillars to fall on top of the two men, resulting in the Undertaker retaining the Championship.

On the May 11 SmackDown! taping, Undertaker had a steel cage match with Batista that was booked to result in a draw when both men's feet touched the floor at the same time. After the match, Mark Henry returned and assaulted the defenseless Undertaker. Immediately after the assault, Edge cashed in his Money in the Bank title shot, and Undertaker dropped the World Heavyweight Championship to Edge. As Undertaker laid in the ring, druids appeared and carried him to the backstage area. In reality, Calaway had suffered an arm injury that required surgery, but WWE did not want to break the Undertaker's character by having him forfeit the title. During Calaway's rehabilitation, Henry squashed local jobbers and bragged about his assault on Undertaker, until vignettes began playing promoting Undertaker's return.

The Undertaker returned at Unforgiven, successfully defeating Mark Henry with a Last Ride from the corner and again on SmackDown! two weeks later with a Chokeslam. Batista and Undertaker re-ignited their storyline feud at Cyber Sunday where the fans chose Guest Referee Stone Cold Steve Austin, but Batista retained the world title after two Batista Bombs.They battled again inside Hell in a Cell at Survivor Series where Edge returned and interfered by giving Undertaker a con-chair-to and pulling an unconscious Batista on top of Undertaker for the pinfall to retain the World Heavyweight Championship. In response to this, Undertaker delivered a Tombstone piledriver to General Manager Vickie Guerrero, on the next SmackDown!, kayfabe sending her to the hospital. Returning Assistant-GM Theodore Long declared a Triple Threat match for the title at Armageddon. Edge won the match by pinning Batista, who had been given a Tombstone Piledriver which led to Undertaker being hit with a chair while he attempted the pinfall.

On the January 4, 2008 Edition of SmackDown! The Undertaker competed in a Beat the Clock challenge, attempting to become the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship at the Royal Rumble against Mark Henry with Matt Striker as the Special Guest Referee. Undertaker eventually hit Henry with a Chokeslam and pinned him, but Striker pulled his hand away and exited the ring before the three-count, resulting in The Undertaker not beating the clock. Later in the night the Undertaker, along with Batista, interfered in Rey Mysterio's match, helping him defeat the champion himself, Edge, to become the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship. But despite this, Mysterio failed to defeat Edge at The Royal Rumble. Undertaker, in a complete turn from his win in 2007, drew number 1, and was eliminated by the man who he eliminated for the win the year prior, Shawn Michaels.

A month later at No Way Out, Undertaker defeated Batista, Finlay, The Great Khali, Montel Vontavious Porter and Big Daddy V in a SmackDown/ECW Elimination Chamber, to become the number one contender for Edge's World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XXIV.

Gimmicks

Personas of The Undertaker

Over the seventeen years that Mark Calaway has been wrestling for World Wrestling Entertainment (formerly the World Wrestling Federation), his "Undertaker" character has gone through a number of personality changes.

Personal life

Mark Calaway is the son of Frank and Catherine Calaway and is one of five brothers with David, Michael, Paul and Timothy. He graduated from Waltrip High School in 1983, where he was a member of the basketball team. Calaway first married Jodi Lynn in 1989, and they had a son Gunner, born in 1993, before the marriage ended in 1999. Calaway met his second and current wife, Sara, at a WWF autograph signing in San Diego, California. He eventually married her in a ceremony in St. Petersburg, Florida on July 21, 2000. Mark and Sara currently have two daughters together: Chasey, born in 2002, and Gracie, born in 2005.

As a wedding gift to Sara, Calaway had his wife's name tattooed onto his throat and has said this is the most painful tattoo he has ever had. In 2007, this tattoo started being removed from all WWE photos showing Undertaker's throat, most notably on the cover of the November issue of WWE Magazine and in pictures throughout. Undertaker has several other tattoos: a gravedigger, which he refers to as "Original Deadman", skulls, a castle, and a wizard. When talking about his body art, he has said that there is kind of a medieval thing going-on on his arms. He also has a dancing skeleton on the back of his neck. He also has a tattoo on his stomach that says BSK Pride.

Aside from wrestling, Calaway has many hobbies and interests. He collects Harley-Davidson and West Coast Choppers motorcycles and purchased his first brand new motorcycle after defeating Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship at the 1991 Survivor Series. Calaway has also had a custom motorcycle built for him by Jesse James, the founder of West Coast Choppers. He is a massive fan of Nick Cave and all his musical endeavors (The Birthday Party and The Bad Seeds). He also enjoys listening to bands like ZZ Top, AC/DC, Kiss, Black Sabbath, Guns N' Roses, Metallica, Iron Maiden and Black Label Society. Calaway also enjoys country music and blues music.

As an avid boxing fan, Calaway was also the person who carried the Flag of the United States while leading Team Pacquiao to the ring during Pacquiao vs. Velázquez fight in 2005. This was also confirmed by another WWE Superstar, Batista, who revealed this during a televised interview in the Philippines called TV Patrol World in ABS-CBN while promoting an upcoming WWE SmackDown! Survivor Series 2006 Tour which was set to be shown in the country. Calaway is also an avid Mixed Martial Arts fan and has attended several Ultimate Fighting Championship shows.

As The Undertaker had been absent from the WWE due to his 2007 arm injury, Calaway began getting into real estate with his partner Scott Everhart. Calaway and Everhart finished construction on a $2.7m building in Loveland, Colorado. The building, filled with upscale office space, is named the "The Calahart", a portmanteau of their last names. Calaway has said that being a TV star certainly helps him in the real estate business, and he was quoted saying "by no means does it seal the deal, but people do want to sit down and talk with you. It helps us get to meet a lot of people and know what we’re trying to get accomplished."

Other media

Calaway appeared as a guest star in the 1991 film Suburban Commando. He also appeared on episodes of Poltergeist: The Legacy and Celebrity Deathmatch in 1999.

A number of spin-offs have covered The Undertaker's character. Chaos! Comics released an Undertaker comic. In 2005, Pocket Books released a novel, Journey into Darkness, which dealt largely with Kane but also featured Undertaker as his brother, although they are not related in real life. (Credit: Wikipedia)

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