While wrestling fans were being treated to the “Week of Undertaker” on the WWE Network, the legendary WWE Superstar made a surprise appearance on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. As part of a skit, in true Undertaker fashion, The Dead Man made a grand entrance with fog and lightning before delivering a patented Tombstone piledriver on a man in a turkey costume.
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For anyone familiar with Jimmy Fallon and The Tonight Show, this isn’t shocking. Fallon is always bringing on surprise guests for brief appearances, and it’s usually for something a little off the wall. His was one of the first television shows to intentionally create content that would go viral online — and they nailed this one on the head. Eleven hours after they released the video on YouTube, they were nearing 200k views.
Many have speculated, such as Hollywood Life, that the Undertaker’s last match for WWE will be at WrestleMania 32 in April of next year. That makes the Undertaker’s upcoming match at Survivor Series a pretty big deal, especially since he debuted for WWE at the same annual event in 1990. To promote what should be Undertaker’s last Survivor Series appearance, the WWE Network has dubbed this week the “Week of Undertaker.” It’s clear that this was the tie-in here, as the description on the YouTube video, posted on The Tonight Show‘s official channel, is worded as such.
“WWE’s Undertaker performs his signature move — the Tombstone — on a man dressed in a turkey costume. Survivor Series airs live Sunday, November 22 on WWE Network, celebrating the 25th anniversary of Undertaker.”
Whether someone on The Tonight Show’s writing staff is a wrestling fan, or someone from WWE regularly watches Fallon, the idea to put ‘Taker in a Tonight Show skit paid off.
That being said, it was a total surprise to see the Phenom show up on The Tonight Show. WWE always announces when someone is going to be a scheduled guest on a talk show, but the Undertaker/Fallon spot was kept under wraps. The whole bit lasted about two minutes.
A recurring skit on The Tonight Show is the “Audience Suggestion Box.” In the skit, Fallon pulls notes out of a box full of suggestions — purported to have come from the Tonight Show audience — for how to improve the show. For example, on last night’s segment, before Fallon got to the Undertaker’s bit, the notes included suggestions such as showing pictures of Charlie Brown with different hairstyles, teaching Roots member James to speak with a Scottish accent, and shooting pumpkin pies past New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist with a hockey stick. Undertaker beating up a grown man in a turkey outfit? Of course.
For some longtime wrestling fans, the Undertaker unleashing the Tombstone on a man in a turkey costume may bring back memories of WrestleMania 15 when Undertaker’s on-screen little brother, Kane, used the same piledriver on Pete Rose dressed up in a San Diego Chicken costume. It was Pete’s attempt to get back at Kane for an attack suffered a year earlier at WrestleMania 14. Is that why The Tonight Show went with a man in a turkey costume? Were they trying to keep with a Thanksgiving theme? Or was it just The Tonight Show trying to be as random as possible?
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In case you didn’t stick around until the very end, the Undertaker made one final appearance on The Tonight Show. As confirmed by What Culture, that familiar face in the turkey costume is Brad Maddox.
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon airs weeknights on NBC at 11:35/10:35c. The Undertaker will team up with Kane to face the Wyatt Family at WWE’s Survivor Series on Sunday, November 22, live on the WWE Network.
[Image via Hulu/NBC]