At the end of WrestleMania 33, The Undertaker appeared to retire from WWE and professional wrestling, but there may be more to it than anyone imagined. Taking off his gear and laying his gloves, hat, and coat in the middle of the ring seemingly signified the end of his in-ring career. While that might be true, rumors are circulating that it might have been the end of the character/gimmick completely.
When The Undertaker left his gear in the ring and walked down the aisle after his loss to Roman Reigns, fans believed it would be the last match they’d ever see from him. Little did they know that it might have been the last time the character would ever be seen at all.
According to Sportskeeda, The Undertaker, whose real name is Mark Calaway, always had the intention of retiring after WrestleMania 33. The only thing is that he didn’t just retire from being an active wrestler, but he retired the character and gimmick of The Undertaker entirely.
Calaway is pretty much a lock to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, and it will more than likely happen in the next year or two. The interesting thing about these retirement rumors is that he might end up accepting the award as himself and not as The Undertaker.
It appears as if Mark Calaway has officially retired his character of The Undertaker and that he has no intentions of ever stepping into the role for any reason at all. His actions at the end of WrestleMania 33 called for the end of the gimmick that was created almost 27 years ago.
The Undertaker made his official debut at Survivor Series on November 22, 1990, as Ted Dibiase’s hired enforcer. Over the years, The Undertaker changed a number of things about his character, but those changes were mostly his attire and ring gear, but not the character itself.
Of course, there was a short span from mid-2000 until late 2003, where The Undertaker transformed into his biker gimmick, but it had nothing to do with his previous character. This wouldn’t necessarily be called “breaking character” as it was something entirely different.
It isn’t really expected that the Undertaker, 52, will ever wrestle again, even though Bruce Prichard recently told Something To Wrestle that he doesn’t think “it’s over.” He brings about the idea of “never say never” in wrestling and admits that the character of The Undertaker will “live on forever,” but he feels as if the legend’s in-ring career isn’t over.
Ask The Undertaker and he may very well tell you differently. Over the last couple of years, he has dealt with a number of injuries and had a couple of surgeries, which is understandable considering his body has taken damage in the ring for the better part of three decades.
Looking back throughout The Undertaker’s career when he was in the role of “The Deadman,” he broke character only one or two times. One of the most memorable was after his WrestleMania XXVI match against Shawn Michaels, which is when the two men shook hands after all was said and done.
If watching him walk out of Orlando at the end of WrestleMania 33 was the last time the character will ever be seen, it is truly the end of an era.
For almost three total decades, Mark Calaway has honored his wrestling gimmick unlike almost any superstar who has come before him. The Undertaker is a cherished character in the world of professional wrestling, and it is doubtful that there will ever be another one like him. In time, The Undertaker will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, but rumors surrounding his retirement mean that Mark Calaway may give an acceptance speech and not “The Deadman.”
[Featured Image by WWE]