While rumors of WWE star The Undertaker appearing at Survivor Series 2017 seem to have died down, his history at the popular event over the years is too big to ignore. Several months ago, WWE fans watched as “The Deadman” lost his second-ever match on “the grandest stage of them all” to Roman Reigns. With that WrestleMania defeat, some people believed it was the final nail in the coffin, so to speak, of his longtime in-ring career. That also has led people to believe that Taker, real name Mark Calaway, will be entering the WWE’s Hall of Fame for the 2018 class of inductees. The Survivor Series legacy will be a major part of his resume for that induction.
Various websites including Uproxx have reported on the speculation that there will be a major Undertaker return at Survivor Series 2017. With that said, it’s unlikely he’ll appear at any part of the latest Survivor Series based on the announcement he’ll be on Raw‘s 25th-anniversary show. WWE could still toss a surprise in there, but the match card looks stacked as it is for Sunday’s event. Here’s a look back at some of Taker’s memorable Survivor Series matches or appearances from over the years, showing how he’s helped define the pay-per-view up until present day.
Survivor Series 1990 (Debut)
The year 1990 was where it really all started for the legendary career of Undertaker. At this Survivor Series, he made his official debut. While he had debuted days earlier as “Kane the Undertaker” for a taping of WWE’s Superstars, it was the November 22, 1990, pay-per-view where he debuted on-camera for the first time as The Undertaker. At the time, he was managed by Brother Love but brought into the fold by Ted Dibiase aka “The Million Dollar Man.”
Taker worked as a mystery partner for Ted Dibiase’s “Million Dollar Team” and eliminated both Koko B. Ware and Dusty Rhodes. He would eventually be counted out but went a long way towards helping Dibiase grab the win as the sole survivor against Dusty Rhodes’ Survivor Series team.
Survivor Series 1991
Just a year later, The Undertaker was back on the card for Survivor Series 1991, but not as part of a five-man team. This time around, he would challenge “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan for the WWF/WWE Championship in a main event title match.
For this match, Taker had Paul Bearer now managing him and Ric Flair providing an assist. The finish of the match saw Flair hit a steel chair shot on the Hulkster which helped Undertaker pick up a surprising title win. One week later he’d lose the belt back to Hogan, though.
Survivor Series 1992, 1994, & 2008
At the 1992 and 1994 editions of the Thanksgiving classic pay-per-view, Undertaker competed in two of his famous gimmick matches. The coffin match has been a match mostly used by Undertaker, but sometimes by his brother Kane. He’s mostly come up on the winning side of these matches and most especially has been victorious at the Survivor Series pay-per-view.
In 1992, it was the “Ugandan Giant” Kamala who Taker laid to rest inside the coffin. In 1994, he would take on the mighty Yokozuna. Taker had a special guest referee as Chuck Norris was there to prevent interference. Multiple outside wrestlers got involved including IRS, Jeff Jarrett, King Kong Bundy, and Bam Bam Bigelow. Taker eventually was able to close the casket lid on the mighty Yokozuna, defeating yet another large opponent who was in his path.
Nearly a decade ago, Undertaker had yet another casket match. This time it was The Big Show being placed inside the casket and having the lid slammed on him. However, based on the video footage above, Show wasn’t necessarily placed in the casket in the normal way.
Survivor Series 2007
A decade ago, Undertaker competed in another one of the special matches he’s helped to make famous: Hell in a Cell. At this particular Survivor Series PPV, he would battle “The Animal” Batista inside the cell structure. Unfortunately, this was one situation where the match didn’t go Taker’s way.
In the match, the WWE Heavyweight Championship was also on the line. Batista was holding the championship belt at the time. The two competitors would unleash hell on each other using the cage itself as a weapon. However, it was the “Rated-R Superstar” Edge who appeared at ringside disguised as a cameraman to hit Taker with a steel chair. That allowed Batista to get the win and retain the title. It would also set up a rivalry between Edge and Taker as well as a future Triple Threat match for the title.
Survivor Series 2015
Just two years ago, WWE celebrated Undertaker’s legacy with the 25th anniversary of his Survivor Series debut. Taker appeared on the card, which may have been his last career Survivor Series. However, it was memorable in that he teamed up with “family” for a match.
For the pay-per-view, Taker would reunite with his brother Kane as The Brothers of Destruction. The duo took on Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper of The Wyatt Family in a traditional tag team match. As expected, it was the brothers rising tall, as they defeated Bray and Luke in just over 10 minutes of action.
Just last year, Taker played a part in the WWE’s Survivor Series 2016 build-up but he wasn’t a participant in the event. Instead, he made a huge appearance on SmackDown Live to put Team SmackDown on notice ahead of the event. That would also start his path towards future appearances, including a spot in the 2017 Royal Rumble match and his potential final match at WrestleMania 33 back in April.
As mentioned, it’s unlikely that fans will see The Undertaker appear at this Sunday’s Survivor Series 2017 pay-per-view event. The 52-year-old superstar seems comfortable in his impending retirement announcement. However, his appearances over the past 27 years of WWE history have created quite the legacy which will be cherished by professional wrestling fans for years to come. Should Undertaker’s gong sound on Sunday, it will add yet another highlight to a legendary career.
[Featured Image by WWE]