The World Wrestling Entertainment have in their possession for the longest time, the epitome of a true phenom. From the moment I first laid my eyes on this imposing black-clad wrestler on TV, I felt that he was going to be something special. I have always been a huge fan of The Undertaker. Mark William Calaway in real life, The Deadman has undergone from one persona to another over the years of his stay with the WWE. 

I’ve first seen The Undertaker enter the ring walking like the Undead, clad in decrepit trench coat and a hat, with gray gloves and boot covers. Later on, the gray-colored accents were replaced with purple ones, and included a purple necktie in his gear. His primordial image was known as “The Deadman.” Along with this amazingly macabre image, his original entrance music was the famous funeral tune played through an organ. Each time the stage went dark, the ambiance became eerie, and fans and spectators would use their cigarette lighters to fill the venue with flickering lights. As years passed, the same entrance music got an update with the addition of thunder sounds, lightning and billowing smoke effects; and the glow of cellphone lights in lieu of lighters. 

Following the “Deadman” persona, a new Undertaker appeared in the late ’90s, evolving into a more sinister and satanic-like figure. His attire seemed to be of elaborate construction. His new devilish image was then called “The Lord of Darkness.” During this version’s reign in WWE, he commanded the Ministry of Darkness, his acolytes.

Moving through to the early part of the new millennium, another transformation took place as The Undertaker lost the black hat in favor of a bandana, wore a pair of shades and denims, and rode on a big motorbike to the ring. His biker façade was then refered to as “The American Bad Ass.” An entirely new music accompaniment (rock song by Limp Bizkit/Kid Rock) was now playing as his entrance song. He alluded to the wrestling ring as his “yard” and that he was the biggest dog in it. 

While his next character “Big Evil” was reminiscent to the old Deadman persona, it now retained some of the traits of his former American Bad Ass identity; where his Deadman persona was sporting what appears to be MMA-type gloves, and his fighting stance, on occasion, was akin to that of a boxer’s. And he now grunts in pain unlike his very first persona that seemed to be stoic and impervious to pain. The entrance music went back to the familiar bell toll intro followed by his customary accoutrements. I call this version, ‘the modern Deadman look.’

Just recently, during the airing of SmackDown, I chanced upon an unrecognized entrance music (a western song) playing in the background of the arena as a new Undertaker emerged, after last year’s Buried Alive match. He is now calling himself “The Last Outlaw.” Though his costume is still very much identical to the Big Evil persona, he talks with a normal speaking voice as opposed to the all husky speech we’re used to from his old, darker character. He will be battling against Triple H at WrestleMania 27 this April, and has made it clear to the returning Cerebral Assassin, that his undefeated streak will continue to remain pristine at 19-0 after the match between the two is over. 

But my main concern is: all these years I’m actually not sure as to why Calaway’s in-ring character, The Undertaker, needs to be transformed from one character to another—if it’s his manager’s choice, or the preference of the company he works for. Is it done to keep the wrestling enthusiasts interested in the Undertaker character? But speaking as a fan, I’d be content and delighted if he reverted to his Deadman persona; better yet, have him don his original black tights and grey gloves and boot covers. That would be a sight for sore eyes. Vintage ‘Taker for me personally, is the best out of all the different characters he has ever portrayed. I don’t want to sound like his other roles pale in comparison to the original. It’s just that I would really love to see Mark Calaway walk into the ring in his classic spooky attire again as his old Undertaker self. To be able to see again that earliest version of him before he retires, would be just awesome.

(Undertaker images collected from different sources.)

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