Among the large number of the superstars, the celebrities and the sportsmen who graced my childhood world, I wouldn’t consider anyone bigger than that one man who was part of the daily trump card games. It was one of those more precious cards to have to secure a win, as the Undertaker had a very good rank which was usually between one and three, and a good number of fights fought, won as well as a height which was huge and good weight, biceps and chest, the elements needed to win the trump card game. This man, originally Mark William Calaway, has been a legend and a sure wrestler in the WWE Hall of Fame soon.
There were just Hulk Hogan and Bret Hart Hitman around him in the rankings, and when I managed to buy a few cards again, it was The Rock and Tripe H around him – somethings never change, and there was always the Undertaker, between Stone Cold Steve Austin, Goldberg or whoever came around. He was the man who had something for us kids, even as he was considered more of a man of the dark side with the avatar that he had chosen. Standing at 6 feet 10, weighing over 300 pounds, this man was always there, defining sports entertainment like nobody else.
He was the dead man walking, coming to the ring with an entrance which would make most of the undead rise from their graves and clap their hands. Even at a time when the effects were not that developed, he did manage to keep the scare tactics alive. There was always Paul Bearer and his urn which had his powers. He used to rise all of a sudden when everyone thought he was finished. He was a master entertainer, like nobody else. We loved his chokeslams, tombstone piledriver and the last ride, the finishing moves which remains in the minds of the fans forever.
We can remember those Casket Matches, Last Ride Matches and Buried Alive Matches, and that long presence in Hell in a Cell Matches. We loved him with his half-brother Kane as they became the Brothers of Destruction. Two chokeslams or two tombstone piledrivers at a time, and that is one great fest. Then when they fought against each other, there were sparks flying. I can remember not many things in WWE being any better. Then they had to make him face Brock Lesnar who was to disappear after that match, why?
When he was defeated at WrestleMania XXX, and his great undefeated streak came to an end, undoubtedly due to some bad writing, my world had clearly changed and I realized that it was the time to decrease my interest in WWE, as even IPL seems to be coming up with better scripts. WWE’s two main stars were John Cena and Daniel Bryan, both of them of no significance to me, and the upcoming ones like Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose are my least favourite characters. Kane is reduced to someone who is regularly beaten up, unable to chokeslam or beat the new faces; Triple H in a coat – what more can get worse for WWE?
One positive is Paige, the lady in black who has been gracing WWE for the last few months. This beauty surely has the power to unleash the beast by playing the monster with a certain amount of the inner demon unleashed. The Divas division surely has more scope these days. The same can’t be said about the men’s division though. Unless Kane becomes the real monster that he used to be, and fill the void that has been left by the Undertaker, plus Triple H decides to get into the ring as cerebral assassin fighter, there is not much ahead for WWE.
I am fed up seeing the whole thing repeat again and again with no real change. These new wrestlers are rather too predictable and weaker stars combined with even weaker storyline is bringing doom. There comes the emptiness that one feels when the Undertaker is not there, and the realization that he has become old and won’t be the same again; he was already just restricted to being a small presence in WWE. I will surely miss the Undertaker, and I guess the only way to bring him back with immediate effect is to play WWE RAW, the old PC game again, but then it had the Undertaker in his American Bad-ass biker version, not the one I admire.