Archive for the ‘Wrestlemania’ Category

Mark Calaway: Twilight of an American Hero

Posted: February 29, 2012 by arayegee in Wrestlemania, WWE

His government name may not ring a bell, but his stage name is one of the most recognizable in the history of sports entertainment. His slow walk down to the ring is as ominous and spine-tingling as the man himself. And his music is unmistakable. When that bell gong rings, its no question as to who is coming out. Since Stone Cold’s retirement, The Rock’s bolt to Hollywood, and Triple H’s new corporate role, Mark Calaway, better known as The Undertaker, has held the torch for what is remaining of  the infamous Attitude Era. For the past twenty years, he has been respected by his peers, feared by his opponents, and revered by the fans of the WWE.Since his WWE debut in 1990, he has been a dominating force in the wrestling industry. A 6’10, 300 pound giant with the agility and grace as a luchador and as powerful as anyone to step into the ring.  Countless World titles, Heavyweight championships, and Tag Team titles fill his resume.  His undefeated Wrestlemania streak of 19 wins and 0 losses is considered one of pro wrestling’s greatest accomplishments. To put it into perspective, his Wrestlemania victory total is equal to the amount of games won by the Washington Redskins over the past 3 seasons.

Many people wondered if The Undertaker would ever slow down. His finesse, his work ethic, his brutality, his aura were unshakable his entire career. He’s wrestled and defeated the likes of Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, King Kong Bundy, Ric Flair, The Rock, and even CM Punk.  Had you seen him in 1994, you would have thought, in 2011, he’ hadnt aged a year. He has been THAT dominant.

The way the entire arena would go dark, and as the lights came back on, he would appear in the ring, staring down his helpless, unsuspecting prey.  The way he’d roll his eyes in his head, taunting his enemies.  The way he could  revive from a vicious beating in the middle of a match, deliver his own beatdown, and walk off victorious.

Wrestlemania 27 proved to be the first time we saw The Undertaker unmasked as Mark Calaway. The match, now on Youtube, was against an aging Triple H, and it started off just as violently as it ended.  (FYI: Wrestling isnt fake, its scripted. Just like the NBA was for the past 15 years. The athleticism, the talent, the precision, and the pain, is real. ) The Undertaker prevailed, but was carried out in a stretcher. He took punishment that you could tell he wasnt ready for, and  within minutes of the match, everybody knew it. The Deadman was a mere mortal in the ring, and his usually ice cold demeanor was replaced with a one of desperation.

This Wrestlemania 28 Hell in a Cell rematch against Triple H will likely be the last wrestling match of Mark Calaway’s historic career. His end, win or lose, will be the end of the the Attitude Era as we know it.  Those of us in our early to mid 20s grew up watching will no longer recognize the faces in the ring after this epic event. Both Triple H and The ageless “Phenom” has seen better days, and their 46 year old bodies know it. In fact, Id bet that ‘Taker’s body has known it for sometime now, its us that’s getting the late memo. All that the Undertaker has left to fight for is the preservation of his hallowed streak, and judging from last year’s fight, hes willing to go past what his body can take. Whatever happens in this match, lets pay homage to the Deadman.