Mark Callaway spent 30 years performing for his Creatures of the Night under the Undertaker persona, entertaining generations of fans. Perhaps wrestling’s biggest icon and its most legendary character, the Undertaker is set to enter the WWE Hall of Fame in 2022 in his home state of Texas.
The Undertaker left an indelible mark on wrestling. One of the most athletic big men of all-time, the 7-ft, 300 pound Phenom left many in awe as he walked the ropes, flew over the top rope or simply delivered the most devastating powerbomb in the business. A four-time WWE Champion and three-time World Heavyweight Champion, the Undertaker set the bar as the standard bearer in professional wrestling, including an unprecedented 21-0 streak, where he defeated the likes of Triple H (WrestleMania 17, 27, 28), Shawn Michaels (25, 26), Randy Orton (21), CM Punk (29), Edge (24), Batista (23), Ric Flair (18) and many of the industry’s other top legends.
He’s synonymous with many match types, including Hell in a Cell. The Undertaker competed in the first Hell in a Cell match with Shawn Michaels at In Your House: Badd Blood 1997, set-up due to Shawn Michaels getting counted out during their match at Ground Zero. The most infamous Hell in a Cell, however, came a little under a year later when he chokeslammed Mankind through the top of the cell. It was characters such as Mankind and later on Undertaker’s kayfabe brother Kane that truly helped the Undertaker leave a legacy that’ll never be forgotten. The Undertaker, however, had his best in-ring run after turning 40 on the SmackDown brand.
The Undertaker made his debut at Survivor Series 1990, managed by Brother Love, before ultimately being paired with Paul Bearer in one of the most legendary pairings in wrestling history. The Undertaker won his first World Championship from Hulk Hogan just a year after being introduced to the WWE Universe. Perhaps, his biggest run was at the height of the Attitude Era when he was one of the company’s top stars, feuding with his brother Kane and headlining the 1998 Summerslam event against Steve Austin. Later on, The Undertaker would lead the Ministry of Darkness, as a devilish cult-leader that crucified his foes. When the Undertaker made his return in 2000, it was as a biker, presenting a more-authentic presentation at the height of the industry’s popularity. Toward the end of 2001, The Undertaker won the Hardcore Championship as Big Evil, showing a different side of his in-ring ability with opponents such as Rob Van Dam and Tajiri. The Undertaker returned to the original deviation of his character at WrestleMania XX and would remain that way until his retirement.
The Undertaker is the first announced inductee for the Class of 2022. Bodyslam will keep you up-to-date on any new names emerging.