Wrestling legend, Mark Calaway, popularly known as The Undertaker has officially retired from WWE after a ‘Final Farewell’ at Survivor Series on Sunday night, November 22 bringing his remarkable 30 year career to a befitting ending,
The 55 year old who has been a popular household name in the sport since making his debut at Survivor Series in 1990 has won seven world championships and a 21 match winning run at WrestleMania.
“For 30 long years, I’ve made that slow walk to this ring and have laid people to rest time and time again. Now, my time has come. My time has come to let The Undertaker rest… in… peace,” he stated in the WWE ThunderDome with virtual fans watching from home due to the pandemic.
At the annual WWE Survivor Series pay-per-view on Sunday, 30 years after making his debut at the same event, The Undertaker made his final farewell address.
Legends such as Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels and The Big Show were all there to say goodbye.
Radio 1 Newsbeat has been speaking to the Deadman’s fans about why he’s meant so much through the years.
‘Respect for his own character’
It’s the mystery around the shadowy character which makes the Undertaker so popular with people like Saurav Dutt.
“His dark and supernatural element was the big attraction. The entrance and the way he carries himself means he can reach everyone.”
“He has an intimidating feel about him even at an older age, which is why so many love him,”the 29-year-old says.
For Andrew Curnow, “there’s been nobody like him” when it comes to affecting the audience.
The Undertaker was already established as a legend when Andrew, now 21, started watching WWE in 2006.
“The mind games and not knowing what’s going to happen when he comes out still had such a big impact,” he says.
And it’s not just about the way he was in the ring,
The way he’s treated his own character has been a big part of why 29-year-old Joni Roome has been such a fan.
He had a lot of respect for his own character. He famously didn’t do interviews or break character which added to the mystique when the gong sounded.”
It meant as a fan, “you always wanted more”.
And that’s something the Undertaker admitted was important to him, in a rare out-of-character interview with BBC 1Xtra’s DJ Ace in May.
Despite his enormous popularity, he wanted to “maintain the mystique of the character” which is why he rejected the chance to do films.
“I can go out, do a movie and be a completely different character. But then how do I come back and be The Undertaker?”
He’s always reinvented himself’
Doing the same thing for 30 years means it can be hard to stay fresh in the eyes of the audience. And that’s one of the reasons he’s “such a legend” for Sabrina Nicole.
“He’s always reinvented himself. Whether he was the Deadman or on the bike, he managed to remain popular,” she says.
For Sabrina, the way he switched up his image meant “whether you’re a girl, boy, old or young, you can resonate with him”.
For Saurav, despite shifting his persona, the Undertaker always stayed true “to being the merciless figure”, that made him the ultimate superstar.
“You always knew you’d see good wrestling, psychology and storytelling whenever he would come out to wrestle.”
The ability to move with the times meant he was at the top of his game, even towards the end of his career.
“Pulling out matches like Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 25. He did it at the time when many fans were becoming disenchanted with WWE – they saw him and it lifted everything.
“He empowered other wrestlers to up their game, adapt their style and go to the limit with him.