Today one of wrestling’s greatest ever stars turns 50.
The legendary Undertaker. JOE salutes you.
Back in the days before the UFC was even a twinkle in Dana White’s eye, and when the WWF was not just a wildlife charity, ‘Taker was the man.
A monster man at that. His dizzying 6ft 10in frame towered over the wrestling scene. And it still does 25 years since his 1990 debut at Kane the Undertaker .
Feel old yet?
Growing up in the 90s you were either the bleached-blonde Hulk Hogan type, a make-up and mullets Ultimate Warrior fan boy, or you went with the dark side.
The black garb, the pallid grey face, the dead man’s eyes and that freakish resistance to pain. Even as a kid you knew he was a double hard b*stard.
Anyone who rocks up wearing grey gloves and a black Stetson hat, goes to work on a guy, then carries him out the ring in a body bag has to be an instant cult hero.
He was a goth before it was cool. But most of all he was a badass – crushing people with his trademark tombstone piledriver (our school banned all wrestling in the schoolyard after a kid got injured from this move).
This is why…
But you couldn’t help love the crazy storylines he was part of – his past as an arsonist and murderer, his pyromaniac burns victim half-brother Kane, and the time he vanished after being locked in a burning coffin. Absolute TV gold.
‘Taker and Kane, fighting like brothers…
Remember when he choke-slammed Mankind into an open grave – but ended up being buried alive himself?
Or when his spirit appeared on the big screen from inside a coffin after defeat to Yokozuna at the 1994 Royal Rumble?
Hats off to the writers, but how did they let kids like me watch this?
Whatever happened, he could always stand the heat…
He sealed his legendary status the night he won his first WWF Championship against mustachioed tan god Hulk Hogan (who is still responsible for the JOE team ripping their shirts open when drunk).
Every boy at school had the Undertaker figurine to go with the real-sound bright blue wrestling ring.
Sit back and enjoy some of his greatest hits with a great American c*ck rock soundtrack…