The Undertaker

The Undertaker: The greatest moments in The Deadman’s Hall of Fame career

WWE announced on Friday that the first inductee to the 20222 Hall of Fame would be The Undertaker.

For thirty years The Phenom was a cornerstone of WWE and provided us with some of the most iconic moments of all time.

GiveMeSport looks back at the best moments in the legendary career of The Deadman.

Mystery Man 1990 

Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase had teased a ‘mystery partner’ for his Million Dollar Team and introduced the world to The Undertaker. Accompanied by Brother Love, the giant grim-like figure dressed in black stunned WWE fans. No one was able to lay a glove on this new frightening Superstar and was only eliminated from the match after being counted out while brawling with Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart. A WWE legacy was born that night in the Hartford Civic Center. 

Deadly Serious 1991

The Undertaker proved he was no overnight fad in WWE, quickly rising up the ranks and within a year was put in a WWE Championship match against the Immortal Hulk Hogan. It was a real rarity to see Hogan lose during this period, and even rarer for the WWE Title, but the stock was already high in the man behind the dead eyes and he was given his first championship win. Yes, there was an assist from Ric Flair and a Tombstone to a steel chair, but it was a significant moment in the career of The Undertaker, who at the time became the youngest WWE Champion in history. 

Holy Hell 1998

Undertaker’s battle with Mankind at King of the Ring is home to some of the most famous images in Hell in a Cell history and is one the most infamous WWE matches of all time. Taker was responsible for first throwing Mankind off the cage, in a twenty feet drop that saw Mick Foley fall through the announce table, and then chokeslamming Foley through the top of the cage onto the canvas below. It prompted iconic commentary from Jim Ross, some truly terrified WWE fans and officials (and Taker himself, who wasn’t sure on the state of his opponent below) in what is one of the most watched WWE moments of all time. To this day it’s a frightening watch and defies belief to how Foley carried on amongst the carnage. 

Darker Territory 1999

Towards the end of his first decade in WWE, The Undertaker took on an even darker persona with undertones of gothic and religious tendencies. He created his own stable dubbed The Ministry of Darkness and set sights on taking over WWE with his ‘Higher Power’. Committing such controversial sins as kidnapping a very green Stephanie McMahon and ‘crucifying’ Stone Cold Steve Austin in one of the Attitude Era’s most defying images. Unfortunately, just when the persona was at its very height, the higher power was revealed to be Vince McMahon and Taker’s role became somewhat secondary to the next chapter in the Austin McMahon war. 

Keep Rollin’ 2000 

At Judgement Day 2000, Undertaker returned following an injury lay-off with a complete evolution of his character. Gone were the ‘Deadman’ like characteristics and famous long chilling entrance, in its place The American Bad Ass. Riding to the ring on a motorcycle, Undertaker embraced the biker-style image, becoming more like the man behind the famous gimmick and breathed new life into his WWE career. He interrupted the Iron Man match between The Rock and Triple H, cleaning house and becoming a new thorn in The Game and Mr McMahon’s side. 

Return of the Deadman 2004

Undertaker enjoyed success as the American Bad Ass and later ‘Big Evil’, but fans were clamouring for the original Undertaker to return. Having been ‘buried alive’ by Vince McMahon and his brother Kane, Taker had been absent from WWE screens since that Survivor Series defeat. However, in the weeks leading up to WrestleMania XX, Kane was tormented by some paranormal activity, including bells being run during matches and lightning bolts appearing out of nowhere. It signalled the return of The Deadman, back to his original Undertaker roots and ready to exact revenge on his brother. Undertaker would go on to defeat Kane at WrestleMania XX, with a new hybrid of his character. Mixing both the original elements of what made the gimmick so unique, but adding a more human, theatrical strand grown out of his biker phase. 

Ready to Rumble 2007

The Undertaker was the first-ever superstar to enter the Royal Rumble at number 30 and win the match, his first rumble win in 2007. The closing stages of the match saw Undertaker and old rival Shawn Michaels lock horns in Texas for a championship shot at WrestleMania. In the end it was The Deadman who prevailed, eliminating Michaels and he’d go on to WrestleMania to defeat Batista to become World Heavyweight Champion. With his now established WrestleMania streak standing at 15-0. 

The best of the best 2009/2010

Shawn Michaels was a constant thread in Undertaker’s career, going back to their underrated Hell in a Cell match at Bad Blood in 1997. So, it seems only fitting that The Deadman’s best matches come opposite HBK, on the grandest stage of them all. Fans are spilt to which bout is the better, with WrestleMania 25’s barnburner looked upon as the better ‘wrestling’ match between the two, whereas a year later in Arizona the sequel was layered with more story thanks to the streak vs. career stipulation. The original was full of near falls and showcased two of the very best to ever do it in a WWE ring, in what is probably the best match in WrestleMania history. 

End of an Era 2012

The build to WrestleMania 28 may have been all about Rock and John Cena, but by the end of the night everyone was talking about the alluring image of Undertaker, Triple H and Shawn Michaels at the end of this match. With the undefeated streak on the line, Triple H took one last swipe at defeating Taker inside the Hell in a Cell, with HBK as guest referee. In a roller-coaster ride of a bout, fans were left shocked as The Deadman was hit with a Pedigree and Super Kick combo that looked as though it could finally end his legendary streak. Alas, it was WrestleMania, and Taker kicked-off of the nearest fall you’ve ever seen and once again tasted victory at the show of shows. 

Brock Breaks the streak 2014 

Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak looked like it would never end, that was until he came face-to-face with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XXX. Taker was 20-0 heading into the battle with Brock in New Orleans and fans expected The Deadman man to prevail once again, even against the destructive force that was Brock Lesnar. What transpired though, was one of the most shocking moments in WrestleMania history. Lesnar’s three-count on The Phenom left the WWE so stunned, that one famous dude in the front row has actually made a living out of his reaction to the match. The streak was over. 

Boneyard Goodbye 2020

In the last five years Undertaker’s WWE appearances had came more and more sporadic and not all of them ones he or fans would want to remember. However, his final match in WWE will be one that goes down in WrestleMania folklore. With the world in the midst of a global pandemic, the company flexed their creative muscles and created a final setting that could only be befitting of one their all-time greats. Taking things to The Boneyard, Taker took on AJ Styles in a cinematic epic that wouldn’t have looked out of place in Hollywood. Playing on the best of his back catalogue, Taker defeated in AJ and brought the curtain down on this once in a lifetime career. 

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