The Undertaker Will Be Inducted Into the WWE Hall of Fame in Dallas
One of the most popular wrestlers of all-time, The Undertaker, a Texas native whose real name is Mark Calaway, will be inducted into the WWE’s Hall of Fame at a ceremony held at the American Airlines Center on April 1, two days before WrestleMania kicks off.
The Undertaker’s illustrious wrestling career got its start in 1987 in the heart of Downtown Dallas at the wrestling mecca known as the Dallas Sportatorium, where he wrestled as Texas Red. The Sportatorium and the World Class Championship Wrestling are best remembered for hosting the bitter match between two rival teams: the hometown team Von Erich Family and the Fabulous Freebirds, but it was on a summer day in 1987 when Dallas wrestling fans witnessed Texas Red make his debut in a match against Bruiser Brody.
After World Class Championship Wrestling merged with another local wrestling promotion, The Undertaker began wrestling in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) under the moniker “Mean” Mark Callous, primarily in tag team and mid-card matches. The story goes that management in WCW was never as keen on Calaway as a main draw, except for WWE (then known as WWF) head honcho Vince McMahon.
In 1990, Calaway made his WWF debut as The Undertaker at the Survivor Series event. As a gimmick, The Undertaker character never should have had the longevity that he did. Standing nearly 7 feet tall, Calaway dressed like a Western mortician with purple gloves, walked slowly (he would sometimes take up to 10 minutes to enter the ring), as his manager, Paul Bearer, carried around a mysterious urn that would somehow give The Undertaker the strength and power to overcome his opponents. Even in the cartoonish world of WWF in the late ’80s and early ’90s, it was a little much.