Dutch Mantell has opened up about The Undertaker‘s early days in wrestling, stating the only thing that held The Phenom back was his lack of promo skills.
The Deadman is one of the biggest names to have ever come out of WWE, and he’s regarded by many as one of the greatest ever to lace up a pair of wrestling boots. Although he has been a part of the Stamford-based company for three decades, he still gets a massive reaction from the fans whenever he makes an appearance.
Dutch Mantell, a senior panelist for the Sportskeeda Wrestling Awards and The Undertaker’s former booker, told Riju Dasgupta that he didn’t think The Deadman would become who he is today. He added that his inability to cut a promo is what held him back, and that’s why Vince McMahon didn’t let him speak during his early run in WWE.
“The Undertaker, I kind of broke him into the business. I didn’t break him in but I booked him, I think, in his first territory. I was booking in Memphis and I took over when he was coming in. I may not have been the one to book him; great talent. And somebody asked me one time, he said, ‘Did you ever think that Mark Callaway, which is his name, you think he would ever be the star that he is today?’ And I said, ‘No, I don’t think anybody saw that.’ But one thing about him, he is a great athlete, great basketball player. To be 6’9″ he was quick as a cat and the only thing that held him back in his early days was his ability to talk, his ability to do promos, and Vince knew that, that’s why he didn’t talk.” (16:57-17:55)