For the past quarter of a century, The Undertaker has been a fixture in the WWE. In terms of longevity and drawing power, there are very few if any that can match The Deadman. WWE was extremely that they chose Mark Calaway to play the character back in 1990. Nobody else could have made it work other than him.
While The Undertaker has one of the most well-told backstories in WWE history, there is very little we know about the man playing the character – Mark Calaway. Here are 5 things you surely didn’t know about the man.
#5. He is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
While he might just be pretending when he sends his opponents to ‘hell’ in the WWE, the Undertaker is a legitimate bad-ass in real life too. He has been training under the legendary, Rolles Gracie, for a long time and was awarded his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu back in 2011.
Although he never made the jump to the UFC, it is safe to say that he could have easily done so if he wanted to. At the end of the day, CM Punk got to fight in the UFC despite being just a blue belt in BJJ and with no other martial arts background to speak of.
Those who are regular viewers of the UFC will be familiar with seeing Calaway in the crowd during the big events. He even teased a fight with Brock Lesnar back in 2010 when the two had a confrontation at UFC 121.
#4. He had dreams of being a basketball player
Let’s just say The Undertaker originally had plans of sharing a court with Michael Jordan instead of sharing a ring with Stone Cold. He first got into the sport when he was in high school and even managed to get a scholarship at Angelina College for basketball.
He would later go on to play for Texas Wesleyan University and dropped out to focus on the game full time. At one point in time, he even had plans to go to Europe to pursue the sport. Luckily he got into wrestling before going ahead with his plans of leaving for Europe and the rest, as they say, is history.
#3. He is scared of cucumbers
Fell free to do a Stone Cold impressed and go ‘What?’ after reading this one. Yes, the man who struck fear into the hearts of his opponents over a quarter of a century really is scared of a vegetable. If reading it feels weird, trust me, writing it is not any different.
In an episode of his podcast, legendary wrestling manager Bruce Prichard revealed about the irrational fear of cucumbers that The Deadman has. He also went on to reveal how Owen Hart would exploit this fear and put cucumbers into Taker’s bags to spook him out. I’ll give you a moment to let all this sink in.
#2. He had his own backstage faction called the ‘Bone Street Krew’
Over the years, The Kliq has gained notoriety as the backstage faction that used to run things in the WWE back in the 90s. Something most fans don’t know is that The Kliq was not the only backstage faction in the WWE at the time.
The Undertaker had his own faction known as the ‘Bone Street Krew‘. That is what the infamous ‘BSK’ tattoo on his stomach stands for. The group was created in an attempt to tackle the growing influence the Kliq.
The group comprised of The Undertaker, Paul Bearer, Mr. Fuji, Savio Vega, The Godfather, Yokozuna, Henry Godwinn, Mideon, Brian Adams, Rikishi and James Harrison. Apparently, The Undertaker believes in quantity over quality.
#1. He wrestled as Mark Callous in WCW before becoming The Undertaker in the WWE
Today it is hard to think of Mark Calaway as anything else other than The Undertaker, but he had actually gone through a number of gimmicks before stumbling upon the Deadman character on his arrival in the WWE.
The Commando, ‘Mean’ Mark Callous, Dice Morgan, The Master of Pain and Texas Red are just of the names he went by before striking gold as The Undertaker. He was actually on WCW before ever making it to the WWE. But his run as ‘Mean’ Mark Callous was so unmemorable that the company didn’t have any problem letting him go to the WWE after just a year.
It is safe to say that ‘Mean’ Mark Callous would never go on to have a two-decade-long winning streak at Wrestlemania.