The story of The Undertaker may be the most unique story in WWE history. For over 30 years, The Undertaker’s unique character has struck fear in his opponents and kept wrestling fans at the edge of their seats.
However, as with most professional wrestlers, it is rare to have immediate success. Despite spending over three decades in the WWE, The Undertaker did wrestle for other promotions before getting his big break in 1990. Prior to the WWE, The Undertaker wrestled as “Mean” Mark Callous in WCW. Recently, The Undertaker’s time as Callous was immortalized after receiving his own WWE action figure from Mattel. For all fans of The Undertaker, it is interesting to know facts about his time before being “The Deadman.”
10 Replaced Sid Vicious
In 1997, The Undertaker headlined WrestleMania for the first time when he won the WWE championship from Sycho Sid at WrestleMania 13. However, this was not the first time The Undertaker’s career benefited at the expense of Sycho Sid.
After suffering an injury in 1989, Sycho Sid, known as Sid Vicious at the time, was no longer able to complete. Sid was a part of a tag team with Dan Spivey. With Sid injured, “Mean” Mark Callous debuted and teamed with Spivey to feud with some of WCW’s top tag teams.
9 The Skyscrapers
“Mean” Mark Callous and “Dangerous” Dan Spivey were a tag team called The Skyscrapers due to their large size. Despite never winning tag team gold, the duo was a formidable team against anyone in WCW.
Prior to the tag team, Spivey was in the WWE. In the late 80s, Spivey teamed with Mike Rotunda, also known as I.R.S, to form The U.S Express. After Rotunda left the WWE, Spivey had an unsuccessful singles run. In 1995, after his run in WCW, Spivey returned to the WWE as Waylon Mercy and retired that same year.
8 Teddy Long
When talking about The Undertaker and Teddy Long, two thoughts will usually come to mind. As General Manager of SmackDown, Long loved to tell people that they were going to go, “One on one with The Undertaker!” There was also the time The Undertaker kidnapped Teddy Long in his limo. However, this was not the first time these two wrestling legends crossed paths.
After being fired as a referee in WCW due to bad officiating, Long became a manager and introduced the world to The Skyscrapers. After Sid Vicious was injured, Long brought in “Mean” Mark Callous and debuted the future legend at the start of his WCW tenure.
7 Feud With The Road Warriors
During their time as a tag team, The Skyscraper duo of Dan Spivey and Mark Callous primarily feuded with one of the most legendary tag teams of all time, The Road Warriors.
Whether on television or at house shows, The Skyscrapers and The Road Warriors went to war, with Animal and Hawk earning the victory most of the time. The feud culminated with a Chicago Street Fight on pay-per-view where The Road Warriors were victorious.
6 Wrestled The Steiner Brothers
The Road Warriors were not the only legendary tag team The Skyscrapers faced off against in WCW. The duo of Dan Spivey and Mark Callous also shared the ring with The Steiner Brothers, who were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this past year.
The Steiner Brothers were responsible for the injury to Sid Vicious, which led to Callous’ debut in the promotion. While the new Skyscrapers were given an opportunity to get revenge, they failed to earn a victory against Rick and Scott Steiner.
5 Managed By Paul Heyman
The Undertaker and Paul Heyman have a storied history in the WWE. Heyman played a major role at the end of Undertaker’s historic WrestleMania undefeated streak. However, Heyman and “The Deadman” also crossed paths in WCW.
Following the loss to the Road Warriors in a Chicago Street Fight, Mark Callous spent some time in New Japan Pro Wrestling as “Punisher” Dice Morgan. After his excursion, Mark Callous returned to WCW and was managed by Paul E. Dangerously. With a new manager by his side, Callous began to have success as a singles wrestler.
4 Wrestled Future WrestleMania Opponent
During his time as a singles competitor in WCW, Mark Callous shared the ring with a giant he would later meet in the WWE at a WrestleMania.
In 1993, at WrestleMania 9, The Undertaker wrestled Giant Gonzalez. This WrestleMania bout was the only time The Undertaker won by disqualification. Before being Giant Gonzalez in WWE, he was El Gigante. At NWA house shows, Callous faced off against El Gigante in battle royals. Regardless of when the encounters took place, El Gigante was always the winner.
3 Clash Of Champions
One of “Mean” Mark Callous’ first major singles matches was against Flyin’ Brian Pillman. At the eleventh Clash of the Champions show in 1990, Callous defeated Pillman. This major win, on a big stage, would lead to future title opportunities.
Callous shined at an event filled with wrestling legends. The show was headlined by an NWA world title match featuring Ric Flair and The Junkyard Dog. The show featured other legends like Arn Anderson, Paul Orndorff, The Steiner Brothers, and Lex Luger.
2 Wrestled For United States Title
The biggest match of “Mean” Mark Callous career took place at the 1990 Great American Bash. On that night, Callous wrestled Lex Luger for the United States championship.
Luger was able to pull off a victory, and Callous would never win a championship during his time in NWA and WCW. However, this would not be the only time Callous would wrestle for a major title. Most notably in the main event of this show,Sting would win the NWA World Championship against Ric Flair.
1 His Last Match Was Against Sting For World Title
“Mean” Mark Callous left the NWA and WCW in a big way. In his final match, Callous wrestled Sting for the NWA world title.
In Sept. 1990, at a house show, Sting defeated Callous in the only one-on-one encounter between the two legends. Two months later, The Undertaker would debut in the WWE, and the rest is history. While “Mean” Mark Callous was nowhere near as successful as The Undertaker, it was a short period of his career filled with legendary opponents that he would not face in the WWE.