The Undertaker made his home in WWE beginning at Survivor Series 1990 and for the next thirty years he became the conscience of the company but things could have been very different.
In the mid-nineties, WWE suffered something of an exodus of talent as the company lost several stars to the riches and reduced schedule of WCW. Lex Luger, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Ted DiBiase, Sean Waltman, and Roddy Piper, were among some of the company’s personalities that made the move to the Atlanta-based company with varying degrees of success.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani for BT Sport, The Undertaker was asked if he seriously considered following suit and admits that he did think about it and that was down to the “ridiculous characters” that were being showcased in WWE at the time:
“Yeah, kind of through Kevin Nash. We were in this period of time where we had, and this kind of funny for me to say, but we had all these ridiculous characters. WCW was doing all this cutting-edge stuff, but I think, to answer in the short, no. But did I think about it? Yeah. Did I have an opportunity to? Yeah.”
The Undertaker then explained that it was the words of former WCW booker Ole Anderson who told The Deadman he’d never draw money in wrestling while he was a part of that company that kept him from going back:
“My deal would have been coming up, but it was more frustration with what we were currently doing, and just feeling like we were stale and behind the times, and we were so kid-driven. Our demographic was nine-to-twelve-year-olds, and their demographic down in WCW was 18-34, 18-36 demographic, doing so much more cutting-edge stuff.
“That was appealing, but there was never… even though it was completely different people, it was WCW that told me that I’d never draw a dime in this business. As much as I used that for fuel, as open-minded as I think I am and as I’ve matured, you would think like, ‘Okay, don’t be stupid. Take the money.’ But that always hung out there. ‘You’re a great athlete. No one will ever pay money to see you wrestle.’
“Thank goodness [they were wrong]. That was fuel, man. That was fuel for me to give everything I had to what I probably thought was my last real go at something. I’ve had a few doors slammed in my face, but that one really stung because that’s where I wanted to be. I wanted to be in WCW when I went there as Mean Mark, and then to be told, ‘Nah.’ Okay. Next step.’”
The Undertaker also revealed that he has been offered a new role in WWE following the end of his own in-ring career, but he says he’s not quite ready for it.