The Undertaker

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The Undertaker is the longest-tenured performer in WWE history, spending thirty years with the company without officially leaving at any point (he was the last performer who appeared on the very first Monday Night Raw to still work for the company as an in-ring talent). Born Mark William Calaway, he is one of the most memorable and recognizable superstars in the company's history.

His career -- which you can read about in greater detail over at That Other Wiki -- is most notable for "The Streak": in his twenty appearances at Wrestlemania, The Undertaker has never lost a single match, and every year since Wrestlemania 17, "The Streak" is a huge part of the buildup to the annual event.

He and his Kayfabe "half-brother" Kane are the last two holdovers from WWE's "Rock 'n' Wrestling" era of high-concept, comic book-style wrestling gimmicks. Undertaker shed the "darkside" gimmick for a more true to Real Life one between 2000 and 2003, but he returned to it in 2004; even though an undead "zombie wrestler" with mystical powers sticks out like a sore thumb in today's somewhat more realistic WWE, fans still adore his gimmick anyway.

When WWE crafted its controversial "50 Greatest Superstars of All Time" DVD set, the company polled its roster to create the list. Undertaker was #2 on the list -- #1 was Shawn Michaels.

Not to be confused with The Coroner.

The Undertaker provides examples of the following tropes:
  • The Ace: The Undertaker is quite literally the ultimate McMahon wetdream: he's big and strikes an imposing figure, but also has the in-ring chops and mic skills to back up the hype. Hell, during his heyday back in the late '90s, the man was practically unbeatable, and he was capable of going toe-to-toe with just about every wrestler and style out there.
  • All-American Face: Specifically during his "BikerTaker" / "American Badass" run, especially during his last year or so before reverting back to the Deadman gimmick.
    • He proved to be a very non-standard example of this during the 1993 Survivor Series, where -- despite being undead -- he decided to stick up for America by joining the All American's Survivor Series team.
  • Amplifier Artifact: The urn that Paul Bearer carried with him brought The Undertaker power when he was down and out in matches earlier in his career. The contents of the urn have never fully been explained, though it could be interpreted as something like a Soul Jar. When it was finally opened in 1994, green fog came billowing out of it. It's been brought back a few times since; most notably in 2004 with his return to the Deadman gimmick, and as recently as September 2010 with the return of Paul Bearer.
  • Anti-Hero: Type V when he's face and also has the stance of being the first antihero in WWE history!
  • Arch Enemy: Kane, Vince McMahon, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mankind, Yokozuna, Vickie Guererro, Paul Bearer on and off.
    • His largest, however, was probably Shawn Michaels. Until Wrestlemania 25, Taker never managed to beat Shawn in a singles match.
    • Well, to be fair, a lot of that was due to interference. In the very first Hell in a Cell match, for instance, he beat the crap out of Michaels and was probably going to win...and then Kane made his debut.
    • Also, Shawn's back injury that kept him out of the ring for four years and completely miss the business' biggest boom, the Attitude Era? It happened while fighting The Undertaker.
    • In real life, Brock Lesnar. Brock was unhappy with Taker's refusal to lose to him cleanly at Unforgiven 2002 (necessitating a Hell in a Cell rematch) while Taker did not appreciate Brock's attitude. Even today, it's still going as evidenced by the two having a brief staredown after a UFC bout.
  • The Artifact: Born waaaay back in 1990, the Undertaker gimmick is the last and greatest surviving example of the WWF "cartoon" era of silly, high-concept characters. How many other stars on the WWE roster could or did share the ring with Doink The Clown without looking out of place?
    • Of course this isn't to say that Undertaker didn't change with the times during his career, even practically dropping his kayfabe entirely during his American Badass years.
    • Having built up enough credibility to go fully back into the Deadman gimmick, he is still pulling it off in an era that has all but phased out "cartoon"-ish characters.
      • It helps that the Deadman gimmick is A. one of the most well loved of the cartoony gimmicks, and B. pretty badass.
  • As Himself: Like many wrestlers, he's done the voice of many animated versions of himself, including:
  • Back from the Dead: Happens to him on several occasions.
  • Badass: And how!
  • Badass Boast: In response to Kane declaring himself "The Devil's favorite demon";

Taker: "Have you forgotten, that the house that the devil lives in, I built? Brick, by fiery, brick! And when I come callin', the devil still answers with "sir"."

    • In response to Triple H denying his challenge for a rematch at Wrestlemania and claiming he doesn't want it;

Taker: You can lie to yourself. You can lie to Shawn. But you will not lie to me.


Triple H: I looked you in the eye, and what I saw-
The Undertaker: SHUT UP!!!


"The spirit...of The Undertaker...lives within the souls of all mankind..."


"Accept the Lord of Darkness as your savior. Allow the purity of evil to guide you."

  • Deadpan Snarker: Especially during the Attitude Era.
  • Death Is Cheap: The Undertaker has "died" and risen from the dead several times over the years according to storyline.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: When he originally appeared, he had this going on. Even today, he rarely loses clean. Additionally, he has his Wrestlemania streak, which has remained unbroken after 20 appearances. Just ask THE GUY who broke his Wrestlemania Streak.
  • Dented Iron: The reason he rarely wrestles anymore.
    • Triple H notes this on the 2/6/12 RAW as to why he won't wrestle Undertaker again--he knew that Taker was getting old and battered and he didn't want to fight that Undertaker; he'd rather have the memory of the man who he fought in last year's Wrestlemania rather then put him down like a dying dog.
  • Determinator: Maybe CM Punk put it best when he said: "I know what it takes to put Undertaker down. I don't know what it takes to keep him down." Then there's the fact that he's still wrestling at all, putting on top-card matches at Wrestlemania while rapidly approaching the age of 50 and having sustained a host of injuries throughout his long career.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Expect people to freak out if The Undertaker ever loses, especially if it's clean. Somebody did.
  • Disc One Final Boss: During the "Higher Power" storyline.
  • Do Not Call Me Mark: Like many old-school wrestlers, The Undertaker prefers to be called "The Undertaker", rather than his real name while at work.
    • Ken Shamrock once called Undertaker "Mark" onscreen, trying to bring the then-leader of the Ministry of Darkness back down to Earth, who was apparently letting his wrestling character take over who he was. This was in a way both breaking Kayfabe and strengthening it at the same time, a bit of a Worked Shoot.
    • Hilariously invoked, and before the Internet had really spread the nature of kayfabe to a wider audience, on Celebrity Deathmatch; 'Taker had a Villainous Breakdown when his opponent proclaimed to know his deepest, darkest secret and then chanted in a completely juvenile neener-neener voice, "Your real name is Mark!"
    • Averted in an angle in 2002 during his BikerTaker persona. Paul Heyman (the manager of then-rival Brock Lesnar) paid off a woman to claim Taker had an affair with her, to strain the relationship between him and his pregnant wife Sara (who was his pregnant wife in real life) as a mental roadblock heading into a world title match with Lesnar. In an effort to give it some real gravitas, both women referred to him as "Mark" throughout the angle.
  • The Dragon: He was used as this in the Corporate Ministry, which was a bit of a demotion from his earlier position as leader of the Ministry of Darkness.
    • Even before that he implyed he was taking orders from a "Higher Power", which following the creation of the Corporate Ministry was revealed to be Vince McMahon.
    • He was also The Dragon to Vince again during the early days of the brand extension during his Big Evil run, until Vince decided to take a break from television appearances and Taker pulled a Heel Face Turn.
  • Dye Hard: He is actually a redhead and performed as one early in his career, but eventually dyed it black and kept it that way ever since.
    • You could see his hair shift a bit back towards red during his Biker Taker days when he had short hair and didnt have to do the Deadman jet-black dye job.
  • Era Specific Personality: His original western Undertaker / zombie gimmick lasted until around 1996 when Paul Bearer abandoned him, his Lord of Darkness era went from about late 1996 to fall 1998, his Ministry of Darkness persona lasted until late 1999 (though not without Villain Decay by the time the Corporate Ministry formed), the American Badass lasted from his return in spring 2000 to Survivor Series 2003 when he was Buried Alive by Kane, and his current Composite Character resurrection of the Deadman gimmick has lasted since Wrestlemania XX in 2004.
    • Referenced in 2011 with the "Last Outlaw", which emphasizes the western part of his character.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Paul Bearer turning his back on The Undertaker and siding with Mankind after their Boiler Room Brawl match. Undertaker would pay Paul Bearer back in 2004 by burying him with cement.
    • And then at Hell in a Cell 2010, Paul paid Undertaker back for that, siding with Kane in a Shocking Swerve.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: His original Heel Face Turn occurred when he prevented Jake Roberts from hitting Randy Savage's manager/wife, Elizabeth, with a chair.

Roberts: "Whose side are you on?"
Undertaker: Not... Yours.


"Where to, Stephanie? BWAHAHAHAHA!!!"

  • Evil Redhead: As a heel.
  • Eye Awaken: Right before he suddenly sits up.
  • Fan Community Nicknames: Creatures of the Night
  • Fan Nickname: Bikertaker for his American Badass period.
    • Underfaker for the Brian Lee Undertaker in the "Two Undertakers" storyline.
  • Fingerless Gloves: He wore thin leather ones during his "Lord of Darkness" stint up to his earlier years as Bikertaker. The closing years of his Bikertaker gimmick saw him switch to mixed-martial-arts style gloves, which he carried over to his current deadman gimmick.
  • Finishing Move: His main finisher is the Tombstone Piledriver, but other staple moves include The Last Ride powerbomb, the Hell's Gate submission hold, the Chokeslam, the Flying Clothesline, and the Tightrope Walk.
  • Five Moves of Doom: Played with in a 2010 storyline where Kane has stolen his power. He used some of his regular sequences of moves such as snakes eyes to big boot or a chokeslam only to have them be countered or ineffective.
  • Fleeting Demographic Rule: Undertaker has been in similar storylines and feuds in his career. Kane buried him alive in 1998, 2003, and 2010, he's pulled Not My Driver thrice, his feud with Heidenreich had shades of his feud with Sycho Sid, etc.
    • And at Wrestlemania 27, he faced Triple H for "the first time ever". Since, you know, Wrestlemania 17. And countless times during their careers.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: The beginning of his theme music, which sounds with the lights of the arena going dark.
  • Gimmick Matches: He originated a number of them - Hell in a Cell, Buried Alive, and Casket matches.
  • Guyliner
  • He's Back: Undertaker has had a lot of comebacks like this in his career, the biggest one perhaps being his return to the darkside at Wrestlemania XX.
    • Happens once or twice a year now because of his part-time schedule to aid the wear-and-tear he has taken over his long career. He takes time off between Survivor Series and the Royal Rumble, then again in the spring-to-summer months after Wrestlemania.
    • After 2010, his appearances were limited to Wrestlemania.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Subverted at his Wrestlemania XXVII match. After a two-sided No-Holds-Barred Beatdown in which Triple H did everything from hit him with a sledgehammer to Pedigreeing Taker three times, Taker still wasn't down for the count. Then Trips hit the Tombstone Piledriver on The Undertaker. But Taker kicked out of that, too.
    • He would go on to subject Triple H to this at their Wrestlemania XXVIII Hell In A Cell Match. After a long beatdown that had shades of their match last year, along with multiple sledgehammer strikes to the Undertaker's face (and a Sweet Chin Music from Shawn Michaels that Hunter chained into a Pedigree but that's beside the point), 'Taker finally got a hold of the sledgehammer, clobbered Hunter with it, and did the Tombstone Piledriver for the win.
      • Though it should be noted that this trope could apply to the match in general, considering Triple H himself set the stipulation, and is known for having the most victories in Hell In A Cell.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Strictly Kayfabe speaking. Let's see, he uses Mindscrew warefare, warps the lines between fantasy and reality, screws with the laws of physics and logic on a regular basis, has unearthly control over lighting, sound weather and visuals, seems to be impervious to pain or immune to conventional physical harm, resides in the Uncanny Valley, can drive people he's feuding with insane or to hallucinate by employing standard Cosmic Horror tropes. If The Undertaker isn't an Eldritch Abomination himself, he definitely is in league with one.
  • Human Sacrifice: Starting after Undertaker rejoined Paul Bearer and shortly before the Ministry of Darkness was in full swing, when he attempted to embalm Steve Austin alive. He would then do a sacrificial blood-letting ritual to Dennis Knight, turning him into Mideon and making him insane. After this, he normally 'sacrificed' people by tying them to his "T" symbol, sort of a non-violent crucifixion. He's been known to do this a couple times since returning to his zombie persona in 2004.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Invoked by the Deadman himself. The main event of the King of the Ring was not the legendary Hell in a Cell, rather it was Stone Cold Steve Austin against Kane in a First Blood match. Kane threatened to set himself on fire if he lost, and when it looked like he was losing Taker proved that blood is thicker than water and interfered in the match, accidently hitting Austin when he was aiming for Mick Foley; who had run in to attack Kane after the Hell in a Cell match where he was thrown off the top of the Cell (which Undertaker was in Real Life very reluctant to do, and done at Mick's insistence), through the roof on the cell (a chokeslam that went horribly wrong, and was by far the worst incident in the match) and slammed onto thumbtacks twice. Undertaker's interference angered Vince McMahon, and when questioned about it Undertaker was adamant that he...well, did what he had to do, despite threats from Vince.
    • This was also Undertaker's explanation for burying Paul Bearer in cement in 2004, since Bearer had become a weakness (he'd been feuding with Paul Heyman and the Dudleys at the time, who had kidnapped Bearer in order to blackmail Undertaker).
  • Important Haircut: When he turned heel in 2002 during his Bikertaker era, he cut his hair short into a crew cut and stopped dyeing it.
    • In his 2012 feud with Triple H, he took a razor and started cutting his hair, while saying he didn't need anyone's sympathy. At Wrestlemania 28, he removed his cloak to reveal a short mohawk.
  • Kick the Dog: Undertaker, during his "American Badass" run, pulled one of these when he did a Face Heel Turn and forced Jim Ross to kiss Vince McMahon's ass.
    • Vickie Guererro. Yeah she was a bitch, but the torture Undertaker put her through...damn.
  • Large Ham: One of the silent versions but when he speaks, he chews the scenery!
    • Hell, he doesn't even need to talk to do that.
  • The Last Thing You Ever See: Often during promos before a Buried Alive match Undertaker would promise that the last thing his opponent will ever see is shovels of dirt.
  • Light Flicker Teleportation: Usually accompanied by the trademark gong.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Compared to other similarly sized wrestlers, Undertaker is very agile (moreso when he was younger). For instance, he can tightrope-walk along the very narrow and slick-looking top rope of the ring without upsetting his balance while holding his opponent in an armlock. He also often dives clear over the top rope to land on someone outside the ring, most notably during his first match against Shawn Michaels, where he took out over half the roster. When you see a 6'8" man bearing down on you from 8 feet in the air - run.
    • He's 6'8, pushing 300 lbs., getting very close to being fifty and his body has broken down to the point where he can only wrestle a handful of times a year (mainly at the Big Four PPVs, and later being phased out of working all but Wrestlemania)...and can still dive over the top rope to the floor when the time calls for it. Suffice to say, the crowd and announcers still lose their shit when he busts out the suicide dive.
  • Long Runner: Debuting in 1990, he's wrestled every big name wrestler for the past two decades, from Hulk Hogan to Steve Austin to John Cena and most everyone in between. And smarks have been expecting him to retire since 2000. Hence the nickname "The Last Outlaw" in 2011.
  • Looks Like Cesare: Moreso early on when he used to wear more makeup.
  • Made of Iron/How Much More Can He Take?: What kind of punishment didn't Triple H inflict on him at Wrestlemania XXVII? Everything from sledgehammers to the face to about four Pedigrees to his own Tombstone Piledriver. And he still kicks out.
  • May-December Romance: Is 15 years his wife's senior. Same for his ex-wife, Sara.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Mark Calaway is a rather private person, but is noted as being quite gracious to fans who ask for pictures or autographs. Apparently his sole proviso is that he doesn't want to be approached if he's with his wife and kids.
    • The switch to "Bikertaker" was also partly because of Calaway's personal discomfort with the demonic angle of The Undertaker (though he did say on the "This is My Yard" DVD that while he enjoyed the Ministry of Darkness gimmick, he regarded it as a low point when it merged with the Corporate Ministry because being Vince McMahon's Dragon was a part of something "not derived from The Undertaker"). He switched back to the Dead Man gimmick for the fans' sake.
  • Mirror Match: Undertaker vs. Underfaker at Summerslam 1994. The story behind it was after Undertaker lost a casket match to Yokozuna he 'crossed over' into the afterlife. A few months later, Ted DiBiase claimed to have brought back The Undertaker and placed him in his Power Stable. This 'Underfaker' was really just a look alike. Paul Bearer would deny that this was the real Undertaker, and he brought the real Undertaker to fight the fake one at Summer Slam. Besides the fake one being a little shorter and slimmer than the real one they did look a lot alike.
    • The resemblance actually worked against the event, unfortunately. The live audience couldn't tell what was going on, and is pretty much dead the entire time. It's obvious both of them are growingly desperate to somehow salvage the match as it continues, but Undertaker's ultimate opinion on it years later would be that it was a good idea on paper that just didn't work in execution.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: When The Undertaker rolls his eyes back.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Undertaker was genuinely afraid for his opponent's life when he accidentally sent Mick Foley through the roof of the cell during their Hell In A Cell Match. He reported afterwards as feeling nothing but concern for Foley after the occurence. He still managed to avoid breaking character, however.
    • At least until Mick gets up off the stretcher and runs to the Cell to climb it. Again. The match itself doesn't show it but some DVDs that discuss the match has a shot of Undertaker legitimately shocked.
  • My Name Is Inigo Montoya: Undertaker is known to dramatically sit up after taking a big beating and being flat on his back. He used to rise due to the power of the urn but does it automatically since the demise of the urn.
    • Although this was hilariously subverted by The Rock. When he was about to do the People's Elbow, Taker sat back up. What does The Rock do? He stops, kicks him back down, and then does the elbow.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast
  • Nice Hat
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: A Grim Reaper, an Evil Overlord and a Badass Biker rolled all into one.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The Undertaker is practically synonymous with one of the most famous types of this - the Hell in a Cell match.
    • And don't forget his two signature matches: Casket and Buried Alive.
    • Directly invoked in his last Wrestlemania (XXVII) match.
  • Won't Work On Me: Part of Undertaker's gimmick is to no-sell shots that would fell lesser wrestlers. Sometimes, anyway.
    • This was especially true early in his career. He hasn't no-sold moves much since he be started his Biker gimmick, when he was at his most human. These days though, the depressing thing is the possibility that the reason he still doesn't no-sell as much is because he can't, now that his body is in bad shape.
  • Not My Driver: He pulled this on Stephanie McMahon in 1999, on Triple H and Stone Cold Steve Austin in 2001, and years later in 2009, did it again to Teddy Long.
  • Not So Stoic: He has his rare moments, not counting his run as the Bikertaker. One can first see this during the storyline in which Kane is introduced. For the first time we saw Undertaker's human side, as he told his side of the story about the fire that claimed his parents.
    • Not even he could resist cracking a smile at Kane assisting D-Von Dudley in doing the WHASSSSUUUP and yes, this was before he was wearing the half-mask.
  • Oh Crap: When the funeral bell rings and the arena goes dark for the Dead Man's entrance, it's a rare opponent who can keep from fudging their undies.
    • Related to hid Dead Man Walking gimmick, we have the Won't Work On Me after a finishing move... where Taker simply sits up. It's rare to have an opponent not need a new wardrobe when they turn around to see him either sitting up, or on his feet and ready for more.
    • In the build-up to Backlash 2001, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H were in the ring, celebrating the horrible treachery which got them their Heavyweight and Intercontinental belts. In walk 'Taker and Kane. "The Rattlesnake" and "The Game" drop their beers, grab their belts and hightail out. Even in his mortal state, the Deadman scares everyone.
    • The Undertaker has a real life one at the infamous Hell in a Cell against Mankind. Not from the first fall, but upon seeing Mick Foley climb off the stretcher, smiling, and running to the cage to climb back up. It's not shown during the match itself but some video (such as Eve of Destruction) shows Taker is legitimately shocked. The Oh Crap can be interpreted as either Kayfabe that Mankind wants more, astonishment that he was able to get up or a real life concern of what else can happen.
  • Ominous Fog: Used in his entrances.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: When druids occasionally come into the arena preceding The Undertaker's entrance.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: His original theme music.
  • One Steve Limit: Odd example. When he began his WWE career, he was called "Kane the Undertaker" for the first few weeks.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: His original gimmick was more like a Type V, with Paul Bearer having brought him back from the dead.
  • Out of the Inferno: Undertaker has occasionally "walked through" a wall of flames on the stage during promos to get his point across.

"I would walk through the fires of Hell to face you, Kane."

    • There's also the Inferno Match with Kane when he jumped out of the ring as it was surrounded by flames and clotheslined Kane.
    • In the 2010 Elimination Chamber PPV, he actually did get set on (non-Kayfabe) fire by his entrance pyro. He still competed.
      • Something similar happened to Undertaker at some point in 1998, when Kane's ring pyro went off right in his face instead of 'Taker's ring fog. He didn't appear fazed, but one could guess someone was probably fired over that; it's one of the few times anyone who saw him backstage would describe him as livid. If you play the footage at less than normal speed, you can barely see him flinch.
  • Papa Wolf: In character occasionally, mostly to face a monster heel or during the Invasion storyline. In real life however he was very much this.
    • When the Montreal Screwjob occurred Taker hunted for Vince McMahon and first said if he didn't get his ass out of his office he will beat the door down and kick it. When Vince did answer the door he was basically told, "If you want to still have a company tomorrow you better apologize to Bret Hart."
    • It's rumored (denied by Shawn Michaels, alluded to by Taker) that at Wrestlemania Michaels was threatened and told not to pull any funny business, with Undertaker even reportedly taping his fists after his match, where Shawn could see.
    • Undertaker's claim that The Big Show is one of the best if not the best athletes in the business, however he will get on his case if TBS is out of shape because of how good he can be when healthy.
    • And he stopped Batista from getting WWE divas fired for rejecting his advances.
  • Parts Unknown: Played with; the American Badass averted this entirely, but the Deadman is billed as being from "Death Valley." Death Valley is a real desert/town in California, but the lack of a state attached to the billing gave it the feeling of a Parts Unknown-style hometown. Later character moments have broken this somewhat, suggesting that the character's hometown is indeed Death Valley, California.
  • Physical God: The Undertaker has been portrayed as being equivalent to a dark god of sorts since Wrestlemania XX, and has been, in Kayfabe, considered virtually unstoppable.
  • Popularity Power: The Undertaker has consistently been one of the most popular and respected wrestlers in WWE for years.
  • Power Stable: The Ministry of Darkness, which eventually merged with The Corporation to become the Corporate Ministry.
  • Precision F-Strike: During Fully Loaded 2000 Kurt Angle kicks out of a pin after a one handed slam. Undertaker turns to the referee and very clearly mouths "fuck you" as the ref protests and Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler discuss the language Taker was using.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: During his American Bad Ass days.
  • Pride: Kane and Paul Bearer have cited it as Undertaker's greatest weakness back in their 2010 feud with him. And considering his demands for a rematch with Triple H at Wrestlemania XXVIII from a match he won, simply because he refused to let the image of his Pyrrhic Victory be his lasting memory, they may have had a point.
  • Punch-Punch-Punch Uh-Oh: The Undertaker is taken down to the mat, and all looks good for his opponent...and then he sits up.
    • Averted once in a match with The Rock: Rock was going for the People's Elbow, and Undertaker sat up before Rock could hit it, so Rock kicked him back down to the mat in order to hit the move.
      • It should be noted that The Rock is an exception to the rule; most attempts to avert the trope in this matter lead to ineffectual and often frantic efforts to make the Phenom stay down, generally ending in his getting up anyway, oftentimes with a big mitt wrapped around his opponent's throat for their troubles.
    • This is also how the Last Ride is frequently set up; his opponent has him trapped in the corner and stands on the first rope punching Taker repeatedly...until Undertaker grabs them by their tights. You'd think they would learn to stop doing that by now.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: He was barely able to defeat Triple H at Wrestlemania 27, making his undefeated streak 19-0. But by the end of the match, he couldn't even get up to do his darkness salute. He was carried out in a stretcher. One has to wonder how much that took out of him. To put it in perspective, Triple H may have lost but he was still able to walk backstage on his own two feet when it was done.
    • Mostly averted in WM 28. He was able to leave on his own after failing to get up several times and then helped up by Shawn Michaels (who was the Special Guest Referee), and then helped to carry Triple H out with Michaels.
  • The Quiet One: Rarely talks, although he was more vocal in his Attitude Era & biker days. Said to be like this in real life as well.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: In recent years, periods of time when Undertaker's not on TV are due to nagging injuries catching up with him. You can catch instances of this in the late '90s if you're watching for it, with many of his matches made short with an emphasis on grappling to avoid aggravating the injuries that eventually sent him off for the sabbatical before his big return and the reveal of the "American Badass" gimmick.
    • Also, the retool to BikerTaker was in part inspired by the fact that Mark Calaway is an avid biker in real life.
    • The "Sara" tattoo on his neck was often edited out of promotional photos (and the videogames, since 2008) before he eventually had it removed, due to the separation from his wife, Sara, in 2007.
    • The Hell's Gate is a mixed-martial-arts grapple called the Gogoplata; 'Taker is an huge MMA fan.
    • The "vegetative state" storyline was a direct result of an injury suffered while wrestling Rey Mysterio, Jr.. Undertaker had his orbital socket broken by one of Rey's knee braces.
      • Further, Kane's win in the Buried Alive match was due to Undertaker having an arm injury. And it was originally going to happen at Survivor Series.
  • Redemption Demotion: Averted; whether he's face or heel, he's still one of the toughest wrestlers on the roster.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: With Kane. Kane being the red one and 'Taker being the blue. Even used in their intros with colored lighting.
  • Rise from Your Grave: After every Buried Alive match he's been in, though for most of them, presumably off camera. Usually accompanied by an iconic lightening strike when the audience does get to see it.
  • Romance on the Set: Undertaker married Michelle McCool in 2010.
  • Shock and Awe: The indoor lightning strike is one of his most used tricks, though only to intimidate, never offensively. Kane on the other hand, when mimicking The Undertaker's powers did strike a worker with a lightning bolt.
  • Shovel Strike: Did this to Steve Austin at the beginning of the Ministry of Darkness angle. He also does this fairly regularly during Buried Alive matches.
  • Sibling Rivalry: With Kane, on and off throughout the years.
  • Sobriquet: Lots of them - The Deadman, The American Badass, The Lord of Darkness, The Phenom, The Last Outlaw.
  • Stalker with a Crush: He was this to Stephanie McMahon while in the Ministry of Darkness, having his minions take pictures of her in her home, and eventually kidnapping her and almost forcing her to marry him.
  • Still Got It: He seems to have to prove this more often these days.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: In NBC's 1-hour recut highlights of Wrestlemania XXVII, Undertaker's entrance is redubbed with "E.T." by Katy Perry. Yes, that Katy Perry. Granted, the more sexual parts of the lyrics were omitted to fit the video.
  • The Stoic
    • In his early days when cutting promos with Paul Bearer, if you watch closely you can tell that he sometimes has a hard time maintaining the stoic act while Bearer is going on in his shrill voice and making hilarious facial expressions. Paul Bearer said in an interview years later that several times he was purposely trying to see if he could get Undertaker to laugh.
      • We may never know how many takes they had to do for those promos with Paul Bearer due to Undertaker giving in and laughing.
  • Talk Show With Fists: Was often heavily involved with Paul Bearer's "Funeral Parlor" show; being The Stoic meant Undertaker couldn't be much of a host by himself of course.
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky
  • Team Dad: Outside the ring, he is the unquestioned leader of the company's locker room, and often confronts other wrestlers whenever they act like assholes. Most famously, he was the one who confronted Vince over the Montreal Screwjob and forced him to apologize to Bret Hart, then at Wrestlemania 14 put Shawn Michaels on notice not to screw Stone Cold Steve Austin by taping his fists threateningly so Shawn could see it.
  • Technopathy: An extension of his power over lightning, The Undertaker can manipulate electronics. This is usually limited to messing with the lights, displaying images on the Titan tron or playing with the sound system but he has also made motor vehicles move without drivers.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: He seems to be able to appear and disappear in the absence of light. Shut caskets, buried in dirt or even an arena whose lights were off of a few seconds.
  • Tempting Fate: As stated in The Worf Effect below, WWE loves to try and put new guys over fast by putting them in a storyline with The Undertaker. Unfortunately, the only person this seems to have actually worked with was Mankind. There is a long list of people who were supposed to feud with him who either disappeared almost instantly or never appeared at all (Nathan Jones, Hade Vansen, Mordecai). The lesson here seems to be: If you're an up-and-comer and they want you to feud with The Undertaker, resign and save them the trouble of future endeavoring you.
  • Ten-Minute Retirement: On the next Raw after the final defeat of the Corporate Ministry, Vince McMahon announced that Undertaker got released from the WWE. Eight months later, in comes Undertaker in his American badass persona.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: During the build-up to Wrestlemania 25, instead of being afraid of him, other wrestlers were actively arguing over who would compete against him, determined to break "The Streak." His reactions made it clear he was not used to this.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Cold cuts apparently, according to an old WWF magazine that might or might not be keyfabe.
    • Some fansites also list steak as his favorite food.
  • Trash Talk

"Punk escaped Hell In A Cell relatively in one piece, all he lost was his title. At bragging rights, I will take his soul. Rey Mysterio, Jr., your tenacious heart is legendary, you courage unquestionable, but make no mistake about it, I will show you no mercy. And that brings me to Bastista. Batista our battles from the past are epic but even your strength and your rage will not be enough to save your soul."

  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Both his ex wife Sara and current wife Michelle McCool are hot, while he...isn't.
    • Then again, Undertaker fangirls do exist.
      • This trope only applies with 'Taker and Michelle as long as they both wear stage make-up. Without it, Michelle and 'Taker are both reasonably attractive for their age, and their looks are not in any way incongruous. See attached.
  • Undertaker: Well duh. The gimmick began as an idea from Vince on the Western undertakers, before the character changed to the Phenom, Deadman, Bikertaker roles in later years.
  • Unnecessary Roughness: When Undertaker started using the Hell's Gate submission hold, it was presented as this, to the point where he was eventually banned from using the move (a ban which would come back to haunt him down the road in a match against CM Punk). However, there's also numerous segment and post-match attacks such as Tombstoning Vickie Guerrero 2-3 times and burning Edge virtually to Hell with his powers.
  • Unrelated Brothers: While half-brothers in kayfabe, The Undertaker and Kane are not related in real life.
  • The Untwist: The 2/21/11 promos from January to said date showed a man walking around a cabin in the middle of the night in the rain. The IWC deduced within a week immediately that it was The Undertaker making his return[1]. When the day came, Smarks were surprised, but for a much different reason.
  • Unwilling Suspension: When the Ministry of Darkness used to hang people from Undertaker symbols above the stage as a 'sacrifice'. Undertaker later did this to Orlando Jordan in 2004 as part of a Call Back angle with JBL.
  • Urban Fantasy: Depending on the era, Undertaker could come across as this depending on how many other supernatural gimmicks were going on at the time and who he was feuding with.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Undertaker and Kane, who have both feuded with each other and wrestled as a tag team (the "Brothers of Destruction") since Kane's debut.
    • He cut a promo in 2009 saying that the few things he enjoys include fighting alongside and against Kane.
    • Kane granted the latter part of that wish in earnest and pretty much curb-stomped him the following year, thanks to Real Life Writes the Plot with a little help at one point from The Nexus.
  • Verbal Tic: As pointed out by the many posters in the Comments section of this video, Calaway tends to say "you know" a lot when he's nervous.
  • Wham! Line: The buildup to his and Triple H's rematch at Wrestlemania XXVIII has been a succession of these week after week. First was a wordless one after 'Taker's return (which was surprising on its own), when Hunter patted him on the shoulder to signify the refusal of his challenge. Then came Hunter finally giving in and setting the Hell In A Cell. Then after that, it was the reveal of Shawn Michaels as guest referee. Let's just say they went overboard trying to make up for the buildup (or lack thereof) for their match last year.
  • What Could Have Been: The Undertaker's original manager, back when he was "Cain the Undertaker" (get a load of that name)? Brother Love. Now just imagine how the character would have evolved if Brother Love had stayed his manager.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Quite literally in this case. After Undertaker defeated Edge at Summer Slam 2008 in a Hell in a Cell Match, he pushed Edge off the top of a ladder through the mat - and the hole soon had flames coming up from it, symbolic of Undertaker sending Edge to be swallowed up by "the fires of Hell". Why had he done this? Because Edge had almost gotten him banned from WWE for life.
  • The Worf Effect: WWE loves having new guys beat Taker into a pulp to make them look like major threats. It rarely works, mostly due to the fact that that they have a bad tendency to do this with guys that really have little in the way of talent (Vladimir Kozlov, The Great Khali, etc.) and the fact that Taker is probably the only guy in the company no one wants to see lose, especially once his appearances became sporadic to the point of being a sort of "special occasion". Because of this, most of his Worfings aren't losses. He'll get beat up but once it's time for a real match he'll usually win.
  1. (the other guess was Sting jumping ship to WWE, something he hasn't had an interest in doing in over 10 years; this would get Jossed a few weeks later, anyway