Mark Calaway (also spelled [incorrectly] as either Callaway or Calloway; born March 24, 1965 in Houston, Texas), better known by his stage name of The Undertaker, is an American professional wrestler with World Wrestling Entertainment.
He is a four-time WWE Champion and eight-time WWE Tag Team Champion. He also holds a unique record: he is currently undefeated in matches at the yearly WrestleMania events, with a record of 13-0. He is one of the few wrestlers to be consistently promoted (or pushed) throughout his career, and is frequently seen as a company loyalist and prominent 'ambassador' for WWE. He currently lives on his Texas ranch with his wife Sara - whose name he has tatooed on his neck - and their daughter.
Mark Calaway experienced his first-ever wrestling training session in 1984. However, Calaway went on to begin his wrestling career properly by training and wrestling at the Dallas Sportatorium in Dallas, Texas, wrestling in Fritz Von Erich 's World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW). He would later go on to wrestle in the USWA, winning the USWA Heavyweight and USWA Texas Titles before signing with WCW in late 1989. During the mid to late 1980s, Calaway used a number of wrestling names, namely, The Commando, The Punisher, Texas Red, the Master of Pain and the Punisher Dice Morgan.
Early career in WCW
Mark Calaway's professional wrestling career and shot at fame began properly with a short stint from late 1989 until late 1990 in WCW. Whilst there, he would be known as "Mean" Mark Callous. He wrestled as part of the Sky Scrapers tag team along with "Dangerous" Danny Spivey and then as a singles wrestler. His most famous match in WCW was against Lex Luger for the US Title at the 1990 Great American Bash, which he lost. At the end of 1990, WCW did not renew Calaway's contract, thus he went to seek work with Vince McMahon's WWF.
Career in the WWF/WWE
Calaway debuted at Survivor Series 1990 as The Undertaker. In the weeks after he used the name Kane the Undertaker at house shows and on WWF television. The Kane part was dropped awhile after, and Calaway was again referred to as simply The Undertaker, the name he uses to this day.
It was also at this time that Undertaker switched managers from Brother Love to Paul Bearer. The story given on WWF television was that Paul Bearer simply bought out Undertaker's contract from Brother Love.
A year after making his WWF debut, The Undertaker made his first major mark in the company defeating Hulk Hogan at the 1991 Survivor Series to win his first of four WWF Titles. He would drop the title a week later to Hogan at a one time only pay per view entitled Tuesday in Texas. It would be six years before The Undertaker would win another WWF Title. His second WWF Title victory came at the expense of Psycho Sid at WrestleMania 13. He would hold on to the title until August 3rd, 1997 at SummerSlam when he would lose the title to Bret Hart with some help from HBK Shawn Michaels. This match led into a classic feud with HBK that would culminate in one of the most memorable gimmick matches ever, Hell in a Cell. The Undertaker would win his 3rd WWF Title at the infamous 1999 pay-per-view, Over the Edge defeating Steve Austin in a match that had both Vince and Shane McMahon as guest referees. Austin would regain the title from the Undertaker a month later. His final WWF Title came in May 2002 beating the same man he defeated for his first title 11 years earlier, Hulk Hogan at Judgment Day in Nashville, Tennessee. He would later lose it to The Rock at Vengeance in a Triple Threat Match also involving Kurt Angle.
Over the course his long WWF career The Undertaker would go on to have a number of memorable feuds that gave birth to some of the most classic gimmick matches of all time. In 1994 he feuded with then WWF Champion Yokozuna that presented two of the most memorable Casket Matches in WWF history at the 1994 Royal Rumble and 1994 Survivor Series. His 1997 feud with Shawn Michaels gave fans the first ever Hell in a Cell Match in October 1997 which is only overshadowed by a 1998 Hell in a Cell Match with Mankind that has left fans with the enduring image on Mankind being thrown from the top of the cell. The Undertaker has also participated in some of more classic Buried Alive Matches with Mankind, Steve Austin, and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.
The Undertaker's gimmick has changed over the years. At first he appeared as a 'normal' undertaker; a silent giant who was subservient to Paul Bearer. As with many wrestlers in the cartoonish Rock and Wrestling era, he had an over-the-top gimmick—namely an undead zombie wrestler (complete with thick gray, then purple gloves) with vague occult powers, most notably being able to control darkness and light and gain extraordinary recuperative power from the ash urn that Paul Bearer carried.
In 1997, his on-screen brother, Kane, was revealed to be alive and they have feuded off and on for several years.
In recent years, in line with wrestling's change to a more realistic approach, his gimmick became that of an intimidating redneck biker, first referred to as the "American Bad Ass" (pictured) due to his new entrance music being the Kid Rock song of the same name. Unlike many gimmick changes, this was generally well-received by fans.
At Survivor Series 2003, American Bad Ass Undertaker lost his Buried-Alive Match against Vince McMahon when his brother, Kane, interfered. At the Wrestlemania XX pay-per-view event, he would return in the Deadman Undertaker persona, again with Paul Bearer to defeat Kane. Currently, his gimmick could be best described as a hybrid of the classic Taker and American Bad Ass gimmicks. Several months later, Paul Bearer was kidnapped by The Dudley Boyz at the direction of Paul Heyman, who then took "control" of Undertaker in the storyline. At the June 2004 WWE PPV The Great American Bash, Taker buried Bearer in a crypt of cement after winning a handicap match against the Dudleys as a means of removing his "weakness" so that Heyman or others could no longer control him. Fans were later told that Bearer was merely "seriously injured".
Recently defeated Randy Orton at Wrestlemania 21 after a challenge made by Orton on WWE RAW saying that he will defeat The Undertaker and end Taker's winning streak at Wrestlemania (in actual fact Undertaker asked for this match as he didn't like the writers' original plan for him at WrestleMania 21, which would have seen him team up with storyline brother Kane to face Gene Snitsky and Heidenreich).
WrestleMania winning streak
The Undertaker has won every match, so far, at WWE's top Pay-Per-View, WrestleMania. This has given him a 13-0 winning streak, which has consisted of wins over Superfly Jimmy Snuka, Jake 'The Snake' Roberts, Giant Gonzales, King Kong Bundy, Diesel, Psycho Sid (WWF Title win), Kane (twice), Big Bossman (Hell in a Cell Match), Triple H, Ric Flair, A-Train/Big Show (Handicap Match), and Randy Orton. Sources have stated that WrestleMania 21 was The Undertaker's final WrestleMania event.
The Undertaker has yet to make an appearance on Smackdown! following this year's WrestleMania. This may suggest Undertaker's hiatus from wrestling.
- Height: 6'10" (real height 6'8")
- Weight: 305 lbs
- Birthday: March 24, 1962
- Hometown: Houston, Texas (announced as Death Valley under the "Deadman" gimmick)
- Trained By: Don Jardine
- Professional Debut: 1989
- Previous Identities: Texas Red, The Commando, The Punisher, The Master of Pain, Punisher Dice Morgan, Mean Mark Callous, Kane The Undertaker, The American Bad Ass
- Previous Managers: Paul Bearer, Brother Love
- Quotes: "Rest in peace."
- Finishing/Signature Move(s): Tombstone Piledriver, The Last Ride, Chokeslam, Old-School, Snake Eyes, Taking Care of Business (Dragon Sleeper), Guillotine Leg Drop
Championships and accomplishments
USWA Heavyweight Championship Title
- April 1, 1989 - USWA Heavyweight Title (1)
- Defeated Jerry Lawler - Memphis, Tennessee
- Lost to Jerry Lawler on April 25, 1989
USWA Texas Championship Title
- October 5, 1989 - USWA Texas Title (1)
- Defeated Eric Embry - Dallas, Texas
- Lost to Kerry Von Erich on October 20, 1989
WWF/WWE World Heavyweight Championship Title
- November 11, 1991 - WWF World Heavyweight Title (1)
- Defeated Hulk Hogan - Detroit, Michigan
- Lost to Hulk Hogan on December 3, 1991
- March 23, 1997 - WWF World Heavyweight Title (2)
- Defeated Sycho Sid - Rosemont, Illinois
- Lost to Bret Hart on August 3, 1997
- May 23, 1999 - WWF World Heavyweight Title (3)
- Defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin - Kansas City, Missouri
- Lost to Stone Cold Steve Austin on June 28, 1999
- May 19, 2002 - Undisputed WWF World Heavyweight Title (4)
- Defeated Hulk Hogan - Nashville, Tennessee
- Lost to The Rock on July 21, 2002
- Note: Losing match was a three way with Kurt Angle.
WWF/WWE & WCW Tag Team Championship Titles
- July 26, 1998 - WWF World Tag Team Title (1)
- Defeated Kane and Mankind with Stone Cold Steve Austin - Fresno, California
- Lost to Kane and Mankind on August 10, 1998
- Note: Kane and Mankind defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Undertaker, Rocky Maivia & D'Lo Brown (subbing for Owen Hart), and The New Age Outlaws in a Four Corners match.
- August 22, 1999 - WWF World Tag Team Title (2)
- Defeated Kane and X-Pac with The Big Show - Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Lost to The Rock and Mankind on August 30, 1999
- September 7, 1999 - WWF World Tag Team Title (3)
- Defeated Kane and X-Pac with The Big Show - Albany, New York
- Lost to The Rock and Mankind on September 20, 1999
- Note: Defeated The Big Show, Mideon & Viscera in "The Dark Side Rules" match in which any of Undertaker's followers can be involved.
- December 18, 2000 - WWF World Tag Team Title (4)
- Defeated Edge and Christian with The Rock - Greenville, South Carolina
- Lost to Edge and Christian - December 19, 2000
- April 17, 2001 - WWF World Tag Team Title (5)
- Defeated Edge and Christian with Kane - Nashville, Tennessee
- Lost to Stone Cold Steve Austin and Hunter Hearst Helmsley on April 29, 2001
- August 9, 2001 - WCW World Tag Team Title (6)
- Defeated Chuck Palumbo and Sean O'Haire with Kane - Los Angeles, California
- Lost to Booker T and Test on September 27, 2001
- August 19, 2001 - WWF World Tag Team Title (7)
- Defeated Diamond Dallas Page and Kanyon with Kane - San Jose, California
- Lost to The Dudley Boyz on September 17, 2001
WWF/WWE Hardcore Championship Title
- December 9, 2001 - WWF Hardcore Title (1)
- Defeated Rob Van Dam - San Diego, California
- Lost to Maven on February 5, 2002