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“New Chapter, New Generation” – WWE Wrestler ‘The Undertaker’ Retires

The gloves, hat, and trenchcoat in the middle of the ring. Blue lights and the funeral song in the background. Amid crying fans and speechless commentators, The Undertaker symbolically announced his retirement on Sunday night’s WrestleMania 33.

Having clocked in 27 years in WWE (previously WWF), 52-year-old Undertaker (whose real name is Mark Calaway), was defeated by Roman Reigns and made his final exit. Fans have since been paying tribute to him with the hashtag #ThankYouTaker on social media.

Born in Houston, Texas in 1965, Mark Calaway always had a passion for sports, especially basketball, before wrestling. While he pursued a degree in Sports Management, he dropped out of university for a career in wrestling. In 1984, he joined World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) under the stage name Mean Mark Callous. 

In 1990, he joined World Wrestling Federation (WWF), where the fights are scripted, the storylines dramatised, and the contests not real. He assumed the name Kane the Undertaker and adopted a dark, macabre theme for his on-stage character, dressed in a trench coat, grey-striped tie, and grey-ringed, black stetson hat with grey gloves and boot spats. Even in his debut, he was regarded as a villainous yet strong contender in the ring. He ditched ‘Kane’ from his name and soon had an equally macabre character, Paul Bearer, as his manager. During all of the Undertaker’s matches, Bearer walked in before him holding a golden urn representing The Dead Man. 

During his career, he put on various personas to his on-stage character, including one where he cut his hair short, wore bandanas, and rode a bike to his matches. His entrance music changed too, from the funeral dirge to an upbeat Limp Bizkit’s “Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle)” and Kid Rock’s “American Bad Ass”. 

He was known as a WWE pioneer, securing seven title reigns during his career. He was part of the first-ever Casket Match at Survivor Series in 1992, the first-ever Buried Alive match in 1996, and the inaugural Hell in a Cell Match in October 1997.


He frequently switched back-and-forth with his characters, with his most memorable storyline being one associated with another wrestler called Kane. Dubbed ‘The Brothers of Destruction’, the storyline was famously The Undertaker’s “deepest, darkest secret”. According to the secret, The Undertaker committed arson and murder, burning down the family funeral home, and in the process, killing his parents and scarring his half-brother’s face. Bearer, who survived the fire, hid Kane in a mental asylum during the rest of Kane’s youth into adulthood. 

Kane, played by a wrestler Glenn Jacobs, took on Calaway’s initial stage name and the two were frequently tagged together for matches or helped each other out during unexpected twists in matches. The two characters shared an on-and-off relationship until finally exiting in November 2016. 

Apart from wrestling, Calaway is interested in real estate and MMA fighting. He and his ex-wife Sara even started ‘The Zeus Compton Calaway Save the Animals’ fund at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences to help pay for lifesaving treatments for large-breed dogs. He also starred in a few movies including Suburban Commando (1991), Poltergeist: The LegacyScooby-Doo! and WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon (2015). 

While he hasn’t mentioned his retirement plans, soon after his match on Sunday, he posted a rather poignant tweet about his tearful exit.