Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Undertaker

Mark William Calaway (born March 24, 1965) is an American professional wrestler better known by his ring name The Undertaker. He is currently signed to WWE, competing on the SmackDown brand, but is currently inactive, not appearing on the brand for over thirty days. He is considered one of WWE's senior competitors, having been with the company for twenty-one years. Mark Calaway began his wrestling career with World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) in 1984. He joined World Championship Wrestling (WCW) as "Mean" Mark Callous in 1989. When WCW did not renew Calaway's contract in 1990, he signed with the World Wrestling Federation as The Undertaker in November of that year and has remained with the company ever since.
The Undertaker has three contrasting gimmicks: "The Deadman", an undead, occult-like figure, "The Ministry of Darkness", a more satanic version of the "The Deadman" and "The American Bad Ass", a biker. The specialty matches connected to The Undertaker are the Casket match, the Buried Alive match, the notorious Hell in a Cell, and the Last Ride match. The Undertaker's kayfabe half-brother is Kane, with whom he has teamed as the Brothers of Destruction. The Undertaker is undefeated at WrestleMania with a 19–0 record. Among other accolades, he is a eight-time World Champion: a four-time WWF/E Champion and three-time World Heavyweight Champion as The Undertaker, and a one-time USWA Unified World Heavyweight Champion as Master of Pain.
The Undertaker is also a one-time WWF Hardcore champion, and a seven-time world tag team champion: a six-time WWF Tag Team Champion, and one-time WCW Tag Team Champion. The Undertaker was the winner of the 2007 Royal Rumble and became the first man to enter the annual event at number thirty and win. He has been named by WWE as the greatest big man of all time, the scariest superstar of all time and also the best pure striker in the history of the game. Calaway is also the only current WWE wrestler to have appeared on the company's very first Raw program.
Calaway made his debut in 1984 in World Class Championship Wrestling under the ring name "Texas Red". He wrestled and lost his first match against Bruiser Brody. In 1988, after four years in the promotion, he left and joined the Continental Wrestling Association (which became the United States Wrestling Association after Jerry Jarrett merged CWA with WCCW), wrestling under several gimmicks. On April 1, 1989, he was booked to win his first professional wrestling title, the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship, defeating Jerry "The King" Lawler, under the stage name "The Master of Pain". While performing as "The Punisher", Calaway won the WCWA Texas Heavyweight Championship on October 5, 1989 when Eric Embry forfeited the title.
In 1989, Calaway joined World Championship Wrestling where he was promptly drafted into the Skyscrapers tag team to replace an injured Sid Vicious. Calaway adopted the ring name Mean Mark Callous, the surname being an apparent pun on both Vicious and Calaway. The new team gained some notoriety at Clash Of The Champions X when they beat down The Road Warriors after their match. However Callous' partner Dan Spivey left WCW days before their Chicago Street Fight against the Warriors at WrestleWar 1990. Callous and a replacement masked Skyscraper went down to defeat in the Street Fight and the team broke up soon afterwards. As he went into singles competition, Callous took on the guidance of Paul E. Dangerously and defeated Johnny Ace at Capital Combat and defeated Brian Pillman at the Clash of the Champions. In July 1990, he wrestled against Lex Luger for the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship at The Great American Bash, but lost when Luger pinned him after a clothesline. WCW declined to renew Calaway's contract after losing his last match to NWA World Heavyweight Champion Sting on September 1, 1990 at a live event in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Calaway made his WWF debut as "Cain The Undertaker" at a taping of WWF Superstars on November 19, 1990. It should be noted, however, that the concept of The Undertaker character was not presented to Calaway until after he signed with Vince McMahon. He stated in a 2003 interview with WWE Magazine that he was terrified that he would be hatched from an oversized egg at the 1990 Survivor Series, which had been on display at WWF events for months and heavily hyped on television, and appear as an "egg man" character.The appearance of The Undertaker's first Deadman persona was modeled after a mortician from old Western movies, wearing a trench coat and black hat with grey gloves and boot covers

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