After a loss many saw coming at the hands of Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33 the other day, it appears that one of sports entertainment’s most iconic figures is hanging up his gloves for good.
The Undertaker, 52-years-old and a WWE veteran of 27 years, rested his iconic leather coat and hat in the centre of the ring, gave the crowd one last chance to savor The Deadman, and, in the midst of all the “Thank You, ‘Taker” chants, disappeared into the darkness.
Professional wrestling, by its very nature, is a story that never ends. Where a storyline ends, another one begins. But ring legends, even the ones that were able to stand the test of time, have to retire at some point. And The Undertaker, immortal as he is, is no exception.
So let’s take this moment to show our gratitude to the man who helped define our youth:
Thank you, Deadman, for giving us one of the last true gimmicks in professional wrestling. You took on a persona so cartoonish that it wouldn’t have lasted in today’s culture, but you committed to it and made it last.
Thank you, Deadman, for 27 years of nightmares and sleepless nights. Our folks hated you for it, but we like to think of it as an initiation. If you can withstand the horror that is The Undertaker, you can withstand anything.
Thank you, Deadman, for holding the fort even when no one was watching. Many of us had to stop tuning in after the Attitude era—we were too busy growing up and finding jobs and having our own kids. Nonetheless, it was great to go back and see a familiar face.
Thank you, Deadman, for the grand spectacle that is your wrestling entrance. Everything about it gave us genuine goose bumps, from the moment the gong hit to the moment you emerged from the darkness. Those who have experienced a live WWE show know this to be true.
Thank you, Deadman, for ‘The Streak.’ We spent years believing that the only things certain in life are death, taxes, and The Undertaker’s undefeated ‘Mania record. A 23-2 win-loss record is a feat no other superstar will ever be able to emulate.
Thank you, Deadman, for giving us the Chokeslam—the one wrestling move we can all do at home. Well, that and the Stone Cold Stunner. Fact: A good percentage of kids gave and took a fake Chokeslam back in the ‘90s. Not our brightest moment, but certainly one of our proudest.
Thank you, Deadman. REST. IN. PEACE.