Taping His Fists Up And Threatening Shawn Michaels
The most infamous backstage story about Undertaker is always going to be the occasion he taped his fists up and threatened violence against Shawn Michaels.
Taker did this because he had got sick and tired of seeing Shawn mess around with WWF business. The Heartbreak Kid had pulled out of a planned loss to Bret Hart at WrestleMania 13 due to an injury (which some believe he faked), he later went on to ‘screw’ Bret Hart at Survivor Series 1997 in what was a shock to the entire locker room. By conspiring with Vince to change a result without his opposition knowing, Michaels had betrayed the entire locker room – Undertaker was legitimately furious.
When it came to WrestleMania 14 it was the turn of Steve Austin to get a run with the WWF title. Austin was the hottest thing going and a genuine shot for the WWF to become a financial success again. Would Michaels do the right thing and put the star over? Undertaker as locker room leader was taking no chances. He got in Michaels face and showed his fists, letting the egotistical star know that if he did anything other than put Austin over he would face the consequences.
The result went off without a hitch: Michaels lost to Austin clean and the most successful era in the business was started.
Meanwhile, Undertaker unwrapped his wrists and carried on with his business as normal.
Shawn Michaels’ take on this:
“Back then, Mark didn’t like me. But at no time has he ever claimed that he said anything to the face of Shawn Michaels, and that’s because he didn’t. Mark went to everybody and told them, ‘If this doesn’t go down the way it should, I’m going to have a big problem and Shawn is going to have a big problem. I’ll go over there and beat the heck out of him.’ But he never had to say anything to me. My whole intention at WrestleMania XIV was to drop the belt to Steve, but I was going to make everybody sweat it out and make them think I wasn’t. Obviously, I got that accomplished. That’s extremely unprofessional, but that’s exactly who I was and what I was doing.”
Jake Roberts recalls first meeting him.
“I was there when he first got in there in the WWE. He comes to me, and says, ‘Hey I hear you know where all the good strip joints are at…’ And I’m like, ‘In the world? Yes. I know them all.’ And he’s like, ‘Well, I’ll travel with you!’. I said, ‘Oh boy, why don’t you go back to playin’ basketball because you’re not gonna be able to hang with me…I’ll kill ya…’
And a few weeks later, he was in pretty bad shape with alcohol poisoning. (Laughs) Yeah, but it was a ‘chemical’ world, so I was cheating, man. He didn’t know it. I wasn’t gonna tell him! He rolled with me for quite a while. We’re great friends and I’d like to think that I helped him more. I think if you asked him he’d tell you that he learned a lot from me. I love the guy.”
Roberts said after Calaway’s alcohol poisoning he had to get his stomach pumped yet still wrestled that night! Apparently he didn’t even need his usual makeup to look white as a deadman.
This story rings very true as Calaway and Roberts did some great heel work together torturing The Ultimate Warrior.
The Undertaker’s Association With Porn Star Jenna Jameson
In her autobiography ‘How to make love like a porn star’, Jenna Jameson revealed that The Undertaker used to hang round with her when he was on the road in Las Vegas. Jameson was only 16 at the time and would watch on with shyness as the wrestling star visited the tattoo parlour she worked at. Supposedly they ended up hanging out and became good friends.
Jameson proved to be the perfect gullible mark for kayfabe. “Undertaker was one of the biggest WWF wrestlers at the time. He would put people in coffins and set them on fire in the ring. And the scary thing is, that character he played was not an act” she detailed in her book.
She goes on to reveal that The Undertaker was in fact scared of her and got creeped out by her hanging round the shop. Later on she talks about a time he came to one of her shows and chased off a guy who was trying to buy her a drink, “You can get me a shot of Jaeger and you can get yourself a shot of shut-the-fuck up,” he apparently barked at Jameson’s suitor.
The Deadman then tried to woo Jenna, telling her, “I’m going to kick your boyfriend’s ass and take you away with me.”
She recalls that “I knew he was serious. I ran upstairs and told Jordan we had to leave, because this guy was going to beat the fuck out of him and kidnap me. So I never saw him again.”
The time Undertaker choked out Kurt Angle for real:
Kurt Angle recounts an Undertaker story in his WWE autobiography ‘It’s true, it’s true’.
Angle had been playing around for weeks with Vince McMahon in a game where they would take the other man down by surprise. Much to the Chairman’s delight he had actually managed to score a takedown over Kurt and wouldn’t let it go – he reminded Angle of it on every occasion he could.
It was all good natured, but the Olympic gold medallist wanted revenge, he started to plot a surprise ‘play attack’ on the boss. The time to execute his own takedown came during a plane ride to Europe. Spotting the boss unaware, Kurt pounced on Vince like a cat… little did he know the can of worms he had opened. The Chairman spent the entirety of the rest of the plane ride waiting to jump Kurt back and eventually did in a takedown that spilled out into the aisle as a fun play fight.
One man who had been unaware of all of this was The Undertaker, who was literally a sleeping giant. The scuffle continued and Taker was awoke by the commotion, reacting with shock to what he thought was his boss getting beat up. He reacted the only way he naturally would – jumping on Kurt and applying a chokehold which was seconds away from putting the star to sleep!
Luckily Vince explained the situation before Angle’s lights went out and they all had a good laugh about it.
The Bone Street Krew:
Shawn Michaels’ ‘kliq’ was infamous for bullying other wrestlers and having Vince’s ear. Bret Hart and Bam Bam Bigelow are two of the many wrestlers who have spoken out about their tyranny.
Calaway formed his own backstage group called the Bone Street Krew. This was possibly made as more of a joke, in response to HBK’s posse, but it got serious enough that tattoos were involved! If you ever see ‘Taker’s abdomen you will clearly see the very large B.S.K Pride emblazoned proudly.
Members of this alternate group were Yokozuna, Godfather, Savio Vega, Crush, Paul Bearer, & Rikishi.
The group was more a bit of fun and camaraderie compared to the real power of the kliq. Undertaker was actually good friends with Kevin Nash, so it wasn’t like he was trying to rival the kliq or take a dig at them. This was just a fun way to send a message to the kliq that there were other things going on backstage in the WWF.
Ric Flair On The Undertaker:
“One of my best experiences in the WWE has been the opportunity to work with The Undertaker. I’ll never forget him asking me to work with him at Wrestlemania 18. I would have to say the honor was all mine.
There will never be another character like Taker…and he is as responsible as anyone for the company’s tremendous success.
When I wrestled him in Toronto, I hadn’t been in the ring much [at that time] and this is how cool he is…he knew I wanted to do the flip [over the turnbuckle] and he was going to give me a kick off the apron…but I missed it.
He walked back around the ring in character, picked me up, put me in the corner and he said, ‘Kid…can you make it this time?’ (Laughs) I said, ‘I’ll try!’ This time we nailed it.
I’ll never forget walking back through the curtain after that match and Jack Lanza said to me, ‘You old sonnova bitch…you can still go!’”
Chris Jericho On The Undertaker Being The Locker Room Leader
“I saw our head of security, Jimmy Tillis, backstage and gave him a major bollocking.
“Where the fuck were you? Did you see what happened out there? I got hit with a battery!! I’m not going back out there, you got that?? Nothing you can say is gonna make me go back out there, do you understand? You can’t make me, you can’t make me, you can’t make me!!”
Then I saw The Undertaker standing behind me.
“You’re not going back out there, huh?” he asked with a bemused look on his face.
“No!” I said, even though Taker was the locker room leader of the WWE and not someone you wanted to talk back to.
The big man intensified his glare. “You sure that’s the best idea?” he said, like a colossal Clint Eastwood.
Excerpt From: Chris Jericho. “The Best in the World.” *
The Rock tells an Undertaker story:
“There was a very specific incident that demonstrated to me exactly what kind of a man the Undertaker is.
It was while I was teetering at the upper edge of the second tier, getting ready to leap to the top tier. The Rock was on the border of super-stardom, within a breath of reaching a level of success that only a handful of wrestlers attain.
The Undertaker, of course, was already there, and he was my opponent on this particular edition of Raw.
We were in Detroit, at Cobo Arena, and the decision had been made that I was going to win the match. So, in essence, my fate was in the hands of the Undertaker.
He had the opportunity, all by himself, to propel me to the next level…to reach down and pull me up alongside him. He also had the power to make me look mediocre.
The Undertaker would never deliberately go out and make someone look like complete shit, because he’s too much of a consummate professional. He’s too smart a businessman to do something like that, which is one reason he’s been so successful.
But he did have other options.
He could easily have said, ‘Have The Rock beat me via disqualification.’ He could have said, ‘Have The Rock hit me with a chair, knock me out cold.’ That way everyone would have said, ‘The Rock had to use a chair to beat the Undertaker.’ It was entirely up to him. All that had been determined was the outcome: The Rock would win, the Undertaker would lose. How we would arrive at that point was up to the Undertaker.
His decision was to put me over clean – one-two-three! – in the middle of the ring. Not only that, but he decided it would be best if the Undertaker was beaten by The Rock’s signature move, The Rock Bottom. That would ensure maximum exposure for The Rock and maximum entertainment for the crowd. It made me realize what a true professional this guy is.
I will never forget meeting the Undertaker before the match and saying, ‘Man, I just heard it’s going to be a clean finish. Are you comfortable with that? Are you sure you want to do that?’
He looked at me and said, without hesitation, ‘Absolutely. It’s your turn and it’s your time.’
Having grown up in the business, and having seen business conducted that way…and not conducted that way…I couldn’t help but be moved by such an impressive gesture. It really wasn’t possible for me to thank him enough, but I tried anyway.
‘Somewhere down the road I’ll have the opportunity to do the same for you,’ I said. ‘And I want you to know…I’ll do it in a heartbeat.’”