Jerry Lawler shared a video on Twitter of an interesting piece of wrestling history over the weekend, The Undertaker’s first match on Memphis TV in 1989. At the time, Undertaker was wrestling under the name of Master of Pain for the Continental Wrestling Association (CWA).
In an interview with CWA’s Dave Brown, he explained the name was because he knew how to handle pain better than anybody after spending five years in the Atlanta State Penitentiary. He claimed he was there on a “bad rap” for killing two men who jumped him in a parking lot.
After dominating his opponent, Rodney Napper, the future ‘Phenom’ won the match with a flying clothesline in under two minutes. The full match is available to watch below.
Shortly after his debut, Master of Pain entered a feud with Jerry Lawler himself over the promotion’s Unified Heavyweight Championship. He won the championship, but lost it back to ‘The King’ a few weeks later.
The Master of Pain character wouldn’t last much longer, as he soon became a masked biker known as ‘The Punisher’. This was just one of several character changes he made before finally becoming The Undertaker we know today when he joined WWE, then known as WWF, in 1990.
After a legendary career in WWE, Undertaker confirmed in The Last Ride documentary series that he has now retired from in-ring action.