Character evolution is crucial for maintaining relevancy in professional wrestling. While this can be nothing more than a slight modification, some wrestlers prefer to go all out with their changes. Chris Jericho, for example, has played a number of roles over the years, from ‘Lionheart’ to ‘The Painmaker’ to having his own List of Jericho.
The Undertaker is no different in this regard, with ‘The Deadman’ having had success under the majority of his WWE gimmicks. The 2022 WWE Hall of Fame inductee was so immaculate when it came to playing a character that he won the Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Best Gimmick award every year between 1990 and 1994.
Matt Hardy Loved The Undertaker’s Original Character
Discussing The Undertaker on a recent edition of his Extreme Life of Matt Hardy podcast, the older Hardy brother explained why ‘Taker’s original persona was his favourite. Though he knows Undertaker had more fun when performing as ‘The American Bada**’, Matt Hardy stated that he preferred his first incarnation, particularly his “long chilling entrance”:
“The original I think [is my favourite Undertaker gimmick]. I mean, even later on whenever he brought that version back, and the way he did it there. I mean, that’s just the essence of The Undertaker. He was great when he did the biker ‘Taker and ‘Big Evil’ [and] whatnot. And I know he enjoyed it because it gave him a chance to really be him and express his personality, which was very similar to how he was, you know, a lot of the true Mark Callaway shined in that character.
But I love the original version with the long chilling entrance where he takes his time. I mean, that’s like, it would give you chills. I loved being in the ring, whether I was teaming with him or working against him whenever he would come out with that entrance. I mean, it was amazing. I mean, just to sit there and be in the ring and watch him come down the aisle was just, it would give you goosebumps every single time.”
The Undertaker wrestled his final match on night one of WrestleMania 36, defeating AJ Styles in a critically-acclaimed Boneyard match. This saw the multi-time World Champion utilise an amalgamation of his characters throughout the contest.
If you use any quotes from this transcription, please credit Extreme Life of Matt Hardy and link back to this article with a H/T to Inside The Ropes.