Maven has recalled being legitimately terrified of The Undertaker during their memorable interaction at the 2002 Royal Rumble.
After winning the first season of Tough Enough, Maven began his WWE career on the main roster in late 2001. After a short feud with Taz who had been one of his trainers on reality show, Maven entered the 2002 Royal Rumble match.
The Undertaker entered the match at number eight, and was followed by Matt and Jeff Hardy. ‘Taker had been in a feud with the pair and Lita and swiftly eliminated them. However, the Hardy’s returned to try and get revenge but were eventually chased off again. Although, during the action Maven entered at number 11.
Using the distraction, Maven dropkicked The Undertaker sending him over the top rope in one of the most shocking eliminations of all time. Not that Big Evil was done there. The former World Champion beat Maven from pillar to post, destroying the rookie all the way onto the concourse where he threw him through a popcorn machine.
Appearing on the Two Man Power Trip podcast, Maven reflected on the altercation, revealing that the look of fear on his face during the segment was 100% real.
“I eliminated him, he sells, gets up, turns, and looks at me… Then you see fear on my face. Most people are like, ‘That’s some great acting there.’ Nuh-uh, I wasn’t acting. I was legitimately terrified at that moment. Legitimately, not even working, I was shoot terrified because I didn’t know if I kicked him too hard.”
Maven went on to praise the WWE legend, revealing that ‘Taker told him to “lay it in” when he went for his dropkick, saying that if he didn’t feel it, he couldn’t sell it. The former Hardcore Champion recalled that after the segment, The Undertaker made a point of telling him how well he had done.
“It just goes to show how great he was because the look he was giving me for real scared me, and then we get backstage and after I went through the popcorn machine and everything, he’s just telling me, ‘Great job, kid.’ I was on cloud nine that whole night.”
Maven remained with WWE until the summer of 2005 when he was released from his contract. Meanwhile, it has been announced that The Undertaker will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame during WrestleMania weekend, having not wrestled since WrestleMania 36.
H/t to Sportskeeda for the transcription.