The Undertaker has spoken out about his infamous match with Hulk Hogan at WWF Survivor Series 1991 and the surprising reaction he received the night he won his first WWF Championship.
November 27, 1991, was a historic date in WWF and wrestling history. Not only did it mark the first time Hulk Hogan had been pinned in a WWF ring since losing his coveted prize to The Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania VI a year and a half previous, but it was the day the tide began to change.
Anyone who had stepped into the ring with Hogan had received nothing but hostile reactions when pitted against ‘The Immortal’ one. It didn’t matter who they were, ‘Hulkamania’ was bigger and more popular than all of them.
That was until Survivor Series 1991 when jaded fans found something and someone else to cheer for. The Undertaker was arguably cooler with his pale face, fearsome demeanour and un-killable booking and the novelty of Hogan was wearing thin despite WWF pushing him in the most prominent spots until 1993.
When the still undefeated – on television – Undertaker stepped out onto the Survivor Series stage one year after his debut, the reaction he received was like nothing a heel had experienced before, especially considering his foe. Throughout the entire bout, Undertaker was the clear fan favourite.
Now, ‘The Phenom’ has broken his silence about that fateful night in an interview with Yahoo Sports and talked about the match, how the victory boosted his career, and the insane reaction he received from the Michigan natives:
“You’re nervous, then when you do the walkout that night it threw me off because it was like 60-40 the crowd was behind me. [The fans turned me] and I was the babyface. Here I am trying to be this killer, this scary dude, and you come out and the crowd is leaning toward you. You have to put that out of your mind so you can do business and be what you’re supposed to be, but it was amazing.”
With only one year as The Undertaker under his belt, how did Mark Calaway the man feel about being given the company’s biggest prize so soon into his fledging career:
“That was a fast year. It all happened really fast and then I got the word at Survivor Series, my one-year anniversary, that I am going to be wrestling the golden goose and I’m going to be world champion. It was amazing. A year into this thing, I’m still looking at myself kind of as a greenhorn. That’s how it was back then. I had only been in the business for about four years and here I am, wrestling one of the biggest legends our industry has ever seen and I’m going over. It was really surreal.”
The Undertaker would go on to defeat Hulk Hogan with a Tombstone onto a steel chair which had been provided by ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair. Although in his autobiography Hogan claimed The Undertaker had injured his neck, both Calaway and footage of the incident refute this showing that Hogan’s head was firmly centimeters from the mat on impact.
Even though it would only last days – Hulk Hogan would regain the WWF Championship six days later at This Tuesday In Texas before the title was vacated and put up for grabs at the 1992 Royal Rumble – Survivor Series was still a milestone night in The Undertaker’s career and a piece of wrestling history not soon to be forgotten.