Although The Undertaker went on to become synonymous with WWE, he also had spells with the likes of World Class Championship Wrestling, the CWA, and WCW before becoming The Deadman.
The WWE Hall of Famer did enjoy a small level of success in WCW, becoming one-half of the Skyscrapers, while coming under the wing of Paul Heyman as a singles star. However, during negotiations over a new contract, he was told by Ole Anderson, who was the company’s booker at the time that no one would ever pay a dime to see him wrestle.
These comments got under the skin of the star and he quickly found his way into WWE in late 1990, where he performed for the next 30 years.
During the 1990s WCW rose to become a challenger to WWE and bested the company in the television ratings for 83 consecutive weeks. Around this time a number of WWE stars moved to WCW, a trend that had been started by Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. In later years, Undertaker became somewhat famous within the industry for sticking with WWE and Vince McMahon through these difficult times.
Although that doesn’t mean he didn’t think about going back to WCW. Speaking in a new interview with Ariel Helwani for BT Sport, the veteran admitted that as ridiculous as it may sound, he was frustrated by WWE featuring so many over-the-top characters.
“Yeah, kind of through Kevin Nash. We were in this period of time where we had, and this kind of funny for me to say, but we had all these ridiculous characters. WCW was doing all this cutting-edge stuff, but I think, to answer in the short, no. But did I think about it? Yeah. Did I have an opportunity to? Yeah,”
Continuing on, the WWE Hall of Fame revealed that the only thing that stopped him from going back to WCW was those words from Anderson back in 1990.
“My deal would have been coming up, but it was more frustration with what we were currently doing, and just feeling like we were stale and behind the times, and we were so kid-driven. Our demographic was nine-to-twelve year olds, and their demographic down in WCW was 18-34, 18-36 demographic, doing so much more cutting edge stuff.
That was appealing, but there was never… even though it was completely different people, it was WCW that told me thar I’d never draw a dime in this business. As much as I used that for fuel, as open-minded as I think I am and as I’ve matured, you would think like, ‘Okay, don’t be stupid. Take the money.’ But that always hung out there. ‘You’re a great athlete. No one will ever pay money to see you wrestle.’
Thank goodness [they were wrong]. That was fuel, man. That was fuel for me to give everything I had to what I probably thought was my last real go at something. I’ve had a few doors slammed in my face, but that one really stung because that’s where I wanted to be. I wanted to be in WCW when I went there as Mean Mark, and then to be told, ‘Nah.’ Okay. Next step,'”
Will The Undertaker Return To WWE?
During the same interview, The Undertaker discussed speculation that he could return to the ring one more time. Despite the rumours and admitting that he’s struggled with coming to terms with retirement, the former World Champion ruled out a comeback. ‘Taker explained that while his mind might be willing, at 57 years old and with a nearly 35-year career behind him, his body is not.
H/t to Fightful