The Tombstone Piledriver is one of the most iconic yet dangerous moves in WWE history, having been synonymous with The Undertaker throughout his 30-year career.
Despite being a trademark of ‘The Deadman’, other stars have performed the Tombstone over the years. Perhaps none more notable than Kane on his debut at Badd Blood 1997 who marked his debut by hitting a variation of ‘Taker’s own move – a ‘snap’ Tombstone Piledriver – in a perfect piece of storytelling.
Speaking to Notsam Wrestling, the fictional brothers shed light on the move and how to reverse it. First up, was The Undertaker:
“The way I always looked at it, and Kane will have more perspective on it, [but] it met the moment. Here’s this tormented little brother, he’s got all of this built up inside him for all these years. He wasn’t going to take the time to savour it.”
This solidified the notion of Kane being a monster on the same level as the Deadman, but with that dangerous edge. Glenn Jacobs confirmed the similarities between the two wrestlers:
“Part of the character was taking moves from The Undertaker, emulating moves from The Undertaker. I never really thought about the speed of the tombstone. My two concerns were making sure that, first of all, it was safe for the person taking it. Second of all, it looked good. I was like, ‘Okay, I think we are ready to go’ and from there, bam!”
Intrinsic in their brother vs brother feuds was knowing the Tombstone so well and how to reverse the signature. Fighting out and pulling off a counter is easier said than done as Kane explained:
“I think it is difficult because you have enough mass that if that starts going the wrong way– because you have to do that control bridge, and the other guy has got to be on his feet. Well, for both parties, and then he’s got to be able to have enough strength to pull in his core to pull the opponent off, We’re talking about 300 plus pounds individuals – that isn’t the easiest maneuver in the entire world to pull off. If it starts going one way, it’s going to keep on going that way.”
Even for a wrestler as legendary as ‘Taker, it’s a difficult feat to achieve and he admits to being nervous about doing the reversal.
“That move is probably one of the most nerve-wracking moves I think I’ve ever done. It has the potential to be awesome but the potential to be crickets.”
With the Undertaker having had his final sign-off at Survivor Series on November 22, it could be the last we see of the Tombstone as this historic manoeuvre is consigned to history and like The Undertaker himself, is left to rest in peace.