A former WWE referee has revealed that The Undertaker campaigned to Vince McMahon to get a legendary WrestleMania match extended and moved up the card.
The WrestleMania 25 showdown between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels is widely regarded as one of the greatest matches in WWE history. The bout was named ‘Match of the Year’ by numerous publications and has been heralded by fans as one of the greatest matches in any promotion, ever.
For a little over half an hour the two legends went all-out, delivering a number of heart-stopping moments which included the nearest of near falls as Michaels kicked out of a Tombstone Piledriver. The end of the match came when HBK went for a Moonsault but was caught by The Deadman who delivered another devastating Tombstone.
However, the third man in the ring on that famous April night, has now revealed that original plans were very different. Not only that, it was only a late intervention from The Undertaker which prevented the match from taking a much more disappointing course.
Appearing on the Chat Grapple and Cheap Pops podcast, former WWE referee Marty Elias revealed that the match was originally meant to go on third, and last only 15 minutes. After telling producer Michael Hayes that the plans “weren’t gonna fly,” ‘Taker went to talk to Vince McMahon.
“We’re sitting there and ‘Taker looks at Shawn and he goes, ‘Shawn, how long you been with this company?’ Shawn goes, ‘Most of my life.’ And he goes, ‘Hmm, 15 minutes? Third? That ain’t gonna fly.’ Michael Hayes, ‘Oh, hey, hey, I’m gonna go talk to Vince. Don’t worry, we’ll see if we can get it changed,’”
Interestingly, while The Phenom was less than impressed with the original plan, Elias explained that Michaels was far less perturbed. HBK even said that he would compete in the dark match ahead of the show, as getting his work out of the way early, meant he could go home earlier. In the words of Elias he “didn’t care” about the placing of the match.
“Shawn goes, ‘Hey, man, I can go on first, I can do the dark match… I just get home earlier, I can leave earlier.’ Shawn didn’t care, but it got changed and thank God it did.”
It was recently announced that The Undertaker will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame ahead of WrestleMania 38 in his home state of Texas. The WWE legend wrestled his last match at WrestleMania 36 against AJ Styles.
H/t to Sportskeeda for the transcription.