The Undertaker has revealed that he considered testing himself in UFC, even though Vince McMahon wouldn’t have been in favour of the idea.
Over the course of his career, The Undertaker became something of a master of evolution. From his early days as unspeaking, unemotional dead-man to the Lord of Darkness to the American Badass and back again, the WWE legend was never afraid to change adapt his persona. This evolution also found its way into his work inside the ring, as with the rise of UFC in the mid-2000’s, he began to incorporate more Mixed Martial Arts strikes and submissions into his move set.
Taker has always been open about his fandom of UFC, appearing in the crowd at UFC 121 where he confronted Brock Lesnar after his defeat to Cain Velasquez.
Appearing on the Shan and RJ Radio Show, The Undertaker has now revealed that his interest went further than simply being a fan. The ‘Demon of Death Valley’ explained that he contemplated a switch to UFC 15 years ago, even if Vince McMahon wouldn’t have been impressed.
“It was probably 15 years ago, maybe more,” Undertaker said. “UFC was really coming along, and I’ve always liked tests, testing myself in one way or another. I boxed a little coming up as a kid in my late teens but I think if I had had any kind of wrestling pedigree, I might have just tried to dip my toe in there. My love has always been for the WWE and what we do. I just thoroughly enjoy what we do.
Occasionally, you want to test the waters and see how you match up with people’s different genres and sports. That was probably the biggest reason why I didn’t, and probably Vince would’ve had a coronary. He would’ve said, ‘You want to do what?’ He would’ve probably balked at the idea, but I think if I had a stronger amateur wrestling background, I might have tested the waters.”
During the interview the Phenom also discussed the “dumb questions” that he’s been asked during his time with WWE.
“There’s no limit to dumb questions, especially when it comes to some people that don’t follow it,” Taker said. “I think the biggest one is like, ‘How do y’all make those chairs not hurt?’ I just look at people sometimes. I’ve had a couple matches with Triple H where we’ve just beaten the living hell out of each other and my back is just visibly scarred, and bruised, and bleeding, and then you get somebody, ‘How do y’all do that with the chairs?’ I’m like, yeah, well, basically we just knock the crap out of each other until someone says, uncle.
But it’s funny, people that aren’t fans, they’ve always got to usually give you that disclaimer, ‘We know it’s not real.’ Are we not past that in 2021? It’s just silly, and it always sets me off. Do you really feel you need to say that because you don’t want anybody to think, ‘Hey, they’re pulling the wool over my eyes. I’m telling you all about what’s going on.’
I’ve got 17 surgeries to say it’s about as real as I need it to be, but it is what it is. It’s funny though when you can get people who aren’t fans, if you can just get them to an event, especially a televised event or pay-per-view, I would say 9 times out of 10, they do have a much more appreciation for what’s going on and what we do. The questions really are limitless. Sometimes I’ll be at appearances and I’ll have to stop and look up at somebody and say, ‘Would you repeat that because I can’t believe what you just said.’”
The Undertaker made the appearance while promoting WrestleMania 38 in his home state of Texas. During another interview about the showpiece event, Taker admitted that while he still gets the wrestling bug, his time has gone.
The Deadman last competed at WrestleMania 36 where he defeated AJ Styles in a Boneyard Match.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.