The Undertaker Discusses Heat He Got For Inducting Muhammad Ali Into WWE Hall Of Fame

Earlier this month, Muhammad Ali was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, with the promotion honoring the late boxer for his contributions to the company and the industry at large. Mark Callaway, AKA The Undertaker, was chosen to deliver the induction speech for Ali, and speaking on a recent episode of "Six Feet Under," Callaway shared his reaction to some of the criticism he received in the wake of his speech.


"I got a little heat from part of the veteran community," Callaway said. "Muhammad Ali refused to go into [military service]. He didn't want to go to Vietnam. He didn't see why [he should] go 6,000 miles from home and fight somebody he had no [problem with]."

Callaway then stated that he resented that fact about Ali for many years, but also pointed out that Ali was a humanitarian throughout his life. While Callaway can't support the idea of avoiding military service, he did state that Ali had to have had intense personal convictions to make such a difficult decision in the public eye, and he wound up facing severe consequences to his career because of it.

"It was like, 'I thought Undertaker was a patriot,'" Callaway continued. "Man, kiss my patriot ass."


The retired WWE star also discussed meeting Ali's wife, Yolanda "Lonnie" Williams, who Callaway described as a wonderful individual. Having an opportunity to speak during rehearsals for the Hall of Fame ceremony, Callaway said he asked about the relationship between Ali and Elvis, with the late boxer's wife regaling the former WWE star with stories about the friendship between the two megastars.

As far as his actual induction speech, Callaway believes that it happened too late in the evening, with the crowd tired after "WWE SmackDown" and a pair of other speeches. Still, Callaway said it was an honor to induct the legend.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Six Feet Under" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.