The Undertaker is featured in a new pro wrestling documentary series from Onnit, seen above.
Onnit's new Stories series shows "how different people around the world are doing outstanding things—from achieving fitness, career, and other personal goals to saving lives and the planet at large", and the episode on pro wrestling focuses on the indies. The WWE veteran is featured along with indie wrestlers Ricky Starks and his tag team partner Aaron Solow, who is engaged to Bayley.
Starks, Solow and The Dead Man sat down for a meal at Schmidt Family Barbecue in Bee Cave, Texas in late 2018 to discuss the business. Solow talked about how he previously met Taker at the Onnit facility in nearby Austin.
"So back in 2016, I was training at Onnit," Solow said. "The first time i saw Undertaker I didn't even know he worked out at Onnit. I had an idea that he lived in town but I didn't know he worked out there. So to walk in one day and see him, threw me for a loop. I didn't expect that at all. I went up to him and introduced myself to him, I said, 'Hey man, I wanted to thank you for everything, you're my favorite wrestler and created a lot of good memories for me for my childhood.' They always say never meet your heroes type stuff but I don't really believe in that, especially not after meeting Taker. He's a laid back, and more relatable person that you can meet."
Taker talked ring psychology and some issues with today's wrestling with the up and coming talents. He said some wrestlers choose to depend on flips instead of learning how to tell stories with their in-ring work.
"Sometimes you have to set the angle within the match, but you gotta give a reason for one guy to be loved and one guy to be hated," Taker said. "At the end of the day, whatever you're doing in the ring, you want it to look real, and genuine, and authentic. And I think that's a huge problem, everybody acts the same way, everybody overplays to the audience, and it's just like, 'OK, what do you do next?'," Taker said in the edited Onnit Instagram clip seen below. "Everybody's calling, they want to backflip off this and into that. Once you do that a couple of times, it's like, 'OK, what do you got now?' Well, now I gotta do two flips into that, then two and a half. When they get used to that, what do you do? Instead of learning the finer nuances of what we do, and that's tell stories. Granted, physical, painful stories, but stories nonetheless."
Taker also talked using what is learned on the indies to get through situations that come up later on in your career, recalling how WWE lost power during their "In Your House 8: Beware of Dog" event on May 26, 1996 at the Florence Civic Center in Florence, South Carolina.
"You never know what's going to happen," Taker warned. "Like when we lost power in the middle of a pay-per-view once, we lost our satellite. So sometimes you gotta bust a script, ad-lib and you know, figure out what the hell you're going to do. That kind of stuff happens now, and something like that happens later on, it's not going to rattle you, you're like, 'OK, this happened in Mexico years ago, I know what to do.'"
Solow later asked Taker if he thought about quitting the business while he was wrestling. Taker said no and talked about how he always pushed through. He also mentioned how he is at the tail-end of his career now.
"You know, at the tail-end now, I really have to put everything into perspective, and what damage I'm doing at this point, to myself, and my life after wrestling," Taker said. "But when I was going full-time, no. Even when the business took a real nose-dive, you're thinking, 'OK, how are we gonna get out of this? What we gonna do? We can work harder.' The one thing I was really good at, and in my mind anyway, if anybody else feels that way is another story, but in my mind, I felt like it was always where I belonged, and what I should be doing. Obviously there were times where money was... but instead of, 'Man, I need to get me a job at the Jiffy Lube and figure out something else later on...', It was, 'What can we do to make this product where we want to see it?'"
The Dead Man also spoke highly of the experience that a wrestler will get from working the indies.
"This is just a rung in the ladder man," Taker said of the indies. "You're learning stuff that you don't even know you're learning now, and how you'll draw from this later on. Something will happen, something down the line, you're about to go out for a Royal Rumble or something like that, and you're going to draw on something that's happened in these indies, and you've got it. It happens all the time. Everything is happening for a reason, it's preparing you for bigger things."
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The world of Independent Wrestling has changed drastically over the years, but the dedication and motivation of its athletes continue to entertain and inspire in cities around the world. - Onnit Stories takes you behind the curtain to follow the journey of Ricky Starks and Aaron Solow, an Independent Tag Team on the underground circuit, as they travel throughout Texas, Mexico and beyond to chase their dreams to the WWE. - Follow the link in our bio to watch the entire True Wrestling tale. - #onnit #getonnit #onnittribe #wrestling #professionalwrestling #prowrestling #independentwrestling #onnitstories