In late 2003, The Undertaker had been portraying his American Bad Ass gimmick for about three years and some within WWE felt it was time for a change. The WWE creative team wanted a return of The Deadman gimmick for Taker, but Taker himself wasn't sold on fans wanting The Deadman to return.
"I gotta tell you, Mark Calaway [The Undertaker] hated the idea," Prichard said of a return to The Deadman gimmick. "Absolutely hated the idea of coming back as The Deadman because he thought the American Bad Ass character was multi-dimensional. He could go out and work a different style of match. He felt if he came back as The Deadman, then he would have to go back to The Deadman persona in the ring.
"We all felt...'Look. Let's give them at WrestleMania  the old Deadman. But you can evolve in the ring and work as the American Bad Ass, but you're the Undertaker.' It was a battle. It was a multi-month battle and he didn't think the people wanted The Deadman back. He wanted to continue on as American Bad Ass and felt it was a step back to go back as the old Undertaker."
Prichard said that it took "a lot of begging" to convince The Undertaker to go back to his old persona. He last appeared as the American Bad Ass at Survivor Series in 2003 and WWE wanted The Deadman to return at WrestleMania 20 in 2004.
"It was a constant dialogue...," stated Prichard. "It took a while and we said, 'Take this time off. Grow your hair out and if it sh-ts the bed [as a one-off], we can always go back.' Finally he gave in and said he'll try it. The rest as they say is history."
The Deadman's return at WrestleMania 20 was in a match against Kane which also happened to be the same match that took place at WrestleMania 14. Prichard was asked why Kane was chosen as the person for The Deadman to return against.
"It was a natural matchup and natural rivalry: brother vs. brother," said Prichard. "It was a ready-made match as we didn't have to do a lot to get to it. People would naturally accept Kane as the adversary to Undertaker in this role."
Prichard also said the fact that WrestleMania 20 was a special anniversary WrestleMania meant that it had a bit of a nostalgic factor. Thus, it would be okay to have Undertaker face Kane just as he did six years earlier.
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