Earlier this week, The Undertaker did an interview with Nine Line Apparel on Instagram Live. During the conversation he gave his thoughts about how the Boneyard Match against AJ Styles at WrestleMania 36 turned out. Taker also explained why it was called a Boneyard Match instead of Buried Alive Match, what he meant by “Unholy Trinity,” and if he thought WWE would do more cinematic matches in the future.
“Obviously, we always envisioned this match happening in a live arena,” Undertaker began. “Somewhere in the last couple of weeks, we didn’t even know what was going to happen the next day. The idea was thrown at me at doing something off-site. I was like, Yeah, that’s a much better option than trying to have a match that AJ and The Undertaker would have inside an empty arena. In our case, we were very fortunate to go off-site and do what we did.
“The final product ? I couldn’t be more proud of it. Under the circumstances, all the different things going on, everybody pulled together and put something like that out there that was different and was intriguing. I can’t speak for AJ, but I’m very proud of what we did.”
For those curious, AJ Styles gave his thoughts about the match here.
At the end of the match, Taker ended up burying AJ Styles in an open grave to get the victory. He addressed why it wasn’t called Buried Alive Match, noting that Styles is the one who made the match and his character doesn’t necessarily know what a Buried Alive match is.
“Well, if I would have made the match, I would have said, ‘Okay, this is a Buried Alive Match,'” Undertaker stated. “AJ Styles doesn’t know anything about Buried Alive Matches, he called it a Boneyard Match, he’s the one who made the match, so, now it’s a Boneyard Match. Even Buried Alive Matches generally happened in the arena, so I think we were just trying to give our audience something like, ‘What is that?’ We try to add a little bit of intrigue and get people talking.”
The WrestleMania match received huge praise and the question was asked if WWE would go forward with more cinematic matches in the future. Taker felt like it could, but it would lend more effectively to those who were more character based Superstars.
“Because that one was so successful it lends to that, but you gotta ? not to give myself a pat on the back ? you gotta have the right players to do that,” Undertaker responded. “Guys that really understand their characters and really still rely on that part of the business, not just the athletic side of the business. I think more guys kind of lean that way now. Where for me that put me right back in my wheelhouse and AJ can work with a broom handle and put a four star match on.”
For this match, Undertaker went back to more of his “American Badass” gimmick, Taker explained since Styles made it personal he had to lean away from “The Deadman,” and bring out more of his personal side. In this particular match, Taker referred to his character as the “Unholy Trinity,” which was a blend of three things: The Deadman, The American Badass, and himself, Mark Calaway.
“When AJ threw that first stone and made this personal, then it made it a no brainer,” Undertaker said. “I couldn’t stay that mainstream Undertaker and be able to respond and deal with the things he was saying in that character. A lot of people were curious, ‘What is the Unholy Trinity?’ Well, the Unholy Trinity that I referenced was The Deadman, The Badass, and the man himself, Mark Calaway, and I put them all together. My brain was working that way, it was the unification of all these three entities into one person.”
You can check out more from the interview in the video above.
If you use any quotes from this interview, please credit Nine Line Apparel and give a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.