Three episodes in, and “The Undertaker: The Last Ride” remains a captivating watch. The amazement that Mark Calaway, the man behind this mythological figure would allow us deeper inside his life and mental process remains ever present.
Chapter 3 picks up after Undertaker’s WrestleMania win over John Cena, which brought some satisfaction. Though there was disappointment too with the match length, feeling he could have shown more.
For me, it’s these little things that make this WWE limited series so great. Like when we see Calaway’s young daughter congratulate him on winning a match. Undertaker brings up the fact she is usually sleeping when he is actually victorious, yet awake during his losses. These scenes make you think, “Wow, Undertaker is a legend and larger-than-life persona. But he is also relatable and pretty fun.”
It turns out 2018 is pretty busy for the legend as he feels better physically than in years. Next up on the schedule is a battle with Rusev at the Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia. He has learned to appreciate every match that comes his way. That includes his return to Madison Square Garden three months later. After his team wins, he stays in the ring to make eye contact with the fans and soak in the moment as it could very well be the last time performing there.
The core of the episode focuses on the bond between Undertaker, Triple H and Shawn Michaels. Calaway goes as far to say his four matches with these two longtime opponents at WrestleMania are what he is most proud of in the ring. Given his body of work and longevity, it’s a statement of high praise and hard to argue. Both Calaway and Triple H, real name Paul Levesque, don’t talk all the time. However, describe themselves as basically ride or die friends. Undertaker wasn’ a fan of Shawn Michaels outside the ring back in the day, but enjoyed working with him. Calaway reveals HBK envy because he had clarity in ending his in-ring career, able to walk away and be good with it.
These big-time performers get together once again later in the year. Undertaker takes the trip to Australia for Super ShowDown to face Triple H, and he brings his “brother” Kane to keep Michaels in check. There is a nice scene showing how Calaway passes the downtime playing cards with WWE trainer Larry Heck. Undertaker recalled how he would kick people out of the room who he thought were bad luck (Hornswoggle, we’re looking at you!). It’s a nice peek into the card games backstage we hear about. I’m sure this topic alone could be its own series.
The historic match sets the stage for a future tag match between the Brothers of Destruction and DX. During the build for this titanic confrontation at Crown Jewel, there is a video promo Undertaker and Kane cut. But it’s the not so PG outtake that you have to see to believe. Let’s just say they don’t get the “F” out. Of course, the match really turns into a cluster you know what as a series of unfortunate events takes place. During the train-wreck (their words) Triple H hurts his arm, Kane’s mask comes off and moves get missed. Undertaker takes responsibility for the lackluster outing because he says he wasn’t mentally there. He had family issues going on that consumed him. In the end, the conclusion is we are all human.
Wife Michelle McCool concludes a vicious cycle spinning as Calaway looks to redeem himself. It’s a profound struggle he has within that is explored throughout the series. And going into Chapter 4 we’ll get more into how the tug-of-war rages on.
Chapter 3 of Undertaker: The Last Ride will be available to stream on-demand beginning at 10 a.m. ET this Sunday on WWE Network