The Undertaker appeared on today's special edition of WWE's The Bump to help promote the premiere of Undertaker: The Last Ride. The five-part documentary will stream tonight after Money in the Bank on the WWE Network.
During his appearance, Undertaker discussed who's trust he looked to gain early on in his career, moving to his American Badass gimmick in 2000, and losing confidence in his in-ring abilities after getting badly injured in his WrestleMania match against Brock Lesnar.
Debuting in 1990, Undertaker believed he had to gain the boss' trust first before he could move to the next level in his wrestling career.
"Initially, it was obviously Vince [McMahon]," Taker said. "Talent wise, the guys that were there a little bit before me, Bret Hart, and then obviously, Hogan was there. Back then it was a really different vibe, I knew once Vince trusted me, I think everything else fell into place. Guys like Bret, who I have the upmost respect for, those guys were old school guys when I first came in with this gimmick. When they accepted me I knew we were off to the races."
Taker then spoke about how long he thought his gimmick would last and if it had an expiration date. Thankfully, the fans gravitated quickly towards it and that helped push his confidence to keep going with the character. Taker noted he always had the pulse of his gimmick and felt like there were times it needed to be changed up. In 2000, he made a major adjustment by going to the American Badass gimmick, noting he was more nervous than ever when he debuted the new look.
"As I'm sitting back there on that motorcycle — to say I was a little bit nervous is an understatement," Undertaker said. "I was more nervous here than when I made my debut in 1990. I'd already been there for ten years, completely changing the character the way I did, you just don't know how they're going to take it. ... I was extremely nervous, but I knew it was the right thing to do."
As Taker talked about that moment, footage was shown of him riding out, then getting in the ring and taking out guys like Triple H, Shane McMahon, and Vince McMahon. Taker ended up punching Vince in the face, which got a good story out of The Deadman.
"That was a potato, right there," Undertaker laughed as he saw the punch to Vince. "Everybody else got perfect shots and I just blasted Vince. I split his eyelid open right there. That was good."
The Undertaker has previously said he doesn't remember his match against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 30 — where the streak was broken. After the match, Taker's confidence had been severely shaken. During the interview, Taker recalled a story about Ric Flair where Flair had gone through something similar during his run in WCW. After having a match with Taker in WWE, Flair thanked him for helping him get his confidence back.
"I experienced it a little bit with Flair, and I never understood it," Taker said. "After I worked with Flair at WrestleMania in Toronto, he came back and thanked me. It was a different kind of thank you, not a 'Thank you, great match.' It was such a heartfelt thank you because he had told me I was able to restore his confidence in himself because it had been so torn down in WCW. I just never understood it, I was like, 'Dude, you're Ric Flair. You're the Nature Boy.' I just didn't grasp it, until it happened to me.
"It had nothing to do with the winning or losing, it was the fact I got hurt so bad and I don't even remember that match. Still today I don't remember it. I've watched it back, and it was like the first time, I'd never seen it before."
You can check out Undertaker's full appearance in the video above.
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit WWE and give a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.