During an interview with Peter Rosenberg, The Undertaker recalled defeating Hulk Hogan for the WWE Championship at Survivor Series 1991. Taker had a short reign, as he dropped the title days later at the Tuesday in Texas pay-per-view.
“That was crazy, it started out bad and progressively got worse,” Undertaker said. “Hogan claims that I hurt him on the Tombstone during the pay-per-view, and I didn’t find out till Tuesday, I didn’t know I was going to drop the belt back, that came out of nowhere. Maybe it’s because he was telling everybody I hurt him. Hulk was still the golden goose at the time, so I was thinking they were going to take this [belt] off me because they couldn’t trust me.”
Taker talked about the emotions he had finding out Hogan was injured during the match. He mentioned how it was a setup from the start to allow Hogan to reclaim the championship.
“I was devastated,” Taker said. “It was a setup from the get-go. He was really nervous about taking my finish, so I said ‘Hulk believe me, I will protect you, I pride myself on not hurting people’. We went on with our business, every point during the day I passed him in the hall and he’d say ‘Remember about my neck,’ so that’s all I got all day.
“When I tell you I had the brother secure, he was secure. I give him the Tombstone, and as soon as my knees hit I hear ‘Oh, you got me brother.’ I’m like how in the world, I just crushed Hulk Hogan that’s what’s going through my head. They gave me the chance to run with the ball and I just hurt the golden goose.”
Taker also mentioned going backstage post-match and finding Hulk Hogan laid out in Vince McMahon’s office. He also overheard a conversation with the paramedics and Shane McMahon.
“I don’t know what the hell is going on other than the fact that I just hurt the golden goose,” Taker said. “Shane is right there telling me, ‘Mark, his head wasn’t anywhere close to touching that mat’ and I just couldn’t put a thought together, I thought I killed him.
“A lot of the boys came up to me and shook their head and said ‘His head didn’t get anywhere close to the mat,’ then I watched it back and you can tell his head never touched. Now I’m in this precarious situation, I’m still green and now I have to confront the biggest face in wrestling ever and figure out what I’m going to do here. It’s risking my professional career.”
At the Tuesday in Texas pay-per-view, Taker spoke to Hogan about the move. Taker said that the conversation changed his opinion on Hogan forever.
“I said to him in San Antonio ‘Terry, I watched it back and your head never hit?'” Taker said. “[Hogan] says ‘Well brother, what it was is you had me so tight that when I came down, I had nowhere to move so that’s what jammed my neck cause I couldn’t move at all.’ At that point I now know what you’re all about and that’s all I needed.”
Taker noted how much of an effect that week had on his respect level and relationship with one of the WWE’s greatest stars.
“I treated him with the respect for what he did for the business and what he deserved,” Taker stated. “I was not overly-friendly but if he was in the building I always made sure to say hello, engage him in conversation, but from that Tuesday in Texas when I got that answer I knew all I needed to know about him. I dealt with it in a professional manner.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit ESPN with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.