The Undertaker was a special guest on the After The Bell podcast where he shared his thoughts on his career and today’s wrestling landscape. Corey Graves asked Undertaker what would have happened if he ever jumped ship to WCW during the mid-to-late ’90s. Undertaker says that’s hard for him to imagine since he wouldn’t have kept the same character if he did got to WCW.
“I don’t know. I don’t think it would have turned out like this,” Undertaker admitted. “I had that character which was so strong. There’s no way I take that character to WCW, and then, whatever I do at WCW, you can’t bring that back. All that stuff on a lot of people’s minds, that doesn’t matter to people. They’re just gimmicks. That’s not the way I looked at things. The Undertaker was part of me.
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen guys leave and come back and do all that. I never could get a visualization of how that would work. I was unhappy with our overall creative. We were struggling, and it got worse and worse and worse. There’s a lot of guys that are calling me. I was talking when Kevin Nash was there. He’s like, ‘man, I’m pretty sure you can get you some pretty big cheese if you want to come down here and do this thing.’ Yeah, and of course you’re thinking because you’re miserable.”
Despite being tempted to join WCW, The Undertaker noted that his past experience with WCW was an influence as to why he didn’t want to rejoin the company. He also wanted to keep his loyalty to Vince McMahon no matter what happened during the Monday Night Wars.
“There’s two things,”Undertaker prefaced. “One, I remember, and you’ve probably heard this story about me before I came to WWE when I was still in WCW. I went to renegotiate my contract. I wasn’t looking for a big bump, but I don’t know. I’ve been there for a while. My contract was coming due. I figured that I could get off of that minimum deal. So I went in and they offered me the same deal, and I was like, ‘well, I was I was hoping for a little bit of a bump.’ I only had a few years in the business, but I had a pretty good year there for them and looked me square in the eyes and they said, ‘Mark your great athlete, but no one’s ever going to pay money to watch you wrestle.’ That’s a true story.
“Jim Herd, Ole Anderson and Jim Barnett, they were all in the room, and I was there in the CNN building there or whatever was Turner’s office. And I was just like that’s pretty much the writing on the wall for me. I’m not gonna stay here and turn into fodder for these other guys. That really lit a fire as well. So what Vince did [was] he never promised me anything other than opportunity. That’s all that’s all he ever promised me. He said, ‘I’ll give you an opportunity to do something,’ and then he give me that character.
“When it came down to it, at the end of the day, I said, whatever happens good, bad or indifferent, this is where I’m going to be, and if the ship went under, I was going under with it. I don’t think even, not that it was going to happen, even if the WWE had gone under, Vince would never let that happen. I could have went to Japan, any place like that. I doubt that I ever would have went back to WCW when it really got down to it.”
Graves wondered if there was ever an official deal that The Undertaker received. He said no and reiterated that despite the benefits that WCW had, he would still stick by WWE with the faith that McMahon would turn things around.
“No, because I was under contract,” Undertaker noted. “There was a middleman in the air. I had a lot of discussions, and it’s just like that sounds really good. All you have to do is TVs and you’re not on the road 300 days a year and you say money might maybe better. It is pretty attractive and especially when you’re unhappy, but at the end of the day, I just had I had faith in Vince. I knew at some point things would turn around, and obviously, they did.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit After The Bell with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.