During an interview with Ed Mylett, The Undertaker talked about being a locker room leader, wrestling for over 30 years while not breaking character, and his friendship with and loyalty to Vince McMahon. Taker also talked about how critical he can be of himself, watching back his matches to figure out how he could improve.
“I’m my toughest critic and I always have been,” Taker said. “You have all these people throughout the course of your career telling you that you’re this and you’re that, and that’s fine, but you have to take that and put it aside.
“When I would watch my matches back, I’d have to watch them alone because I didn’t want any feedback, I wanted to watch it and see what I did wrong, what could I have done better to make that match better.”
At WrestleMania 33, Roman Reigns became the second man to defeat the Undertaker at a WrestleMania, in what was intended to be his retirement match. However, the main event match left many disappointed, fans expecting a better show. Taker talked about the how disappointed he felt, after the match.
“The Roman match at WrestleMania, that was tough,” Undertaker said. “What was so good about the documentary, was that that was the first time that I watched it back. At that point, when I watched it back, I was pretty much done. I had to start thinking long term after 30-plus years, so that was really raw and real, because I knew it was going to be tough to watch.”
Undertaker continued, “Having to do it in that environment with cameras on me, completely out of character. What you got, was Mark thinking in his head. There were a lot of things I wanted to say that would’ve been bleeped and edited, because I was so disappointed. Not just disappointed for me, but for Roman. It was my opportunity to give him something that would push him to a higher level. In my mind, I have a responsibility. If your name is on the page, you have to go.”
The veteran shared the thought process behind realizing he couldn’t end his career with the WrestleMania 33 match. Seeing the match for what it was, Undertaker detailed the work ethic that goes behind the end of a career.
“Definitely wasn’t going to let that be the last memory that people had of me. As you get older, you have to accept the fact that you have to put in twice the work for half the results, you have to accept that fact.”
Undertaker’s wife, Michelle McCool joined the interview to give a peek inside what it’s like for a wrestling family. Though their daughter has conflicting views on her parents in the ring, McCool is clear that she would come back, if asked.
“My daughter doesn’t apparently like seeing me get kicked and punched. She doesn’t mind her daddy, though,” McCool said. “Somebody asked her if she wanted him to retire, and she said, ‘No way, he still needs more practice, because he can’t even beat me.’ She doesn’t like to see me wrestle, but I do love it, and I’ve always said all they need to do is ask.”
Many wonder when Undertaker will finally hang up his boots. The Deadman talked about the thought of retiring now, hinting at when the fans may get the answer.
“I don’t know,” Undertaker said. “I’m not there yet. I am definitely not thrilled working in front of no audience. I feed off that crowd noise. Hopefully, by the time we get through the documentary, I have a conclusive answer.”
The final episode of The Last Ride is set to air on Sunday, June 21, on the WWE Network. The episode is centered around his preparation for his WrestleMania 36 match with AJ Styles, and is expected to reveal his next chapter with WWE.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Ed Mylett with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.