In “Chapter 4: The Battle Within” of WWE Network’s docuseries Undertaker: The Last Ride, WWE Superstar The Undertaker shared his thoughts on a number of interesting topics, including how The Undertaker’s Starrcast II appearance resulted in a falling out with Vince McMahon and being left off the WrestleMania 35 card.
Back in February 2019, The Undertaker signed a deal to appear at Starrcast II over AEW Double Or Nothing weekend. According to The Undertaker, the deal came at a time when ‘The Deadman’ decided to relax his stance on kayfabe, and began doing more appearance and endorsements.
“It was an investment I made in the character,” The Undertaker explained. “I didn’t think people would have accepted the character the way they did, and the way they have, if I’m out here doing these other things. And then, I’m this guy here, but then I’m this guy here, which nowadays, it’s just normal. So, I started working with a social media group that was trying to get my name out there, and exposure, and endorsements, and doing some other things. I had agreed to do an autograph signing in Las Vegas. It wasn’t pitched to me that the other company had a show that was running another show right parallel to this autograph signing. I was oblivious. I wasn’t even keeping up with what was going on, or anything like that.”
Apparently, The Undertaker and McMahon had a falling out over the appearance, as McMahon told The Undertaker that people will think ‘The Phenom” is appearing for AEW at the upstart company’s Double Or Nothing pay-per-view.
“Vince calls me and he says, ‘What are you doing?,'” The Undertaker recalled. “I said I was doing this signing. He goes, ‘But yeah, you’ve got all these people thinking you’re going to do this [AEW PPV]. I thought, ‘Well, that’s stupid. Anybody that knows anything about me knows that I’m not going to a different company. I’ve been here forever. I ain’t going anywhere. I’m not going to jump ship to go to [AEW]. Why would I?’ Vince and I had a little bit of a falling out over it and I understand where he was coming from. He [has] got a business to run and I understand his position, but I also had a position of my own that needed to be understood. And we didn’t talk for a little while, and then, we both let our guard down enough to talk. And then, we had things worked out. It [has] all been sunshine and rainbows since.”
Following Crown Jewel in 2018, and the regrettable Brothers Of Destruction versus D-Generation X tag team bout, The Undertaker thought his time performing at WrestleMania had passed, as well.
“After Crown Jewel, I’ve just been kind of taking it easy,” The Undertaker said. “I’m kind of beat up and worn out after the last Saudi show. So, here we are in New York, and I mean, it’s that time of year. WrestleMania is around the corner and obviously I don’t have a match this year. I’m not sure if, at this point, I’m not sure if I’ll work at ‘Mania again. ‘Mania [has] probably come and gone for me and I’m okay with that, I think. As we get closer to bell time Sunday, I’m sure I’ll have a lot of emotions and a lot of feelings and wondering why I’m not getting myself ready to go to the ring. I’ve played all this out in my head and I’m not sure how it’s going to go. I think it [has] been 14 years in a row that I’ve been on the card in some fashion. I don’t want to be on the card just to be on the card. If it’s not something that’s important, or means something, there’s really not a reason for me to do it. I’m sure I’ll run the whole gamut of emotions, from happy to sad, but right now I’m content, and I’m okay.”
The Undertaker acknowledged that it was difficult to sit and watch WrestleMania without performing. However, the experience showed him he is still passionate about performing.
“It was a rough night, sitting there, watching the show going on, thinking in my head that I should be out there,” The Undertaker said. It let me know, I think, that there’s still a lot of passion there. Probably moving forward, it’ll be easier now that I’ve got through this. If I can get through the day without working, I think I’ll be able to manage. It is what it is and we’ll take it one day at a time from here. Tomorrow will be my WrestleMania, I guess. Naw.”
The Undertaker attended WrestleMania 35 as a spectator, but was informed that he was needed for the next night on WWE Monday Night RAW. The Undertaker flew from New York, the site of WrestleMania, back home to Texas to pick up his ring gear, and flew back to New York in time for RAW.
“I don’t have any gear,” The Undertaker shared. “‘Boss, I didn’t bring my gear.’ ‘What? You didn’t bring your gear?’ I’m like, ‘I guess I’ll go home and get it.’ So I caught a flight that night, flew home, grabbed my bag?I had to find it first because I hadn’t used it in a while, so I had no idea where it was. I mean, all my stuff was packed and washed?So, I had a quick trip to Texas and went right back to New York.”
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If you use any of the quotations that appear in this article, please credit Undertaker: The Last Ridewith an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.