At the 2010 WWE Elimination Chamber, The Undertaker endured a scary moment when his attire caught fire from the flames that went off during his entrance. Taker shrugged off the incident on Live TV, like the pro that he is, and fans never learned of the seriousness of the pyro botch.
During his recent appearance on Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions, Stone Cold played a clip of the incident and Taker explained that he was “trying his best” to stay in character even as he experienced excruciating pain from burning his chest.
Austin said, “When I’m watching this, I’m thinking, ‘oh my god, he’s gonna kill somebody.’ Or he could have been killed, I’m just glad he’s OK. When I see you there, I see pain, adrenaline, and rage.”
Taker said Austin was spot on with his observation.
“Absolutely, you nailed it all on the head,” said Undertaker. “The adrenaline needle is peaked right here. I am beside myself, I’m looking down at my chest because my chest is just bubbling up right now. My flesh is just rolling up.”
After stepping into his pod, Taker was seen splashing water down his chest, “Look at me here, I’m pouring water all over myself to cool myself down.”
Taker then recounted the experience of waiting in the pod with his skin “bubbling up” rapidly.
“I knew I had to sit in that pod for 20 minutes,” he said. “And then I had to work another 20 minutes after getting in. And I’m trying to assess where I’m at physically with the burns. Because all I could smell was my burnt hair and flesh.”
Throughout the match that lasted nearly 36 minutes, the ring crew kept feeding Undertaker bottles of water from underneath his pod. However, that wasn’t enough to reduce his excruciating pain, revealed Undertaker.
“Despite all that water, every time I look down, my skin is bubbling up more and more,” he recalled. “I’m trying my hardest to stay focused and I’m also thinking in my head, ‘I am about to kill this pyro guy.'”
He continued, “I’m usually a very forgiving and understanding person. But a couple of weeks prior [to that incident], I had a conversation with the pyro guy and told him, ‘look, the pyro burst is too close. I’m starting to feel it. I said lets back them out.'”
Taker said the idea was to continue “Being Taker” and walk down the ramp with his motionless and slow walk and still have pyro flames. The Phenom then revealed the backstory to the incident and why a few last-minute decisions saved him from first degree burns.
“Initially, I had one of my other sleeveless coats. However, during the very last minute, I decided to wear my duster style coat because I was the World Champion and wanted the belt to be displayed.
“Also, right before my music hit, I took another full bottle of water and poured on my head because I knew I had to wait in the pod for long and my hair would have gotten really dry,” he added.
Taker then delved deeper into the pyro botch.
“I walk out, and the pyro comes up on my left and I just can’t no-sell this one. So, I turn to my right, the pyro bursts and my right [sleeve] goes off. So, I’ve literally turned into that.
“Luckily, I had the presence of mind to know that I had to move forward. When I saw something other than fire, I could see that both my right sleeve and hat are on fire. I’m trying to get all that off and somehow stay in character.”
Taker admitted that if not for switching jackets, the incident could have been devastating.
“If I hadn’t switched jackets, my arm would have been completely exposed. Also, luckily I had the second bottle of water and was dripping wet when I stepped out. It [this accident] could have been far worse.”
A picture of Taker’s burned jacket was also shown during the podcast.
The match ended with Chris Jericho pinning Undertaker to capture the World Heavyweight Championship after Shawn Michaels interfered and struck The Deadman with the Sweet Chin Music. During the next PPV, Taker retired HBK at WrestleMania 26.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.