One of the greatest and most recognized pro wrestlers of the modern era, Undertaker, unofficially announces his retirement.
Undertaker has had a five-part documentary called The Last Ride on the WWE Network about his wrestling career as of late. However, ultimately it was about Undertaker deciding when to hang up his wrestling boots.
In the last episode, there was a clip of Undertaker being interviewed by Stone Cold in which he alluded to having one or two more matches. AJ Styles saw the clip and gave Undertaker a call to see if he could convince him to let him be Taker’s last match. This led to the Boneyard Match with Taker vs Styles.
In the episode Taker used the phrase “this time the cowboy really rides away.” This of course seemingly alludes to his retirement and riding off into the sunset. Just to push fans towards thinking this is his retirement announcement even more he shared a clip from The Last Ride and the caption “You can never appreciate how long the road was until you’ve driven to the end.”
You Know The Undertaker
Even if you aren’t a wrestling fan, I can almost guarantee you’ve seen Undertaker. Have you ever seen the guy in a white shirt get thrown off the top of a 30 foot cage? Undertaker threw him off. Have you ever seen a guy take off his hat and roll his eyes into the back of his head? What about two wrestlers sitting on the mat and laughing at each other?
An Undertaker discussion is not complete without talking about The Streak. He went 21-0 at WrestleMania without a loss. It became a huge deal as to who if anyone would break The Streak and if he would retire after it ended. Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns were the only two people to ever beat him at WrestleMania.
His Debut Was Against A Hall Of Famer
Undertaker made his wrestling debut in 1987 wrestling Bruiser Brody of all people. In 1991, he became the WWF Champion by defeating a dude you may have heard of, who goes by the name Hulk Hogan. From 1991 to 2020, Undertaker has been one of the top guys.
What makes that statement even more amazing is that since 1991 he has only wrestled for Vince. During the Attitude Era, everyone hoped between WWF and WCW, even top guys. To my knowledge there are only two top guys from the early ‘90s who didn’t go to or return to WCW. Those two men are Shawn Michaels and Undertaker.
Announcing A Wrestling Retirement Is Rare
In recent years, the champion has only wrestled on a very sporadic schedule, with the frequency going up in the last two years.
Publicly announcing your retirement in pro wrestling is actually pretty rare and is more of a new thing to happen in recent years because of social media. Typically, wrestlers just stop wrestling and eventually people figure out they are probably retired.
However, when an announcement does happen, it usually happens one of two ways. One is that they announce in the middle of the ring that they can’t wrestle anymore because of an injury like Daniel Bryan, Edge or Paige. The second is as a match stipulation, such as a pink slip or “you’re fired” match, but the retirement part gets announced afterwards.
Staying Retired Is Even More Rare
The one thing I’ve learned about wrestling is that hardly anyone stays retired. Daniel Bryan and Edge are both wrestling again. Terry Funk has retired; a low estimate has it at 5 billion times. Wrestlers don’t usually stay retired because they just love wrestling too much. Sting and Undertaker are both “retired” they have both expressed interest in wrestling each other. This could break the retirement. Something we also have to keep in mind is this is not the first time Undertaker has seemingly retired. A few years ago at WrestleMania Undertaker left his hat in the ring and everyone took that as retirement, but he wrestled a bunch of times after that.
Undertaker isn’t the only one alluding to his retirement. WWE shared a tweet saying “Thank You Undertaker” with a series of Undertaker pictures from over the years.
If this is true this is an end of an era and the end of one of the most prolific careers in any sport. Undertaker is an icon and helped to define the modern era. He was a bridge from the Golden Era of wrestling in the ‘70s and ‘80s to the modern era of wrestling. I hope he takes a job backstage doing something. His knowledge is immense and invaluable.
I want to thank Undertaker for making wrestling what it is today and the blood, sweat and tears he left in the ring for our enjoyment will not be forgotten.
What do you think of Undertaker retiring? Is it long overdue or would you like to see him wrestle for another few years? Is there a wrestler you would like to see him wrestle a retirement match against? Perhaps Kane or Sting? Tombstone those comments below.
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