A lot of wrestling fans started watching the Undertaker (whose real name is Mark Callaway) in 1990 when he made his debut at the Survivor Series.
However, the hardcore Undertaker fans followed him for a few years prior to that. He had plenty of experience before he came to the big leagues.
The Undertaker was born and raised in Texas, so it didn't surprise a lot of people that he would start his professional wrestling career in the Lone Star State.
In 1984, the legendary Phenom made his debut in a Texas promotion called World Class Championship Wrestling.
WCCW was the Texas territory for the NWA, who was a major competitor for WWE throughout much of the 1980s.
Rather than simply being satisfied with just being a territory, WCCW went out and became known nationally because of their stars and their storylines.
Back then, though, the Undertaker wasn't a big star. In fact, he wasn't a star at all.
In the four years that the Undertaker wrestled in the territory, he didn't really make much of a name for himself despite impressing fans with his size and athletic ability.
It wasn't until the Undertaker made his way over to Jerry Lawler's USWA (United States Wrestling Association) that he started to make waves in the business.
Wrestling as the Master of Pain, he defeated Jerry Lawler for the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship.
Granted, in those days, Jerry Lawler would lose the belt to quite a few people so that he could win it back—28 times, to be exact.
It was still an accomplishment, though.
The NWA had an intimidating tag team called the Skyscrapers.
The team was comprised of the 6'9" Sid Vicious (later known as Sid Justice in WWE) and the 6'8" Dan Spivey.
Together, they formed one of the most physically imposing teams in the business.
When Sid Vicious was injured, though, management knew that they needed another big guy to replace him.
Along came the Undertaker. At 6'10" and wrestling as "Mean" Mark Callous, he was the perfect replacement. The Skyscrapers were good enough to get themselves involved in a feud with the Road Warriors.
Under the guidance of Paul Heyman, the Undertaker started moving his way up the NWA ladder. He even earned himself a shot at Lex Luger's NWA United States Heavyweight Championship at the 1990 Great American Bash.
For some odd reason, though, management decided not to resign the Undertaker when his contract ended.
Of course, that decision helped to change wrestling history forever.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!