WWE Legend The Undertaker: Is the Phenom Overrated...Really?
After reading an article about The Undertaker being over-rated, I started to write a comment, but it was so long I decided to make an article.
If you have not read it, I invite you to read the article that inspired me:
No wrestler is perfect, including The Undertaker. I am a die hard fan since the Royal Rumble 1994 promos. I will always remember when he was preparing Yokozuna's casket. He was so much better back then.
He started as one of the greatest heels ever. After one year, he won the WWF Championship against none other than The Immortal Hulk Hogan. He stole the gold with the help of another icon, Ric Flair.
The Deadman was then the 1991 winner of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Best Heel Award.
He then moved to a feud with The Ultimate Warrior. He won the 1991 Pro Wrestling Illustrated Best Feud Award.
After his initial heel run, he became one of the top faces in WWE. He was the only one who could really stop the mighty Yokozuna.
You can say his mic skills are at mediocre at best, and I can't really argue against that. But, with Paul Bearer, he went with the most memorable promos, including my favorite, the showdown leading to the famous 1994 Royal Rumble.
After four years with WWE, he truly became a legend when he died for the first time. It was when 10 wrestlers came to help Yokozuna and beat down The Undertaker to put him in the casket he custom made for the 600-pounder.
If you have never seen that moment, you can hardly understand why he is not over-rated. You must also have seen him live to really understand The Phenom he is.
It's easy to judge a wrestler based on videos seen on Youtube and to come to erroneous conclusions because that media doesn't reflect the reality.
To really understand the impact of a wrestler, you must have seen him on TV and, even better, a in live event. The TV shows, watched week after week, with anticipation for the next episode, are one of the bases of a legacy.
If you only watched matches on DVD or on Internet, you missed the TV moments that led to the matches.
All the great encounters on the biggest stages were built by effective promos. And, if you missed what was behind a match, you can't feel the emotion.
There is nothing like witnessing a well done showdown than watching the result, the match itself. A pay-per-view match must have a story behind it or, most of the time, it has no flavor.
For months, in 1993-94, I watched The Undertaker's promos leading to the Royal Rumble and nothing could have prevented me to watch the next episode of Raw.
I wanted to watch every second of his memorable buildup and the match was pure gold. He lost the match, but it took more than 10 men to bring him down.
His comeback storyline that lasted for more than 7 months was one of the greatest of all times. Not many can run an angle that long without even appearing once on TV. Even when he was vanished, his presence was felt.
Now, let's get back to the present. I can understand why some younger wrestling fans. If you have not seen him live on TV, week after week and year after year since the '90s or since his debut, it's normal to see him as over-rated.
As many older fans, I like and follow The Undertaker in big part for what he was. I always feel nostalgia when I see him, old and in bad shape. He is only the shadow of what he was 10 and 20 years ago.
Even the comeback of Paul Bearer is scary for a die hard fan like me. It means The Undertaker is starting his last ride. They even try to revive his old rivalry with Kane.
We all see an old man when we watch The Undertaker, but we don't all look at him with the same eyes.
Some will only mention the times he buried Kane or when he sent CM Punk to the mid-card. I won't even try to justify those move. But I will remember he has put over so many wrestlers in the past.
The Undertaker cemented Yokozuna's main event status so Bret Hart could beat him and become the official new top face in WWE.
The Deadman made The Ultimate Warrior look great.
The Phenom received countless beatings from Stone Cold Steve Austin to push him to the superstardom.
Big Evil also passed the torch to Brock Lesnar who could become the top draw in WWE.
Mankind also became a WWE icon because of The Undertaker. And, by the way, it was not a bikini contest at the Hell In A Cell match he had with Mankind. It was a real hardcore match for both of them.
The spotlight was actually on the guy who got the beating and who fell in the ring from the top of the cell.
It's also being misinformed to pretend that The Undertaker has never put his body on the line. He received more than his share of chair shots on his uncovered head. His face and knees met the steel steps countless times.
In conclusion, I respect everyone's opinion, but I had to get some facts straights. I also thank Jamie Leonardis who inspired me with his article.
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