It is hard to imagine wrestling without him. For 20 years he was, and is, the conscience of the WWE. Hundreds, if not thousands have come and gone, and through it all, the Undertaker remains.
Injuries, character changes, heel turns and a demanding Internet community, the Undertaker has survived them all.
The WWE is epitomised by certain wrestlers, one of which is undoubtedly, the Phenom. However, is he the last of his kind? Will we ever again see such a powerful and popular character wrestler again?
I have argued, and will again, that the Undertaker is the greatest wrestling character of all time. In an era of clowns, taxmen and mounties, one character stood literally head and shoulders above all of them.
The character that debuted at the 1990 Survivor Series could have been like any of the other characters at that time, simply fading away once the novelty had gone.
Thankfully for wrestling's sake, the Undertaker remained.
Fast forward, 20 years and I cannot help but think that wrestling has changed. Maybe it's the onset of MMA together with marketing issues that wrestling relies much more on individuals than characters.
Maybe a sense of realism is what we seek today, that we may not necessarily believe in the cartoon characters of yesteryear?
Would the cynical amongst us in the Internet world, really accept an Undertaker today?
So the question remains, will wrestling ever again see a character as strong as the Undertaker? Will they ever produce something that gave birth to an amazing array of promos, match types and character changes?
The WWE will, of course, never replace the Undertaker. He is one of a kind. But the success of the character was based on unpredictability. We were guaranteed something new with his character and we waited with anticipation each week.
Wrestling today seems to be all too bland in terms of character development and relies too much on a formulaic approach of popular movesets and good triumphing over evil.
Wrestling in the 1990s had an over-reliance on cartoon characters to the extent that every profession was seemingly represented. These characters created distinctive moves, match types and angles, but rarely did they survive much more than a few years.
Twenty years on, will we see a return of wrestlers who do not simply rely on their own name? In an era where the WWE wants to make movies, it could begin by selling effective characters in the ring, so we can enjoy a little diversity in what we watch.
Even Kane, the demonic brother of the Undertaker, has become human, while the supposed scars of the fire are nowhere to be seen.
And so, what are the chances of the WWE producing a new era of character wrestlers? Are we going to see a new wave, or has wrestling realism taken over?
Ultimately, is the Undertaker the last outlaw of character wrestling?
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