I have been a wrestling fan since the early 1980's. I grew up a Hulkamanic, and have loved the "sport" for as long as I can remember.
It wasn't until 1991, when the Undertaker defeated Hulk Hogan for his first WWF Championship, that Hulkamania suffered it's first big loss. That first loss for Hogan was the launching board for Mark Calaway.
Prior to joining the WWF, Calaway was stuck as a mid-card wrestler for WCW. He teamed with Sid Vicious and Dan Spivey, to hold Tag Team Gold. He had nowhere near that success as a singles' wrestler, having never held a singles' championship in WCW.
It was Vince McMahon who obviously saw something in Calaway and signed him to join the WWF. In doing so, McMahon went on to create one of the greatest gimmicks that Wrestling has ever seen.
And the Undertaker was, um, born?
There is no question that the Undertaker has made a name for himself that no one, not even John Cena, will ever be able to consider matching.
I know it hasn't happened yet, but there are not too many people that think Taker won't be back for one more WrestleMania match. And it would take a fool to believe that Taker will leave with his first loss.
Over the years, we have seen the Undertaker do things in a WWE ring that no one ever thought possible. From the day he locked the Ultimate Warrior in a casket, to the day he prevented Jake "The Snake" Roberts from crushing Miss Elizabeth with a steel chair, to the day he threw Mick Foley off of the top of the Hell in a Cell.
Some of the biggest moments in the WWE have the Undertaker in the video.
That being said, the reality is that the Dead Man is not the wrestler he once was. It is obvious that his days are numbered. In real life, people don't come back from the dead. And, as sad as it is to say, the Undertaker is about to get his last rites.
To me, this is going to be one of the saddest days in the history of Wrestling. As I have had the privilege to watch the Undertaker from the beginning, when the only thing you ever heard him say was "Rest In Peace," as his eyes rolled into the back of his head. It will be sad that many of the young fans today will never get to see a worker like Calaway.
But, does he have to be finished?
No, I am not saying that Mark Calaway could somehow return to the ring. His body is simply too damaged to ever be what he once was. Even if his heart was there to continue fighting, it is simply a matter of physics. People get old (even dead ones).
But, what if the Undertaker could be replaced?
There would have to be a transition, and it would have to start at Wrestle Mania. Here is how I could see this happen, and I hope to get your opinions in the comments.
At Wrestle Mania, the Undertaker will once again put on the best show of the night. After he defeats his opponent, whomever that may be, the lights will go out. The old school Undertaker music will hit and the minions will enter the arena, torches in hand, pushing a coffin.
As the coffin gets to the ring, the Taker will open it and climb inside. One of the minions will close the coffin, and they will begin to push it to the back of the arena. When it gets to the top of the platform, under the jumbo-tron, we will all see the Undertaker with his eyes closed inside the coffin.
Taker's eyes will open, and he will give us some type of cryptic message about it being time for him to return to "Parts Unknown." He then will say something about his body no longer being impervious to pain, but that one day, the Undertaker will return. He could even end it by saying something like the Grim Reaper can never die, and he is the Grim Reaper.
The minions would then push him to the back, where he would be put into a hearse and driven away, probably by Kane.
It would be Wrestle Mania 30 before the new Undertaker would return. He could return much the same way as the original Undertaker emerged: Come in and own the WWE for years. He could be the Dead Man, like the Dead Man always was.
But, who could possibly fill this role?
If the WWE were to replace the Undertaker, it would have to be with someone that was similar enough to look like a young Calaway. He would have to be big. He would have to have the red hair, and the tattoos to go along with it.
Vince could teach him the wrestling moves that the Undertaker had. He taught the Undertaker, didn't he? For that matter, he could have the real Undertaker teach him how to be the Undertaker.
There is no one in the current WWE that could possibly fit this role. I think it would be better if the WWE went outside the company to create the New Undertaker, like they did with the original one.
And I think I have the perfect man for the job.
Yes, I know that he is currently employed by TNA. But let's be honest, I'm sure if Vince McMahon were to call Crimson and tell him that he wanted him to be the New Undertaker, Crimson would jump ship in a heart beat.
Yes, Vince would have to wait for his TNA contract to expire to officially sign him, but this isn't the NFL or NBA, where Vince is forbidden to talk to him until his contract is up. In the real business world, contracts are agreed upon LONG before an original contract expires.
So, do you think it is possible, probable or even a good idea to resurrect the character of the Undertaker, even after Mark Calaway calls it a career?
And, if not Crimson, who do you think it should be?