WWE Throwback Thursday: The Undertaker Debuts at Survivor Series 1990

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2015

Credit: WWE.com

Unless you've been living under a rock, there's a good chance that you have seen WWE advertising Sunday's Survivor Series as the 25th anniversary of The Undertaker's debut.

All week long, the WWE Network has been running programming dedicated to The Deadman, including a special interview with four men who have been in the ring with Taker countless times over the years.

JBL spoke with Triple H, Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels for an episode of Legends with JBL, and they revealed a few interesting tidbits that weren't common knowledge.

For instance, did you know it was a goal of many Superstars to try to get The Undertaker to break character during a match? Judging from most of their stories, they weren't successful.

Other special shows include a list of Taker's most dangerous matches and a special retrospective of his career over the past 25 years.

It's quite an accomplishment to last two-and-a-half decades in the wrestling business with the same company using the same gimmick. Even legends like Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes and Randy Savage never came close to spending that much time with one promotion.

The funny thing is that most of the people reading this probably weren't even alive when The Undertaker debuted at Survivor Series in 1990. If you haven't seen the event, you might not know it was Ted DiBiase who first introduced The Deadman to the WWE Universe.

Paul Bearer is the manager most associated with the legendary Undertaker, but it was Brother Love who accompanied him to the ring to fight Rhodes, Koko B. Ware and The Hart Foundation.

It was during that first pay-per-view match that we saw just how different he was from every other Superstar. He didn't sell any offense from his competitors, which only added to his invincible image.

He decimated his opponents that night, easily defeating Koko B. Ware and Dusty Rhodes before being counted out. It might seem weird that he was eliminated at all, but it was done to protect him in the long run.

The winners from each elimination match teamed up in the main event for a heels vs. babyfaces bout, which the good guys won. This meant Taker didn't have to suffer a real loss so early in his run.

Vince McMahon clearly saw potential in The Undertaker, so he was pushed with the power of a jet engine. He remained undefeated by pin and submission for a long time, eventually winning the WWF Championship from Hogan at Survivor Series 1991.

With Paul Bearer in his corner for support, it seemed like there was no stopping him. He was almost seven feet tall, weighed over 300 pounds and had the kind of strength that rivaled Hogan.

On paper, this is a gimmick that should have lasted a few years at best, but Mark Calaway sold his performances so well that his popularity never decreased. Even as a heel, fans were cheering for him, and that rarely happened in the '90s.

As time went on, Taker feuded with the biggest names in the business. His early years saw him face the megastars of the '80s wrestling boom like The Ultimate Warrior, Hogan, Randy Savage and Sgt. Slaughter.

When the New Generation era came around, his rivals were legends like Bret Hart, Diesel, Yokozuna and Michaels.

As the Attitude era took over, he started to face guys like The Rock, Austin, Kane, Kurt Angle and Triple H. During the Ruthless Aggression era, he battled the likes of Brock Lesnar, Big Show and Batista.

Zack Ryder @ZackRyder

The Undertaker vs. Zack Ryder #tbt #Undertaker25 https://t.co/53ouKoMvmh

Graham "GSM" Matthews @WrestleRant

Enjoyed both parts of Legends with @JCLayfield this week. Awesome insight on Undertaker from four major names who know him best. Watch it!!

WWE Network @WWENetwork

Did @ShawnMichaels choose The #Undertaker for his last match in @WWE? #LegendsWithJBL #Undertaker25 https://t.co/jrp7J7MdBX

Melissa Joan Hart @MelissaJoanHart

25 years,& his entrance still gives me goosebumps! Undertaker is one of the best characters of all time. #MelissaExplainsRAW @WWE #RAW

After spending many years facing the greatest wrestlers to ever enter a ring, The Undertaker had to slow down a bit in order to ensure his longevity.

He began to make fewer appearances until he started to wrestle almost exclusively at WrestleMania to defend his undefeated streak. It was during that time that he faced stars like Bray Wyatt, CM Punk, Edge and Randy Orton.

However, no single wrestler has been linked to The Undertaker more than his storyline brother, Kane. Their feuds elevated both men, but it was when they were partners as The Brothers of Destruction that they were at their best.

WrestleMania has become The Deadman's playground, but he has also become synonymous with several different stipulations. Hell in a Cell, Buried Alive, Casket and Inferno matches will forever be associated with The Undertaker.

His career has been epic. Few have earned the kind of respect Taker commands from both the fans and fellow wrestlers, and it all started 25 years ago at Survivor Series.

Before Kane and The Undertaker battle The Wyatt Family on Sunday, take the time to go back and watch his debut at Survivor Series 1990 on the WWE Network. You will see a man with unlimited potential take the world by storm.

His gimmick has transcended the world of wrestling. Even those who have never seen a whole match in their life know who Taker is, and that is a testament to his hard work and incredible wrestling ability.

For many, just stepping in the ring with The Deadman gave their career a boost, even if they ended up losing in the end. Jeff Hardy experienced it after their Ladder match on Raw for the Undisputed Championship back in 2002.

It's going to be a sad day for the WWE Universe when he eventually hangs up his boots for good, but even if Sunday ends up being his last match, The Undertaker has earned his own wing in the Hall of Fame and will always be remembered as one of the greatest performers of all time.

Take a moment and share your favorite Undertaker memory from the past 25 years in the comments section. Thanks for reading and follow me on Twitter: @BR_Doctor.