REVIEWS: Docs / Other films — June 15, 2013 at 1:57 am

WWE’s Mark Calaway – 3 documentaries on The Undertaker

undertaker-coverWorld Wrestling Entertainment’s Mark Calaway (better known as The Undertaker) is one one of the most respected and famous wrestlers ever to step into the ring.

Calaway began his wrestling career with World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) in 1984. He joined World Championship Wrestling (WCW) as “Mean” Mark Callous in 1989.

When WCW did not renew Calaway’s contract in 1990, Calaway signed with the World Wrestling Federation. After debuting as Kane the Undertaker, the name was shortened to The Undertaker and he has remained with the company ever since.

He is the company’s most tenured performer, and is the only remaining active competitor from the very first episode of WWE Raw in 1993.

Undertaker has wrestled pretty much everyone – from Hulk Hogan to Giant Gonzalez to Mankind to CM Punk. The Undertaker is probably the one who’s seen it all and done it all. Casket matches, Inferno matches, Hell in a Cell matches, Buried Alive matches – you name it. I am not even talking about such WWE events as Summerslam, Survivor Series and Wrestlemania.

There have been several documentaries and video footages of the Undertaker released through the years, and we’re going to introduce three of those here.

undertaker-he-buries-them-alive-1994The Undertaker – He Buries Them Alive (1994)

This one is hosted by The “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase. Basically, “The Undertaker – He Buries Them Alive” is a collection of the Undertaker’s matches from 1994. 5 matches to be exact.

Despite that Dibiase calls these matches “one of the best ever”, they are hardly good, nonetheless some of them should be of interest to the fans of the character the Undertaker. In the first match, the Undertaker goes up against another Undertaker (wrestler Brian Lee), and its fun to watch two men looking nearly identical, wrestling nearly identical, trying to overpower one another. An ultra-cheesy commentary by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler didn’t make the match any better either.

Another interesting match here would be the infamous “casket match” the Undertaker had against Yokozuna. The match itself wasn’t that great, as Yokozuna didn’t put up much of a fight, however this particular match is remember for Chuck Norris himself being on the show, standing just outside the ring, “protecting” the Undertaker and the match from being interfered by other wrestlers. Eventually one of them does, and gets kicked by Norris!

undertaker-the-phenom-1998The Undertaker – The Phenom (1998)

The character of the Undertaker was changing through the years, and this particular video presentation “The Phenom” starts off in 1997, when the Undertaker got known for having the most unusual and brutal matches of his career.

The character itself has changed as well since the early 90’s, when the Undertaker was just being introduced to the then WWF universe.

“The Phenom” is narrated as a story, during which various edited matches of the Undertaker are shown. Some of them are against Mankind (the boiler room match, the buried alive match, and the Hell in a cell match), the infamous Hell in a Cell match against Shawn Michaels. Undertaker’s historic feud with his “brother” Kane and his feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin are also highlighted.

Compared to “He buries them Alive”, this “Phenom” video has the matches edited flawlessly, and it is never boring – a great improvement over the previous presentation.

undertaker-this-is-my-yard-2001The Undertaker – This is My Yard (2001)

“This is my yard” is the only of the three here that actually plays like a real documentary – viewers get not only to see pretty much the whole career of the Undertaker (up until 2001), but also get comments from such wrestlers as Matt Hardy, Chris Jericho, Kane, Edge, X-Pac, Diamond Dallas Page, Kurt Angle, and of course Mark Calaway (the Undertaker) himself.

The documentary explains how the Undertaker character was created, how Calaway arrived to the WWF from the WCW, and how the character was changing through the years, turning into a true WWF/WWE icon.

We even get to peak behind the stage, to see what the Undertaker is like in real life, and learn a bit about his family and his bikes!

It is 2013 now, and the Undertaker is still around, making occasional appearances on WWE’s programs. He’s now a legendary superstar, who will undoubtedly enter the Wrestling Hall of Fame one day.

The above mentioned documentaries can be recommended to those, willing to see what the character of the Undertaker was really like in the beginning.

And for those who think that professional wrestling is fake – after watching these Undertaker films, you just might catch yourself thinking that one has to be one hell of an entertainer to do what the great WWE superstars do.

By Moon Lee

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