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The Undertaker retires: 'There's been no one like him in WWE'

By Manish Pandey
Newsbeat reporter

Published
image copyrightGetty Images

"My time has come to let The Undertaker rest in peace."

It's the moment many wrestling fans knew - and dreaded - was coming.

At the annual WWE Survivor Series pay-per-view on Sunday, 30 years after making his debut at the same event, The Undertaker made his final farewell address.

Legends such as Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels and The Big Show were all there to say goodbye.

Radio 1 Newsbeat has been speaking to the Deadman's fans about why he's meant so much through the years.

'Respect for his own character'

It's the mystery around the shadowy character which makes the Undertaker so popular with people like Saurav Dutt.

"His dark and supernatural element was the big attraction. The entrance and the way he carries himself means he can reach everyone."

"He has an intimidating feel about him even at an older age, which is why so many love him,"the 29-year-old says.

image copyrightSaurav Dutt
image caption"He had a unique gimmick and his actions spoke much louder than words," Saurav says.

For Andrew Curnow, "there's been nobody like him" when it comes to affecting the audience.

The Undertaker was already established as a legend when Andrew, now 21, started watching WWE in 2006.

"The mind games and not knowing what's going to happen when he comes out still had such a big impact," he says.

And it's not just about the way he was in the ring,

The way he's treated his own character has been a big part of why 29-year-old Joni Roome has been such a fan.

image copyrightJoni Roome
image captionThe Undertaker "transcended" wrestling, according to Joni

"He had a lot of respect for his own character. He famously didn't do interviews or break character which added to the mystique when the gong sounded."

It meant as a fan, "you always wanted more".

And that's something the Undertaker admitted was important to him, in a rare out-of-character interview with BBC 1Xtra's DJ Ace in May.

Despite his enormous popularity, he wanted to "maintain the mystique of the character" which is why he rejected the chance to do films.

"I can go out, do a movie and be a completely different character. But then how do I come back and be The Undertaker?"

  • Read more of the interview here.

'He's always reinvented himself'

Doing the same thing for 30 years means it can be hard to stay fresh in the eyes of the audience. And that's one of the reasons he's "such a legend" for Sabrina Nicole.

"He's always reinvented himself. Whether he was the Deadman or on the bike, he managed to remain popular," she says.

For Sabrina, the way he switched up his image meant "whether you're a girl, boy, old or young, you can resonate with him".

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe Undertaker has changed his image, from Deadman to Biker to Phenom

For Saurav, despite shifting his persona, the Undertaker always stayed true "to being the merciless figure", that made him the ultimate superstar.

"You always knew you'd see good wrestling, psychology and storytelling whenever he would come out to wrestle."

The ability to move with the times meant he was at the top of his game, even towards the end of his career.

"He empowered other wrestlers to up their game, adapt their style and go to the limit with him," says Saurav.

"Pulling out matches like Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 25. He did it at the time when many fans were becoming disenchanted with WWE - they saw him and it lifted everything."

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe Undertaker and Shawn Michaels put on what's regarded as one of the greatest matches of all time.

Iconic moments

The ability to create memorable moments throughout his career - like that match at Wrestlemania 25 - has added to the love people have for him.

For Andrew, The Undertaker's performances acted "as a release from everyday life".

"I've been able to watch his matches which helps me take my mind off the bad things that might be going on in life."

image copyrightAndrew Curnow
image caption"He's done so much to keep us entertained through the years."

The Undertaker's commitment and work ethic is something fans believe extends beyond the ropes of a WWE ring.

"He's never settled for less especially in the last phase," Saurav says.

"He always gave his all even when suffering with injuries,"

Sabrina says she's sad he's retired, and Wrestlemania "won't be the same again".

image copyrightSabrina Nicole
image caption"There's never been anyone like him or anyone who could follow him either."

"But he's done it all. He's a legend because he's faced so many other legends and stood the test of time."

Andrew was emotional hearing him say goodbye, but says he's a "guaranteed Hall of Famer".

"He's put his body on the line for 30 years to entertain us, how could you not respect someone who has done that?"

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Related Topics

  • Professional wrestling

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