A career gets buried
With The Undertaker finally hanging up his boots, we got three city-based fans to share their memories of the wrestling icon
My first memories of The Undertaker are of him fighting Giant Gonsalves, who used to have abs drawn on his stomach. This was in the ’90s; I also remember it being a traumatic experience where he picked up Mankind and slammed him off a 20-ft high cage. As I child, I was like, “What the hell, dude!” I had never seen anything like that on television, and it was actually happening. So, that really struck me. The Undertaker is a tough person and that’s why he survived for so long. But I fear that now he is bound to suffer physically for the rest of his life, what with all the multiple injuries he must have picked up.
Pratik Datta, 36, marketing professional
The show went on
I still remember The Undertaker’s introduction, when he would come out of a coffin in the middle of the ring. And as cheesy as it sounds, I also recall the character from Askhay Kumar’s Khiladiyon ka Khiladi movie that was modelled on him. I was honestly more of a Stone Cold Steve Austin fan, but I liked the sibling rivalry that The Undertaker had with Kane. They made each other better. As a child, I was convinced that it was all true. There was a time when I was in Bengaluru with my family and all the adults were joking about wrestling being a hoax, and I started crying, telling them, ‘How can you say this? Undertaker toh kabar ke andar se hi aaya hai!’ The reason he carried on for so many years is that at heart, all these guys are performers. The show must go on once you get hooked on to so many people watching you. It’s like the jeena yahan, marna yahan philosophy.
Neelabh Pandey, 32, lawyer
I don’t think that The Undertaker knew how to do anything else in life apart from being in wrestling. He got everything because of the persona that was created for him. The creative idea behind the character — that of the dead man walking and its connection with the supernatural, and that he could put someone in a tomb and the person would be gone — was something I found really interesting. I remember his first Hell in a Cell match, where he picks up Mankind and slams him through the ring. He’s also synonymous with Wrestlemania, because he was the first person to win 20 Wrestlemania matches on the trot, till Brock Lesner finally defeated him in the 21st.
Shayan Chowdhury, 35, marketing professional
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