Arn Anderson says that there is a huge difference between the persona of The Undertaker and Mark Calaway, the person playing the character.
The Undertaker recently bid his final farewell to WWE at the 2020 Survivor Series event and throughout the build to that event, many within the industry spoke about what that character meant to the WWE specifically and the professional wrestling industry as a whole. Once upon a time, there was nobody more dedicated to their character than Mark Calaway. For a large portion of his three decades in WWE, Mark Calaway did not give an interview outside of the persona of The Undertaker.
Arn Anderson was much different. Arn Anderson, as a professional wrestler, enjoyed walking the fine line between reality and fiction. The Four Horsemen, especially Ric Flair, enjoyed “living the gimmick.”
Speaking with Inside The Ropes, Anderson, who worked as a WWE producer for well over a decade, discussed the difference between the character that Mark Calaway plays on screen, and who he is in real life.
“Well, he’s not a guy that’s said a lot of things that he didn’t mean. He wouldn’t volunteer anything, as far as advice, unless he thought a guy number one – wanted it, number two – deserved it, and number three- was going to do something with it,” Anderson began. “For a guy like the Undertaker to pull you aside as a young kid and go, ‘Hey, you might want to change this. You might want to move that here. You might want to take that out.’ That kind of advice is invaluable. You can’t buy it, nobody in a training school can give that to you. That’s advice that comes from years and years and years of perfecting a character that is not necessarily Mark Calaway.”
He continued, “The Undertaker walks down the hall, people scatter. Mark Calaway’s sitting in his locker room getting dressed, he’s approachable. It’s the gap between those two is really pretty wide, from who you get as a character coming through that curtain and who you talk to in the back.”
Arn Anderson only had one major interaction with the Undertaker and that was at WrestleMania X-8 in 2002 where Arn Anderson would give the Undertaker a Spinebuster during Undertaker's match with Ric Flair.
These days, Arn Anderson works for AEW where he is seen as the head coach of Cody Rhodes on screen.