Bruce Prichard explains both Vince McMahon's side and The Undertaker's side.
For ten years as a part of the WWF, fans knew The Undertaker as this cryptic 6'10 machine who spoke when nescessary and handled the rest of his business inside the ring. In the year 2000 a revamped version of The Undertaker made his way onto the scene as a reflection of who The Undertaker is in reality. 'The American Badass' character developed into "Big Evil" and during that three-four year stretch as that character The Undertaker went on to become a multi-time Tag Team Champion and also reigned as the Undisputed Champion of WWE. There was a dispute regarding the character as Bruce Prichard explained during he and Conrad Thompson's WWE Network featured show 'Something Else To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard'.
“He wanted to be the biker, he wanted to be the guy that he is in everyday life. Of course, with the volume turned up quite a bit. So there really wasn’t a whole lot of, ‘What if we did this or what if we did that’. It was, ‘If we’re gonna change, that was something that he was immediately comfortable with’. However, when you’re talking about this, there was a lot of trepidation--there were people who were uncertain as to if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” Prichard shared.
The former WWE creative writer explained that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon wanted The Undertaker to remain the dark and ominous version of his character but Taker wanted to transition into his real personality but felt that once he made that move there was no going back to "The Deadman".
"Yeah, I think everybody was nervous but it was always viewed upon as a whole brand new character, and introducing somebody.” He continued, “Now in the back of our minds, and I say ‘In the back of our minds’--in the back of Vince McMahon’s mind, in the back of my mind, its, ‘We’re always going to go back to the original Deadman and we are always going to go back to the original Undertaker. In Taker’s mind, it was, ‘If we make this change, we can never go back’. He felt that going to the American Badass that that’s a new direction and you can move forward but you can never go back.” Prichard said. “We agreed to disagree at that point because we needed to make the American Badass character work, and its like okay, when we get to that point we’ll address it, but, at this point in time it was, ‘Lets make this character the most that we could make it’.”
The 'American Badass' episode of 'Something Else To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard' can be watched on the WWE Network. If you are going to use any of the quotes above, please credit Fightful for the transcriptions.