The Undertaker's longevity in WWE is nothing short of amazing. Debuting in 1990, the Undertaker is coming up on his 28th anniversary in the company this November. While he's slowed down and limited his dates over the years, he's still good for a handful of appearances each year.
This year, he's worked WrestleMania, the Greatest Royal Rumble, is scheduled to wrestle Triple H this Saturday at Super Show-Down and could work Crown Jewel and Survivor Series in November.
In a new interview with Pastor Ed Young, Undertaker detailed the origin of the character and how he was something different at the time.
"The original character was based on an old Western undertaker. It was so different. At the time, the way most wrestlers talked was....*Hulk Hogan impression* 'Well let me tell ya something.' I talked very low with very menacing words," he said. "When you're in the room with someone and they start to talk low, what do you do? You lean forward. I had their attention."
The Undertaker made his on-camera debut at Survivor Series 1990 as part of Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar Team. Over the last 28 years, he's gone from Western undertaker to the Lord of Darkness to the American Bad Ass to Old Gunslinger. In the same interview, Undertaker revealed the secret to his longevity.
"To try and keep the character relevant for this long, you have to keep your finger on the pulse. If you don't, before you realize you're stale, your audience has already moved on," he said. "I was never satisfied. I was like, 'We're here and we're getting a great reaction...but what's next?' I'm always looking down the road. I need to bring something new to the table, but I have to be true to what my fanbase has accepted and wants. But you have to keep it fresh. You're watching what everyone else is doing and you're trying not to fall into -- that happens so often in our business. Somebody will hit something and everybody is trying to do the same thing."
The Undertaker continued by discussing how he was able to differentiate himself from the other top stars in wrestling.
"I was fortunate in the sense that my character wasn't that over the top high energy. My energy was different. That's what separated me," he said. "I always kept an eye on what Rock, (John) Cena, (Steve) Austin, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and Ric Flair. Watching all those guys and seeing what they're doing that works. So what is the antithesis to what they're doing that works for me and is true to the character."
The Undertaker will battle Triple H this Saturday at WWE Super Show-Down. Fightful will provide complete coverage of the event on Saturday morning.
You listen to the full interview with The Deadman and Pastor Young above.