The Undertaker’s first years in WWE were interesting as there was no character quite like him in the company at the time. As such, there was one person he could turn to for advice.
During a chat with Steve Austin on Broken Skull Sessions on the WWE Network, Undertaker said he would turn to Jake “The Snake” Roberts for advice in his first few years doing the gimmick. Undertaker gave Roberts a lot of credit for being able to give him insight into the character and for his knowledge on cutting promos at a low volume to draw people in.
“Jake. Not so much in my delivery or what I said, but he had such insight into characters. [He was a] brilliant mind. Unbelievable the insight he gave me in how to put that gimmick together. He would tell me, he would listen to Pink Floyd or he would listen Black Sabbath, which that got me, and I probably would get some heat for it, but I would look in the Bible at different verses. Back then, it didn’t bother me as much if I would alter it around a little bit. I started looking outside of the box in how to put all this together and become this character. And he wasn’t even telling me this, but I heard him say this: Once the music starts, you are that person. I probably took it a step further because I stayed that person for the first five, six years. I varied hardly much at all. But he had so many good, innovative ways to put things together and to look at different aspects of the business that no one got. Jake never was a screamer. That was the one thing I knew I wasn’t going to be. I knew it was always going to be a slow, methodical promo,” Undertaker said.
Once Paul Bearer arrived to the scene and became Undertaker's manager, the dynamics of his character in promos changed with Bearer doing a lot of the talking.
“Then, when Paul Bearer came along, then it was easy because he had that high-pitched, creepy thing that people would ‘Ugh’ and then I came in ‘Rest In Peace.’ You had people screaming and hollering. Unless the message is good, they don’t really listen. But when you have someone start talking low, you think, ‘What the hell is he saying? He’s going to put you into the ground and worms eat your rotting flesh?’ It’s just stuff that people hadn’t heard in the wrestling world. Thank goodness that they became enthralled with the darkness and how morbid the stuff was that we were doing and then it really gelled well,” Undertaker said.
If you use any of the quotes above, please credit Broken Skull Sessions with a h/t to Fightful for the transcription.
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