An Open Letter to The Undertaker from an ardent fan
For almost three decades now, you have held the WWE Universe captive with your ethereal persona. The sound of the gong, the mystical walk, the epic storylines and the brutal matches are the tools through which you have captivated and enthralled the Pro Wrestling world.
How did you manage to make your gimmick work for over a quarter of a century, Taker? How did you manage to stay relevant for so long? How did you manage to continuously morph and change with time?
Children who saw you for the first time in the year 1990 are now parenting kids. Superstars have come and gone, but you stayed on.
There is this one thing that sets you apart from the rest. You gave us the feeling that you were a perennial part of the WWE but most importantly, a perennial part of our lives. In a world where everything is fleeting, you gave us the comfort that your character was indestructible and you would carry on forever.
We could turn to you for solace and find light in the ‘Prince Of Darkness’.
And of course, the memories that you have provided will stay on for posterity. That Hell In A Cell match against Mankind where you threw him from the top of the cell drawing gasps from the capacity crowd, that brutal Last Man Standing match against Batista at Backlash when both of you pounded each other and neither of you answered the ten count. And of course, that epic Streak Vs Career match against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXVI where both of you took us on an emotional roller coaster ride. Then came that vicious encounter with Triple H at WrestleMania XXVIII, where both of you pushed each other to the limits of endurance before you went 20-0.
And then, that fateful night at WrestleMania XXX when the unthinkable happened. When Brock Lensar ended the only constant at WrestleMania for over two decades- The Streak. All of us thought that something had gone wrong. You were not supposed to fall at WrestleMania!
All of us felt that way. But you did. It was the first time when we felt that you were mortal. It was the first time that Father Time was slowly but stealthily raising his ugly hood.
And then, came that match against Roman Reigns. You were battling not one, but two opponents in this match. One was Reigns and the other was Father Time. After more than 20 minutes, Reigns delivered another thunderous Spear and your shoulders were counted for the three-count for the second time at WrestleMania.
And after the match, when you left your iconic hat, gloves, and coat in the center of the ring, we all bid a tearful goodbye to you. We all thought that you were gone and the gong shall never strike once again. It was another perfect moment to walk away. You had put a young star over and your loss had symbolically proven that no Superstar was above the Sport.
But then, you came back again and wrestled John Cena at WrestleMania XXXIV. I really don’t understand what this match could have done to both of your careers. That squash match ended up damaging both your legacies.
And then, came another lackluster performance against Triple H at Super Showdown. You were nowhere close to your best and it was disheartening to see two legends deliver a forgettable performance. And if Super Showdown in Australia was any indication, then your performance at Crown Jewel indeed confirmed that you were indeed well past your prime.
And then Taker, came the worst disaster of all. Your 'Once in a Lifetime' bout against Goldberg. It was hyped as the clash between two legends, a match that pitted two of the most dominant forces in Pro Wrestling against one another.
But then, what transpired in the ring was another disastrous performance from you. It might well go down as the worst match of your illustrious career. It was a match filled with botches and both of you could have legitimately killed each other in the ring.
And, that brings me to the final part of this letter. You see Taker, the toughest thing for a fan is to tell his hero to stop. And I, like millions of others, grew up venerating and worshiping you. And while we might delude ourselves into believing that another blockbuster performance from you is just round the corner, I feel that it is never going to come. You have no peak left to scale and absolutely nothing to prove to anybody.
And so Deadman, and I say this with tears in my eyes. It is time for you to walk away into the sunset and bring down the curtains on your unprecedented career.
REST IN PEACE Taker, for you deserve to, after entertaining us for almost three decades.
- From an ardent fan of yours