Before he was The Undertaker, the supernatural entity of WWE, Mark Callaway worked the territory scene and was a well-known figure in the Continental Wrestling Association referred to as the Memphis territory.
While there, The Undertaker worked under the guise of the Master of Pain and was managed by Dutch Mantell.
Back then, it was not uncommon for wrestlers to hit the road, traveling from state to state performing shows. More often than not, two or more wrestlers would carpool.
On a recent episode of Smack Talk with Rick Ucchino, Dutch Mantell recalled a road trip he had with The Undertaker from Louisville to Nashville that nearly ended with both men being arrested at gunpoint.
"We were coming back, we'd wrestled in Louisville, Kentucky. We were driving back to Nashville, it's about 160 miles, and we were driving down the road, we had another guy in the car with us. All of a sudden, we were almost to the Tenessee line and the lights come on...Kentucky trooper pulled us over. Taker was driving, I said, "Are you speeding?", and he said, "No!". So when he pulled us over, we moved over to the side and the spotlight comes on.
"You don't usually expect that, and then on the loudspeaker he said, "Driver of the vehicle, with your left hand reach over pull the key out of the ignition and drop them on the pavement!". So he (Taker) did and then he said, "Driver of the vehicle, exit the vehicle with your back facing this way and walk backwards", and I went, "What the hell! This is not like any traffic stop! What are they looking for?", and I look back and there is Mark walking back and there is the cop on his knees with a gun and he was aiming it at Mark," said Dutch Mantell
Both men were cuffed, with both city and state patrols being present at the scene. They were released only after their car had been torn apart. Weeks later, Dutch Mantell would find that the cops were looking for a gun after a call had come in identifying their car as possible transport for a drug run.
It is an amazing story and real-life experience that would leave many scared for their lives, and even more amazing to hear how both Dutch and The Undertaker got through it.
The Undertaker recently announced his retirement from WWE
In and around November last year, the wrestling world lost an integral part of its community, as Mark Callaway decided to retire the infamous Undertaker character. Having wrestled for more than 33 years, it was time to hang up the iconic gear.
Callaway spent years living and breathing the character of The Undertaker and it was an honor to watch him perform.
WWE conducted an official retirement ceremony at Survivor Series, exactly 30 years on from when The Undertaker first debuted at Survivor Series 1990. It was a short ceremony which was attended by many of his colleagues.
The Undertaker will forever hold a place in the hearts of wrestling fans and will surely join the Hall of Fame one day. It was great watching all the performances he gave us over the years.
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