Undertaker's struggle to say goodbye documented perfectly in Last Ride: Chapter 3
- Undertaker's wife Michelle McCool reveals how he's stuck in a vicious cycle
- The Undertaker & Kane vs Triple H & Shawn Michaels match is addressed
Two weeks ago, the WWE Universe was given an incredibly rare peek behind the curtain into the career of the most enigmatic WWE Superstar of all time in Undertaker: The Last Ride Chapter 1 - The Greatest Fear, with Chapter 2 - The Redemption, being equally raw and revealing.
The Last Ride documents the past few years of Undertaker's career, from 2017 onwards, with Chapter 1 focusing on The Streak ending and Undertaker's WrestleMania match against Roman Reigns. The second chapter would focus on Undertaker's inner struggle to stay away following that match, his subsequent surgery, and his return to face John Cena, as well as his close, personal relationship with Vince McMahon.
Undertaker: The Last Ride - Chapter 3
Chapter 3, aptly named The End of an Era, takes us just past the halfway point of this five-part series and challenges much of the suggested undertones of this documentary head-on, not least Undertaker's struggle to find that perfect final match, and how The Deadman has entered into a vicious cycle of having to redeem himself for matches that don't live up to his own personal standard.
We kick right back off from the finale of Chapter 2, and Undertaker discussing his match with John Cena.
"Professionally, it was fine. Personally, it left me a little empty."
Undertaker reveals that if the John Cena encounter wasn’t a three-minute match, he could have walked away - but reveals that the shortness of the match left him feeling hollow and that he had more left to give.
One of the true highlights of the chapter comes at the start of the show with Undertaker asking his daughter, “Are you okay that I beat John Cena?” before she says she can't believe her dad won, with Calaway revealing how she's only been awake during his losses.
Undertaker reveals how Cena is his daughter's favorite wrestler and, "Great," now he has to care about John Cena's feelings.
The episode then takes us on a whistle-stop tour of Undertaker's next few matches, beginning with the Casket Match in Saudi Arabia against Rusev. "It’s kind of an honor to be invited there," Taker says, revealing how he's always slightly apprehensive about how different people across the world will react to his character, given the association with death.
The Deadman reveals how the reception “never gets old" and "keeps an old guy young" - which is echoed when discussing his "final match at Madison Square Garden" being a bucket list occasion and special enough for him to cut his vacation short.
"If it’s the last time I’m in the Garden, I’m okay with that because it was a memorable night.”
Then, the structure of this chapter is highlighted wonderfully, as we hear a voice-over from the man who would turn out to be Undertaker's next opponent, Triple H.
"I think those closure moments help if they’re great, but it’s catch 22 because, if they’re great, it makes you want another one.”
That one quote would foreshadow the rest of the chapter, as we learn about The Deadman's friendship with The Game, and how supportive Undertaker was regarding Triple H's relationship with Stephanie McMahon.
This sets us up perfectly for the moment Vince McMahon calls Undertaker to pitch his final ever match against Triple H for Super ShowDown in Australia, with Undertaker detailing how four matches stand out for him in his career - two with Shawn Michaels and two with Triple H.
Undertaker reveals his envy for Shawn Michaels for having “the John Elway retirement” from the ring.
“I’m so envious of Shawn because he was able to walk away from it, he was good with it. Do I wish I had that clarity? Absolutely. I absolutely wish I had that clarity.”
We then take a trip down memory lane, with Undertaker, Triple H, and Shawn Michaels talking about that kayfabe-shattering moment at WrestleMania where the trio embraced in the ring following the Hell In A Cell Match, then again at the top of the ramp.
They reveal how it happened organically, while Triple H hails it as one of his favorite moments of all time. The Deadman details how The Game had the photo made for all three men, and a framed copy signed by all three with a piece of Shawn Michaels' referee shirt hangs above his gym.
Fast-forward to Australia and we see Undertaker playing Gin with Larry Heck and Taker reveals how he's made certain people leave the room due to being bad luck - namely Hornswoggle, Big Show, and Tony Chimel.
It's revealed that Undertaker vs Triple H in Australia left Undertaker feeling satisfied, that they'd done the job they set out to do and set us up for the next act, and we start to see the build for the critically panned tag team match in Saudi Arabia.
The most hilarious moment of the chapter comes as we see a behind-the-scenes recording of Kane and Undertaker cutting their promo on Michaels and Triple H, with the Big Red Machine saying, "We have three words for you..." before the Deadman bellow, "Go f*** yourself," and Kane does the D-X crotch chop!
Undertaker and Kane's friendship is documented, with the latter thanking The Deadman for the major role he's played in his career, noting their first Wrestlemania match as his favorite of all time, and Undertaker paying the highest compliment in return.
"He's one of the few guys I’d ever let hold my wallet if I had to."
The finale is set up perfectly, as Triple H reveals his shock at his best friend agreeing to the match.
"Was I surprised Shawn came out of retirement? 100%"
We then run through some sit-down interviews of Triple H saying how they all believed the match would be comfortable, easy, a night off, and a piece of cake before The Game says, in hindsight, it was destined to fail when you have two once-a-year guys, a retired wrestler, and a mayor in the ring.
“It’s like a bad comedy movie, it really is. It couldn’t have gone any worse."
Undertaker calls the match a "total train wreck" and "a disaster” before Michaels says, “It totally blew.”
The Deadman reveals how he takes a lot of the responsibility for the match because he had a lot of personal family issues and his head wasn't right, before saying if the match came out the way it was intended, it may have been the match that finally gave him closure.
Michelle McCool opens up candidly about how we're now in a vicious cycle of Undertaker either having a good match and wanting another, or having a match he's unhappy with then having to redeem himself.
"Until he gets that closure, I don’t think it matters what happens in the ring."
The chapter is then perfectly summed up by one Jim Ross.
“Father Time don’t do any jobs, Father Time don’t lose any matches.”
The next chapter, which is the penultimate episode, addresses Undertaker's match with Goldberg at Super ShowDown in Saudi Arabia.
Undertaker: The Last Ride, WWE’s new five-episode limited series event, will begin streaming on WWE Network this Sunday:
- Chapters 1 & 2 – Available now on WWE Network
- Chapter 3 – Sunday, May 24 on demand beginning at 10 am ET
- Chapter 4 – Sunday, June 14 on demand beginning at 10 am ET
- Chapter 5 – Sunday, June 21 on demand beginning at 10 am ET
Visit www.wwe.com/wwenetwork for information on how to sign-up