It's been a long three weeks since the WWE Universe was last 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 3 - which left us on the cliffhanger of Undertaker's struggle for the perfect retirement, and the critically panned tag team match in Saudi Arabia.
If you haven't already, you can watch The Greatest Fear, The Redemption and The End of an Era on WWE Network now, or read all about Chapter 1 here, Chapter 2 here and Chapter 3 here ahead of this Sunday's premiere of the penultimate episode, Chapter 4 - aptly named The Battle Within.
Undertaker: The Last Ride - Chapter 4
Chapter 4 kicks off right back where we ended three weeks ago. A disappointing match between four legends in Saudi Arabia sees Undertaker hit a crisis of confidence, as he cites that personal issues meant his head just wasn't in the ring alongside his body, and that the latter can't carry that kind of match anymore.
"Father time catches up with every single person, that’s just the way it is."
Chilling words from Stone Cold Steve Austin, whose own retirement is detailed later in the episode as Undertaker reveals how he's told Shawn Michaels many times that he should have taken a lesson from both men and retired at the same time as HBK.
"I left Saudi thinking, 'I’m done'."
The Deadman discusses how he's "coming to grips" with the fact that his "days in the ring are numbered" - poignantly revealing that the epiphany will allow him to do things he never could before.
"It's time for me to cash in on the things and be able to do some things that I never would allow myself to do for the sake of the character and the sake of business.”
Before we see what those things are, we're taken on a whistle-stop tour of The Undertaker's career - and life - that saw the character be arguably the most protected in the history of wrestling.
We see archive footage of the late Paul Bearer discussing his relationship with Undertaker and how they traveled together, before we see yet more outtakes of vignettes, with Taker playing pranks on Paul Bearer and the crew, and being jovial in a way we've never been allowed to witness until now.
Bruce Prichard calls Calaway "a true professional in every sense of the word” before Vince McMahon praises the control Undertaker had over his emotion and character, while Bray Wyatt sums it up perfectly.
"There’s this typical thing that people say about this place - that your character‘s personality on television is you turned up to ten, but Undertaker is always on ten."
Calaway reveals, “24/7, I was The Undertaker” before JBL discusses how everyone else took that as a challenge and tried to make The Deadman "corpse" and try to get him to break character. Not least Kurt Angle on a live show, who tells 'Taker he loves him before going in for a kiss!
One of the most interesting branches of this chapter is that we hear the story of Starrcast - the signing in Las Vegas Undertaker had agreed to, but he remains adamant that he was oblivious to the fact that another wrestling company was running a show parallel to the autograph signing, before discussing how he and Vince McMahon fell out over it.
We then see some incredible footage of Undertaker at Axxess with wife Michelle McCool and their daughter, doing some interactive commentary on a match, before The Deadman reveals how he gets a bigger kick out of seeing remnants of his wife's legacy and teaching their daughter about how McCool forged the way for the women of today.
“There’s mommy’s belt!”
That weekend, though, despite not being on the WrestleMania card, Vince McMahon texts Undertaker and asks him to appear on RAW, before 'Taker - the ultimate pro - reveals how he committed the cardinal sin.
“Boss, I didn’t bring my gear.”
The Deadman reveals how he got a flight that night to grab his bag, and made the trip to Texas and back to New York for WrestleMania - where he isn't in a match for the first time in over a decade. Undertaker chats to Rey Mysterio and Bret Hart before hugging Ronda Rousey - but it turns out to be all too much as, after Vince ribs him for not having his gear and for the shirt he's wearing, it's revealed that The Deadman struggled with being too close to the action, but not part of it.
We then hear that word again. Redemption.
Undertaker reveals how Triple H called him to pitch working with Goldberg in Saudi Arabia and the idea of a first-time match with someone of that magnitude was too good to pass up. During the build, we see 'Taker interacting with many of the current WWE Superstars, revealing he set up the camera crew to interview him in the corridor as he "wanted cameos from guys that are over" in the documentary, saying it's nice that they pay their respects to him, before doing a rather dubious Godfather impression.
Then we get into the meat of the episode, THAT match with Goldberg. Undertaker reveals how Goldberg got concussed early on, with Michelle McCool calling the match a "train wreck" and The Deadman reveals how upset he was and how disappointed both he and the WCW legend were.
The true worry, though, was the Jackhammer that saw Undertaker "centimeters away from breaking his neck" - with Michelle McCool saying the most worrying part was that Calaway uncharacteristically admitted to her he was in pain before The Deadman states it was “Really close to being catastrophic.”
The biggest shock in Chapter 4 may be that Undertaker reveals he had agreed to do Extreme Rules already and was trying to think of ways to get out of it, as he thought he'd finally run out of gas - but then the tag team match with Roman Reigns against Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre going incredibly well. "Too well," The Deadman notes.
The final episode is then set up perfectly as Calaway tells Vince McMahon, “I’m done. I’m not there anymore” before the pair discuss the match very candidly. McMahon tells Undertaker, “Mark, I will follow your lead.”
We then see Undertaker walking away with AJ Styles, the one man he reveals he always wanted to work with in Chapter 2, and the pair chat off-camera, before the stage is set for the final episode, which documents The Phenom vs The Phenomenal One's rivalry over the past few months.
Undertaker: The Last Ride, WWE’s new five-episode limited series event, is available to watch on the WWE Network now:
- Chapter 1, 2 & 3 – Available now on WWE Network
- 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
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