SummerSlam 2015 had its fair share of memorable moments, with the guest appearance of Arrow star Stephen Amell, who teamed up with Neville to defeat Stardust and King Barrett, being the proverbial icing on the cake.
However, I’m not here to discuss SummerSlam 2015; more than enough has been said about it already. Instead, I’m going to take you on a journey down memory lane, way back to 1994, where the United Centre in Chicago witnessed one of the most memorable SummerSlam events ever.
Memorable because of its sheer bizarreness, SummerSlam 1994 saw Mark Calaway a.k.a. The Undertaker face off against an imposter. Nothing like it had ever been seen before, and likely nothing like it will ever be seen in the future either.
So let’s retrace the events of that ridiculous incident, or as we like to call it – Undertaker vs Undertaker: The Mystery of SummerSlam 1994.
The Undertaker went on a hiatus for several months after ending up on the losing end of a match against Yokozuna during the 1994 Royal Rumble. Of course, the real reason for Undertaker’s absence was that he was granted leave in order to properly recover from a back injury.
But Vince McMahon, who could easily put some of the best marketing executives to shame, saw a chance to turn this into an opportunity. He arranged for the airing of videos featuring various people, each of whom claimed to have spotted the Undertaker.
Ted DiBiase, who brought The Undertaker into the spotlight back in 1990, stated that he had successfully managed to bring the wrestler back into WWF. But his claims were countered by Paul Bearer, who stated that the Undertaker DiBiase had brought back was an imposter, and that the original one had in fact been located by him.
The hype became so intense that legendary television actor Leslie Nielsen was brought in as his famous character Detective Lieutenant Frank Drebin to help solve the case, albeit unsuccessfully.
Decoding the enigma of Undertaker vs Undertaker
Any WWE fan worth his salt will know that the whole Undertaker vs Undertaker episdoe was rather ridiculous. But the sheer enigma around the event makes it entertaining even today.
The mystery of the Undertakers was solved during the highlight match of SummerSlam 1994. The match began with DiBaise’s Undertaker entering the ring, followed by Bearer pushing a casket forward. Bearer pulled out his trademark urn, which lit up on being opened, after which his Undertaker entered the ring.
DiBaise’s Undertaker, played by Brian Lee, wore nearly identical clothes as the original, but was a dead giveaway (pun intended) due to his voice which was edited in the post production. The match then commenced, with both the Undertakers performing identical moves, but it soon became clear that DiBaise’s Undertaker (the imposter) was no match for the original.
The eight-minute long bout eventually ended after Bearer’s Undertaker finished off his opponent with two Tombstone Piledrivers. The druids appeared after that and put the fallen imposter in a casket and wheeled it away.
The match was of course panned by hardcore fans, who saw it as nothing more than a marketing gimmick rather than an intriguing storyline with the potential of morphing into something bigger. Brian Lee’s Undertaker vanished without a trace, but the wrestler himself made an appearance on WWF in 1997 as Chainz, where he lasted for just a year, after which he lay low for a couple of years before resurfacing on TNA.
In short, Undertaker vs Undertaker: The Mystery of SummerSlam 1994 was rather poorly received. But one thing it succeeded in was carving a niche for itself amongst SummerSlam’s most unforgettable moments.
It’s safe to say that the memory of Undertaker vs Undertaker: The Mystery of SummerSlam 1994 won’t be laid to rest anytime soon.