The Undertaker’s character evolved through the years, but it was due to his diligent persistence to present something fresh for the WWE Universe. This took plenty of work and some big risks along the way.
While speaking to WWE The Bump, The Undertaker was asked about fears of The Deadman character growing stale.
The Undertaker’s persona took off like a rocket and he was soon pinning Hulk Hogan for the WWE Title. There was a time years later when he needed to totally change things and turn into the American Badass. There were also stops by Vince McMahon’s office along the way to indicate that a character tweak was needed.
“You know, it took off and it took off fairly fast and then people in less than a year people were really just drawn to it. I’ll never forget it was Survivor Series in Detroit, I was wrestling Hogan for the title and, you know I came out and it was about 60/40. I was a little bit taken back, I was like ‘oh wow this is gonna be awkward,’ but it was just kinda the start. People were so drawn because the character was so different.”
“Fortunately for me I’ve been able to keep my finger on the pulse of the character so when I felt like it was getting stale I would go to Vince and say ‘I think we need to tweak this here,’ you can’t continue to do the same thing. Even back then there was too much content. Like, if I’m feeling stale then I know that my audience is probably starting to feel it too.”
The Undertaker then stated that if he hadn’t transitioned into the American Badass character he doesn’t think he “would have made it.” He said the Attitude Era was a “free for all” and he would have “really struggled to keep that character wholesome during that time period.” He was able to keep elements from the Deadman character with the American Badass which helped him return to the Deadman later on.
Taker admitted that he was more nervous before debuting the American Badass character than he was when making his actual debut. It all seemed to work out for him as he has now transitioned into a new version creating an American Deadman character.
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