I have met a lot of wrestlers over the years. Of all living wrestlers, The Undertaker would definitely be in the top few big names I had never met. A few weeks ago, I finally met "the phenom" known as "The Deadman."
The Undertaker debuted in the WWE (then WWF) in November of 1990, but Mark Calaway (the man behind the character) first entered pro wrestling in 1986 with (the now defunct) World Class Championship Wrestling based in his native state of Texas. He has gone on to become a legend and a certain future Hall of Famer.
The Undertaker character is arguably the greatest "gimmick" ever in wrestling. For almost 30 years, Callaway has portrayed The Undertaker, guiding the character through a few tweaks and racking up seven singles world titles, seven tag titles and even a hardcore title. Although he has been a part-timer the last few years, The Undertaker is always a special attraction.
It took a lot of logistic strategy for me to meet The Undertaker. Earlier in the day I was at an appearance by AJ Mendez and Aimee Garcia at Challengers Comic and Conversation in Chicago. I had to race up the expressway to get to the Stephens Convention Center on time. I arrived with about 10 minutes until Undertaker's appearance time, but I still had to get my pass. Thanks to a couple friends, I was able to bypass the line and get to the Undertaker queue on time. It was crazy, but I didn't want to pass the chance to meet him. The Undertaker rarely makes appearances and you never know when it might be his last one.
My friends debate whether it would have been cooler to have him in his traditional Undertaker garb or just as Callaway. To me, it didn't matter either way. I was just happy to finally meet the legend.
My recap can be found at A WWE Superstar Weekend on Patch.com. Thank you to the fine folks at the Sports Sports Spectacular for the hospitality.
The Undertaker and me in Rosemont, IL-November 2019.