the undertaker He is an all-time WWE legend. After a career with the company that spanned three decades (with him still a part of the promotion after his retirement), he feels synonymous with Vince McMahon’s pro wrestling empire. However, he wasn’t always under the WWE banner, in fact, he initially wrestled in WCW.
It seems strange that someone who would become so loyal to WWE was ever part of its biggest rival, but he was in fact a wrestler there for a while. There are certain things fans should know about The Undertaker’s time in WCW, being quite different from his WWE career in every way.
10 Terry Funk gave him his name
Before Mark Calaway became famous around the world as “The Undertaker”, he first wrestled under other ring names. Texas Red, Master Of Pain and The Punisher made up his first names, but when he came to WCW he became “Mean” Mark Callous.
It was the legendary Terry Funk who would give The Undertaker this name, which he revealed in his book – Terry Funk: more than just hardcore. It was a good play on The Undertaker’s real name, making it feel intimidating but also fitting in with the slightly silly names of that era.
9 He loves pet snakes and Ozzy Osbourne
The Undertaker’s first gimmick in WCW wasn’t too well thought out, and WCW’s Jim Ross’s comment describing his character will show just how vague the ideas were for “Mean” Mark Callous.
On the announce table, JR’s description read that he was someone who loved to keep snakes as pets and enjoyed Ozzy Osbourne’s music. While this was a pretty decent way to gauge what kind of lazy character he was, it wasn’t enough to make him stand out.
8 Replaced Sid Vicious
The Undertaker’s first foray into WCW saw him enter the tag team The Skyscrapers alongside Dan Spivey. The Undertaker wasn’t the first man to be in this duo, as he actually replaced the injured Sid Vicious (someone he would later move on to in the main event). wrestling against).
The Skyscrapers were a dominant duo, remaining undefeated until Sid’s injury. When Undertaker stepped in to fill the void, the pairing was not as successful as the original act, likely due to Undertaker being a less prominent name at the time.
7 The masked skyscraper
The Skyscrapers tag team was cursed. After The Undertaker and his partner Dan Spivey finally got some traction in WCW with wins and a feud with the legendary Road Warriors, whom they attacked and ambushed at Clash of the Champions, the team was dealt another blow.
The Undertaker was ready for the biggest match of his career against the Road Warriors in FightWar in a Street Fight, but Spivey left WCW days before. This meant that a masked Blake Beverly took over the role of the “Masked Skyscraper”. The original team was now completely unrecognizable, and this alliance lasted for only one match.
6 Excursion to NJPW
It was very common for WCW names in this era to take a jaunt to NJPW or elsewhere to gain some experience and freshen up, and that was exactly what happened with The Undertaker after his stint with The Skyscrapers tag team in 1990. .
Wrestling as “Punisher Dice Morgan”, The Undertaker mixed in the ring with names like Masahiro Chono, Masa Saito, Shinya Hashimoto, Scott Hall, Bam Bam Bigelow and more, no doubt gaining life experience.
5 paul heyman type
When The Undertaker returned from NJPW, he was repackaged as a dominant singles competitor, and assigned a manager to assist him, none other than Paul E. Dangerously, later known as Paul Heyman. It’s true, The Undertaker was at one point a Paul Heyman guy before he was cool!
This certainly gave The Undertaker some boost given Heyman’s talents on the mic, though the alliance was unfortunately rather short-lived and didn’t really go anywhere in the long run.
4 First singles PPV match against John Laurinaitis
While The Undertaker’s first PPV match was against the Road Warriors, his first PPV singles match came a bit later, and it was against another recognizable name: Johnny Ace, aka John Laurinaitis.
Under the shortened name of simply “Mean Mark”, The Undertaker defeated Laurinaitis at capital bout 1990 in just over 10 minutes. This was designed as a spread pumpkin to make the young star look good, and while she did her job, it wasn’t anything special.
3 Challenged for the United States championship
WCW saw the first time The Undertaker competed for a title in wrestling, and it was the historic United States Championship that he first targeted, even competing for gold on PPV.
He approached iconic champion Lex Luger, who remains to this day the longest-reigning United States Champion of all time, in a losing effort in 1990. great american party event.
2 heat with ole anderson
On paper, it looked like The Undertaker was gradually climbing the card in WCW, and with some good in-ring talent and commanding size, it looked like he was poised to be a star. However, WCW booker Ole Anderson did not believe this was the case.
Ole Anderson is famous for saying that The Undertaker would never make a penny out of WCW. Jim Ross on his Grilling JR podcast explained how he liked Undertaker, but clearly others didn’t see what he did; “I always thought I had it all. He is 6’9″, athletic, tough and durable. He just hadn’t had the right trick. And sometimes when you’re like Ole he didn’t like you. I do not know why. (H/T 411 Hobby)
1 dream match vs. Sting
For many years, fans clamored for a dream match between two all-time icons in Sting and The Undertaker, and even when WWE had a chance to pull the trigger, they didn’t.
Back in WCW though, this match actually happened. In fact, it happened at The Undertaker’s last WCW match in late 1990 on a house show when he challenged Sting for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, even though only a few people saw it.