During the final installment of “The Last Ride”, Mark Calaway stated he had no desire to return to the ring while leaving the door open as a possibility.
Throughout the series, the theme of finality and chasing that send off has alluded Mark Calaway, the man behind the character of nearly three decades.
The final episode focused on the decision to return at WrestleMania for one more match with AJ Styles and how it evolved into the cinematic-style Boneyard Match.
It was Styles that pitched the idea to Calaway, who ultimately decided to go ahead and do the match. Once the COVID-19 pandemic forced a shut down of live events involving fans, the idea was formed of taking their match outside the Performance Center and onto a plot of land they constructed for the set of the match.
A story that was not known was that on the eve of the shoot, Calaway was alerted of his older brother Tim’s passing from a heart attack on March 24th.
It was noted during the episode that Paul Levesque, Michael Hayes, and Jeremy Borash were among the team producing the match. They added that shooting was stopped early when Calaway put his arm through the window of the hearse and legitimately needed glass removed from his arm before they continued.
Two months after the well-received match, Calaway reflected on the match and his career stating a desire to move on from The Undertaker character and felt that was a great way to go out. He did leave it open with the usual “never say never” and if Vince McMahon was in a pinch and needed him, he would cross that bridge when he gets to it.
While wrestling retirements are taken with a grain of salt by their nature, The Undertaker has flirted with retirement for years with the most pronounced after the loss to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33 where he left his hat and jacket in the ring as a symbolic end to his career.
Calaway, 55, has been playing the character since November 1990 when he was introduced at the Survivor Series that year and became WWF champion for the first time one year later defeating Hulk Hogan.
His legacy will be tied to the WrestleMania streak that began in 1991 and went 21-0 at the event until losing to Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 30 in 2014. During that stretch, he missed WrestleMania in 1994 and 2000. The unofficial streak began in 2007 when Calaway started having some of the best matches of his career on an annual basis at the event beginning with Dave Bautista and continuing with Edge, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and CM Punk.