Undertaker artifacts from the WWE vault

Bat wings from Survivor Series 1996

Mick Foley is a sentimental favorite of the WWE Universe today, but when The Hardcore Legend debuted in WWE in 1996, he was a dangerous lunatic known as Mankind. Quickly targeting The Undertaker upon his arrival, the masked maniac pushed The Deadman to his edge in bizarre stipulation matches like the Boiler Room Brawl and a macabre Buried Alive Match. (WATCH) Mankind even played a part in Undertaker’s most infamous betrayal when manager Paul Bearer turned his back on The Phenom at SummerSlam 1996.

Leading into a return match against his deranged rival at November’s Survivor Series, The Undertaker was in the strange position of underdog. He had been devastated and deceived and the WWE fans in New York City’s Madison Square Garden had seemingly lost faith in his abilities. And then he entered. Avoiding his usual funeral march from the entryway, The Demon from Death Valley descended from the rafters of The World’s Most Famous Arena with his arms spread open wide in entrance attire that resembled bat wings. (WATCH) It was a stunning image to behold and a moment that made it clear that the Superstar who once terrified the WWE Universe was now its greatest hero.