The Corporate Ministry: A History

Page 2 of 5
January 17, 2013

Prelude to Darkness

Betrayal is the only truth that sticks — Arthur Miller

Knowing precisely what The Corporate Ministry would one day become, it is only appropriate that its roots can be traced back to an act of betrayal. At Judgment Day: In Your House 1998, the infamous Paul Bearer turned his back on his own son, Kane, thus setting in motion the formation of a dark new manifestation in WWE.

At the October pay-per-view, Kane battled his brother, The Undertaker, for the vacant WWE Championship with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin serving as special guest referee. After The Big Red Machine floored The Phenom with a Chokeslam, Paul Bearer entered the fray, steel chair in hand and seemingly ready to strike at the black heart of The Undertaker. Instead of decking The Deadman, however, Bearer leveled The Big Red Monster with the chair, leading to the bout ending in a no contest and Austin declaring himself the winner. In response, an enraged Mr. McMahon ruled that the title would remain vacant.  

The following night on Raw, The Undertaker emerged with his father once again by his side, making it clear that the betrayal of Kane was the first step in Paul Bearer’s journey “home.” The Phenom then delivered a chilling speech, alluding to the start of a dark new era in which a “plague” would be unleashed on WWE.

Calling it his Ministry of Darkness, The Deadman ominously warned that anyone who didn’t “relish the darkness” would feel the terrible repercussions.

As The Ministry of Darkness rose to grim prominence, Mr. McMahon was busy forming his own powerful alliances in an effort to fend off threats to his role at the top of WWE. The Corporation was first introduced to the WWE Universe on the Nov. 16, 1998, episode of Raw, and The Chairman and his son, Shane, were joined by members The Rock, Big Boss Man, Commissioner Slaughter, Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco. Surrounded by such formidable allies, Mr. McMahon certainly felt that he was insulated from any and all threats to his power that might arise.

But The Chairman would prove to be sorely mistaken.

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