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Theories on a Deadman

Theories on a Deadman

It's impossible to know what goes on in the dark recesses of The Undertaker's mind. So we asked the Superstars who know him best to shed light on what it's like to work with The Phenom.

What it feels like to get "Old Schooled"…

"At almost seven feet, he's already taller than you, but when he's got your arm and climbs to that top rope, it's like looking up at a skyscraper that's going to collapse right on your head. The only thing you can do is take the hit. In my opinion, there are plenty of other moves he could do to inflict damage. But he uses the Old School to intimidate. He gets your arm, and riles up the audience. They're shouting for it, and it's a mind game. He's screwing with you, and he's good at it." — Finlay

What it feels like to be on the Undertaker's hit list…

"I figured that I'd gotten rid of him, but obviously I didn't do my job, so I'm going to have to buckle up real tight this time and make sure he don't come back. When possibly the greatest wrestler in the history of the business is seeking revenge on you, it's never pleasant. But I'm prepared, and any time he arrives, I'll be right there—waiting for him. He knows that about me." — Mark Henry

What it feels like to score Undertaker's entrance…

"The thing I remember about writing the music was creating this bell sound. I couldn't find a sound effect that sounded big enough. I needed a BONG, one that sounded as though it could resonate a mile. The original entrance theme sounded like it was being played in a large local church, but now it feels like a gigantic cathedral."  — Jim Johnston, WWE Director of Music

What it feels like to have your career nearly ended by the Undertaker…

"The actual slam itself felt just like any other slam. It wasn't until two days after our Casket Match at Royal Rumble '98 when I felt the repercussions. And it wasn't until a year or so later that I realized it was probably that slam that put me over the edge. I wouldn't ever hesitate getting back in the ring with him, though. Ending the Royal Rumble with him this year was phenomenal, and I would jump at the chance to get in the ring with that guy again. We're total opposites personality-wise, but when we get in there, it's magic. There's very little communication and we both go on instinct." — Shawn Michaels

What it feels like to referee the Undertaker's matches…

"It's an honor to be in the ring with him and, at the same time, it's frightening. It's very hard to look away from 'Taker when he's making his way to the ring. When you look at his opponents, their faces say, ‘I can't believe what I just got myself into.' "
Jim Korderas, Smackdown Referee

What it feels like to get hit with the big boot…

"When I took the big boot, I wasn't thinking about anything other than, ‘Oh sh**, there's a big boot in my face. When you go down, you think, ‘I'll stay here for a while.' " — The Miz

What it feels like to draw the Undertaker's blood…

"When I hit him with the chair at last year's Survivor Series and saw him bleed from his forehead, I was shocked. And that shock quickly turned into concern for my own wellbeing." — Montel Vontavious Porter

What it feels like to design the Undertaker's ring gear…

"The Undertaker has this glare that lets you know you're in trouble. I've missed a few dates for getting his gear done, and I got that look. The first time, I almost cried." — Terry Anderson, Seamstress/Costume Designer

What it feels like to manage the Undertaker…

"The Undertaker and Paul Bearer were just made for each other. Most people don't know, but I'm actually a real mortician. I remember when we defeated Hulk Hogan for the WWE Title—that was unheard of in those days. I don't have the words to express what it was like to stand in the middle of that ring. And I can't believe it's been more than 10 years since his Boiler Room Brawl, when I turned on 'Taker and teamed up with Mankind. I had tears in my eyes that evening. Without a doubt, the Undertaker has the best persona in the history of the business."  — Paul Bearer, Manager/Mortician

What it feels like to face the Undertaker at WrestleMania…

"It's probably not politically correct, but I felt we should have been the main event at WrestleMania 23. Backstage, I was a little boastful, which I got heat for. After our match, I screamed, ‘Follow that!' Sometimes my pride gets me in a little trouble. Even though I lost, I think it was probably the proudest moment in my career." — Batista

What it feels like to be choke-slammed by the Undertaker…

"With a guy that size, my shoot-fighting background gets thrown out the window. Once he grabs my neck, my body is in his hand. It's all him. That's the downside of being a smaller guy. Once he gets a hold of your neck, you get distracted because the crowd knows what's coming and goes nuts. You can feel the energy in the building at that moment. Then the next thing you know, you're being plowed through the mat." — Nunzio

What it feels like to steal the show from the Undertaker…

"Honestly, I have never once felt like I stole the show from him at King of the Ring '98; I felt like we stole the show together. There's never been a second where I thought it was my match. Next year is the 10th anniversary of our Hell in a Cell Match. If I could, I'd do a 10-year anniversary Hell in a Cell Match, and put a definitive period at the end of my career. I'm torn between topping it and leading people to believe I'm going to top it. You'll have your answer next June." — Mick Foley

What it feels like to lose a Casket Match…

"It was a hard-fought battle at 1995's Season's Beatings. It's something that you never forget; how many people can say that they've been stuffed inside a casket before it's time for them to be put in the ground? It's something that a lot of guys have never experienced, but once you do, it'll be burned into your brain for the rest of your life."  — Big Daddy V

What it feels like to drink the Undertaker's tobacco spit…

"How can you shock the Undertaker? Drink his tobacco spit. It was my strategy to shock him, and I did. I also wound up being punched in the face for it. The Undertaker is probably one of the toughest guys in the ring, and he's the only guy that's ever made me tap out in my career. Nothing grosses me out, and I kind of just did it. I have a cast-iron stomach, I guess. But drinking tobacco spit is disgusting and I don't recommend it ever, because I wound up getting sick from it." — Tommy Dreamer

What it feels like to earn the Undertaker's respect…

"Our Ladder Match for the then-Undisputed Title on Raw was brutal. I took some really nasty bumps, but the adrenaline kept me amped. I also was pretty excited to be on the mic, because I haven't had a lot of mic time in my career. Calling the Undertaker back to the ring, I remember leaning against the ropes all beat up. I always get goosebumps seeing it. After he raised my hands, I think that was one of the best moments I've ever had in the ring. Not only did I gain the Undertaker's respect, I gained more respect from the fans because I just wouldn't stay down. I kept getting up. For him to come raise my hand was mind-blowing, man." — Jeff Hardy

What it feels like to beat the Undertaker…

"To this day, the fact that the Undertaker beat me at WrestleMania is a thorn in my side, a chip on my shoulder. But I do have some wins over the Undertaker, including a Casket Match at No Mercy 2005, and it was one of the greatest accomplishments that I've had in this business. The fact that I laid him out and he couldn't sit up on me and give me the eyes in the back of his head, and the fact that he couldn't pin me…those are things you can't take away from me. He's another notch in my belt." — Randy Orton

What it feels like to photograph the Undertaker…

"I would look at him from a distance, and compared to everybody else, he was just a mountain of a man. It's better that he's so huge in terms of photography. I don't have to use camera trickery like shooting low to make him look big." — Roger Erickson, Photographer

What it feels like to be given the Last Ride through the announce table…

"It's scary, and very high-risk. Anything can happen in that moment. And that's why it's called the Last Ride. It's no fun at all. They say that he's timeless—and it's true. No matter how many years go by, he remains The Phenom of WWE. Just like Jason, he keeps coming back." — King Booker

What it feels like to have not wrestled the Undertaker…

"I'm just waiting until the day that I get a chance to step in the ring with him. He's not the most open or outspoken guy, but I've gotten a couple of words of wisdom out of him and they're always gems. I like to call him ‘The Godfather,' because there are people in charge and then there's ‘The Godfather.' And the Undertaker is probably the biggest money draw in the past 20 years. On top of all that, he's a great wrestler. He's gifted physically and he wrestles smart. He is literally the furthest thing from Lex Luger, but he is the total package. He is pro-wrestling." — CM Punk

The above article can be found in its entirety in the November edition of WWE Magazine. Pick up your copy on newsstands today. Or subscribe to WWE Magazine.

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