The uncensored history of The Undertaker’s locker room group: The Bone Street Krew
Part I: Origins
At the end of a grueling match, The Undertaker always pulls down the straps on his singlet, revealing the phrase “BSK Pride” across his abdomen. What do those letters stand for, and why was it so important that Undertaker wanted it tattooed on him for all to see? If you believe the Internet rumors, it’s for The Bone Street Krew, a collection of Superstars brought together in the 1990s by The Deadman to counter Shawn Michaels’ Kliq. Of course, as is usually the case with sports-entertainment gossip, that’s not the whole story. For the first time ever, WWE.com spoke with the members of the mysterious BSK to learn why this group came together, and what that meant for The Kliq and the WWE locker room.
With additional interviews by Brian Pellegatto and Joey Styles.
SAVIO VEGA (WWE Superstar from 1993 to 1999, leader of Los Boricuas): Whenever people would ask what the BSK was, I would say, “If I told you, I’d have to kill you.” [Laughs]
HENRY O. GODWINN (WWE Superstar from 1994 to 1999, three-time World Tag Team Champion as one-half of The Godwinns): It stood for the Bone Street Krew. Myself, The Undertaker, Yokozuna, Rikishi, Savio Vega, Brian Adams, Paul Bearer, and Papa Shango [ed note: The Godfather]. Then [Mideon] came up a year later and joined, too.
VEGA: Fuji was with us, too. We called him “uncle.”
THE GODFATHER (WWE Superstar from 1991 to 2002): It’s funny. It was so long ago. I talked to Rikishi a couple of days ago, and it seems like everybody has a different feel for what BSK was.
MIDEON (WWE Superstar from 1996 to 2001, aka Phineas I. Godwinn, member of The Ministry of Darkness): I was already friends with a lot of the guys. I was the last “inductee” into The BSK. You had to have Undertaker and Yokozuna discuss if you could be in. No pressure.
GODFATHER: Me and The Undertaker were friends before. I didn’t know any of the other guys except from what I saw of them on TV. I met them all in WWE. We were just a bunch of guys with similar personalities.
VEGA: When I arrived to the group, they had been there for a year or two, and knowing Yokozuna and Rikishi, I was accepted.
GODWINN: I worked against Undertaker one night on Monday Night Raw. We beat the stuff out of each other. After that night, he took me under his wing. I started riding with Paul Bearer and him. Then my partner came up, and me, him, Paul and Taker were together all the time.
MIDEON: They knew me, and Henry Godwinn was already there, talking about me for a year. So the day I got to WWE, I immediately went out with everybody. It was like my spot in The BSK was waiting for me — almost like I got a scholarship and was going to be their running back. I wasn’t going to be BSK’s No. 1 guy, but I walked in as a starter.
GODWINN: They used to call me Hillbilly Love. Undertaker came up with that. He wrote a song about me. He and Yoko were rapping it one night in the car. How many people can say that Undertaker and Yoko rapped a song about them?
GODFATHER: Everybody thinks that The Undertaker started The BSK, but it was actually Yoko. Yoko was always the mouthpiece at the time. Yoko would talk like a gangster. One time he said, “BSK. Bone Street Krew in the house!” That was Yoko starting it.
JBL (WWE Legend, third-party to both The Kliq and The BSK): The rest of the locker room never found out what it meant. You’re not going to ask, ’cause they’re not going to tell you. Nobody was willing to ask.
GODFATHER: We were a bunch of guys that hung out together, rode together, listened to the same type of music, did the same things at night … and we played dominoes. The Godwinns didn’t play dominoes. Savio played. But the ones that definitely played were me, Rikishi, Yoko and Undertaker. (Image of the group together on Godfather’s Twitter)
SHAWN MICHAELS (WWE Hall of Famer, member of The Kliq): Much like The Kliq, they were just guys that hung out with each other. At some point, after guys had stirred up the locker room about The Kliq, all of those guys got BSK tattoos.
VEGA: My wife and I went to the Florida Keys for our anniversary, and that’s when I said, “I want a tattoo.” We got a little tattoo for us. When we got home to Puerto Rico, I got interested in tattoos. On the right arm, I have a couple of things, like a spider and a web. I said to the guy, “On this side, I want you to put BSK.” I arrived to the arena, and I said, “OK, I got my tattoo. I want to see more tattoos.”
GODFATHER: I was like, “Man, we’ve all got to get these tattoos.” We all had tattoos anyway. I had this demon on my back. He’s got really big hands, and across his knuckles, it says BSK. It’s really cool.
GODWINN: You had to come up with your own thing. Mine is on my leg and it’s in a design that says BSK. Having that put on you, you must have been pretty tight guys.
MIDEON: I got two. I got a dagger on my arm. A couple of years later, I got the letters on my neck. Obviously, The Undertaker has the biggest one. He always takes his singlet off at the end of a match, and when he does, bam, there’s the tattoo.
VEGA: Undertaker got it tattooed on his belly big time. Yoko said he was going to have a small one on his arm or hand. Rikishi never did. But I was the first one to have BSK tattooed on me.
Unseen photos of The Undertaker
Part II: BSK vs. The Kliq
When The Kliq took its infamous “Curtain Call,” and broke sports-entertainment tradition by hugging in the ring before Scott Hall and Kevin Nash left for WCW, the myths of animosity between The Kliq and BSK reached Hatfield vs. McCoys territory.
JBL: I hate to dispel the myths about all these groups that were warring back in the day, but they weren’t warring back in the day. I was in the locker room with all these guys. The BSK, to my knowledge, never had a problem with The Kliq. Really, nobody did.
MIDEON: Everybody knows those two groups, but there’s nothing wrong with either of them. They’re different. The Kliq is like the jocks against the garage band guys. It was white collar vs. blue collar.
GODWINN: It was funny because even people in the office and the fans thought there was animosity between The Kliq and The BSK. But there wasn’t. We would stick up for each other, no matter what.
GODFATHER: I hear stories that there were wars between us and The Kliq. I don’t remember any problems with any group. I don’t think The Kliq would have messed with The BSK in the first place.
MICHAELS: We all hung out at the same places, anyway. We were friendly. At some point, the rumor started that The BSK started because of The Kliq, but I don’t know who started the stirring of the pot that we didn’t get along.
GODWINN: Me and Hunter — Triple H — go way back. We started in WCW together. I was just with Kevin Nash in February, and me and him were reminiscing, telling old stories because we were in WCW together and lived together back then.
VEGA: Before I arrived to WWE, Scott Hall was the one who talked to Vince [McMahon] about me.
MICHAELS: Undertaker and Kevin Nash always got along. Undertaker and Hunter always got along. Kevin and Yoko always got along. Me and Yoko always got along. Me and The Godwinns always got along. Me and Papa Shango always got along …
Diesel got mad and pushed me, so I pushed him back.
GODWINN: My partner and I even went to Shawn’s place in Texas to stay one weekend.
GODFATHER: I had a little problem with Kevin when he came in to WWE. Me, him, Undertaker and some of Diesel’s boys were going up an elevator, and he said something like, “Give me that food or I’ll take it from you.” I said, “Don’t let your height get you in trouble.” That was the only time I ever said anything like that to any of them. We didn’t have problems with them.
VEGA: Let me tell you a story. The bar is closing, and this kid wanted to say hello to Scott Hall. Scott tried to headbutt the kid, so I jumped in and said, “Come on, what are you doing? Let’s go.” I start having fun and laughing my a** off. Diesel and Shawn wanted Scott [to leave], but every time they had him close to the door, I yelled, “Yeah, you better go because this kid said he wants to slap you.” That happened 10 times. One of the times, Diesel got mad and pushed me, so I pushed him back. They finally got Scott inside the car and took off. The next day, some of the BSK guys asked me what happened. They said, “We’re just waiting for them to touch you.” But I saw Diesel that day and everything was cool. The pushing was just in the moment.
MICHAELS: I don’t remember anyone commenting on the [Curtain Call] one way or another. BSK had nothing to do with us getting heat.
GODWINN: We were a little upset. Everybody thought it was a little disrespectful.
MIDEON: Me and my partner, for the very first time, won the [World] Tag Team Titles in Madison Square Garden that night. It was awesome, and all of our friends were watching. Then The Kliq goes and does that and takes away my thunder. [Laughs]
VEGA: All the boys were upset in the back. I had just finished and was in the shower when it happened. But I heard the guys cursing there. I remember British Bulldog was furious. You don’t do that, especially with that war between the companies.
MIDEON: The people who were upset about it, like Yoko and Undertaker, gave them the stink eye. Hunter took all the brunt of that heat, and took it like a man.
The Kliq talks about the Curtain Call
Part III: Protecting WWE
As some of the more senior members of the WWE locker room, The BSK all had the same goals in mind — and they’d do whatever they needed to preserve them.
GODWINN: The problem back then was attitudes. New guys would come in and think that because they had a pair of boots and some trunks that they were it. We were loyal to the company. I broke my neck for this company, so I felt like I had room to talk a little bit. I earned the respect of Vince McMahon and everybody in the office. I always wanted to keep it that way.
VEGA: We never had to fight anybody. All the time, we represented the company. We took care of each other. We took care of some of the guys who crossed the line. We took care of them because we came from the same company, and we didn’t want to let the company look bad.
JBL: There was definitely a commonality between the guys. They were very big, very, very tough. Every one of those guys are very good and very fair guys. They’re not guys who push their weight around or segregate themselves to the VIP section. These were guys you didn’t want to mess with.
GODWINN: We had the same sort of temperament. Nobody was loud. Nobody in the group really got out of control.
GODFATHER: [Laughs] People always want me to tell stories, but my stories will get guys in trouble.
Undertaker grabbed them by the throat.
MIDEON: We were in Germany. Have you ever seen the picture of The BSK, Shawn Michaels, “Stone Cold” and everybody on the bus? That was a breakthrough night. Everybody was just having fun and intermingling. After that, we were at the bar, and this wrestler who was with us got into a fight with this big German guy. They tumble back through the bar into this doorway, and into a cement wall by a set of stairs. I’m trying to pull them apart, and I swear to God, it was like a John Wayne movie: The doorway lit up and The Undertaker came walking through it. He grabbed both of them by the throat with one hand and posted them against the cement wall. He took the wrestler out of the bar and gave him a talking to.
VEGA: In the locker room, everybody was listening to what Undertaker said, because he was the company man.
MICHAELS: Undertaker didn’t care for the way I acted sometimes, but he loved being in the ring with me as I did with him. He was disappointed that I had such a bad attitude back then. To have the friendship that we have now is extra special.
Michaels on the lost years of his career | Photos: HBK vs. Undertaker at WrestleMania
GODFATHER: Undertaker is the coolest dude in the world.
MIDEON: In a weird way, I do things with this thought in the back of my mind: Would he be cool with me doing this? You don’t want to disappoint him. If we ever had any problems, we had Yoko and The Undertaker to help us solve them. They could walk into the office, where we’re never going to spend a ton of time talking to Vince. They did, and they helped us.
VEGA: We were never troublemakers. The BSK was known in the company big time.
Part IV: The End
With the Monday Night War enticing Superstars like Kevin Nash and Scott Hall to leave WWE for WCW, The BSK stayed loyal to WWE before eventually going their separate ways.
GODWINN: We called a meeting. It was right after one of the WrestleManias. Some people in the locker room weren’t happy. The BSK got together as a group, and we decided to stay in WWE.
VEGA: Why leave? Why be a troublemaker? Plus, we learned from The Undertaker — he had more time there than us. So we were going to come to do what we were brought to do, and we were going to deliver.
MIDEON: What we do is like going to war. These people that you’re on the road with, you’ve got to make sure it’s people that are going to be there for you.
GODFATHER: All of us would be there for that other person if they needed us. We stayed friends, and that’s something we made through WWE that has lasted. I miss all those guys. I would do anything in the world for those guys.
GODWINN: Hell, we would’ve taken a bullet for each other. Undertaker and Yoko were the leaders and we were the soldiers.
VEGA: When my contract ended, I went to Taker and said, “Bro, I’m finished.” He said, “What do you mean finished? Let me talk to them and get you two more years.” I said, “No, we’ve got something we’re going to do in Puerto Rico.” So he asked, “You sure? Come on, two more years.” But that was it for me. I appreciate him trying to help me.
MIDEON: It’s your best friends. It was literally 280 days a year, so we were with each other almost three-quarters of our lives. You become family. You become brothers. We became tighter.
GODFATHER: We were close friends. Everybody had everybody’s back. I’m still in touch with everybody.
VEGA: It was a crew that was a brotherhood, more than anything. We took care of the business because it was our job. We loved this business. We enjoyed entertaining the people. But if you ask me, “What is BSK?” I’ll have to kill you, bro.
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