I’m going to say that for my money, the Undertaker is the most interesting character that professional wrestling has ever created. From his beginnings, he was touted as a dead human being whose powers came from an urn in the possession of the Undertaker’s manager, Paul Bearer. Luckily, WWE and the Undertaker evolved into something a little less hokey, but still extremely cool.
After Paul Bearer was buried by the Undertaker in the concrete crypt at the Great American Bash in 2004 – a match found on the DVD – the Undertaker went solo. I thought he had done away with the urn, but it was still in use as of the Deadman’s feud with Randy and Cowboy Bob Orton.
This DVD is not a documentary, and short video packages in between matches are all have a kayfabe voiceover from the Undertaker, talking about reaping souls and burying bodies.
No material on this DVD comes from his American Badass days.
Additionally, none of these matches appeared on the Tombstone DVD that WWE put out several years ago.
There really isn’t a horrible match on here. Some matches aren’t the best, but since they’re all gimmick matches, they don’t need to be technical masterpieces. In fact, I thought the last man standing match between the Undertaker vs. The Great Khali from SmackDown in 2006 was actually pretty good. This brawl hid Khali’s in-ring weaknesses, and Taker had enough experience to make Khali look way better than he really is.
One thing I’m glad we don’t see in the WWE anymore is steel chair shots to the head. Some of these done to Randy Orton, The Big Show, and Mr. Kennedy just look plain sick, and I’m glad WWE has banned them in the wake of the brain damage of the late WWE superstars Chris Benoit and Test.
Finally, I have just one question:
How good is Justin Roberts at announcing the Undertaker to the ring?
Top 5 favorite matches from this DVD
Undertaker vs. Mankind – King of the Ring 1996
This was more of a wrestling match, compared to their Boiler Room Brawl at Summerslam 1996. I really enjoyed seeing these two in action inside a ring, as I can’t really recall too many straight wrestling matches between the two.
Undertaker vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin – Buried Alive Match at Rock Bottom 1998
These two are definitely in my top five favorite stars of all time, so naturally I put this in here. After a huge fight between the two, Kane shows up out of the gravesite, Austin brings out an excavator, and eventually buries the Undertaker underneath a ton of dirt while shouting obscenities at the operator for not doing it fast enough.
Undertaker vs. Randy Orton – Hell in a Cell at Armageddon 2005
I’m glad Cowboy Bob didn’t stick around in the WWE too long after this match. This was a real shining match for Orton in becoming a breakout star, taking a lot of punishment before getting on the cusp of victory, only to fall to the Undertaker in the end. It was a great story of revenge for the Undertaker.
Undertaker vs. Mr. Kennedy – First Blood Match at Survivor Series 2006
I love logic-based wrestling, and this was probably the most logical match on the DVD. Again, this was a big brawl where the Undertaker just unleashed on Kennedy, trying to get him to bleed one way or another. In the end, MVP cost the Undertaker the match, who was irate and destroyed Kennedy afterward.
Undertaker vs. Edge – Hell in a Cell at Summerslam 2008
This match was the final big match in their series that year, with Undertaker giving the receipt for all of Edge’s past sins. The video package leading up to this was the best one on the DVD set, highlighting how Mick Foley helped Edge bring out his dark side. The match was a solid effort from both, with a cool chokeslam through two tables. But the ending was too hokey for me, with the normal camera switching to look like a motion picture as Undertaker images peppered the screen. When Taker chokeslammed Edge, fire came up from the ring, signaling that he had been “chokeslammed to Hell!” as JR would say.
Overall, if you are an Undertaker fan, this is worth it. There are some good matches on here if you don’t own them already, and some of them might surprise you in terms of quality.