Undertaker on Becoming the American Badass
… Says ‘Mainstream’ Taker Wouldn’t Have Survived
Speaking with Bill Simmons on his podcast, the Undertaker discussed his 2000 gimmick change to the American Badass persona.
Discussing the change, Taker talked about how the change was needed and it allowed him to expand his character more instead of the more narrow confines of the “mainstream Undertaker” gimmick.
On changing to the American Badass gimmick:
“I don’t think I would have been able to survive the Attitude Era in that mainstream Undertaker character at the time. Because I mean, if you look back at that stuff, there were — the shackles were off, man. There was nothing — the interviews, I mean, they were cutting edge, and they were real. And it would have been tough for me to stay so locked into that. As great as the gimmick is, there’s a lot of confines to the gimmick. There’s a lot of things that I can do and I can’t do. And when you’ve got somebody like Stone Cold out there cutting promos, and Rock calling everything ‘Mickey Mouse’ and [such], they would have ate me alive, you know?”
On the character taking a lot from his real life:
“I mean, yeah. All the bikes, and I rode motorcycles all my life. So yeah, it was just Mark Calloway pumped up a few notches. And it was fun, because it was kind of — it just let me loose for a little while. It let me cut promos, and it let me talk s**t, and it let me do things that I hadn’t been able to do. And then what it allowed me to do is go back to the character, and make that character fresh all over again. But even when I went back to the Undertaker, I retained some of the style that I worked. I kept some of the American Badass style, and I kinda kept interweaving the two characters as we’ve moved along through all these years.”