Mark Calaway, better known by his ring name The Undertaker, is a demonic presence that has loomed over the WWE for an incredibly long time. He makes a strong case for the best wrestler the WWE has ever seen, and he is certainly one of the more widely known superstars in wrestling history.
Sporting long black hair, black attire, and a grisly supernatural aura, Undertaker has held dominion over the WWE since before some current superstars were out of diapers. His macabre talents are often used as scare tactics to unease his future opponents, and over the years it has worked to great effect, contributing to some of the greatest winning streaks the sport has ever seen.
If you have any familiarity with wrestling, or don’t happen to live under a rock, The Undertaker probably rings a bell. This recognizable character has seeped through popular culture, and he continues to draw new fans to the world of WWE wrestling to this day.
But, perhaps you’d like to do a little more research on the man before deciding upon your fan allegiances? Well, that is precisely what this article is designed to do! What follows are the ten incredible statistics about the Undertaker that you don’t want to miss:
10. He Held a 21-Match WrestleMania Winning Streak
WrestleMania is the cornerstone of WWE wrestling events. Anytime a wrestler emerges the victor at a WrestleMania event, it’s a victory they hang their hat on. The WWE typically uses it as a platform for their storylines. Over the years, WrestleMania has been the crescendo of many feuding superstars.
The incredible sense of hype and pressure that comes before each WrestleMania event makes The Undertaker even more impressive. Beginning with WrestleMania VII, Undertaker is responsible for the longest WrestleMania winning streak in wrestling history with 21 straight victories. It didn’t matter who his opponent was, The Undertaker was an unstoppable train in the WrestleMania arena. He set up superstars and knocked them down like bowling pins, eliminating the likes of Kane, Triple H, Ric Flair, Randy Orton, Big Show, and CM Punk. His train eventually derailed during WrestleMania XXX when he lost to Brock Lesnar, but he has since hopped back on and pushed his WrestleMania record to 22-1.
9. He’s Been Ranked in the Top 10 for PWI 7 Times
The Pro Wrestling Illustrated newspaper is a prestigious print operation that comes out with a list of the top 500 wrestlers every single year. A wrestler’s placement on that list is a great indication of their success during that corresponding year. The list has a lot of turnaround, as it is based on yearly performance rather than overall career success. It’s not unheard of that a wrestler within the top 10 one year completely falls out of the top 50 the next.
The constant rollercoaster ride of certain wrestler’s rankings makes the Undertaker’s 7 top-10 placements especially noteworthy. He’s had stretches of three years or more within the upper echelon of wrestling, meaning The Undertaker is incredibly consistent in his greatness.
8. He Has 5 Signature Finishers
While many can get caught up and argue the merits of professional wrestling being labeled a true sport, one thing is undeniable. The wrestlers strive to put on a good show. While this sometimes leads to wonky storylines pushed by the WWE to build up the drama behind the match, the action inside the ring is the bread and butter of the league’s success. Wrestlers pander to the fans by performing patented moves and athletic maneuvers that we have a hard time believing any average person could pull off.
This strive towards entertainment has made many wrestlers think about their portfolio of wrestling moves more so than ever. It’s even common for wrestlers to have multiple moves. The Undertaker, for instance, has a collection of 5 signature finishing moves. These fan-geared moves include: the Chokeslam, Hell’s Gate, Last Ride, Tombstone Piledriver, and the Triangle Choke.
7. He’s Been in the Game for 25 Years
The Undertaker still wrestles to this day, and is actually one of the WWE’s longest tenured wrestlers. He rivals the likes of Ric Flair with this distinction. Not only has he been doing it for a long time, but he has maintained his level of success, securing his place in history as one of the all-time greats. His career spans 25 years at the time of this article, and we wouldn’t be surprised if he significantly added to the total by the time he hangs it all up.
Making his debut in November 19, 1990, Undertaker initially entered under the ring name Kane the Undertaker. The WWF Superstars segment was not aired live, though Undertaker would quickly earn his first on-air segment a few days later in a Survivor Series. Those tuning in were in store for quite the treat. Undertaker came out of nowhere as a mystery character, unleashing his devastating Tombstone Piledriver finisher on unsuspecting wrestlers before being counted out.
6. He’s Been Married 3 Times
We find statistics that reveal the backdrop of wrestlers’ lives are particularly interesting. Of course, there’s nothing juicier than discovering someone’s past love life, and typically stats that fall into this category are quite telling. As it turns out, Undertaker has grown to be familiar with much more than rings of the wrestling variety. He’s placed wedding rings on three different sets of hands.
He was first married to Jodi Lynn in 1989. The two had a baby boy, Gunner Vincent, in 1993. The two then split up a few years later in 1999, and Undertaker married his second wife in 2000. The two lasted seven years before calling it quits, and the Undertaker once again remarried in 2010, this time to a former wrestler. He and his third wife, Michelle McCool, found a common interest and have been together ever since.
5. The Undertaker is Composed of 2 Separate Identities
The Undertaker is a persona that has taken Calaway to unprecedented success within the WWE. He’s become so big that even those who aren’t wrestling fans have heard of his name. What many of these people don’t know, though, is that The Undertaker is actually composed of two separate individuals.
The Undertaker that we all know and love (read: fear) is the “Deadman”. He’s a play on the undertaker profession, posing as an undead, macabre like being who has supernatural powers. Simply put, he’s the creepy version of Undertaker, the one that most will picture at the mention of his name. The alter-ego of Deadman is “The American Bad-Ass”. Rather than a demonic entity relying on scare tactics, this version is based off of the stereotypical biker. It’s a version that Calaway ran with for three years until eventually returning to the Deadman in 2003.
4. He’s 6’10”
Many wrestlers make their way in the world riding off of their physique. They can get by on subpar characters because their body mass alone is enough to make a lasting impression. While size in wrestling certainly does matter, the Undertaker has proven that he can combine an intimidating physique with an awesome character to bring together the best of both worlds.
The Undertaker stands at an imposing 6’10” and has a billed weight of 299 lbs. While certainly above average by most American standards, in the wrestling world Taker also towers over many of his opponents. That being said, the WWE has seen wrestlers even taller than Undertaker enter the ring. In fact, he doesn’t even make the top 10 of the tallest wrestlers in history. Giant Gonzalez holds the distinction of being the tallest wrestler in WWE history, standing at a ridiculous 7’71/4″ tall.
3. He’s Been the Main Event of 96 Pay-Per-View Matches
The wrestling world as it is today is one highly dependent on fan turn out. This aspect of the business extends far beyond the number of fans filling stadium seats. Today’s society is dominated by media marketing and online and pay-per-view events, which have proved just as crucial to keeping the league afloat.
Undertaker has proven himself to be a Pay-Per-View star, and the league keeps coming back for more. To this day he has participated in 96 PPV main events, meaning his match was the one people purchased the event to see. In total, he has wrestled in 164 PPV events, and we’d venture to say the league will continue to put his name on the card.
2. He Has 2 Movie Credits to His Name
When we think of wrestlers turned actors, the Undertaker is admittedly not the first name that comes to mind. While superstars like The Rock and John Cena have a desirable action hero aura about them, the Undertaker’s creepy vibe doesn’t mesh very well with what Hollywood directors typically envision for their WWE casting calls.
That’s not to say he hasn’t tested his acting chops from time to time. The Undertaker actually has two movie credits to his name, both occurring before 2000. His first appearance was in 1991 in the movie Suburban Commando. Undertaker played the role of Hutch, and acting alongside fellow WWE compatriot Hulk Hogan. In 1999, Undertaker went back to the big screen, this time in a documentary entitled Beyond the Mat. With no movie credits in over 15 years, fans will most likely have to stick to WWE events to see the Undertaker on their television screens.
1. He Wins by Pinfall 73% of the Time
The internet wrestling database credits the Undertaker with just shy of 472 wins throughout his career. While this is certainly an impressive figure, what is perhaps more impressive is that 349 of those wins have been achieved by pinfall. “Pinfall” is a wrestling term used to define a winning condition in which the winner holds his opponent’s shoulders down on the mat until the referee completes a three-count.
It’s the most common form of victory in the WWE, and with 73% of his victories accredited to the move it shows how successful Undertaker is at the wrestling basics. Some wrestlers eschew traditional forms of victory, and shoot for submissions. The Undertaker’s bread and butter is physically manhandling his opponents, forcing them onto the mat after completing a Tombstone Piledriver or any one of his other finishers.
Yet, he keeps his technique fresh and unpredictable as well. 73% is not 100%, after all. In fact, Undertaker has been known to pull off a submission victory. He has 25 of such victories accrued throughout his career.