The dark and mysterious Undertaker has been the most dominant fixture in WWE for over two decades, destroying his enemies on sight in ghoulish fashion. Despite his evil character, The Undertaker has made dozens of companions throughout his long career, some of whom gradually turned into his closest and most enduring lifelong friends. The Undertaker is generally referred to as one of WWE’s preeminent locker room leaders any time he makes the trip backstage, so the number of wrestlers who look up to the Dead Man is almost uncountable. Only a small number have become his friend, though, and most of those lucky few have benefitted from the support of one of wrestling’s most incomparable legends.
Wrestling is a cliquey industry with dozens of deep friendships forming out of the necessity to succeed, and with success like The Undertaker’s, he obviously utilized that networking throughout his career. Undertaker actually was the co-leader of one of wrestling’s most infamous backstage units, the Attitude Era’s Bone Street Crew. Outside of his personal crew, Undertaker also made a select few allies based on similar goals and interests like any other superstar would be expected, let alone any employee working at the same place for nearly three decades in any profession. Predictably, many of The Undertaker’s buddies have seen their careers aided through the relationship, generally by way of getting to work with The Dead Man in the ring. Others only started their friendship with Undertaker once they both reached the top, and those unions often turned into Undertaker’s most memorable of all. Keep reading to learn which 15 superstars danced with the devil onscreen and off in our list of The Undertaker’s closest friends.
Friend or foe, there is probably no wrestler as inexorably connected with the legacy of The Undertaker as his fake onscreen brother, Kane. Kane’s career started several years prior to turning into the Devil’s Favorite Demon, but it wasn’t until he and The Undertaker were connected during the Attitude Era that his legacy truly started to grow. In addition to Kane and The Undertaker spending lots of time together on screen, behind-the-scenes, they developed what Kane later described as a mentor-esque relationship, with the Dead Man helping his TV brother in his career as though their relationship were real.
All things considered, Kane isn’t quite as close with The Undertaker as some of the others on this list. Even though they’ve worked together for nearly two decades and have helped one another’s careers, Kane says the two don’t exactly hang out much when cameras aren’t rolling outside of the mentoring he received earlier in his career. Nonetheless, the two are so regularly attached that they’ve still managed to no doubt develop some level of friendship, one that Kane is grateful for regardless of how often it is expressed.
14 Bret Hart
As a man who gradually began to believe his own boasts that he’s the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be, Bret Hart has been accused of having quite an ego in his retirement, and can be harshly critical of modern wrestlers he doesn’t feel are up to his caliber. This is how we know it means a lot when The Hitman levies praise on The Undertaker as one of Vince McMahon’s greatest creations, and often praises the matches the two of them managed to have together at various points in their career.
The Undertaker has likewise claimed he considered his matches against Bret some of the best in his career, in that they proved he was more than just a powerhouse with a good gimmick, and could also be a serious wrestler when the time was right. Bret is another superstar who might not spend a great deal of time with The Dead Man outside of the ring, but it is clear the two hold a great deal of trust for one another regardless.
13 Jake Roberts
Long before Jake Roberts' life went to complete shambles, and perhaps even while he was on the path towards those shambles, he was considered one of the greatest minds in the wrestling business. Jake was at the peak of this reputation when The Undertaker first stepped foot in WWE, and it wasn’t long before the two were linked together both onscreen and off. Old school fans will never forget Undertaker and Jake crashing the wedding of Randy Savage and Elizabeth, nor could anyone deny the historical importance of Undertaker’s first face turn, when he angrily told Jake Roberts they weren’t on the same side anymore only for the Snake to try and break Undertaker’s hand with his own casket.
Whether they were teaming or feuding on screen, Jake and Undertaker were fast becoming friends off screen, due to a certain ribald habit the two shared. To be fair, it’s not as though they’re the only two wrestlers to regularly penchant strip clubs, and chances are they aren’t the only duo to have blossomed into a strong friendship as a result of them. Jake and The Undertaker also had a long history of drinking together when Taker was younger and Jake’s addictions were still out of control, although eventually Undertaker had to stop keeping up with Jake lest he start looking too much like his character.
12 Savio Vega
Savio Vega made his WWE debut as the mysterious and seriously miscast “Asian” ninja Kwang in the early 1990s, and he didn’t make too many fans or friends when he did it. The Kwang gimmick was dropped entirely in mid-1995 and Vega debuted his far more popular gimmick as a proud Puerto Rican, a total reformation that in many ways saved his career for at least the next couple years. Another thing that definitely helped Vega was that he was one of the members of Undertaker’s Bone Street Krew, and therefore had some high powered friends backstage even when his character wasn’t succeeding.
Vega proved his loyalty to Undertaker and the Bone Street Krew by becoming the first member to tattoo the letters BSK on his body, ultimately inspiring Taker to famously do the same on his abdomen. Even with his more popular gimmick, Vega never quite exceled to a level on the card where an Undertaker feud would have made much sense, but the two did manage to square off in the ring on at least a few occasions. One of Undertaker’s matches with Kwang has even made several of his compilation videos, presumably due to their friendship.
11 Michelle McCool
Michelle McCool went from placing 7th place in the 2004 Diva Search to one of the most decorated female superstars of her day in only seven short years. In what might be a related story, she also married The Undertaker in 2010, only a few short months before she unified the WWE Diva’s and original Women’s Championships. The couple presumably started dating only a short while before that, as McCool’s rise to the top of the women’s division began.
Both Undertaker and McCool have been married before, their nuptials serving as Taker’s third trip down the aisle and McCool’s second. Two years after their marriage, the couple welcomed their first child, Kaia, in August of 2012. McCool retired from wrestling not long after the couple married, and Undertaker has similarly been decreasing his role ever since he started seeing his new wife. Chances are, this relationship serves as Undertaker’s favorite out of any of his famous friends. Obviously, however, it is also one of the few that have virtually never interacted on television for what should be pretty blatant reasons.
10 Henry O. Godwinn
For a simple pig farmer, Henry O. Godwinn was actually one of the best connected people in the WWE locker room during the New Generation. Of course, he didn’t know it at the time, but two of HOG’s best buddies would turn into the biggest stars in company history. The Undertaker was already well on his way there, and Godwinn’s other best friend was Triple H. Focusing on the Dead Man, Godwinn was one of the original members of the Bone Street Krew, achieving initiation to the group after what he described as a particularly stiff match during a Monday Night Raw taping.
Though their friendship was founded on hard shots to the face, Godwinn and Undertaker bonded over their true personalities as Southern bad asses. Undertaker even gave Godwinn a special nickname, “Hillbilly Love,” which was cemented in the form of a freestyle rap performed by Undertaker and Yokozuna. Godwinn only won two WWE Tag Team Championships in his long career, and yet the consolation prize of a rap song about him performed by two WWE icons is probably more than enough to make up for a lack of championship glory.
Say what you will about Dennis Knight: the dude totally looked the part as one of the creepiest worshippers of The Undertaker. It made sense, too, because the man who played Mideon was indeed one of the closest backstage friends of the Dead Man even amongst their fellow members in the Ministry of Darkness (although the real Knight might consider the word “worship” a character choice, to say the least). Mideon was actually the only other member of The Ministry to be a member of the Bone Street Krew, a position he earned after having been invited by his onscreen “brother” Henry Godwinn.
Undertaker and Mideon started working together onscreen when the Dead Man had his Acolytes kidnap the freshly lone Godwinn after Henry O. suffered a career ending neck injury. Undertaker “brainwashed” him into becoming Mideon, in turn causing Mideon to achieve the greatest successes of his solo career. Mideon was even awarded the WWE European Championship from Shane McMahon, although all he had to do to win it was ask. Perhaps that was all he had to do to his famous friends backstage, as well.
8 Triple H
The wars between Triple H and The Undertaker have been so hyped up by WWE that it was considered “The End of an Era” when they allegedly did battle for the final time at WrestleMania 29. The long saga between two of WWE’s predominant legends began 12 years earlier at WrestleMania 17, although in many ways it was destined from the day Triple H set foot in WWE with his ambitious goals in mind. In stark contrast to their many battles onscreen, Undertaker and Triple H have built a strong respectful friendship with one another, proven by The Undertaker when he supported Triple H through some of his most tumultuous professional moments.
Long before it was clear how much he would ultimately benefit from it, Triple H was making an extremely risky move by dating his boss Vince McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie. Vince went back and forth on the relationship on a personal level, and that doesn’t even begin to mention how suspicious the majority of the wrestling industry was of Triple H’s intentions. The one person who stood by the two and their romance from the start was The Undertaker, who always believed Triple H both wouldn’t do anything to harm his career, and was talented enough that he wouldn’t need to resort to political games to mark his legacy.
The repeated mentions to the Bone Street Krew throughout this list have been calling The Undertaker the co-leader of the group, and Yokozuna makes up the other half of that leadership. Yokozuna died tragically young, and yet he was able to carve out an impressive legacy for himself in WWE prior to his early demise, making him one of the most famous names in the business during the dawn of the New Generation Era. This is the same era when BSK formed, and though it was through the combined forces of Yoko and The Undertaker, Yokozuna arguably had more stock at the time thanks to his status as a two time WWE World Champion.
Yokozuna would defend that championship against The Undertaker multiple times, and the two would keep their feud going for several years beyond Yoko losing his belt. Regardless of whether or not he held the belt, Yoko was so integral to the BSK that both his and Undertaker’s approval was needed in order for members to join the group, making it completely clear the Dead Man was hardly the sole power in the unit. Yokozuna’s career gradually declined due to health reasons, but his friendship with The Undertaker and the Krew was able to endure even as his professional prospects diminished.
6 Mr. Fuji
Throughout his entire career, where there was Yokozuna, Mr. Fuji was never far behind, and that even extended to their personal lives and their friendships with The Undertaker. Fuji was much older than the other members of Bone Street Krew, but he was nevertheless considered a close associate of the group, even earning the nickname “Uncle” amongst certain other members. Fuji predated the legacy of men like Taker as one of the most respected working legends in WWE, with multiple Tag Team Championship reigns to his name, as well as top billed feuds against former World Champions like Bruno Sammartino and Bob Backlund.
Fuji kept his momentum going as Yokozuna’s manager, and through this connection joined Yoko in his feud against The Undertaker. Whether or not Fuji’s feuding antics extended to his usual prankster nature backstage is unclear, although the fact they turned into good friends may indicate that Fuji went soft on Taker and his friends. Or, at the very least, always allowed them to join in on the jokes—plus, more importantly, the decades of expertise Fuji had to share with his younger friends.
It would be easy to assume Rikishi was inducted into the Bone Street Krew with ease due to his familial relationship with Yokozuna (the two are cousins), although it was The Undertaker who he spent more time with in the ring. Rikishi and Undertaker were close friends in their gang, reportedly bonding through marathon sessions playing dominoes with one another backstage. Yokozuna would also join in on these dominoes games, and the three of them started their many years together in the ring at the 1994 Royal Rumble, when Rikishi was one of a baker’s dozen of wrestlers to help Yokozuna defeat The Undertaker.
Years later, Rikishi would change his name from Fatu to his more popular moniker, and start feuding with The Undertaker again in late 2000. Rikishi’s run in the main event didn’t last long, and his feud against Undertaker was arguably one of the few parts that made him look like a true star. Rikishi teamed with his friend Haku in a series of matches against The Brothers of Destruction, and infamously was chokeslammed off Hell in a Cell at Armageddon 2000 in the most memorable spot of Rikishi’s career. When not beating each other up, Rikishi and Taker also stood on the same side at the 1995 Survivor Series, along with other BSK members Henry Godwinn and Savio Vega.
4 Brian Adams
Not every wrestling friendship ends in a lifelong connection, and sometimes the relationship blows up for real over events in the ring. That’s exactly what happened with The Undertaker and Brian Adams, better known as Crush, although he worked under his real name when their real alliance turned sour. Adams and Undertaker were unfortunately involved in one of the worst Pay-Per-View matches in WWE history, when Undertaker teamed with Kane against Adams and his partner Bryan Clarke at Unforgiven.
The Brothers of Destruction blamed the duo known as Kronik for the match failing to work out, and Clarke was quickly fired for refusing to report to the developmental territory after the match. Adams saved his job by agreeing to resume his training, with his former association with The Undertaker possibly being part of what saved him at all. Long before this incident, Adams was actually close enough to Taker to have been one of the core members of BSK. The resemblance should be obvious to any fan who witnessed both Crush’s “Jailbird” persona and “The American Bad Ass,” both characters which spoke to the performers' true personalities. Unfortunately, personality only goes so far, and Undertaker wasn’t willing to accept his friend making him look bad on television, so the relationship was destined to fall apart.
3 The Godfather
Nearly a full decade before The Godfather persona was born, Charles Wright was known as the ghoulish and demonic Soultaker. Around this same time, Wright met The Undertaker and the two men with the darkest gimmicks in wrestling fast became friends. It was actually The Undertaker who suggested Vince McMahon hire Wright to work for WWE, where The Soultaker was considered too similar to The Undertaker and therefore Wright became the voodoo priest, Papa Shango. Even with the name change, the similarities in the gimmicks were clear, and it might be fair to assume these similarities are part of what made Undertaker and Wright become friends so fast.
It took several years for Papa Shango to gradually morph into The Godfather, although based on candid photos of Wright with The Dead Man imply it was a long time coming when the voodoo priest finally lit up a fatty and started dancing with his escorts. Considering they at first had too similar gimmicks and then later too disparate ones, Taker and Wright rarely interacted onscreen. However, given the many gimmicks of Charles Wright, they were able to find a brief time to feud one another when Wright was known as “The Supreme Fighting Machine” Kama, culminating in a match at SummerSlam 1995.
2 Paul Bearer
With the possible exception of Kane, no one in WWE has spent as much time standing alongside The Undertaker than his longest tenured manager, Paul Bearer. Bearer’s career began long before his association with The Dead Man, as he was able to make quite a name for himself in Southern territories as the Bobby Heenan inspired Percy Pringle III. Pringle’s career didn’t take off until he was paired with The Undertaker and relied on his real life training as a funeral home director in order to create one of the most endearing and hands down the most ghastly relationship in WWE.
Only the best manager-client relationships extend to real life, and it is on this philosophy Bearer and Taker’s union became one of the most successful in company history. Bearer managed Undertaker to multiple WWE World Championships, and even when the two weren’t working together, Bearer was almost always connected to Undertaker in one way or another, typically by way of a feud. Whether friends or foes, Undertaker and Bearer were always together onscreen and off, up to and including Undertaker’s tribute to his fallen friend after Bearer passed in 2013.
1 Vince McMahon
The cliché says that everybody hates their boss, and that goes double for WWE where the most successful storyline in the history of the business relied on a disgruntled employee taking Vince McMahon to task for his various misdeeds as a corporate executive. The truth is, reality is rarely the way clichés imply it will be, as evidenced by many wrestlers having strong relationships with the WWE CEO. Chief amongst those strong relations is Vince’s connection with his most loyal undead employee. Undertaker earned his reputation as one of the most loyal wrestlers to ever work for the McMahon family through years of hard work and dedication, and more importantly, his role as the locker room leader who has long ensured any unruly performers do as their told and tow the company line.
Undertaker has played a role in ending plenty of backstage disputes in order to help McMahon continue his business smoothly, and McMahon rewarded The Dead Man with one of the greatest legacies sports entertainment has ever known. Vince’s reverence for his sports’ favorite zombie is such that he has called The Undertaker his favorite superstar, and Undertaker returned the respect by immediately understanding when Vince told him the WrestleMania undefeated streak was over.
Sources: WWE, Wrestle Zone
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