WWE | Pro Wrestling

The Undertaker’s WWE Career: Good Guy?

The Undertaker’s championship reign ended up being a short one, he only defended it against Davey Boy Smith on a tour of Ontario, beating him both times. After that, Undertaker dropped the belt back to Hogan at the WWE’s PPV special/disaster This Tuesday in Texas, albeit in a controversial finish. Time to shill: the This Tuesday in Texas experiment will be a part of a very special episode of the Robert Zone, you and your family will not want to miss this one.

The Undertaker would enter the 1992 Royal Rumble in an attempt to regain his title, but would fail. In the interim, The Undertaker would continue teaming with Jake Roberts in their various attempts to ruin the life of Randy Savage. Savage would face Robert on Saturday Night’s Main Event (Now on FOX) in what would be the big blow-off to their feud. Savage would vanquish Roberts, but Roberts was going to get the last laugh. As Savage and Liz headed to the back, the snake was lurking with a chair in hand, waiting for the two of them to get backstage.

The great thing about this segment is McMahon panicking as they were heading to the back, demanding that somebody get some help since it was happening “off-air”. Even Heenan was acting concerned as Roberts proclaimed that he didn’t care if Liz or Randy came through first. There is just a great, frantic amount of concern and considering how the WWE was pushing the envelope at the time, you didn’t know what was going to happen. Liz came through first; Jake reared back and was ready to swing until…somebody stopped him. Was it Hogan? Or could it be The Ultimate Warrior returning to seek revenge on the Snake for making him enter a room of fake snakes? Nope, a gray glove reached back and pulled the chair back as The Undertaker prevented the attack.

Certain wrestlers and their alignment on the roster just make sense.

Ricky Steamboat as a baby-face whom is thoroughly incapable of being a bad guy? Makes sense.

Roddy Piper as a crazed Scotsman heel who uses his mouth to antagonize enemies? Perfect

Dusty Rhodes as a blue collar, son of a plumber whose wined and dined with kings and queens, and slept in allies and dined on pork and beans? Better than perfect.

Yet, The Undertaker as a good guy? Alright, that could be considered to be a hard sell in 1992. Sure, most of the older audience found The Undertaker to be cool; the reaction of the average child was to void their bodily functions and go running for their parents.

Yet, Vince McMahon made the decision to make The Undertaker into a good guy in early 1992. People wondered why The Undertaker took the chair away from Roberts, and we would have a Funeral Parlor segment to find the answer. Roberts entered as Bearer went over the various diabolical deeds he committed upon Savage. Roberts demanded that The Undertaker would come out and face him to explain his actions and which side he was on. Taker obliged and gave his answer: Not yours.

This lead to an amazing beat down where Roberts trapped The Undertaker’s hand in a casket and gave Paul Bearer the DDT. The best part was Roberts relentlessly hitting The Undertaker with a chair and every time Jake thought he had The Undertaker down, he’d rise again. It made for a great visual; Roberts relentlessly attacking The Undertaker and backing away, to only have the casket dragging Undertaker pursue him. Jake’s cockiness turned to fright as Roberts kept hitting him, but The Undertaker just kept on stalking him, just dragging that casket. The segment ended up with Jake hightailing it to the back and The Undertaker just kept pursuing him. The crowd seemingly loved the segment too as they lost it every time The Undertaker would rise to stalk Jake.

Now, of course there were some reservations towards the face turn, how would they react when he wasn’t going against Jake Roberts. So, they’d have a heel like The Mountie come out before a televised match and cut a promo to get cheap heat. You know, making fun or the city or ripping the sports team if they were bad. Then, the bell would toll and the crowd would lose it when The Undertaker would come out to shut him up. It looked good for television, heel has a massive amount of heat and the crowd goes berserk when Paul Bearer leads The Undertaker out.

The Undertaker and Jake Roberts were set to collide at WrestleMania, and Jake Roberts would take the evilness up to 11 by claiming that cracking The Undertaker’s head open would be like clubbing a baby seal. Alright, I’m stating this now: 1991-1992 might by the original Attitude Era when I think about it: Warsploitation, snake attacks, animal abuse, weapon attacks, violence against women, violence against Vince McMahon, attempted murder, fireballs, chair shots, voodoo, and bodily function gags.

Jake cut another great but short promo narrating the beat down (On the DDT to Bearer: “Short ride, bad landing”) which might top his promo from WrestleMania VI. The Undertaker got a great response from the crowd. I know most people don’t like the match, but I think it’s a good game of cat and mouse. Jake throwing everything he has in the opening stanza and The Undertaker is just stalking him relentlessly. It’s pretty much a squash match, but there is one great moment. Jake hits the DDT, thinking he has put Taker down and BAM! The Undertaker sits up, and Roberts hits him the short-arm clothesline. Taker rises right back up, but walks right into the second DDT. Jake goes after Bearer, Taker rises and Tombstones him on the floor. Match over, and the snake isn’t seen again until 1996. The Undertaker experiment is working; the fans have embraced the former villain as a hero and who knows what’s next.

The Streak: 2-0

Up Next: Ugandan Giants, Vikings, and a Giant Opponent

Robert Goeman has been writing for CamelClutchBlog since 2014 and has written for FiveOuncesofPain and What Culture. Follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/RobertGoeman. After every article, Robert usually does “Talking Points” on twitter, bringin up points that didn’t make the article.

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Robert Goeman

Robert Goeman has been writing for CamelClutchBlog since 2014 and has written for FiveOuncesofPain and What Culture. Follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/RobertGoeman.

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