Mark Calaway, better known as The Undertaker, is one of the most respected and well-known wrestlers to ever step foot in the ring. After 30 years in the WWE, he’s finally decided to retire, and fans everywhere are reacting.
Calaway recently paid a visit to Joe Rogan, where he spoke about his lengthy career, among other things. Rogan himself was impressed by how long Calaway managed to remain relevant in the business, despite numerous injuries and company changes, calling it a “crazy ride.”
“The Deadman” explained that even though he still had a few years left in him, he wanted to give new wrestlers a chance to make a name for themselves.
The Undertaker found wrestling more difficult as he got older
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Calaway’s historic career spans more than three decades, from the 1990s until 2020. Although he’s one of the most beloved figures in wrestling, it had become increasingly obvious that he was having difficulty performing in the WWE over the last few years.
He spoke about the realization during a recent appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience.
“As you get older, and injuries and all that … I figure that in, but I still see in my head what I used to could do, and that’ what I was striving [for]” Calaway said.
He had many conversations over the years about retiring
Even though he only recently retired, Calaway had had many prior conversations about retirement.
“There were lots of those conversations, and there were people that I talked to along the way through my career,” Calaway said. “I was like, ‘Look, if I get to a point where my skills have diminished and I can’t recognize it, I want you to tell me or at least bring the conversation up. And it got to the point where nobody wants to have that conversation.”
The Undertaker didn’t want to take opportunities away from younger wrestlers
Even though Calaway personally felt he could have kept wrestling for a few more years, he felt it was more important to step aside and allow younger wrestlers to get the opportunity to join the business.
“That’s a huge intellectual property for Vince … I could go out for another few years and I could knock somebody on their ass or I could choke slam somebody, but I can’t do it, personally,” Calaway said. “I can’t, because I know there’s so many guys that are coming up that are trying to get that spot.”
The Undertaker is one of the longest-tenured wrestlers in history
Rogan himself was amazed by how long Calaway managed to keep wrestling.
“I remember when I was a kid in Boston, they had—it was a local wrestling promotion, but Killer Kowalski was on,” Rogan said. “And I don’t know how old he was at the time, but he had to be way, way up in the years. I mean it looked like he was in his 50s. And I remember thinking, evren as a kid, ‘How long can a guy do this?’
Calaway made sure to note that although other wrestlers, such as Ric Flair have remained active longer than him, he’s had the longest career with one organization.
“The fact that I’ve stayed 30 years with one company, I think that’s the one really big thing, is once I started with Vince, I stayed with Vince,” Calaway said. “Where a lot of guys, they would jump from one promotion to the other and I stayed. Once I got there I was there … It’s been a hell of a ride.”
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