MANILA, Philippines – Following his second ever loss at WrestleMania, The Undertaker tipped his hat to the crowd, then removed his hat, gloves and trench coat and placed them in the center of the ring. The moment brought tears to his eyes, and to many in attendance as well.
If this was the last time the Dead Man competes in the ring, then it was appropriate that his match against Roman Reigns went on last at WrestleMania 33, which took place Sunday, April 2 (Monday Manila time) at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.
Taker, whose real name is Mark Calaway, had just taken the 3-count from a Roman Reigns spear, losing for the second time at Mania, following his loss to Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 30 in 2014 which snapped his 21-0 streak at the biggest annual show in pro wrestling.
While Reigns may have claimed WWE as his “yard,” it was Taker who earned the most respect that night, as fans chanted “Thank you Taker” as he kissed his wife (former WWE wrestler Michelle McCool) at ringside and held up his fist at the WrestleMania sign before disappearing under the stage as the arena went dark.
Perhaps as the greatest gesture a fan could extend to Taker, the fans resisted booing Reigns and instead allowed the moment to be about Undertaker and all that he’s given to wrestling fans over the years.
Taker, now aged 52, has been wrestling part-time for most of this decade, but still maintaining enough to steal the show when he performed at Mania. It was just the fourth time that Taker had main evented WrestleMania, and there’s no better way to go out than on top.
Through good times and bad for the company, Taker had been the ironman for the WWE since debuting in 1990. He made his first Mania at WrestleMania 7, defeating Jimmy Snuka. He’d only miss WrestleMania 10 and WrestleMania 2000 during that run due to injuries.
Taker stuck with the company when business was down in the 1990s, and was one of the few top stars who didn’t jump ship to their main competitor WCW during the Monday Night Wars. He’s a 4-time WWE champion, a 3-time World Heavyweight champion and won the Royal Rumble in 2007.
For what he’s given to WWE and pro wrestling, his contributions aren’t likely to ever be forgotten. – Rappler.com