WWE wrestling star The Undertaker has received an outpouring of support on social media after saying he had “no desire to get back in the ring”. The 55-year-old, whose real name is Mark Calaway, said in a recent documentary that there was “nothing left for [him] to conquer”. His words suggest plans to retire after a career spanning three decades. But neither Mr Calaway nor the WWE have formally announced his retirement from the league. The Dead Man, as he is nicknamed, made the comments during the new WWE biopic The Last Ride. He spoke about his most recent match against wrestler AJ Styles, which ended with him burying his opponent and riding away on a motorcycle.
He said he would consider returning for one last match, but that “only time would tell”. Mr Calaway has been a multiple world heavyweight champion, six-time tag team title holder and winner of the Royal Rumble. He began his career with World Class Championship Wrestling in 1987, and moved to the WWE in the 1990s as a final member of Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Team. Mr Calaway is also known as a WWE pioneer. He was part of the first Casket Match at Survivor Series in 1992, the first Buried Alive match in 1996 and the inaugural Hell in a Cell match in 1997. Despite enormous popularity, however, he has not chosen to follow superstars like John Cena or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson into movies. He told the BBC last month that he “had opportunities to do so” but had decided against it.
On Sunday, he tweeted a clip from The Last Ride and wrote “you can never appreciate how long the road was until you’ve driven to the end”. His revelation has prompted a wave of supportive messages on social media, using the hashtag #ThankYouTaker. AJ Styles said he would be “honoured” if their fight had been The Undertaker’s last. There has been speculation in previous years about his retirement. In 2017, after losing a match to Roman Reigns, Mr Calaway dropped his iconic gloves, hat and trenchcoat in the middle of the ring before walking backstage.
Although to be fair in the wrestling world retirements are seldom certainties so we might see him again.