The Undertaker recently spoke to Barstool sports, where he revealed why he brought back his ‘The American Badass’ biker persona, or at least an amalgamation of it and his ‘The Deadman’ persona for his Wrestlemania 36 Main Event against AJ Styles.
While reaction to ‘The American Badass’ was mixed when WWE first introduced it in the early 2000s, The Undertaker gave his all to the character, changing his in-ring style to a point, and adopting new signature and finishing moves, including a high-powered powerbomb named ‘The Last Ride’.
‘The American Badass’ was a more personal character for the person behind The Undertaker, as it reflected his real-life personality, albeit with the stage effect of upping each trait to the sky.
AJ Styles Went Too Personal For The Undertaker To Emerge As The Deadman
The Undertaker felt that the match against AJ Styles was too personal for him to not bring The Biker back into the arena.
He spoke about the evolution of his character post- 2000 and how he managed to make everyone content and shaped his own moveset accordingly.
“Once I left the American Badass, I think everyone was really content with the hybrid version of The Undertaker. My style had changed where I kept a lot of the elements of my in-ring work kind of geared to that American Badass character but then brought the origins and the mystique of The Undertaker was kind of that outward look.“
“It didn’t come up until this year and it just kind of dawned on me with the type of promos that AJ was cutting, there’s really no way that I can bring the original Undertaker to this. It’s become too personal, crossed too many lines. You’re going to have to get the American Badass all grown up and he’s still got that evil side to him but it’s going to be a much more personal approach to delivering that match. So that’s kind of how we ended up American Badass 2.0”.
In Wrestlemania, The Undertaker ended up putting Styles in a grave to defeat him. Later, he announced his retirement with a limited series Documentary on the twilight of his career explaining his reasons.
Since retiring, Mark Calaway has become more active on social media and interviews, finally breaking free of a gimmick he maintained so masterfully for close to three decades.
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