1990 Ted Debiase brought in a mystery partner for Survivor Series... in walked the Deadman... a man who would become the PHENOM of the WWE for over 25 years. A man who instantly became my hero... THE UNDERTAKER.
I have been with Taker since day one. I stood by him as he did SO many things including becoming WWE Champion within a year of his debut. He stood against Hulkamania when I thought it was time it was buried which instantly made him a hero for me.
I watched him fall but then resurrect many times. I saw him battle the greatest WWE stars of our time. I watched his personal story about Paul Bearer, Kane, and Undertaker become one of the MOST compelling and interesting storylines that WWE has EVER had.
I watched him become the American Badass and even though I missed the DEADMAN persona ... I can not deny even though he wasn't the Undertaker I knew and loved... He still remained a staple in the WWE. He never left WWE when many talent jumped ship during the Attitude Era.
Finally ... the Deadman resurrected himself as the Phenom I knew and loved... embracing the darkness once more and showing all that even after all this time... there was NO GRAVE that could hold Undertaker.
At Wrestlemania 30 the Undertaker's streak ended at the hands of Brock Lesnar. I was devastated but I understood WHY the streak had to end the way it did. I accepted it (after a few months of being bitter) and continued to stand beside the Deadman as I had always done.
I knew the end was near with the 21-1 ... but Taker continued.... 2 more wins at Wrestlemania 31 & 32. You could tell Taker was winding down though... and I knew the days were numbered.
I did not in my wildest imagination think Wrestlemania 33 would be the day Undertaker decided to leave the WWE forever and retire. When Roman Reigns defeated Taker I was outraged. Not that Taker was retiring or anything but I feel like Reigns didn't deserve to be the one to retire Undertaker what-so-ever. Be that as it may, this was the Undertaker's decision to make... and if he was okay with going out this way, then as a supporter and loyal fan for over 25 years, I have to accept that Taker wanted it. I may not like it but I accept it.
Let me just say this in closing...
The moment he took off his hat and coat, laying them in the center of the ring... the harsh reality hit me that I would NEVER see my hero wrestle again. For over 25 years The Undertaker has been the man in the WWE... the measuring stick for all WWE Superstars... and it was HIS yard. Now ... he's gone. It will ALWAYS BE THE UNDERTAKER'S YARD... no one could EVER fill those shoes. Not Roman Reigns... not any WWE Superstar past, present, or future.
I would like to say ... Thank you Undertaker. You came into the WWE at a time when I was thinking about not watching anymore. You gave me a reason to watch. You created moments and memories for me that will last beyond my lifetime. Thank you for being my Hero for over 25 years. For showing me the BEAUTY in darkness. For letting ME be a creature of the night destined to stand beside the greatest Phenom the WWE will ever have.
Thank you Undertaker.
I love you.