The Undertaker is finally getting his body taken care of. After 27 years in the WWE, Mark Calaway is reportedly getting the hip replacement surgery that he had been delaying until he made it through WrestleMania.
The UK Sun released photos today of the WWE Legend visiting the David H Koch Pavilion Hospital for Special Surgery on 575 East 70th Street in Manhattan for the procedure. The Sun also reported that U.S. News ranks it as the best hospital in the country for orthopaedics and second for rhuematology.
After a long hiatus, The Deadman returned to the WWE in late 2016 to build for his last ride towards the 2017 Royal Rumble and WrestleMania 33. Taker's hip problem was so extreme that he was rumored to be in great pain for the majority of his time in the ring.
Many believed The Phenom's brutal loss to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33 and the emotional farewell that followed signaled the end of Taker's Hall of Fame career. The hip replacement surgery could prove to be the final nail in the coffin.
Wrestlers generally don't come back from a hip replacement. Understandably, the wear and tear of a match just takes too much toll on the body. Hulk Hogan had his hip replaced in 2004, but was still able to do a few spots in TNA (minus his infamous leg drop). ECW legend Sabu had hip surgery in the past year, but claimed in an interview with SI.com that he would keep going. "I have to continue wrestling," said Sabu, known outside the ring as Terry Brunk. "I'm not done yet. I don't know when I'll be done, but I just know that I'm not.
"I'm doing good. I had hip replacement surgery, but I need shoulder replacement surgery and my lower back needs fixing. Those are actually more painful, but not more painful when I wrestle, so I can live with it. My hip was the most painful when I wrestled, so I got my hip fixed."
Coincidentally enough, one of Taker's oldest rivals, Mick Foley, underwent his own hip replacement surgery just two weeks ago, but the Hardcore Icon has no plans of getting back in the ring.
A rumor that circulated last month stated that not only would we not see The Undertaker back in the ring, but that Mark Calaway would never play the character again.
If this truly is the end, we wish The Phenom a successful surgery and a speedy recovery as he rides off into his WWE retirement.