The first chapter of WWE's Undertaker: The Last Ride presented fans with an intimate glimpse of a tough as nails but ailing legend. That forms the foundation for Chapter 2, titled Redemption, which picks up from a match that the Undertaker admits wasn't up to par. That sets the stage though for a Rocky-style comeback, one that will have you cheering and celebrating right along with the man who has overcome so much in the ring and outside of it to become the WWE icon he is held up to be, and he deserves all of the applause.
One of the things you learn along the way is that Mark Calaway is harder on himself than any of us could ever be. Chapter 2 begins with an honest reaction to his match against Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33. As he watches the match with his wife Michelle McCool, you can see the disgust he has for it, though it has nothing to do with Roman. It's all focused on his own ability in the ring, commenting on his slowness and as he puts it just not having it.
In fact, that's one of the most refreshing parts of the documentary. Calaway is incredibly honest throughout the episode, both about feeling like he let Roman down to admitting that he can't give an honest answer later in the episode because of how far he's come in such a short time. You never feel like you're watching the character, but always the man.
Chapter 2 also takes an extended look at two critical relationships in Calaway's life, with one obviously being McCool. This is something you don't get to see much of outside of the documentary, as the couple tends to be a bit more private. It's magic watching them interact though, and despite not needing to McCool is training with Calaway every step of the way during his journey towards WrestleMania 34. McCool is honest about having concerns regarding him taking on more matches, but she will also support him in every way if she can, and getting this glimpse into their dynamic is something we hope to get more of as the series continues.
The other relationship in the spotlight is Calaway's relationship with Vince McMahon, one that is perhaps deeper than we ever really understood. Calaway uses the term father figure several times throughout, and despite the brief moments of interaction, you do get the sense that the love and respect is mutual, as McMahon even gets emotional when asked about how he truly feels about Calaway. We would've loved to see more of their interactions in full, but what we get here is quite compelling, and you get an understanding of why these two would go to bat for each other at a moment's notice.
Throughout we see a driven Undertaker who is looking to wipe a bad ending from the memories of fans and deliver one worthy of his iconic status, and man does he ever. One of the coolest moments is when he finally decides he can go for WrestleMania 34, telling the camera (and Vince) "I ain't as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was, I'll see you in New Orleans."
It's a great moment but is topped when you see just how amazing Undertaker looked in the ring with John Cena at WrestleMania 34. Seeing how the storyline was done with Cena in the ring while also seeing all the work Undertaker put in to get to that moment makes this matchup even better than it was originally, and will give you a whole new perspective on what it means to be The Undertaker. In short, this episode lives up to its name and will give any fan a new appreciation for the Deadman.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Chapter 2 of Undertaker: The Last Ride will be available to stream on-demand beginning at 10 am ET this Sunday on WWE Network.
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