To celebrate The Undertaker's three decades in the WWE, the WWE Network is in the midst of the "30 Days of the Deadman" event, giving new looks at "The Phenom's" career through a series of documentary specials. Meeting The Undertaker is the latest installment in that series, in which roughly a dozen WWE stars recall their first interactions with the living legend. And even if you haven't been absorbing all of the content surrounding Mark Calaway throughout 2020, this is definitely one worth tuning in for.
Between the wildly popular Undertaker: The Last Ride documentary and the numerous interviews he gave as the series was coming out, fans have had the chance to hear Calaway give his thoughts on just about every major event of his career. Meeting The Undertaker flips that script, giving other wrestlers the chance to paint the picture of what Calaway was like behind the scenes and what he meant to the business — from his first Survivor Series match all the way up to his biggest WrestleMania moments. It's a welcome change of pace.
The strength of the special comes from which interviews were chosen across the different generations. Scott Hall and Triple H (who has a great little story about a whiskey shot) talk about how he evolved into a locker room leader in the mid-90s. Big Show explains how effective he was as a mentor to those with less experience. Batista and Randy Orton break down the larger-than-life presence he brings into a room, while Roman Reigns reminds everyone that there's still a real-life person behind the legend who can shoot the breeze about simple things like tattoos.
It's also really interesting to compare how wrestlers on the current roster talk about him as opposed to the older generations. If you were a WWE wrestler in the 90s Calaway was a co-worker. But if you're a wrestler now he's a co-worker and icon from your childhood. There's a distinct difference there and it shows from guys like Xavier Woods.
At 21 minutes the special flies right by, and it helps that most of the stories are genuinely funny. The best one hands-down has to be Bray Wyatt, who (surprisingly out-of-character) recalls how an interaction he and Bo Dallas had with Taker as children came back to bite them later.
Honestly, my only complaint is that I wish it was a little longer and had the chance to sprinkle in some more stories. There are a couple of absences — there's no Vince McMahon this time. Paul Heyman gets brought up right at the start and I definitely would've loved to hear from him. Kane is also absent, but the Brothers of Destruction are getting their own documentary so they've likely saved Glenn Jacobs for that.
Overall Meeting The Undertaker is a fun companion piece for the other documentary specials from throughout this year and is definitely worth a watch to any fans of "The Phenom."
Rating: 5 out of 5
Meeting The Undertaker will be available on-demand on the WWE Network on Nov. 1.