No matter how bad things got in the WWF in the mid-90s, The Undertaker (real name Mark Calaway never jumped from Vince McMahon's promotion over to WCW. However, in a new interview with Sam Roberts, Calaway admitted that almost wasn't the case. While he didn't mention a specific year, he did reveal that he considered signing with Ted Turner's promotion along with other former WWE stars like Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, Randy Savage, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. Calaway said it wasn't the money, but rather his loyalty to McMahon that kept him from leaving.
"There was a time I was so frustrated with our creative direction," he said (h/t WrestlingNews.co for transcript). "We had a bunch of really goofy characters. They (WCW) are down there doing real angles. It was common knowledge that they opened up the checkbook. I was hearing guys talking about the money they are making. You would be able to get a good check and stay at home most of the time. Those thoughts were there.
"But, when it got down to it, I said I can't," he added. "Obviously I'm not the best businessman but something inside me said you can't leave here. One, when I was there, and although the management had changed at this point, I went in to renegotiate a contract. I had been there for 8 or 9 months. My deal was coming up. I was trying to get a little bump in the money. I was on the bare minimum deal. I wasn't looking to break the house. I went in and met with Jim Herd, Ole Anderson, and Jim Barnett. They looked at me straight in the eyes, and said you are a great athlete, but nobody will ever pay to see you wrestle. My loyalty to Vince was stronger than the short term cash I could have made if I left."
During episode 2 of Undertaker: The Last Ride, both McMahon and Undertaker are asked what the other means to them. McMahon instantly choked up and asked to turn the cameras off.
"I can't think of anybody more influential, other than my father, than Vince," Undertaker said. "He'd be the first one to pat you on the back but also the first one to kick you in the ass when you needed it. I love Vince to death. I would take a bullet for him. Literally, I would. He's my boss, my friend, he's been like a dad, like a brother. He's been it all to me. I've gone through some really harrowing personal issues in my life and kinda let them take over who I am as a person.
"The problems became so monumental that I didn't care about anyone else. He was the one who basically sat me down in a chair and told me, 'Mark, you need to quit feeling sorry for yourself.' I'm like, there's no other person that could say that to me where I wouldn't have got up and knock the s— out of em. But it was Vince. So I knew it was true. And I knew where it was coming from. Tough love. That's what I needed. Not because he was my boss, but because he was my friend and cared about me. He's an incredible man and an important person in my life that made me a much better man."
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