Back in 2000 The Undertaker debuted a new version of his character known as the "American Badass." That run, along with his heel run as Big Evil up until late 2003, is often referred to as the "Biker Taker" era of Mark Calaway's career. The three-year run is somewhat controversial, as some fans argue that it was too drastic of a change from Taker's "Deadman" persona, one he would return to in 2004 at WrestleMania XX. However, some fans absolutely loved the gimmick and were thrilled to see him revive it for the Boneyard Match against AJ Styles at WrestleMania 36.
"I think we cut that off," Calaway said. "We cut that off kind of early when we did the American Badass the first time. I think we could have got a little more mileage out of it, but, it was a different variation. It was an older iteration of it. The American Badass has got a few more years on him. He's a little more grizzled even. And there were still so many I think, aspects of The Undertake you could see in there, so I think it was just like I've wrapped everything all together. And I think those people were really excited."
The character was initially written off when Kane helped Vince McMahon beat Undertaker in a Buried Alive match at the 2003 Survivor Series event. Calaway was kept off television until WrestleMania XX the following March, and in the months leading up to the show he haunted Kane with coffins and pieces of iconography from his run as "The Deadman."
During the series finale of Undertaker: The Last Ride, Calaway said the Boneyard Match would be his last wrestling match.
"My career, my legacy, speaks for itself. At the end of the day that's really all that matters," Calaway said. "And I have this other life that I need to go and experience and enjoy the fruits of my labor, enjoy the blessings that I have — my wife, my children."
"I believe I'm at a place now post-Boneyard, it's like I just one a hellacious battle against one of the best in the business," he added. "Here you are climbing on your motorcycle and taking off. There was a lot of thought and a lot of emotion that went through my head. One of those being, are you happy enough with that? It was just a powerful moment, and you don't always necessarily get those. If there was ever a perfect to a career, that right there is it. If Vince was in a pinch, would I come back? I guess time will only tell there. In case of emergency break glass, pull out The Undertaker, I would have to consider that. Never say never. But at this point in my life and my career, I have no desire to get back in the ring."
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