The Undertaker (real name Mark Calaway) announced his retirement from professional wrestling during the series finale of the Undertaker: The Last Ride documentary on Sunday. However many fans struggled to believe that "The Deadman" was really gone, given that Calaway had recently signed a new 15-year contract with the company. Calaway explained in an interview with Sports Illustrated on Monday that the contract doesn't actually mean he'll be wrestling that long, if at all.
"That extended contract is obviously not a contract that keeps me in the ring for 15 years," Calaway said. "It keeps the brand at home, and there are a lot of ways that Vince thinks I can contribute to the company after my days in the ring are done."
He also addressed the possibility of popping up in squash matches, something he's not a fan of.
"I have people in my ear all the time saying, 'Dude, all you need to do is make your entrance, go chokeslam and Tombstone somebody, and people are going to love that,'" he said. "Maybe they're right to an extent, but I hold myself to a very high standard. If I can't go out and have the matches I used to and contribute the way I did, then I don't think it's fair to the talent busting their ass year-round."
Undertaker explained in the documentary that he felt his Boneyard Match with AJ Styles at WrestleMania 36 was the perfect send-off he had been searching for.
"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."