One day removed from his "final farewell" at Survivor Series, The Undertaker returned to social media on Monday afternoon with a few backstage photos from Sunday's event, as well as a message for all of his fans. The photos show "The Deadman" (real name Mark Calaway) prepare for his final walk to the ring as the iconic character, as well as embracing his wife Michelle McCool. He then wrote, "The final bell tolls... #ThankYou."
Calaway announced his retirement in the closing moments of The Last Ride documentary series earlier this year, saying, "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,"
"Here you are climbing on your motorcycle and taking off," he added. "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."
In interviews leading up to Sunday's segment, "The Phenom" doubled down on the claim that he doesn't plan on stepping back in the ring.
"I think a lot of people saw this invincible character and what this year has done is given an air of vulnerability to me," Calaway recently told Yahoo Sports. "It really wasn't my original goal, but I do think it encapsulates how important it was for me to be the Undertaker for our fans. From the time that we start the doc, I think it shows what it took me physically to go out and honor that. That was the gist of where we took the story, how important it was for me to go out and perform and it was a natural segway into the person."
"I still have the passion to do it, I wish I could do it forever," he later added. "When I watch the shows or I'm there live, the juices start flowing and I feel like I have to get ready to go out and perform. The reality of the situation is that I'm not physically able to perform at the level I want to perform at. I could go out there and cash in on all of the equity I've built up over 30 years, but I can't deliver physically what I think people pay money to see the Undertaker do."