Undertaker: The Last Ride has given fans a fascinating look at a WWE legend, with Chapter 2 spotlighting the physical toll a legendary career has taken on the man behind the icon. Chapter 3 shifts away from the physical, however, providing a glimpse into the mindset of someone who has overcome so much to chart such a legendary career but is having a difficult time finding the right way to say goodbye to it. Mark Calaway wants to go out on his own terms and with a match that is worthy of being his last, but finding that ever-elusive dragon is far from easy, and you'll leave with a whole new appreciation, empathy, and understanding of the Deadman after watching this search play out.
Things pick up on the high we left off with in Chapter 3, as Undertaker shows he can still do this at a high level after a thrilling match with John Cena. Still, it wasn't perfect, as Calaway does mention several times his disappointment that it didn't last longer, coming in around 3 minutes long. Michelle McCool points out that the time doesn't matter as much as the impact, but you can tell it still bothers him throughout.
With his improved health, you can see why Calaway wants to keep going, and takes on some additional matches. The message is clear though. Calaway is looking for that Shawn Michaels moment, a moment he helped create when the two faced off in two legendary WrestleMania encounters, the second of which ended up becoming Michaels' thrilling swan song.
Undertaker wants that same feeling he helped someone else have, but things haven't lined up as easily for the icon. Once you see where he's coming from and how things play out, you also start to understand the reasoning behind moves like his ill-fated match with Kane, Michaels, and Triple H. This is easily one of the most compelling parts of the documentary, and after hearing the group's rationale, you'll leave with a genuine understanding of not only why it was booked in the first place but also why it went so wrong.
Now, not everything here is necessarily new, as a significant part of the episode focuses on the classic matchups between Undertaker and Shawn Michaels and Triple H. For some who know the history quite well, this might be a little disappointing. That said, part of this is required to really understand the decisions made later on with the DX vs Brothers of Destruction match. It seems some of this could have been trimmed a bit to make way for even more new material, but then again you really wouldn't appreciate the latter without this foundation, so I understand why they went this route.
We also get some insightful and quite honest moments from several of Undertaker's fellow superstars, including Edge, Batista, Michaels, and of course Triple H, who admits it can be hard to break the cycle of chasing the dragon, always looking for that perfect ending. Edge has one of the most poignant observations though, saying that he just hopes when Undertaker finally gets it, he realizes that is the time to walk away.
Undertaker: The Last Ride Chapter 3 is an honest and immensely compelling journey through the mind of a legend finding the right way to say goodbye, and fans will leave this episode hoping he finds an ending deserving of an icon.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Chapter 3 of Undertaker: The Last Ride will be available to stream on-demand beginning at 10am ET this Sunday on WWE Network.0comments