WWE fans got another look behind the curtain in the latest chapter of Undertaker: The Last Ride, and there was a lot to process. Chapter 4, titled The Battle Within, kicks off after the trainwreck that was the match in Saudi Arabia between DX and the Brothers of Destruction, and from there we see Mark Calaway and his wife Michelle McCool experience a rollercoaster of emotions as he seeks redemption from the fans but also from his own insanely high bar. We then see how missing out on WrestleMania 35 truly affect him, and how that cleared the way for a match with Goldberg in Saudi Arabia that wasn't able to clear that high bar either, and all the fallout and eventual redemption that would come after it. We've broken down the 8 biggest things we learned from Chapter 4 right here, and you can check out all of them starting on the next slide.
In addition to WrestleMania 35, Goldberg, and the DX match, we also get more insight into his relationship with Vince, and that includes the negative and the positive. We also learn why he hasn't retired just yet, what he wishes he would've done differently, and how the Undertaker character really got started.
That's not even all of it either, so check out the 8 biggest things we learned starting on the next slide. You can also find the official description for Undertaker: The Last Ride Chapter 4 below.
"Seeking a storybook ending for his legendary career, the Undertaker’s mental and physical struggles come to a head at Super Showdown, with disastrous results. In the wake of that catastrophe, Mark Calaway makes a major decision regarding his future as the Undertaker."
You can check out everything we learned from Undertaker: The Last Ride Chapter 4 starting on the next slide, and let us know what you thought about the episode in the comments or by giving me a shout on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!
The Origin Of The Undertaker
It's crazy to think of a time without The Undertaker, but before the character was legendary the character started from a lot of book research about death according to Bruce Pritchard.
"When we first started I bought books on death," Pritchard said. "Books on Undertakers. Books on morticians, and books about dying. I remember building the coffin for Kamala. Sawing the wood and crafting this casket for Kamala, and having blueprints and everything drawn up. All of that just became a part of what he did."
We also see several bits of footage from behind the scenes, including a few bloopers and filming scenes in inclement weather.
"We had a lot of fun in some of those cemeteries," Calaway said. "I appreciate everything that everyone that I've ever worked with did to help build that character."prevnext
He Had A Falling Out With Vince
Undertaker and Vince McMahon are quite close, but that doesn't mean they've always agreed, and we learn about one particular falling out in the episode that started from a misunderstanding regarding another promotion.
"I started working with a social media group that was trying to get my name out there and exposure and endorsements and doing some other things," Calaway said. "I had agreed to do an autograph signing in Las Vegas. It wasn't pitched to me that the other company had a show that was running right parallel to this autograph signing. I was oblivious, I wasn't even keeping up with what was going on or anything like that."
"Vince calls me and he's like 'what are you doing'? I was like I'm doing this signing. He says 'well yeah but you got all these people thinking you're gonna do this.' Well that's stupid. Anyone that knows anything about me knows that I'm not going to a different company. I've been here forever, I'm not going anywhere. I'm not gonna jump ship to go to...why would I?"
That ended with the two falling out a bit, and they didn't speak for a bit, but they were ultimately able to move past it.
"Vince and I had a little bit of a falling out over it, and I understand where he was coming from," Calaway said. "He's got a business to run, I understand his position but I also had a position of my own that needed to be understood, and we didn't talk for a little while and then we both let our guard down enough to talk and then we had things worked out and it's all been sunshine and rainbows ever since (he says with a grin)."prevnext
He Had To Fly Home Before Raw To Get His Gear
The episode deals a bit with Calaway's handling of not being on the WrestleMania 35 card, but we also see how his appearance on the following night's Raw came about. He was booked for it last minute, as Calaway gets a call on Saturday from Vince. "He goes 'look, this is what I'm thinking."
"And he's like 'no, no'. I'm like 'you can't tell Vince no, and you want to do it, and there's nothing wrong with that so go do it," McCool said. "At any moment he'll be ready to step through those curtains and go It's just a matter of when Vince needs him."
So it was all a go, except for one sort of important thing.
"Hmm, I don't have any gear," Calaway said. "Boss, uh, I didn't bring my gear. 'What? You didn't bring your gear?'"
"Of course I'm like rookie move, who doesn't bring their gear ya know, that's a cardinal rule, you bring your gear," McCool said.
"I'm like alright, guess I'll go home and get it, so I caught a flight that night, flew home, grabbed my bag," Calaway said. "I had to find it first because I hadn't used it in a while I had no idea where it was. I mean all my stuff was packed and washed, so yeah I had a quick trip to Texas and right back to New York."prevnext
WrestleMania 35 Was Difficult
He might've been booked for the next Raw, but it was still difficult for Calaway to deal with not being a part of WrestleMania 35.
"I don't think he was ready emotionally to sit back in guerrilla and not do anything, being that close to the action but not being in on it after all these years," McCool said. "I think that toyed with his head just a little bit, which is hard to watch."
"It was a rough night, sitting there watching the show go on thinking in my head I should be out there," Calaway said.
"It let me know I think that there's still a passion there," Calaway said. "Probably moving forward it will be easier now that I've got through this. If I get through today without working I think I'll be able to manage and it is what it is, and we'll just take it one day at a time from here. Tomorrow will be my WrestleMania I guess...nah."prevnext
The Real Goldberg Match Fallout
The match at Super Showdown against Goldberg was not the classic it was meant to be, and we get an inside look on why it broke down and how devastating it was to not deliver to the fans.
"Bill got concussed early on, I'm assuming that, I think that he had a head injury," Calaway said. "You go on last you want to be able to deliver. You want people thinking when they leave 'wow that was, man, we just watched Goldberg and Undertaker go at it."
"It was a train wreck," McCool said. "It was not anything he wanted. It was not anything I'm sure Goldberg wanted, or the fans wanted."
Calaway also touched on what he was feeling when the camera caught his expression. "My reactions after the match, this dejected look on my face, there was because I was upset. He was really disappointed. I was disappointed."
For McCool, that disappointment wasn't the primary concern, as he cam extremely close to seriously hurting himself after Goldberg collapsed early on a move.
"That crushed me because I knew how much it would crush him, but more than that his safety," McCool said. "I just knew, and I knew when he came inches, centimeters away from breaking his neck, I instantly texted our doctors and I was like is he okay. Normally if he's away and I know something's happened I text him like baby, are you okay, and it's normally yeah I'm good. Don't worry, I'm good. And I text him like how bad is it and he's like man, my back is jacked up. I was like for him to admit that he was truly in some serious pain, I don't think I could even fathom how bad it really was."prevnext
Why He Doesn't Retire
Undertaker retiring has been a frequent topic over the past few years, and Calaway addresses hearing all the chatter and explaining why he ignores it in the documentary.
"You know people looking from the outside in saying you should call it a day, you made enough money or you're done about this, and it's really not about the money, it's about the passion," Calaway said. "This has always been the one thing in my life that I know. That I know without a doubt at this point I know I've go the answers, I know what to do in situations ya know, you don't always know those things as a husband, as a father, this is the one thing that I've always felt like if something came up, I have the answer."prevnext
I Should've Left With You
There's a general feeling throughout the episode that Calaway knows the time is coming when he rides off into the sunset, and at one point Steve Austin explains it pretty well.
"He knows the end is near, because Father Time is sitting there just tapping him on the back of his shoulder waiting for him to turn around and say hey dude, it's time, but it's hard to do," Austin said.
That paves the way for one of the most honest moments in the episode, as Calaway reveals he does regret not leaving the ring when Michaels did.
"I haven't discussed anything with Stone Cold," Calaway said. "Shawn and I have talked quite a bit, and I've said on more than one occasion I should've left with you."prevnext
Undertaker Said He Was Done at Extreme Rules
While Undertaker wants to leave wrestling on his own terms and in his own time, we learn in the episode that he was ready to leave the ring after his fantastic match at Extreme Rules, and we see the conversation between him and Vince where he says it's time.
"I'm done. I'm not there anymore," Calaway tells McMahon. "Alright, we can talk about it," McMahon said.
"It's not there," Calaway said. Vince points out his stellar match, saying "Didn't seem that way tonight. The timing was there. Everything was right there."0comments
"I know. My body's not though," Calaway said. Vince then says "Most important is this", but Calaway interrupts and says "Well it's my body and my long term."
"I'm gonna go, get out and think, but I just didn't want to spring that on you. I mean I'm springing it on you now but I need to evaluate," Calaway said, and Vince responds "Mark, I will follow your lead."prev