The Undertaker On Horror Inspirations For His ‘Deadman’ Character, Living His Gimmick
Photo Credit: WWE
The Undertaker was inspired by a couple of horror greats, and he says he was lucky enough to realize early how to portray the character so it didn’t fizzle out too quickly.
Undertaker was the guest on Sunday night’s debut of Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions and was talking about his WWE debut and how he wanted the character to be received. He compared his gimmick to being like the boogeyman stalking his victim, and said horror icons Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees were early inspirations for him.
“Those guys never moved fast at all but they always seemed to be at the right place when it was time to cut somebody’s throat. And it was vicious, so I would move slow. And I would have to make myself, believe me, there was that time where I just wanted to hit the ropes and take off and throw that flying clothesline,” Undertaker said, “but I realized it’s not going to work if the work doesn’t match the character. The character lent itself to being the boogeyman. The boogeyman just shows up, so I would lull people into a false sense and all the sudden, ‘Bang!’ Quick, something fast. Boom! And then I’d throttle it back down.
The Undertaker said it took a while where he didn’t have to think about it much and it just became second nature. He says he probably could have shown off his athleticism and done more high-risk moves, but the character wouldn’t have had as much longevity as it did and would have ran its course in a few years.
Fortunately, and I don’t profess to be any ‘guru’ or anything. I was blessed to realize the fact that I needed to pull back to move forward.
The two also spoke about how Undertaker was well-known for being in character and living his gimmick, not wanting to bring down the veil of professional wrestling. He says it was easier back before social media and cell phones, but says he wore black and didn’t speak much when he’d been out in public.
“I lived it because I knew I couldn’t be different than what they saw on TV. I never stopped working. I never—you go in my house back then, open up my closet. I dare you to find something that wasn’t black. I lived it. I never tried to put myself in situations,” Undertaker said, “where I had to be anything other than what people saw on TV. They got a slight variation because I was in street clothes, but they never got much more than that. I think it worked.”
Check out the full episode at this link.