Understanding Rob Van Dam’s Perspective on Why The Undertaker’s American Badass Gimmick Seemed Inconsistent

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On a recent edition of his “1 Of A Kind” podcast, Rob Van Dam discussed his indifference towards The Undertaker’s “American Badass” persona, noting why the character never made sense to him.

RVD faced The Undertaker in the American Badass gimmick in 2001.


You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On the American Badass Undertaker gimmick: “I felt indifferent… I think my head was just stuck up my own a** at that time, worrying about myself and my path and what they’re doing with me, and dealing with politics and stuff like that.”

On the character’s turn not making sense to him: “When he was a biker, was he not a dead guy? Okay, so he was not a dead biker? I never actually thought about how drastic of a character change … I thought it was just a different side to him. Like, this is Undertaker on Halloween!”

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The Undertaker is one of the most iconic and enduring characters in professional wrestling history. Throughout his career, he has undergone various character transformations, with one of the most notable being his “American Badass” persona. However, not everyone was a fan of this particular gimmick, including fellow wrestler Rob Van Dam.

In a recent episode of his podcast, “1 Of A Kind,” Van Dam expressed his indifference towards The Undertaker’s American Badass character. He admitted that at the time, he was more focused on his own career and the politics within the wrestling industry, which may have clouded his perception of the character.

Van Dam’s main point of contention with the American Badass persona was the inconsistency it presented. He questioned whether The Undertaker, who was known for his supernatural and undead character, could suddenly transform into a biker. He wondered if the character was still a dead guy or if he had shed his undead persona entirely.

The Undertaker’s American Badass gimmick debuted in 2000 when he returned to WWE after a brief hiatus. The character was a departure from his previous supernatural persona, with The Undertaker adopting a more realistic and contemporary image. He rode a motorcycle to the ring, wore biker attire, and even incorporated elements of his real-life personality into the character.

While some fans embraced this new incarnation of The Undertaker, others, like Rob Van Dam, found it difficult to reconcile the drastic change. Van Dam likened it to seeing The Undertaker dressed up for Halloween, suggesting that it felt more like a temporary alter ego rather than a permanent character shift.

Despite the mixed reactions to the American Badass gimmick, The Undertaker’s portrayal of the character lasted for several years. He had memorable feuds and matches during this time, including his clash with Rob Van Dam himself in 2001. Eventually, The Undertaker would return to his supernatural Deadman persona, which has become synonymous with his legacy in professional wrestling.

In conclusion, Rob Van Dam’s recent comments shed light on his indifference towards The Undertaker’s American Badass character. While some fans embraced the change, others, like Van Dam, struggled to reconcile the drastic shift in the character’s persona. Regardless of personal opinions, The Undertaker’s American Badass gimmick remains a significant part of his storied career and the evolution of his character.