The Undertaker recently spoke with Variety to promote Chapter 1 of WWE’s “The Last Ride” series, which premieres on the WWE Network this Sunday. The five-part series will air over the next several weeks, giving a rare behind-the-scenes look at Taker and what could be the final days of his career.
Taker acknowledged that his career is winding down.
“It goes without saying that I have far more matches behind me than I do in front of me,” he said. “I think for the very reason I protected this character for so long is why I felt like this docuseries was the thing to do, because I don’t know how much there is left.”
Taker is hoping to end his career on a high note, but is still searching for what will truly be his final match. He talked about being honest with himself at this stage of his career.
“You have to be honest with yourself,” he said. “It just may not happen the way you want it to. I think that’s part of the intrigue of this. Do I have the opportunity to have that match? Are my skills still at a level that will allow me to have that match? That’s me being as open and honest as I can be right there. I’ve got some pretty good matches that I have to grade things against. I have to grade on a curve now…Those are things that I have to struggle with. I have to look at things in a very realistic manner in terms of where I’m at with my age and my injuries.”
Taker admitted during filming of the new WWE docuseries that it took some time for him to let his guard down and relax his instincts to protect the business, as he has done for years. He told Variety that he realized early on how he had to separate Mark Calaway and The Undertaker for the project.
“Everyone knows for the better part of 30 years, that was off limits. You don’t get to see both sides,” he said. “Fortunately — it was probably luck more than anything else — I had the presence of mind early on in the process to realize that I had to separate Mark Calaway and The Undertaker.”
He continued, “I had to realize that the things early on that I was telling them not to shoot were the things I wanted them to shoot. I want people to see what it takes at this point for me to go out and be The Undertaker and perform and what it takes to get ready for it.”
Taker also spoke about his recent Boneyard Match with AJ Styles at WrestleMania 36. Taker once again praised AJ and said they got lucky with the match. He said he was very happy with how the match turned out.
“We got really lucky in that,” Taker said of the Boneyard Match. “I think the world of AJ not only professionally but personally. I just didn’t know if I had enough gas in the tank to give him what he was expecting…With all the negative aspects of what happened, we got to do something so unique and so innovative. It was like a mini-movie. I think there will probably be more matches in the future shot like that. Not on every card, but with those specialty matches I think they’re really on to something. It’s so different from what you normally see and so different from the regular product. I was very fortunate to be able to do that with someone of AJ Styles’ caliber. And then all the talent that was there production-wise, I was very happy with how that turned out.”
He continued, “It showcased what I do best. I’m a storyteller. That’s what I believe wrestling matches are. They’re stories. When it’s done right, you tell a great story, and I think we told a great story. To me, that’s a good night’s work.”