The Undertaker recently spoke with Joseph Staszewski of The New York Post to promote his “Final Farewell” at the upcoming WWE Survivor Series pay-per-view on November 22, which will mark his 30th anniversary.
Taker reaffirms the “never say never” belief of WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon, but has no aspirations of returning to the ring because his body is not capable of “an Undertaker-WrestleMania type match” these days. He said he knew he was done in the ring while filming the cinematic Boneyard Match with AJ Styles for WrestleMania 36 earlier this year.
“I realized I have taken every physical gift, tool that I have and have used it up,” Taker said. “There’s no water left in the sponge, if I can use that analogy. I’ve rung everything I could get out of that sponge.”
Taker revealed that at one point, and because of how well the Boneyard Match was received, he thought he could extend his career through cinematic matches, which require less physicality. While Taker believes he could’ve done a few more cinematic matches, he feels like it would be “cheating” to resort to that kind of presentation.
“It really doesn’t appeal to me because basically what it is, is working around my limitations,” Taker said. “It’s capitalizing on some of my ability and some of my creative ability to tell a story but basically it’s trying to mask some of the lack of my physical abilities at this point.”
Regarding McMahon, Taker referred to the WWE boss as “a caring human being” and “not the monster that people think that he is.” Taker takes issue with the notion that he can’t say no to Vince, who is often portrayed as the one who keeps pulling Taker back to the ring year after year. Taker never took for granted the “special opportunity” WWE gave him 30 years ago, and said the decisions to return were always his. Taker’s loyalty to WWE helped him forge a special bond with Vince, one that few talents have.
“If Vince feels like there’s still something there, I have a place on the roster, then I had no problem doing it,” Taker said. “That’s where the internet and all that stuff kind of show up, ‘Just let him retire, just let him do this, let him do that.’ I’m a grown man. I can walk away anytime I want.”
Taker still finds it hard to believe that he lasted so long with one company. He said he loves what he’s done in WWE for the past 30 years, which will potentially culminate with the “Final Farewell” at Survivor Series.
“Guys will have their run and then they’ll go somewhere else, they’ll go to Japan, they’ll go wherever or just take some time off,” Taker said. “Because you get burned out and obviously our fan base, sometimes there’s a flavor of the week. Once something new comes in the old kind of gets set aside. If you had told me, ‘yeah you’re gonna have a 30-year straight run with one company,’ I would have been like, ‘yea OK. If you say so.’”