Mark William Calaway (born March 24, 1965) is an American professional wrestler better known by his ring name The Undertaker. He is signed to WWE and is the company's most tenured competitor. Calaway began his wrestling career with World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) in 1984. He joined World Championship Wrestling (WCW) as "Mean" Mark Callous in 1989. When WCW did not renew Calaway's contract in 1990, he signed with the World Wrestling Federation in October and, after shortening his name from Kane the Undertaker to simply The Undertaker, has remained with the company since.
The Undertaker has two contrasting personas. The first is the role of The Deadman, an undead, occult-like figure, which has consisted of many different styles. He debuted his original Deadman persona during his own on-camera debut at Survivor Series (1990). At this event, the Undertaker was clad as a Western mortician. Next, in September of 1999, the Undertaker appeared as the leader of the Ministry of Darkness (with similar apparel). Since Wrestlemania XX, the Undertaker has appeared as a hybrid version of the Deadman character, using elements of the previous Deadman incarnations.
Calaway made his WWF debut as "Kane the Undertaker" at a taping of WWF Superstars on November 19, 1990. It should be noted, however, that the concept of The Undertaker character was not presented to Calaway until after he signed with Vince McMahon. The appearance of The Undertaker's first Deadman persona was modeled after a mortician from old Western movies, wearing a trench coat and black hat with grey gloves and boot covers. Under this Deadman persona, he was portrayed as impervious to pain, something accomplished by Calaway no-selling his opponents' attacks. Calaway made his official on-camera debut on November 22 at Survivor Series as a heel when he was the mystery partner of Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar team, where he was called Kane the Undertaker. Approximately one minute into the match, The Undertaker eliminated Koko B. Ware with his finisher, the Tombstone Piledriver. He also eliminated Dusty Rhodes before being counted out. The commentary team for the event referred to him as The Undertaker, neglecting the Kane name. Shortly after Survivor Series, "Kane" was dropped from his name, and he was called simply The Undertaker. It was at this time that The Undertaker switched managers from Brother Love to Paul Bearer — a histrionic, ghostly character, almost always seen bearing an urn from which The Undertaker was said to draw mystical power, reviving his strength during his matches. During his heel run, Undertaker would place his defeated opponents (almost always jobbers) in a bodybag and carry them to the back.
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