So as I was watching WWE TV this week, I noticed that once again, we have Undertaker and Kane atop the promotion. Ok, maybe not the very tippy top as ol’ Hunter likes to say, but as two of theoretically the top three champions in the company. As my favorite old saying goes, “The less things change, the more they stay the same.”
(And please don’t write me to correct the actual saying – I’d hate to have to explain the joke to you.)
Anyway, seeing Taker walking around with the gold around his waist again got me thinking back to some of the horrific angles the poor guy has been involved with over the years. If anyone ever deserved to be on top, my goodness, it should be that guy after all the lame storylines he’s been stuck with. And while I’ve chronicled many of them, such as his “resurrection” and the fiasco of the Underfaker, it seems there’s a never ending backlog of stupidity from his career that should keep us going for years to come. For instance, there’s the ridiculous “Higher Power” stuff, him taking Stephers on a hearse joyride, and, of course, the time that he was was witness to his manager being murdered live on PPV.
And no, I cannot believe I’ve never inducted that one before either.
The man in question, of course, would be Undertaker’s long-time manager/friend/quasi-relative, Paul Bearer. I say “quasi-relative”, because I think he may have been Taker’s dad. I am pretty sure at some point Paul was revealed to be Kane’s dad. I don’t think it was ever stated that he was Taker’s proud papa, but I know they always say that Kane and Undertaker are brothers, which, by definition, would make Paul the father of Undertaker as well.
Or maybe not, who knows.
And again, I don’t care, so please don’t email me the answer. If I wanted to look it up, I’m sure the ever-accurate Wikipedia would come to my rescue.
Anyhoo, it was 2004, and Taker was in a feud with Paul Heyman, who decided that the fastest way to become the top manager in the company would be to get the Undertaker in his stable. As you can probably guess, the Dead Man shot Heyman down. Heyman would not be deterred, however. And to ensure that he would gain control of the Taker, he did what any evil mastermind would do:
HE STOLE THE URN!
Now for those younger Crappers out there, I should explain that this was pretty much the modus operandi of every single Undertaker foe of the early 90’s, be it King Kong Bundy or Kama, the Supreme Fighting Machine. In fact, Kama even went so far as to melt down the urn (which supposedly contained Taker’s parent’s ashes) and made a gold chain out of it.
Seriously, he wore it around his neck.
Them’s were good times.
Regardless, at some point Undertaker apparently re-smelted the urn-turned-necklace back into an urn. The urn, we were told, was the source of Undertaker’s powers, you see. So when these guys would swipe it, it would apparently give them an edge in their feud.
Now mind you, they all LOST their feuds, but that didn’t stop Paul E. from trying it again anyway. But Paul had an additional ace up his sleeve…
…that being Paul Bearer, whom he and the Dudley Boyz kidnapped. The story here was that unless the Undertaker “did the right thing”, that being lay down and get pinned by the Dudz, Heyman would pour cement into the glass case in which Bearer was enclosed, and he would die.
No doubt you are thinking I must be making this up.
See? That’s Paul Bearer. And that’s not oatmeal being poured into his case…that’s CEMENT, baby!
So yeah, Undertaker either laid down and lost a wrestling match, or his manager would be murdered.
Good ol’ fashioned family fun here in the main event tonight at the Great American Bash!
Taker, of course, was a man of reason. Who cares about losing a match, right? Especially a handicap match against one of the top teams of the last ten years?
Well, apparently the Dead Man did, as he feigned doing the job, and instead started beating Bubba Ray up.
Once again, let me state for the record, that I am glad I have never been, nor will ever be, Undertaker’s manager.
He has some really mixed up priorities.
So Taker pummels both Dudleys…
…infuriating Heyman, who decides to show he’s not joking around!
And here comes some more cement, right up to Bearer’s pudgy little knees.
Deciding that he should, perhaps, not let his friend die, back in Taker went, to get taken apart by the Dudleys.
I should note that my favorite part of the match was when D-Von had Taker against the ropes, and the ref called for a rope break. Good to know there were rules in this match.
This match in which a man was being drown in concrete.
So Taker decides to take matters into his own hands, and heads up the ramp at Heyman. As he…
…hey, wait a minute here. What is up with Taker’s hairdo there? He almost looks like the Dutch Boy.
If the Dutch Boy was a undead zombie redhead.
By the time Taker was half way up the ramp, he was again attacked by the Dudleys. Heyman, growing frustrated with Taker not “doing the right thing”, proceeded to pull the lever again, this time filling the tub up to Paul’s chin.
But hey, Paul has like six of those, so he should be ok for a while.
After approximately 13 years of absurdity involving Taker, Paul E., and concrete, the match ended with D-Von eating a tombstone.
As you can guess, this was not what Heyman considered as compliance, so he headed back to the cement mixer to finish the job once and for all!
But to no avail, as Undertaker unleashes his MAGIC POWERS, causing a lighting bolt to hit the concrete truck!
You know what would be hot? If Taker did it with Storm from X-Men. With their combined eletrical atmospheric discharge powers, I bet he’d be WWE champion forever.
Unless Magneto showed up.
You know what else would be hot? If Magneto showed up with Lex Luger. Then he could just fling Luger around in the air, because he had that steel plate in his arm.
You know what else would be hot? If this show was over and I didn’t have to write the rest of this induction.
But it’s not, and I do.
So anyway, the lightning bolt scares Heyman, who crawls away up the ramp.
The other Paul, of course, is ectstatic (and somehow less covered in concrete than he was just moments earlier).
After all, his boy just saved him from certain doom!
And sure enough, Undertaker heads over to Paul, drops to a knee and gives him the urn salute.
I sure love a happy ending.
Which we didn’t get, as Undertaker then decided to fill Paul’s ears with the gritty white goo.
Not to beat a dead horse, but again, I must state that I would never manage the Undertaker.
And sadly, that was the end of portly Paul, who was never seen on WWE television again.
Thankfully, though, we would learn that Bearer did not pass on, but rather, according to Michael Cole, instead suffered “severe internal injuries, injuries to the lungs and injuries to the trachea.”
I sincerely hope that should I ever be buried in concrete, I am equally lucky.
Hey, want to know how they did they buried Paul up to his ears without him dying – or suffering “severe internal injuries, injuries to the lungs and injuries to the trachea”? You’re in luck. See, prior to the PPV going on the air, they did a rehearsal of the angle…which wound up airing on the satellite feed! You can check it out by clicking, you guessed it, rightchere!