For a guy that is as popular as the Undertaker is, he sure has been involved in a LOT of bad angles. Of course, when you start off with the premise that the character is basically an undead zombie, that shouldn’t be all the surprising, I suppose.
At the beginning of 1994, the Undertaker had been on the road for a number of years, more or less nonstop. He needed an extended break, so a master plan was put into motion that would explain his absence over the coming months.
He entered into a feud with Yokozuna, who was the WWF Champion. For those of you newcomers who aren’t familiar with Yoko, picture Rikishi, add about 300 pounds, subtract cool sunglasses and dancing moves. Throw a stereotypical Japanese manager (in this case, Mr. Fuji) and you’ve got a heel to be reckoned with.
Enough background – the Undertaker was set for a match at the Royal Rumble with Yoko for the WWF title. The match was the Taker’s favorite, a casket match, with no disqualification.
Since the match had the no DQ stip, Mr. Fuji had hired basically all of the WWF heels to come out and beat the tar out of the Undertaker. Bam Bam Bigelow, Jeff Jarrett, the Headshrinkers, Crush, Tenryu, Kabuki, and about 20 others came out to stuff the man from the darkside into the casket.
But since Taker was the WWF’s number one babyface at the time, even the wrath of all 50 guys couldn’t keep him down. That is, until Yokozuna stole the Taker’s urn from Paul Bearer and opens it up. The thing starts puffing out green smoke, and all of a sudden, the Undertaker has lost his power.
The heels (all 75 of them) finally beat the now powerless Undertaker down, and stuff him in the casket.
Yokozuna wins, and keeps the WWF title, proving that old adage, “Fat Japanese guys with lots of friends are hard to beat.”
Sounds stupid, but not totally awful, right?
You see, the 200 heels start wheeling the casket to the back and it begins to spew out green smoke, just like like the urn did. The 453 heels act all scared, the lights go out, and the bell tolls.
Up on the videowall, there was a shot of the Undertaker laying inside the casket, looking for all the world a though he was dead.
Suddenly, the Undertaker’s eyes open and he rattles off some nonsense about not being dead and how he will live again.
(Good thing Vince had invested in that “Casketcam” before the match!)
Some lightning and smoke followed, and a black and white X-Ray type vision of the Undertaker appeared on the videowall. The image slowly raises up until…
…a shadowy figure that supposedly represents the Undertaker appears floating towards the roof. It looks really awful, and is obviously not the same guy, but Vince figures no one will know.
And so Mark Calloway finally got a vacation. Little did he know his return to the WWF would be as bad as his exit…