The Undertaker has opened up about how he had a major character change during the Attitude Era of WWE.
When The Undertaker debuted in WWE at Survivor Series 1990, he was one of the most unique characters ever as a “Deadman” that liked to bury people…or so they said. The character would evolve over the next decade with different looks at times such as wearing grey gloves and switching to purple gloves. Taker was also of an evil, demonic leader of the Corporate Ministry in 1999 as well.
After taking a break in late 1999 and missing the first four months of 2000, The Undertaker was back with a very different look at May’s Judgment Day pay-per-view. It was the debut of the “American Badass” character that saw The Undertaker drive to the ring on a motorcycle along with a bandana on his head and some shades.
From May 2000 until late 2003, The Undertaker was the American Badass during the Attitude Era and into the start of the Ruthless Aggression Era. Taker was a babyface at the start of it, then he turned heel and became a face by the end of it.
At WrestleMania 20 in 2004 after sitting out for about four months, he was back to the traditional Deadman look as he defeated his “brother” Kane.
In an interview with Ariel Helwani of BT Sport, The Undertaker explained why he became the American Badass character.
“In that time period, as cool as that Undertaker character is or was, I think it would have really struggled in the Attitude Era because you’re kind of handcuffed in what you can do. You’ve got all these guys cutting these incredible promos and everything’s kind of up in the air. I mean, if you think it, you can pretty much say it in the Attitude Era.”
“I always felt like it was going to be really difficult for me to stay in the confines of what The Undertaker did and try and cut promos against The Rock or Stone Cold and all those guys. It was the wild, wild west right then, so I had to take the parameters off so I could hang and be relevant with that whole new fan base that we got all of a sudden out of that.”
The Undertaker also said in the interview that the traditional Deadman character will not be coming back since he is retired. That’s why he had more of an American Badass look at Raw 30 in January.