Former WWE referee Marty Elias has told the story of The Undertaker asking Vince McMahon to change the timing of his legendary WrestleMania 25 bout against Shawn Michaels.
At WrestleMania 25, The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels clashed in a match that is widely seen as one of the greatest matches in WWE history. The bout was given ‘Match of the Year’ awards by numerous publications and is seen by many fans as the best match in the history of professional wrestling.
For half an hour, the two WWE icons went all-out, delivering a masterclass in the art of pro wrestling. There were heart-stopping moments which included the closest of near falls as Michaels kicked out of a Tombstone Piledriver and several moments where it looked like The Undertaker’s streak would come to a premature end.
The finale of the match came when ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ tried for a Moonsault but was caught by ‘The Phenom’ who turned it into a final devastating Tombstone. That one mistake from Michaels planted the seed for the pair’s rematch the following year.
Now, the referee for the match has revealed that the original plans were very different. However, a late intervention by The Undertaker stopped the bout from being a less noteworthy piece of wrestling history.
During an interview on the Chat Grapple and Cheap Pops podcast, former WWE referee Marty Elias explained that the match was originally scheduled to go on third, and was only to be given 15 minutes. After telling producer Michael Hayes that those plans weren’t good enough, ‘The Deadman’ spoke to Vince McMahon himself.
“We’re sitting there and ‘Taker looks at Shawn and he goes, ‘Shawn, how long you been with this company?’ Shawn goes, ‘Most of my life.’ And he goes, ‘Hmm, 15 minutes? Third? That ain’t gonna fly.’ Michael Hayes, ‘Oh, hey, hey, I’m gonna go talk to Vince. Don’t worry, we’ll see if we can get it changed,’”
While Undertaker wasn’t impressed with the original plans, Elias said that Michaels was fine with the situation. HBK even said that he would happily compete in the dark match ahead of the show since it meant he could go home earlier.
“Shawn goes, ‘Hey, man, I can go on first, I can do the dark match… I just get home earlier, I can leave earlier.’ Shawn didn’t care, but it got changed and thank God it did.”
The Undertaker has been announced as the headliner for this year’s WWE Hall of Fame ahead of WrestleMania 38 in his home state of Texas. The WWE legend had his final match at WrestleMania 36 against AJ Styles.
H/T to Sportskeeda for the above transcription.