Undertaker: The Last Ride Discussion - Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment

Undertaker: The Last Ride Discussion - Triple Threat POV

Posted by Dallas Allsopp Thursday, June 25, 2020
Welcome to another edition of Triple Threat from Smark Out Moment, where three of us get together to discuss three questions based on one big topic going down in the week of professional wrestling.

This week, Dallas Allsopp, Ben Guest and Bodeen Green will be discussing the recent documentary series about The Undertaker.

Undertaker: The Last Ride is the first documentary to truly explore the man behind The Undertaker. Mark Calaway is arguably one of the biggest wrestlers in the history of the industry, with his multiple personas entertaining fans for over 4 decades. Was the series an enjoyable watch? What did it open our eyes to? And should The Undertaker return for one more match?

Question 1: What has this documentary series opened your eyes to most about The Undertaker? Have you enjoyed the series as a whole?

ALLSOPP: I loved this series, primarily because we have never been privy to Mark Calaway, the man. Only The Undertaker, the myth. It was amazing to see just how down to earth and human he can be, although seeing him in such pain was an awful sight to behold. We all knew he experienced a painful life, however not to this extent.

GUEST: The most eye opening part of the documentary for me was how The Undertaker seems as though he is clinging on to his youth. Watching him lament his poor performances and demanding a good match from himself feels painful at times, almost as though he knows he should have retired, but he simply can't let himself go out with the quality of match his body is now reduced to. This is probably made worse by the mystical nature of his character, but as a huge fan, it's very difficult to watch. Overall, the series is great. Mark Calaway is one of the biggest enigma's of the celebrity world, let alone WWE, so to have such an insight into his life is a little bit strange, but every wrestling fan should watch this.

GREEN: This was the WWE equivalent of The Last Dance Netflix series. This was one of the greatest documentaries I have ever seen, and I cannot recommend it enough to wrestling fans, even if they haven't watched the product in quite some time. Seeing The Undertaker's losing quest for the ultimate ride into the sunset was extremely eye opening. Another huge eye opener was his mindset post WrestleMania 34, especially in his matches with Triple H, Shawn Micheals and his train wreck of a match against Goldberg. Seeing how causally he treated those matches was unsettling to watch, especially as it seemed he was digging himself a deeper hole. Overall, this was an amazing 4+ hour insight into The Deadman, and I would again recommend watching The Last Ride to anyone reading this.

Question 2: Was The Undertaker right to return to in ring competition following his match with Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33?

GUEST: I was extremely tired and a little bit drunk when I watched this match live, but I think I'm the only person who genuinely enjoyed it. I had it down as match of the night, and I refuse to go back and watch it in fear of changing my mind, so in my own selfish way, I would have no issues with this being his last match. That being said, I completely understand why he wouldn't want it to be. Yes, he should have retired and not put anymore strain on his body and gone out in the main event of WrestleMania, however in retrospect of seeing his Boneyard match with AJ Styles, that now seems like the perfect way for him to bow out, so I'm glad he stayed a little longer.

GREEN: The Undertaker is a man who deserves the ultimate ride into the sunset. Whilst his match at WrestleMania 33 wasn't the greatest, it was still a good send off, especially with the image of seeing The Undertaker leaving his hat inside the ring. That being said, I can understand his desire to get back into the ring and finish on a higher note. Whilst it did lead to some hard to watch moments, especially due to the fact The Phenom was working with older guys, in the end it didn't hurt his overall legacy. The Undertaker's legacy was already set in stone before falsely retiring at WrestleMania 33, and it would be nearly impossible for him to hurt it in any fashion. Whilst the journey had a lot of bumps, The Undertaker returning after WrestleMania 33 was ultimately the right decision in my book.

ALLSOPP: No. Simply put, no. The way he set his wrestling gear down in the ring was quite telling, and despite a highlight or two from his subsequent appearances, they have not lived up to his legacy. In fact, he has tarnished his legacy. The Undertaker summed it up best when he said he didn’t want parents to have to explain to their children that this broken down version of him was once cool. He should have retired, but I respect his decision to continue.

Question 3: Considering the success of the Boneyard match, in addition to the openness of The Undertaker throughout this series, what is the next step for The Phenom? Will he have one more match, or will he be capable of multiple matches?

GREEN: The Undertaker's experience during the Boneyard match surprised me. After watching the Boneyard match I felt The Undertaker would have a new sense of confidence leading to yet another series of matches. However, after seeing how hard the Boneyard match was for him both physically and mentally, I am not sure what to think. Whilst The Undertaker did seem satisfied with the Boneyard match being his last match, I wouldn't be surprised if he wants one final match in front of a live crowd.

ALLSOPP: The Boneyard match was a fabulous way to potentially cap off The Undertaker’s career. It was fun, exciting and oh so camp. That’s why I loved it. But honestly, he will struggle to top this. Go out on top please Phenom, and rest up. Your children and legs will thank you later.

GUEST: As soon as I saw this series come out, considering the success of the Boneyard match, I thought it had to be the end. The Undertaker is not a character that can be humanised in this way given his long career that has been steeped in mysticism. AJ Styles slowly humanised him, and this documentary has gone the rest of the way. As sad as it is, I think this should be the end of The Undertaker.

Bonus Question: What is your favourite moment from The Undertaker’s career?

ALLSOPP: For me, it was that demonic look on his face after he had thrown Mankind off the top of Hell in a Cell at King of the Ring 1998. In that moment, he truly was The Phenom.

GUEST: The first time I ever saw The Undertaker was at WrestleMania XX. At the time I didn't know enough about the build up to that match and the significance of his relationship with Kane and Paul Bearer, but even now, his entrance gives me chills.

GREEN: As a younger wrestling fan, I unfortunately missed seeing earlier moments in his career, such as his impactful debut and infamous match with Mick Foley at King of the Ring 1998. However, even after going back to see these moments, my favourite moment was his match against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 25. Seeing the match now still gives me the same chills I had when I first watched it. His matches against Triple H at WrestleMania 27 and 28 are also some of my favourite Deadman moments, however nothing will live up to that match at WrestleMania 25.

Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?
Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!

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Dallas Allsopp is a writer with two main interests, Pokemon and wrestling. He has been writing for a few years for his own personal blogs and is now taking his passion for wrestling and putting it into his writing. You can follow him on Facebook.


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