Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker will forever be linked due to their iconic matches, including Michaels’ own retirement bout (let’s forget about his recent one-off comeback). So, it’s only natural that Michaels is reflecting on the Undertaker’s career before he retires at Survivor Series. Michaels spoke with CBS Sports about his friendship (or lack thereof) with The Undertaker, why he believes Mark Calloway is ready to retire, and why he initially didn’t believe the character had longevity.
Check out highlights below:
If this will truly be Undertaker’s final farewell:
He’s a smart, bright, intelligent man, and I believe that, yes, he will find it. All I know is that in these last few years, I’ve never wanted it for someone so badly like I do with him. Because, again, I feel like shit for not — it’s one of the things I always say to him when I see him. You know, ‘Thank you so much for giving me that.’ He didn’t know he was giving me that, but he did. To me, that will be the greatest gift that dude or darn near anyone has ever given me, that feeling to be able to walk away from the wrestling ring and not struggle with it because I understand how unbelievably rare and special that is.
On originally not thinking Undertaker would have longevity:
He’s dead. He doesn’t sell. It sounded from the locker room standpoint like maybe a limited character. It seemed like he would be very cool, but it would be short lived. Which, of course, 30 years later, that’s pretty dang amusing if you ask me. But it speaks to Mark’s ability. And then seeing it, it was a hard character not to think, ‘What a cool idea.’
Why the character is an all-time great:
That’s pretty dang simplistic, but trying to recall a time ever seeing anything like that at that time or since — I know it certainly has spawned a lot of maybe offshoots, so to speak. I don’t know, I think it goes down as one of the greatest thought-up characters of all-time. I don’t know how you could argue against that. And again, for him to have it last 30 years and still be unbelievably strong and awe-inspiring when he comes out, that’s pretty dang impressive, and it’s really tough to do.