Friday, 29 August 2008

The Ten Best WWF Wrestlers Of My Time

The Undertaker

As any wrestling fan of merit (thus I lay down the gauntlet to you, oh commenters) will attest to: nobody is better than The Undertaker. He’s one of the most respected guys in the industry, both amongst fans and the other wrestlers themselves. He’s made his fair share of mistakes – the months and months he spent as “the American badass” springs to mind, where his character became a dull biker with sunglasses and a bandana to boot – but for the most part it’s hard to say that the guy has put a foot wrong. He’s been wrestling with the WWF since 1990, and as such has been on the books for longer than almost every other wrestler currently going. And during this time, he’s made a name for himself as possibly one of the most charismatic and astonishing athletes that’ve ever entered the ring.

The Undertaker has a great variety of mvoes which he’s made his own, from his one-handed chokeslam, to the tombstone piledriver, to a move where he walks on the ropes of the ring and bounces off them to deliver a smashing chop to his opponent’s shoulder. He can lift his giant foot to head height in order to hit another competitor, and uses a flying lariat (where he flips round in the air) with sometimes regularity. He also uses a variety of submissions, giving him the ability to win a match through all three of the usual routes – pin, submission, and TKO. He also has a pin where he rearranges the downed wrestler so they look like they’re sat in a coffin. Because you see, The Undertaker’s gimmick is that he is a supernatural sort of entity, a sinister ‘apparition’ who not only wins matches, but claims the soul of his opponent as he does so. It’s.. a little silly, in fairness, but it’s played with a spine-tingling nerve. Whenever he appears the crowd go mad – there is only one wrestler who has ever got a crowd more excited, and he wins this list – and it’s because of the way his gimmick is handled.

The Undertaker’s character plays things seriously. Despite the silliness of having a “buried alive” or “inferno” match, the fact that The Undertaker is the man involved elevates the whole thing and makes it seem, dare we say, more probable? The toll bell that announces his arrival, the smoke and darkness, it all seems really over-the-top until Undertaker himself appears. And now he’s regained this persona, after giving it up after ten years to become a rubbish motorbiker, he’s become an even more riveting persona than ever before. He’s been in some of the most memorable matches of all time – the casket match was brought about in part because of him, as well as the buried alive/inferno matches. But he can also take part in ladder matches, and the Hell In A Cell (perhaps the most infamous event in WWF history, aside from the TLC match) was made for him. It’s no surprise, considering all that The Undertaker has going for him, that he’s won Royal Rumbles and currently holds an unbeaten record at Wrestlemania of 16 matches won in a row. That’s sixteen years of wrestling. And he’s still going, and still in fantastic condition.

He also has his wife’s name tattooed across his neck, which is scary as anything.

1 comment:

  1. Taker's immortal; no one is ever going to have that kind of gimmick ever again where they can just stand there and make the crowd go crazy without uttering a single word all year. HIAC was made for him in a way, Shawn just came up with the whole 'lid' kind of thing on the cage but he makes it scary cool. Foley once said that you get chills everytime Taker enters an arena, even if you've been there several times when it's happened.

    Although that neck tattoo is like the most romantic thing ever *cough cough* it's a bit ironic that him and Sara aren't even together anymore. From what I've read, he's with the Diva Michelle McCool.

    I think I know who's going to be #1...