The Undertaker is one of the most iconic wrestlers in sports entertainment and he will go down as one of the best if not, THE best WWE superstar in the company's history.
The Deadman's time in the WWE came to an end at WrestleMania 33 back in April when he lost to Roman Reigns in the main event, placing his hat, coat, and gloves in the middle of the ring as a sign that he had wrestled his last match.
Fans applauded and chanted 'Thank you, Taker!' when this happened, and it's strange to think about a WWE world without The Undertaker being a part of it. Well, that almost happened.
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Speaking on Fightful's podcast, The List & Ya Boy, former WWE creative writer and leader of The Four Horsemen, JJ Dillion revealed how Mark Calaway nearly ended up becoming a Viking instead of The Undertaker when he joined the company in 1990.
Dillion, who was with the WWE from 1989 to 1997, said according to the International Business Times: "[Undertaker] is an impressive guy, he had the size. In the business, they call the 'it factor,' and if you're on the business on the executive side, it's hard to find the words to describe 'it,' I can't explain it, but he has 'it' and I guess another word for it is natural charisma and [Undertaker] had it.
"Vince's first reaction was 'maybe he could be a Viking with the helmet and the horns.'"
"He just saw this guy and Vince had a really creative mind. He had a department [Vince] would take somebody and turn this person over to this department and say to look at them, their body, their features, play with him and feed me some ideas. In all the years that went by, I think the Undertaker is the great wrestling character/persona that has ever lived in the WWE/F. Hands down."
The Viking gimmick was later given to John Nord, who joined the company in 1991. Nord became The Viking, which was later changed to The Berzerker with Mr. Fuji as his manager. He only stayed with the company for two years, but he did have a feud with The Deadman during that time.
You have to remember that this was at a time in the WWE where they still felt it was acceptable to do cartoony gimmicks for their audiences, even though they weren't as popular as they used to be.
It would be fair to say that Calaway wouldn't have been as successful as a Viking as he was with The Undertaker gimmick. Thank goodness someone was able to change his mind, otherwise, we may have never witnessed the legend that is The Deadman.
Are you glad WWE decided to nix this idea of having The Undertaker do a Viking gimmick? Have YOUR say in the comments section below and the third episode of GiveMeSport’s WWE podcast is here! Check it out via this link. https://soundcloud.com/user-818579649/gms-wwe-podcast-all-the-fallout-from-wwe-payback
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