WWE almost broke the internet a few weeks ago when they revealed that Stone Cold Steve Austin would be welcoming a special guest to his re-launched podcast.
Austin quizzed a host of big WWE names between 2014 and 2016 on the WWE Network, but he was coming back to interview one of the most kayfabe-driven characters in the history of wrestling – The Undertaker.
Taker has never done many out-of-character interviews, apart from the time when he was the American Badass and ‘Big Evil’.
But times are changing and not only is Taker active on social media nowadays, but he agreed to strip his character and become Mark Callaway for 90 minutes as he did shots of whisky with the Texas Rattlesnake.
The two spoke about the beginnings of their wrestling careers as they both grew up in Texas, and they re-visited key moments in The Deadman’s storied history.
From Jake Roberts being a mentor to him to how he had to evolve his character during the Attitude Era, Taker and Austin covered all bases – including THAT moment at WrestleMania 30 where Brock Lesnar broke ‘The Streak’.
Taker confirmed what we already knew – that he had been concussed earlier on in the match – but he also spoke to Austin about the WrestleMania three years later in 2017, where he faced Roman Reigns in the main event in Orlando.
In an iconic moment following his loss, Taker put his long trench coat and hat back on, before taking them back off along with his gloves, laying them all in the middle of the ring.
It sure enough looked like a retirement message as he slipped away, but sure enough he was enticed to come back, and he returned a year later to squash John Cena, and he’s wrestled five more times since.
When Austin told Taker that he thought it was the end for him watching that, The Deadman replied: “Me too.”
“I thought it was all over,” continued Taker. “This is gonna be worth more than coming out and giving any speech because that don’t fit.
“I said this will register more with our audience – sure enough I got talked into coming back and once I start training and getting ready for something then you get caught up in it.
But at this moment [at WrestleMania 33] I’m not coming back.
Now that he’s admitted that he was stepping away at that moment, watching it back makes it an even more emotional moment.
But despite his age, it’s a good job Vince McMahon convinced him to return.
He’s still got some fire left in his belly as evidenced in his Extreme Rules tag match earlier this year, and who knows – maybe in 2020 we will see the rise of Taker once again.