WWE chairman Vince McMahon initially refused to meet the future wrestling legend The Undertaker, otherwise known as Mark Calaway, as he thought he was ‘just a tall basketball player.’
Taker reportedly failed to impress McMahon while he was wrestling for a rival company WCW at the time, before he was finally persuaded to give him a chance in 1990.
Indeed, it was WWE executive director Bruce Prichard who finally convinced McMahon to take a chance on ‘The Deadman’.
Speaking on his Something to Wrestling podcast, as per The Sun, Prichard said: “Taker was due to meet McMahon the following day after he had wrestled Lex Luger at the Great American Bash, however, McMahon cancelled the meeting.
“Taker had a dislocated hip, but he worked the match anyway because the next day he was supposed to meet with Vince.
That didn’t happen and it didn’t happen because Vince looked at The Undertaker and thought, ‘Ah, he’s just another tall basketball player with red hair, I don’t see anything special in him.
Prichard continued to reveal: “I begged Vince to please meet with Mark Calaway because they were in a show in the New Jersey-based Meadowlands and I offered to get The Undertaker there.
“I had spoken with Mark and I was a big fan of his work, plus in my head I had an idea of what to do with him.”
Following this discussion, the rest, as they say, is history, with The Undertaker becoming one of McMahon’s favourite wrestling stars after his successful debut at Survivor Series.
Taker was part of the winning Million Dollar Team, which included The Honky Tonk Man, Greg Valentine and Ted DiBiase, who defeated The Dream Team, which had the likes of Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart and Dusty Rhodes.
Taker went on to have an unbelievable career that spanned over three decades... not bad for a man considered initially as just a tall basketball player!
Calaway, however, has since revealed in his documentary ‘The Last Ride’ that he currently has no plans to return to the ring.
Speaking in the final episode, he said: “There is nothing left for me to conquer or accomplish.
“The game has changed. It’s time for new guys to come up. The time just seems right.
“I can do more good outside the ring than I can inside. I’m finally at a place where I can accept that.”
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