I took in the Undertaker Axxess panel after Raw. It was the final event of Wrestlemania weekend and something that WWE hasn’t tried before. While I bought the ticket thinking it was one of the Axxess meet and greets, it wound up being a chance to sit in a room and listen to Undertaker answer fan questions. When I say answering, I mean going into a variety of stories, which is one of my favorite things in all of wrestling. This was much more a fan event for me so I didn’t take notes, but rather just sat back and listened. I won’t bother trying to remember every question and answer, but here are some highlights (not in order).
• The event began at 11:30 with Byron Saxton introducing Undertaker, who was straight up Mark Calaway this time.
• His Mount Rushmore of wrestling is Steve Austin, Andre the Giant, Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels.
• His Mount Rushmore of his own Wrestlemania matches are Shawn/Shawn/HHH #2/HHH #3. Felt like a bit of a stock answer but you can imagine how many times he has been asked.
• When he changed into the biker, he always knew he would become the Deadman again because those are his roots.
• When asked about his favorite attire, Undertaker went into an explanation of his favorite titles, saying his first WWF Title was his most important. Then he wasn’t sure why a lot of the crowd was snickering or why Saxton couldn’t stop smiling.
• He was asked about how hard it was to keep kayfabe over the years and said it was his own choice. It made the character feel that much more special, plus got him out of a lot of things he didn’t want to do, such as interviews and appearances.
• The closest anyone ever got to cracking him up was JBL. Undertaker has decided to get an RV and drive around the country (which he admitted was a boneheaded move) and it was a disaster, with his RV being such a lemon that he sued the company that sold it to him. One night, JBL got a mic and said they didn’t need to fight. Instead, Undertaker needed to get an RV and drive around the country. Undertaker said he had to bite a hole in his lip to keep from cracking up and then gave JBL quite the beating for getting him that close.
• He had a lot of praise for Yokozuna, going into a discussion of how great he was more than once. When Yokozuna worked a dark match shortly after debuting, Undertaker begged Vince to let him work with Yokozuna first. Vince said in due time, because he had someone else in mind. Then Giant Gonzalez came walking down the hall, which is what Vince meant. Undertaker said he partially left WCW to avoid working with Gonzalez (El Gigante there), plus they didn’t think he could draw anymore.
• Funny exchange (fan’s lines paraphrased):
Fan: “You’re best known for your Wrestlemania Streak, but some of the matches didn’t quite live up to expectations.”
Fan: “Matches like the Brock Lesnar one and the Roman Reigns one could have gone better.”
Undertaker: “Do you not get that this is Put Taker Over Weekend???”
Of the two, he would rather do the Reigns match over, but he doesn’t remember anything about the Lesnar match due to the concussion.
• He is excited about the Texas Longhorns and Dallas Cowboys’ future prospects.
• When asked how he would react to his children getting into the business, he said his nine year old daughter was the most likely candidate. If she wanted to get into the business, he would support her, just as he would no matter what she did. Undertaker: “As long as it doesn’t involve a pole right? Dang Michelle is going to kick my a** for that one.”
• He had never heard of the Undertaker wine until Steve Austin pulled it out on the Broken Skull Sessions and thought it was terrible.
• His favorite drink is Jack Daniels, because if it is good enough for Frank Sinatra, it is good enough for him.
• When asked if he could face Sting or the Fiend, he picked the Fiend, but says it would have been different if they meant in everyone’s prime. He was worried about doing the match with Sting because it might not have lived up to expectations.
• He was asked at least twice about the Never Say Never deal and said he was only trying to be cute at the end of his induction speech. After the speech, he and Vince were sitting in Vince’s office and reminiscing a bit.
Vince: “So what did you mean by that “never say never”?
Undertaker: “No. Stop it.”
• His heart and mind are still into get into the ring but his body can’t do it anymore.
• A fan asked about the rumor of him threatening Shawn Michaels during Wrestlemania XIV.
Undertaker: “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Fan explains the whole thing.
Undertaker: “Yeah I knew what you mean. I’m making fun of you. Without saying anything, things were going to happen that night one way or another.”
• When asked about how they filmed the inside the casket promo from Royal Rumble 1994, Undertaker said “none of your d*** business”, saying that he had to keep a few secrets because he is the old school guy.
• And finally, because it is one of those stories that has been rumored forever, he does indeed hate cucumbers. When he was about eight, he came inside and his mom was making a big vat of cucumbers in vinegar and he ate the whole thing. His stomach was so messed up that anything with any cucumbers in it has messed him up for the rest of his life. This has led to him yelling at more than one sushi chef for ignoring his NO CUCUMBERS orders. Also, Paul Hearer would put cucumbers into his drinks/food as a rib. Undertaker: “I love that man but he is the devil.”
All in all, I was hoping that this would be a lot longer, but I could listen to wrestlers tell stories all day. It was pricier than I would have gone ($150, which did include unlimited free admission to Axxess (normally $10 a session)) and I probably wouldn’t have bought it had I not thought it was the usual Axxess VIP deal, but it was certainly a unique experience, just to hear Undertaker talk about kayfabe and heels/babyfaces.