It’s spooky season, wrestling fans. Halloween is practically here, and while it’s easy to dive down a rabbit hole of horror movies, you don’t have to watch The Conjuring or Nightmare on Elm Street to get your fix. There’s plenty of crossover between the horror genre and the wrestling world, and nobody embodies this overlap more than The Undertaker.
They don’t call him “The Deadman” for nothing; he’s creepy, plain and simple. Over the years, ‘The Phenom” has been involved in plenty of scary moments. In honor of Halloween, let’s take a look at three that stand above the rest.
The Undertaker Ascends To The Heavens (Royal Rumble 1994)
By 1994, “The Phenom” had already been built up into an unstoppable force, but he seemingly met his match when he crossed paths with Yokozuna. A mountain of a man, Yokozuna weighed over 500 pounds. No mere mortal could hope to stand a chance against him, and even the supernatural powers of The Undertaker failed to stop him when they clashed in a Casket Match at the Royal Rumble.
The fan-favorite star came close, but Yokozuna had plenty of help; Diesel, Jeff Jarrett, Adam Bomb, Jeff Jarrett, and The Headshrinkers aided the powerhouse and trapped “The Deadman” in the casket, which promptly started smoking. On the video screen, The Undertaker (seemingly stuck inside the casket) appeared and vowed to get revenge once he came back. The casket then exploded on the screen, and an Undertaker lookalike was shown rising to the heavens. Here, WWE heavily leaned into the dark side of The Undertaker’s powers, showing that the future Hall of Famer transcended the typical rules of wrestling in a way fans had rarely seen before.
The Undertaker Is Buried Alive
The Undertaker and Mankind had a classic rivalry, and they competed in several unforgettable matches. The Undertaker throwing Mankind off the Hell in a Cell cage is one of the most famous highlights in WWE history. Fans also look fondly back on their Boiler Room Brawl match in 1996. But one of their most remarkable battles often flies under the radar. At In Your House: Buried Alive, the two foes clashed in the first-ever Buried Alive Match. As the name suggests, the only way to win the bour was to bury your opponent in an open grave. At the time, this stipulation was eye-opening, to say the least, as it implied that the wrestlers involved wanted to leave their opponent lying under a mound of dirt rather than simply beat them in a standard bout.
As with the aforementioned Casket Match, it took more than one man to put The Undertaker down. This time, Justin Bradshaw (the future JBL), Goldust, Hunter Heart Helmsey, Crush, and The Executioner helped Mankind put The Undertaker in the ground. But it took much more than that to keep “The Phenom” down; the post-match sound of thunder hinted at his looming return, and he later returned from the grave to seek vengeance once more. “The Deadman” lived up to his name, proving that he would keep coming back, much like Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers.
Mideon Gets Sacrificed
Like many long-running horror movie monsters, The Undertaker veered off in different directions throughout his career as WWE aimed to keep him compelling. These shifts don’t always pan out — Jason X remains reviled by many Friday the 13th fans. However, when the WWE followed this model with The Undertaker in 1999, it met the objective of freshening up the character and creating more memorable moments.
Who could possibly forget The Undertaker performing sacrifices on live TV during his run with The Ministry of Darkness? The group targeted a number of performers with these ceremonies, but Dennis Knight’s transformation into Mideon remains one of the wildest examples. The arena was surrounded in darkness as The Undertaker and his acolytes, clad in robes, performed something comparable to a Satanic sacrifice on RAW. The Undertaker proceeded to cut his hand and feed the blood to Knight, who subsequently convulsed on the table. To top it all off, The Undertaker used the knife to carve his symbol on Knight’s chest. The whole scene was right out of a cult-centric horror movie, and in hindsight, it’s somewhat surprising it aired on RAW.
This Halloween season, don’t just rush to watch the same old horror movies; branch out a bit and seek out some of the frightening scenes the wrestling world has offered fans over the years. More specifically, it’s a good time to take a walk down memory lane and revisit some of The Undertaker’s classic moments. From seemingly getting destroyed on-screen to performing sacrifices, “The Deadman” delivered a range of scares over the years, and the assortment offers something for everyone.
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