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The Undertaker...


Teedy Kay

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Firstly, I'm sure we will all agree on one thing, formulating a list of the greatest of all time is exceptionally tough.

 

Do you look at technical in-ring ability? Promo work? Standard of matches? Titles held? Money generated from drawing power? Anything else that you personally feel is important?

 

But with everything in mind, as Taker is more than likely on a final wind down of his career, what are peoples opinion on where he stands on the all time greatest list?

 

Taker has been probably WWE's most loyal worker, and since November 22nd 1990 has been a credible force and magnificent gimmick that has always created a stir for Vince.

 

He's had some awesome matches throughout his tenure and some utter shite ones too, but WWE could always rely on that gimmick to provide compelling storylines, fantastic arcs, great pay off gimmick matches (more than any other wrestler?). As an overall story, that of Taker's is without question one of the strongest considering it's spanned 21 and a bit years. It's been a gimmick that's never really needed a title to be a draw, especially in latter years.

 

Taker would definately be in my top ten, there are others that have excelled that touch further (Flair, HBK, Hart) but Taker has been that mainstay that has always been 'up there'. He's seen many names come and go, names that have been pushed to the top of the card above him, but he's stayed there and fought and never diminished as a stand out performer and star.

 

I'd love to see Ian do one of his fantastic career breakdowns on him.

 

But where do you feel Taker fits in the 'Greatest' list?

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Top 10 of all time, no doubt. There's a hasbro figure of him, he was a key player in the attitude era and as recently as a few years ago he was wrestling full time and competing for world titles even now 20 years later he's still stealing the show at wrestlemania.

Always with the same gimmick but reinventing himself, always at the top of the card and always been great in the ring. Taker will be missed, there'll never be another like him.

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Top 10 of all time, no doubt. There's a hasbro figure of him, he was a key player in the attitude era and as recently as a few years ago he was wrestling full time and competing for world titles even now 20 years later he's still stealing the show at wrestlemania.

Always with the same gimmick but reinventing himself, always at the top of the card and always been great in the ring. Taker will be missed, there'll never be another like him.

 

Apart from his time as the American Bad Ass.

 

 

Looking at what Teedy Kay said what do you look at when making the list I'd say you can put Taker in the top 5 if you made a seperate list for each of those. In ring ability, can do it all brawl, wrestle and even fly and get some good height in the air too, better than any other big many in the sport ever for my money in terms of in ring quality.

 

Promo work - talking or silent promos can do both flawlessly easily one of the top 5 on the mic.

 

Standard of matches - OK so consistency might not be his strong point but find someone who hasn't had a bad match in over 20 years and he's pulled off some great matches with people who it really should've stunk up the place.

 

Titles held - Speaks for itself, a multi time world champion including during the last boom period in the attitude era.

 

I would say that he should be in the top 5 of any list.

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Always with the same gimmick but reinventing himself

 

Apart from his time as the American Bad Ass.

 

I obviously hadn't forgotten about that, it was still the same gimmick, he had devils all over his shit and was still called the Undertaker. I did say he was always reinventing himself.

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Undertaker didn't have many great matches in the first ten years of his career. He took a while to become as good as he is, like many big men.

 

I imagine in the cold light of day when adulation surrounding the Cell match at Mania (which I thought was great) has subsided a little people will reconsider these calls of him being among the top 5 of all time. There's easily twenty wrestlers I've got more enjoyment out of than the Undertaker.

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Undertaker didn't have many great matches in the first ten years of his career. He took a while to become as good as he is, like many big men.

 

I'd put that down to the quality of his opponents in the early days. Sure, he's improved as a worker over time but he was faced with all kinds of shit in the early 90s.

 

He's in the second tier in the all-time list IMO, a notch below The Big Three, alongside those already mentioned.

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He's in the second tier in the all-time list IMO, a notch below The Big Three, alongside those already mentioned.

 

 

I'd probably agree with this. He's probably got one of the most recognisable gimmicks ever though, I'd say in the top 3, maybe top 1 in all honesty. (This is discounting wrestlers who aren't so heavily gimmicked, for example I wouldn't have Austin, Rock, Hogan etc as wrestlers with a strong 'gimmick' per se, just an extension of themselves rather than a full on different persona like Taker)

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Without a doubt, one of the greatest characters ever - some may argue the greatest.

 

I would like to say that he isn't up there with other greats on the basis of individual performances, but his Wrestlemania efforts over the past half decade or so have proved otherwise. His 'Mania matches against Shawn and then Triple H last year (I won't mention anything about this year's match for the sake of spoilers) were some of the best matches ever.

 

Perhaps Undertaker's greatest asset when looking at his career is the sheer length of it; not many have had careers which have spanned over such a vast amount of time.

 

As Dill alluded to, 'Taker can't be placed in the same bracket as Hogan, Rock or Austin. It's quite plausible that there will never be another star who will see the level of success as those three names. However, Undertaker's name should be placed in that tier below, along with the likes of John Cena, Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair.

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People often mention the "second tier" but who would really fit in there?

 

I'd go with: Undertaker, John Cena, Triple H, Bret Hart, HBK, Ric Flair, Macho Man Randy Savage, Andre The Giant

 

I don't know if you'd put Bill Goldberg in there, he was a huge star but not for a paticularly long time and in terms of long term impact on professional wrestling I don't think he really did too much. Similiar with Brock Lesnar.

 

I guess you'd have a third tier of: Brock Lesnar, Bill Goldberg, Sting, Kevin Nash, Batista, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Mick Foley, Randy Orton, Kurt Angle?

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Undertaker's definitely not in the same bracket as the glorious four, but he's firmly in that Michaels/Flair/Triple H second elite tier (which is basically the tier for wrestling snobs to do the "well actually, Rock/Cena/Austin/Hogan wasn't as good as..." thing), and thus his career can be put up against anyone's. He's also one of the first names mentioned if I ever ask people which wrestlers they've heard of or remember.

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Drawing ability, mainstream crossover, fan reactions, long-term impact I'd say.

 

Pitcos, I wouldn't put Cena up there with Hogan/Rock/Austin. Those three were the figureheads of the biggest and most successful periods of wrestling in history. Cena has been the figurehead during the years it's popularity has severely dropped.

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