An Ode to the Deadman

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It’s a feeling that I won’t ever forget. The chill that runs down my spine. The goosebumps that pop up all over from excitement. For 20+ years now a simple gong has inspired fear in his opponents, and excitement from fans. He is the Demon of Death Valley, the American Badass, the Deadman, the Phenom… he is the Undertaker and if this is indeed now his final ride we should soak it all up and enjoy what could be the last few months of the his legendary run in sports entertainment. This is my ode to the Undertaker.

Before I get into it I just want to take a quick second to introduce myself. My name’s Russell, I’m from Brooklyn, NY and this will hopefully be the first of many articles of mine on this awesome site. Now let’s get down to it. I love the Undertaker. I’m willing to bet that you do too. How could you not? He embodies the spectacle that is professional wrestling.

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Awesome entrance? Check. Memorable ring style? Check. Memorable signature and finishing moves? Check. Awesome attire? Check. Memorable debut? Yes. There’s no mistaking the Deadman. There is no other like him. He has tombstoned just about damn near everyone in the WWE and has taken quite a few superstars on their last rides. And now let me address the man directly.

Dear Undertaker,

Whether it’s your dark and terrifying persona or the American Badass rolling in on a Harley, you still laid and continue to lay the beat down on any who stand in your way.

Countless superstars have fallen to you.. Edge, Batista, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, JBL, Randy Orton… you name a superstar and at some point in their career they have fallen victim to you.

You showed Shawn Michaels what fear feels like when you massacred him in the first ever Hell in a Cell match. You made sure Mick Foley would never be the same when you launched him off and through that same hellish structure. You terrorized the entire WWE when you formed the Ministry of Darkness. You showed the locker room that two brothers of destruction can take down all who come in their path.

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Of course this wouldn’t be a proper thank you without bringing up the streak. Your record now stands at 22-1 but no one will ever forget that you went 21 straight years without a loss at the grandest stage of them all. You struck down legend after legend and some more than once. Some have never beaten Triple H in their entire career and you beat him three times at Wrestlemania. You showed Bray Wyatt he has a lot to learn before he can call himself the new face of fear. You showed the Big Show and A Train that even a numbers advantage means nothing when someone challenges you at Wrestlemania. You showed a 16 time World Champion in Ric Flair that there are some battles even he can’t win and you showed your brother Kane that the Deadman will always prevail against the Demon.

You had the greatest match in the history of professional wrestling when you took on Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 25 and showed the world that even at his absolute best, the Heartbreak Kid was still no match for the Phenom. A year later, you would prove it again under the bright lights of the University of Phoenix Stadium at Wrestlemania 26. HBK would never topple you.

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I could keep going on and on about your accomplishments and about the path of destruction you’ve left in your wake but there’s much more to you than just what you left and continue to leave in the ring. You continue to haunt the dreams of every WWE superstar, you continue to show us the drive and passion and energy you have for the fans and the company. You have an aura about you that commands respect when you enter the arena. You give me people a reason to stand up and cheer in a world where there are so many things to be unsure about.

If the rumors are indeed true that you will feud with AJ Styles for the WWE title and win it, there is no one more deserving at this point in their career. For you to go out a champion would be the cherry on top of possibly the greatest pro wrestling career in history.

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I want to say this final thank you to the Undertaker. Thank you for some of the most memorable moments in the history of professional wrestling. Thank you for giving the kid inside of me something to cheer for every time you enter the arena. Thank you for your continued service in WWE and your continued service to your fans.

Wait… there it is again… that unmistakable sound of a gong. That unmistakable sound that we soon may never hear again. That sound that reminds us all that a deadman still rules the land of the living.

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By: Russell Hartman

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WWE: Blame Charlotte, Not Us!

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Do you remember Vince’s old attitude? How it was all about having brass balls? Basically, he ran these two shows that did whatever he wanted? There were matches against God (wow, I know), bra-and-panty matches…some in mud, that’s always fun! There were raids against neighboring territories, a crazy old man on commentary that had such an obsession with ‘puppies’ that he should have gone with David Duchovny for sex-rehabilitation.

Or you know, probably should have had charges filed against him.

Still, WWE has been known as always pushing and raising the bar, and were they ever apologetic?

Nah. They stuck to what they did.

You don’t want to see God in a match? Well, too bad, take your hurt feelings elsewhere because it’s about to get holy up in here. Didn’t like seeing a casket holding Big Show’s father in it? Eh, that’s minor! We here at WWE laugh at the dead.

Which is exactly what they did on Monday Night RAW for the November 16th episode. Technically they didn’t laugh per se, but they did make a segment out of the death of Reid Flair during Charlotte Flair’s main event contract signing with Paige.

Oh boy, where to even begin when it comes to this subject? It seems as though it should be touched with a 40 foot cattle prod. Whether or not it’s actually morally decent of them to use him and his name as such is an entirely different discussion to be had over coffee, perhaps with security nearby to keep the very divided fans at bay.

Let’s forget for a moment about how tasteless or genius this comment was received. The real focus right now is the accountability.

Who the hell gave it the A-O-kay, hmm?

Did the parents Elizabeth and Ric Flair give it the okay?

No, they did not. They were not asked, nor did they approve this part of the segment to happen on Monday Night RAW.

Well then, that only leaves for one person to have been accountable in giving this the okay. That would be Charlotte Flair, whom WWE even insists was the one who pushed this forward.

Hmmm….interesting.

Now on his own podcast, Ric Flair stated that he doesn’t believe Charlotte gave it the okay. Seeing as how she’s still fresh on the main stage, she isn’t exactly in a position to say no. She has no seniority, no veteran’s say in regards to what she will and will not do once she’s in front of the cameras. Now, once you’re given an opportunity no matter what, you kind of have to just roll with it, right? Or, sit on the bench in the ice-box where all other forgotten talents are, hidden away from the camera.

Now, regardless of the sour taste it left in the mouths of many, let’s get one thing clear here, WWE. Take some accountability and responsibility when it comes to your product! You’ve pushed something out and saw it had received negative backlash, so what do you do? Blame it on the sister of the dead in which you spoke ill off?

Now that is tasteless and a prime example of cowardice. What happened to those brass balls Vince used to tote around so much? I had no idea that a ‘PG’ rating actually stood for ‘No Integrity’. Take responsibility for the product you’ve put out. Rather than blame it on the talent, why not something like.

“We realize we’ve done something incredibly insensitive, and we sincerely apologize” rather than something like “Yeah well she said it’s okay so everybody can forget this now pretty please.”

This action just seems to add on to the issues plaguing WWE these days, no integrity to stand behind what’s been done. This is just as bad as having someone win RAW, only to have them lose on SmackDown just to keep both sides of the coin happy.

Stick with your guns, or your brass balls, man.