Many believed Undertaker had finally met his match when he squared off against WWF Champion Yokozuna at the 1994 Royal Rumble. The encounter saw Undertaker victimized by not only the mighty Yokozuna, but a posse of oversized wrestlers, including Bam Bam Bigelow and Diesel. Many assumed the defeat, which saw Undertaker stuffed into a ringside casket, meant the demise of the “Deadman.” However, as Yokozuna’s gang pushed the casket up the aisle, an eerie smoke began to fill the arena, followed by the familiar gong of Undertaker’s entrance theme. “The Deadman” then appeared on the Titantron to proclaim, “I will not rest in peace.”
Both “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase and Paul Bearer claimed to have found Undertaker in the summer of 1994. The two men agreed to have their Undertakers square off against each other at SummerSlam. In the end, Bearer’s Undertaker proved to be the real “Phenom,” defeating DiBiase’s fake after striking him with three Tombstone Piledrivers.
Undertaker’s disappearance in 1994 caused him to miss WrestleMania X, but his darkness dominance returned the following year when he defeated the massive King Kong Bundy in Hartford, Connecticut. The following year, he handily defeated Diesel.
Following his defeat of Diesel, Undertaker became the target of World Wrestling Federation newcomer Mankind. Their intense rivalry sparked the advent of two revolutionary match types, the Boiler Room Brawl and Buried Alive Match. It also marked the shocking end to one of the closet alliances of all-time when Paul Bearer clobbered Undertaker with his urn at the 1996 SummerSlam.
Despite losing his manager Mankind, Undertaker continued to post an impressive record, which earned him a WWF Championship opportunity against Sycho Sid at WrestleMania 13.
Following a skull-crushing Tombstone, the “Phenom” covered Sid to reclaim the title he lost more than five years earlier. The victory catapulted Undertaker back to the top of the professional wrestling world. He spent the next five months successfully defending the title against the likes of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Vader.