Ex-WWE Employee Talks Origin Of The Undertaker, Vince McMahon Not Being Interested In Signing Him


Former long time WWE employee Bruce Prichard appeared on Ric Flair’s WOOOOO! Nation podcast this week and shared some interesting stories about The Undertaker’s debut in the company, some 25 years ago.

In 1990, Paul Heyman told Prichard that Undertaker, then working for WCW as ‘Mean’ Mark Callous, was available; however, Vince McMahon was initially not interested, saying he looked like a basketball player. According to Prichard, Undertaker was set to meet with McMahon the night after WCW’s Great American Bash pay-per-view in June 1990, where the former ‘Mean’ Mark Callous had a poor showing against Lex Luger.

“Mark had a dislocated hip, but worked the match anyway because he knew that he was going to be meeting with Vince the next day,” Prichard recalled.

“It wasn’t the best match in the world and Vince didn’t want to meet with him,” Prichard continued. “We finally got the two together, and, as you know Mark, man, he’s magnetic in and of himself and he convinced Vince that, ‘hey, I’m your guy’ and he took off from there.”

Prichard admitted that while WWE had an entire creative department at the time that designed new characters, the Undertaker gimmick only came about after getting a look at him. Apparently, the Undertaker was brought in to do the Suburban Commando movie with Hulk Hogan. The outfit he wore in the film made him look like an “old timey undertaker” and that is how the Undertaker gimmick was born. Prichard said that the original idea was to bring him in as Kane, a killer inspired by Jason from Friday the 13th, but “the Undertaker evolved and he has made it all his own.”

During their discussion about The Undertaker, Flair called it the “greatest gimmick in the world” while noting that he kept on getting better, although noted that he slowed down a few years ago. That’s because he didn’t work as often, but it’s a good point. In terms of longevity, it might be the best gimmick ever.

In addition to discussing the origins of the Undertaker, Prichard talked about TNA’s struggles, WWE booking on the fly in the 1990s, and many other topics. You can listen to the show here.