Updated at 9:55 a.m.: WWE has denied the Undertaker has taken a new backstage role with ‘NXT,’ despite reports to the contrary.
The Undertaker is a pro wrestling legend. The fact that former UFC champion Brock Lesnar broke his two-decade-long WrestleMania streak doesn’t even matter. If it were up to fans, the man who introduced the famous “Tombstone Piledriver” finishing move to the squared circle would wrestle forever. The fact is, however, the Undertaker (real name Mark William Calaway) is 49 years old. As much as it hurts to type, he’s past his physical prime. Maybe he ought to retire …
Well, reportedly, the Undertaker is contemplating stepping away from the ring, according to Inquisitr.com. Its report dovetails into more reliable reports that the Undertaker, who’s wrestled with WWE since 1990 (!), is taking on a new role with WWE’s developmental wing NXT as a sort-of adviser to up-and-coming talent. (Side note: The WWE made a mini-documentary about what it takes to score an NXT contract and it’s worth the watch.) Per PWinsider.com:
Undertaker was at [the Oct. 23] WWE NXT TV taping and at The Performance Center this week. He told those at the taping … that he was going to be working with developmental going forward as an “advisor.” The word making the rounds is that he will be in Orlando on a limited basis helping out and giving advice.
The Washington Post has contacted the WWE in an attempt to confirm or disconfirm ‘Taker’s reported new role with NXT but has yet to hear back. This article will be updated when the company offers official comment.
Any retirement talk has to be taken with a grain a salt, however, Wrestling blog rumors of this type have been routine in connection to Undertaker’s in-ring career for years, yet he’s shown up at WrestleMania for 22 years now! This year’s shocking loss to Lesnar — ‘Taker’s first at WrestleMania — and the match’s scary aftermath (WWE confirmed that ‘Taker suffered a severe concussion during the match, which required a hospital stay), have reinvigorated speculation, which when paired with news of a new behind-the-scenes role has led many to take the latest retirement rumors more seriously.